About IEFT

The Turkish Student Market

Discover your potential in the Turkish market, and meet your future students 

Turkey is a quickly-developing country, with the youngest population ratio in Europe. The country is working towards being in the top 15 economies of the World by 2020; so now, more than ever, there is a large market for a skilled, educated, globally-minded current and future workforce.

This translates into a strong need for education, but the education system in Turkey is lacking space for all of the enthusiastic students seeking to advance academically. Because of this, families and prospective students are looking outside of Turkey for viable study options, to plan for the future.

As you know there is a direct correlation between demand for studying abroad and the economical development of a potential country. Turkey is certainly one of the most rapidly developing economies in the world today. The Turkish economy has made huge progress recently, it has opened its markets to foreign companies and Turkish companies have begun to take advantage of international markets. Turkish companies are very keen on integrating into the global economy and many Turkish business people are looking for new adventures in the global market. The fast developing private sector of Turkey has become one of the biggest potential customers of study abroad programmes. Although it seems that Istanbul is the centre of the Turkish private business world, there is an amazing development and internationalization in some Anatolian cities, the so called Anatolian Tigers.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism in 2001, around 35 million tourists have visited Turkey. Many tourist organizations operating in Turkey find that in order to serve their customers well they have to employ people who are able to communicate effectively. Therefore, those in the tourism industry are very keen on study abroad programs.

By the year 2020 the population of Turkey will have reached 80 million, with almost 60% of this population under 30 years old. 70% of the total 30 million households will be middle class living in urbanized areas, thus, one of their main priorities will be to provide an excellent education for their children. There are around 1.5 million secondary school graduates, 500,000 of which do not have the chance to study at a university in Turkey, therefore they are very enthusiastic about having an overseas education.  

The demand for studying abroad is not only from secondary school students and graduates, but also from 2.5 million university students. The majority of Turkish university students know the role and importance of study abroad  in getting a better job in a competitive business world. There are approximately 3.5 million students studying at Turkish universities which also includes Open University students. Around 2 million of them are studying on a 4 year course. 
There are around 350,000 university students in Istanbul at around 50 universities. Over 200, 000 students at  around 20 universities in Ankara. Izmir has 9 universities and 110,000 university students. 

At IEFT, we believe that although there is a huge need to support and strengthen the education system within Turkey, our mission is to assist Turkish students and business people in broadening their horizons by travelling and studying abroad.

Who are the potential students?

a) Students of private primary and secondary schools
b) Students of private and state universities and higher educational bodies
c) Students of university prep colleges
d) Students of public primary and secondary schools
e) Students of other public schools
f) Employees of private foreign trade, export & import and tourism companies

Which programs are popular with Turkish Students?

University Degree Courses

This segment is very important in Turkey. Because of a shortage of places at public Turkish universities, many students are not able to attend university in Turkey. Due to this lack of opportunity within the country, the Turkish Higher Education Council reached a decision last year which allows students who were unable to enter Turkish universities to seek education abroad on the condition that they pass the Turkish University Placement exam. If they do not pass this exam, their foreign degree will not be recognized in Turkey.

Postgraduate Studies: There are around 400,000 students that complete their undergraduate education at four year state and private universities each year in Turkey. A significant number of these graduates would like to obtain a postgraduate degree; however, Turkish universities generally have very few places available for postgraduate studies. Thus, Turkish university graduates are very keen on continuing their postgraduate studies abroad. They believe that studying and living abroad will help them to develop both personally and professionally.

Language Courses:  The English Language level of the majority of Turkish students is still quite low, therefore this course has the biggest demand. After English; German, Spanish, French, Italian are the most popular languages.  
Executive Courses: A demand is seen in Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Bursa, Ankara, Gaziantep, and Denizli from middle and top managers of companies.

University Foundation Courses: There are around 1.5 million secondary school graduates taking university entrance exams, but only 600,000 of them are able to go to university, the rest are looking for some other opportunities such as studying abroad, therefore, UFP is becoming a very popular course in Turkey.

Summer course: very popular for the 7-18 age group. The groups are generally organized by the school management or head of language departments. The main demands are coming from private primary and secondary schools and some reputable state schools.

Examination courses: TOEFL, TOEIC, Cambridge Exams, OIBEC are in high demand. The students who are planning to study at a university demand these courses at any time of the year. It is quite important for them to prove their level of English with an internationally recognized certificate.

Short Term Certificate and Diploma Courses: The demand is mainly from young university graduates and staff of medium and large companies.

High School;Out of over 80,000 students studying abroad, around 1% are going abroad for High School programs. 


Basic Statistics of Turkey

Turkey has:

  • 114 State universities 
  • 76 Foundation (Private) universities in Turkey and 13 in Northern Cyprus 

There are approximately:

  • 3.6 million undergraduate students 
  • 342,000 post graduate students 
  • 78,000 doctoral degree students at 190 universities

There are approximately;

State Primary and Medium Schools; 62,000 , Student number; 17.5,000,000 

State High Schools; 9.000 Student number; 5,000,000

Private Primary, Medium and High Schools; 3,000  Student number; 400,000 

The statistics of the Turkish Students studying abroad per year;

USA; 11, 000
UK; 20,000 (including summer language students)
Germany; 25,000 (including Turks who live in Germany)
France; 2,000
Canada; 2,500
Australia; 2,500
Holland; 800
Switzerland; 500
Bulgaria; 3,000
Azerbaycan;  4,500 
Austria ;  2,000 
Ukraine;  1,000
Belgium;  500
Russia; 500
Italy; 800
Japan; 300 
China; 700

Others: 5,000

TOTAL: Over 80,000 Students 

(Source: Turkish Education Ministry)

Exhibition Statistics


28th IEFT Exhibition Statistics

October 11-19, 2015

28th IEFT Summary


We were happy to welcome over 300 exhibitors representing around 170 institutions from 25 different countries to the 28th IEFT International Education Fairs of Turkey in Ankara, Izmir, Istanbul Eruopen Side, Istanbul Asian Side and Bursa. Thank you for supporting the Turkish market and participating in our exhibition.  Your involvement not only contributed to the success of the event, but also helped us to maintain our position as the largest international education exhibition in the region.

Please find the statistics from the 28th IEFT Fairs below.  This includes the participants and exhibitors per city, number of student visitors per city, visitor age groups, which programs students were interested in, visitor education profile, visitor subjects of interest, and which countries students are looking into.

While we endeavour to capture information on each visitor coming to the venues, we are not always able to do so. This can occur when visitors arrive in groups and/or with their families. To insist they all fill out a form slows the registration process as well as can make the visitors uncomfortable, which we respect. Moreover,some forms are incomplete or illegible thus impeding us from including them in our data. Please keep in mind that the following numbers can contain an error factor but have been calculated as accurately as we are able to report. 


We look forward to welcoming you to Turkey! 

Warm regards,



IEFT Concept

IEFT was founded in 2001 as an organization committed to bringing quality education providers together with motivated students and their families.  Our aim is to create greater visibility for the many “study abroad” options available around the globe. 

Every year, around 100,000 Turkish students choose to travel abroad for their education.  Turkey is a market that cannot be overlooked. And the IEFT exhibitions have proven to be the venue where prospective students and their families gather the valuable information required to make solid decisions for their futures.

In the changing economic climate, one thing remains consistent:  the need for international educational partnerships, opportunities and exposure.  Each year Turkey sees over a million and a half Turkish students competing for only 700,000 entrance positions in post secondary institutions.  Space restrictions in Turkey’s educational facilities are a major factor contributing to Turkey’s large education export.  This year, along with China and South Korea, Turkey was featured as one of the largest growing student markets, a market which IEFT is happy to be a part of.

IEFT Exhibitions bring you not only top Turkish students but also total support from our friendly and helpful IEFT team, an amazing social and cultural calendar of events and excellent branding in this exciting student market.  

As IEFT we have many international partners that support us in this arket to make a specialized country village such as; British Education Village, Education in the USA Village, Education in Canada Village (supported by Canadian Consulate General), Study in Australia illage (supported by Austrade), Study in France (supported by  ampusFrance), Study in Germany (supported by DAAD), Study in  Estonia, Study in Lithuania, Study in Sweden (supported by Swedish Institute), Study in Poland, Education in Ireland , Education Malaysia (supported by Consulate General of Malaysia) and etc. at the IEFT Exhibitions. Villages allow groups to successfully brand not only heir partner schools but also their countries.  IEFT guarantees support before, during and after the fairs!

IEFT’s Spring, Summer  and Fall circuits ensure optimal visitor attendance: The daylight hours are longer and the weather is pleasant; in March and April students are preparing for their next course of action for the summer and beyond; in October, new graduates will have recently found out their national exam standing (exam is in June but actual results and placement assignment in August), and are researching their options abroad.

Who Should Participate

You should plan on participating if: 

  • It is important to you to have a rich blend of nationalities as part if your international student base 
  • Meeting your future students in person to discuss their education opportunities is part of your recruitment methodology 
  • You are serious about discovering a unique and motivated market 
  • Your institution is seeking brand-recognition in Turkey 
  • Ongoing visibility in this growing market is part of your marketing strategy 

It is important to keep top-of-mind awareness in Turkey. With the myriad schools trying to penetrate the market, you should develop a presence and maintain it. This is best achieved by combining event participation at IEFT with building solid relationships with reliable partner universities, colleges  or educational agencies.

What Type of Schools and Institutes can attend the IEFT Fairs? 

The Schools and Institutes offering; 

  • Undergraduate  and Graduate programs 
  • Foundation and A Level Programs
  • 2 Years Community Colleges and TAFE institutes 
  • Language Courses
  • Summer Schools and Camp Programs
  • High School
  • GMAT, SAT, GRE, IELTS, TOEFL preparation 
  • Executive Programs  
  • Pre-masters/pre-MBA 
  • Certificate and diploma programs 
  • Internship  and Co-Op Programs 
  • Exchange Programs 
  • Scholarship Offices
  • Countries Educational Atteches and Promotion Offices
  • Embassies and Consulates
  • Organisations offering Language and aptitute tests
  • Educational Agents