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University numbers on the rise in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency | 9/4/2011 12:00:00 AM |

The total number of universities has reached 166 in Turkey, with the largest number in Istanbul, where there are 42 universities and five vocational schools run by foundations.

The total number of universities has reached 166 in Turkey, with the largest number in Istanbul, where there are 42 universities and five vocational schools run by foundations.

Sixty-two of the universities belong to private foundations and 104 of them belong to the state, according to figures obtained from the Higher Education Board, or YÖK, and the Student Selection and Placement Center, or ÖSYM.

There are state-owned universities in almost all of Turkey’s cities, while the private, foundation-owned universities are still generally only in big cities.

More than half of the private, foundation-owned universities are in Istanbul, where there are nine state-owned universities and 33 foundation-owned ones. The country’s oldest and newest universities are in Istanbul as well.

The oldest university in Turkey is Istanbul University, whose founding dates back to the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453. The university has been celebrating its 558th anniversary this year.

German historian Richard Honig, who argues that the Ottoman and Byzantine traditions can be studied together, has however defended the idea that the history of Istanbul University could date back to March 1321. According to the figures provided by YÖK and ÖSYM there are 3.78 million university students in Turkey including the ones who study remotely through distance-learning programs. Of the total students, 1,718,598 are female and 2,623,000 are male.

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