Turkey seeks to lure more foreign students

Turkey seeks to lure more foreign students

SAN DIEGO - Anadolu Agency
Turkey seeks to lure more foreign students

Turkey has stepped up its efforts to draw more foreign students with a new project called ‘Study Turkey,’ that is aimed at branding the country as an education hub. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkey is boosting its efforts to attract more international students, whose number in Turkish universities has more than doubled over the past three years.

The country is aiming to become a worldwide brand in international education with its new project “Study in Turkey,” the country’s higher education chief said at an international education conference in San Diego on May 30.

Gökhan Çetinsaya, the head of the Higher Education Council, told Anadolu Agency that Turkey was making huge efforts in the branding and institutionalizing of its universities under this new project, with the aim of attracting more international students through exchange programs.

“There were nearly 30,000 international students in Turkey in 2011,” Çetinsaya said at the Association of International Educator’s (NAFSA) conference. “Now, this number has reached up to 70,000.”

He also said Turkey was planning to run an event similar to NAFSA next year, as another step towards its aims. Stressing the importance of Turkey’s “multiculturalism” and geographic location, Çetinsaya said higher education would become another tool for the country’s soft power.

Turkey hosted more than 10,000 students last year through European Union’s exchange program, ERASMUS, and launched its own worldwide exchange program, MEVLANA, in 2012. Turkish students make up the 10th largest international student group in the U.S., behind only one other European country in sending students to the U.S.