Turkey is located between Western Asia and Southeastern Europe. In Turkey, education is regulated by a national system which was formed as per the Ataturk Reforms after the Turkish War of Independence. The Ministry of National education is responsible for school level education in Turkey- pre-primary, primary and secondary education. The higher education system of Turkey is managed and supervised by the Council of higher education (CoHE).
The National education system of Turkey comprise formal and non-formal education.
Compulsory education in Turkey lasts 12 years.
Primary and secondary education in Turkey is represented "4 4 4" system, where the first level of primary education lasts for 4 years, followed by second level primary education for 4 years, and secondary education for 4 years.
Pre-primary education in Turkey is optional and is offered by the kindergartens, nurseries, day-care centres and other child-care institutions. Children aged 3 to 6 may attend this pre-primary schools. In Turkey, there are private as well as state preschools.
Primary education in Turkey is for children aged 6 to 14. This educational level is mandatory to attend and is divided into two levels:
Subjects: At grades 1 to 3, there are 4 core subjects: Mathematics, Turkish, foreign language, and life sciences (Hayat Bilgisi). At grade 4, instead of life sciences; science and social studies is taught.
Certificate: Students who successfully complete their primary school studies are awarded a primary education diploma.
Secondary education in Turkey is optional and is for children aged 15 to 17/18. The duration of secondary education is 4 years. This education is offered by high schools (Lise). The government is responsible for these schools and education in these schools is free of charge.
Secondary education in Turkey comprises of general, vocational and technical education. This educational level prepares students for higher education or a vocation.
Examination: At the end of secondary education, students are required to sit for a high school finishing exam. Students who pass this examination are allowed to sit for the University Entrance Exam. Students who pass the university exam are eligible to apply for higher education institution in Turkey.
The higher education council (YOK) administers the higher education system in Turkey. Public higher education institutions receive FINANCE from the state. Students who have completed secondary education and passed the university entrance exam are eligible for higher education.
Higher education institutions in Turkey are mainly of two types- state and private/foundation universities. Universities offer undergraduate as well as graduate study programmes.Following are the units in the Turkish higher education institutions:
The degree structure of Turkish higher education adheres to the Bologna process. Turkish universities provide following qualifications:
To know in detail about the education system of Turkey, read the post “Turkey Education Overview”.
Higher Education Examination-Undergraduate Placement Examination (Yuksekoğretime Gecis Sınavı-Lisans Yerleştirme Sınavı, or YGS-LYS), or Student Selection and Placement System (Oğrenci Secme ve Yerleştirme Sistemi, or OSYS) is a standardized test required for admittance into higher education institution in Turkey. The examination is managed and oragnized by OSYM ("Olcme, Secme ve Yerleştirme Merkezi").
Private schools in Turkey are classified into 4 categories:
Non-formal education in Turkey is administered by the Ministry of National Education (MEB). This form of education is provided by a network of training centers available in Turkey. The non-formal education provides knowledge and skills to the individual from different professions; help pupils who couldn’t complete their education to study further and complete their studies, teach health lifestyle and balanced nutrition; and also provide reading and writing skills.
This form of education also encompasses distance higher education which is provided at the Open Education Faculty of Anadolu University. The duration of the course of study is 2 to 4 years.
Students must complete their secondary education in order to gain admittance into the Turkish higher education. Students are admitted into the universities on the basis of the entrance exam results. The exam is conducted and managed by the student selection and placement centre (OSYM).
To know in detail about the admission requirements and procedure, click here.
Admission requisite: International pupils must have finished their secondary education in a secondary/high school which is equal to a Turkish lycee. International students are eligible to enter in Turkish universities by exam results of ALES and SAT.
Turkish Language Test : The test is provided by the “Language Studies Center of Ankara University (TOMER)”. Candidates who have completed their secondary school education in Turkey or who have obtained their BA/BS or MA/MS degree in a University teaching in Turkish are exempted from appearing for Turkish language test.
Following Turkish language test scores are accepted:
Student Visa: International students must apply for a student visa at their nearest Turkish embassy/consulate in order to enter Turkey.
For a Turkish student visa, students must submit the following documents along with the students visa application form:
To know in detail about the student visa procedure, read the post “Student Visa for Turkey”.
Exchange Programmes: International university pupils are given the opportunity to spend 1 or 2 semesters in Turkish universities by participating in the Erasmus or Mevlana exchange programmes.
The cost of study and living in Turkey is as follows:
Tuition Fees: Public higher education institutions charge low fees, while the private higher education institutions charge high fees. The fees vary depending upon the level and study programme.
Living Expenses: The costs of living in Turkey vary depending on the lifestyle, location and the services. International students can expect to pay between 400-500 USD a month, inclusive of accommodation, transportation, food and other necessary utilities.
In Turkey, there are many scholarships provided to Turkish as well as international students. The Ministry of Education provides state scholarships and government scholarships to students.
Turkey has a well-established and maintained healthcare system. All higher education institutions in Turkey provide a free health care facility at their medical centres.