The number of foreign students receiving education in Turkey doubled over the last decade, according to Student Selection and Placement Center (OSYM) data.
The total number of foreign students studying in universities in Turkey was 15,505 in the 2001-2002 academic term. This number increased to 31,170 in the 2011-2012 academic year.
In the 2001-2002 academic year, 2,707 foreign students were registered in universities, while new registrations tripled to 8,410 in the 2011-2012 academic year.
The majority of these students, 4,257, are from Azerbaijan, with 4,110 from Turkmenistan. Students hail from around 40 countries such as Germany, Greece, Bulgaria, Mongolia and Russia and a lower amount coming from England. Those coming from Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Somalia increased as well. In 2001-2002, only six Somali students registered at Turkish universities while this number increased to 242 in 2011-2012.
Balıkesir University’s Rector, Professor Mahir Alkan, said their university is hosting 566 students from 41 countries. He said if the quota on the registration of foreign students – 10 percent – was removed, this number would be increased. Alkan said 3.7 million students are receiving university education in a country different than their own in the world, adding that Turkey should increase the number of foreign students it is hosting.
Turkey is a melting pot of cultures and because of its location, a unique blend of eastern and western tradition pervades the country. History and modernity comfortably co-exist throughout all facets of life in Turkey. The population of Turkey is relatively young and Turkish people are traditionally very hospitable.