By Sorwar Alam and Sadik Kedir Abdu
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has become an educational hub with recent developments in educational opportunities for international students here, the head of a federation that deals with international students said Friday.
“Compared with 2004, when there were only 10,000 international students studying in Turkey, today we can say that Turkey has become an educational base,” Mehmet Ali Bolat, head of Turkey’s Federation of International Student Associations (UDEF), told Anadolu Agency.
He underscored that Turkey hosts around 120,000 university students from more than 150 countries.
“But if we include high school students, students who are learning the Turkish language and students from Syria, this number could be more than 650,000.”
Explaining that Turkey’s education system has a global standard, Bolat noted that international students can easily come to Turkey and get admitted to Turkish universities.
“The Turkish government provides full-funded scholarships. Students can apply there. Students can come to study with self-financing or even only to learn the Turkish language,” he added.
Bolat also called on the government to provide more opportunities to foreign students, underlining the importance of establishing a fully authorized institution to deal with all international students.
He said the number of foreign students could easily increase to 300,000 by the end of 2023.
Bolat touched upon the activities of UDEF, highlighting the federation has 56 offices in 48 provinces across Turkey.
“We provide all kinds of support, including teaching the Turkish language, counseling, arranging accommodations, and most importantly, being with them in their happiness and sorrows.
“Our main aim is making the students feel at home in Turkey,” said Bolat.
UDEF was founded on Dec. 14, 2012, by 11 associations dealing with students across Turkey and currently operates through 56 offices in Turkey and more than a dozen abroad.