International Students in Turkey Surpass 300,000 in 2022/23

Turkey Asia International Studies Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Aug 10, 2023


The 2022/23 academic year in Turkey has marked a significant milestone in international education, with data indicating that more than 300,000 students enrolled at Turkish universities.

With this number of international students, Turkey has achieved the target set last year by the Turkey Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), an organization focusing on the Turkey's economic relations with other countries, reports.

According to figures released by Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YÖK), the total number of international students pursuing higher education in Turkey last year was 301,694.

The number of international students in the country has increased by 526 percent from the 2013/14 academic year when only 48,183 students chose to pursue degrees at Turkish higher education institutions.

Data show that the largest number of students in in Turkey during the 2022/23 academic year came from Syria and Azerbaijan, with 58,213 and 34,247 students, respectively. Other countries sending most students to Turkey are:

  • Iran - 22,632 students
  • Turkmenistan - 18,250 students
  • Iraq - 16,172 students

On the other hand, China and India had fewer students in Turkey, only 1,445 and 549, respectively. Differently, these two countries lead the pack in some of the world’s top study destinations, such as the US and the UK.

Turkey is listed among the top ten countries regarding the number of international students. It manages to attract a significant number of students through both the Erasmus+ scheme and cooperation with universities every year. Turkish universities enroll more than 250,000 international students in a year.

>> Turkey Joins Erasmus+ & Other EU Programs for 2021-2027

At the end of May this year, leaders of 16 Turkish universities attended an education event organized by the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), where they had the chance to promote Turkey as a study destination for international students.

During the event, the President of the Education Economy Business Council, Irfan Gündüz, told the Anadolu Agency (AA) that about 310,000 international students study in Turkey, adding that the target was 350,000.

“In fact, the target set by our president was 350,000, but I truly believe that we will reach 500,000 students by the end of the year,” he told the agency.

In 2021/22, there were 260,289 international students pursuing associate, bachelor, master, and PhD studies. Statista, the market data portal, shows that the highest concentration of international students in Turkey chose to enroll in undergraduate degree programs in 2021/22.

According to rankings, some of the best universities in Turkey are:

  • Cankaya University
  • Koç University
  • Sabancı University
  • Middle East Technical University
  • Bahçeşehir University

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