Turkey’s highly developed and highly disciplined education system has undergone a series of major transformations over the past decade. For example, compulsory eight-year education was introduced, the overall quality of education was improved, and the number of schools and other educational institutions was increased. In addition to public schools, there are other options for obtaining education: private and funded schools, as well as international schools for foreigners operating throughout the country. Along with schools teaching in various European languages such as English, German, French and Italian, there are educational institutions teaching Russian, Japanese and Chinese.
Turkey attracts foreign pupils and students not only for its beauty and climatic conditions, but also for the fact that it easily combines Eastern traditions and European way of life. Moreover, the popularity of Turkish education among Russians is due to the close economic ties between Russia and Turkey, and knowledge of the Turkish language will allow not only to successfully climb the career ladder in international companies, but also to engage in teaching or work as a translator.
The Turkish education system is fully controlled by the country’s Ministry of Education and includes two main areas – formal and non-formal education. Formal education is preschool, primary, secondary and tertiary education. Non-formal education is education that is not part of the formal education system, but is also sponsored by the Ministry of Education.
Preschool education is a preparatory stage for the entire subsequent educational system and is not compulsory. Primary education is compulsory for children over the age of six. At the end of each academic year, exams are held to assess the acquisition of the curriculum. If the student does not cope with the assignment, he stays for the second year. Upon successful completion, primary school graduates upon reaching the age of 11, after which a diploma of primary education is issued.
Secondary education is also compulsory and consists of two stages, the first lasting three years, the second six years. Secondary schools are public and provide free education. Also, secondary education can be obtained in Turkish lyceums, which is more prestigious. Graduates of secondary schools and lyceums can continue their studies at universities after passing the entrance exams. If an applicant collects a passing score, then education at the university is paid by the state.
Higher education in Turkey is represented by both public and private universities. Turkey has a huge number of universities, academies and high schools providing various study programs. One of the largest universities in the country is Istanbul University, founded in 1453. Specialized universities are also considered very prestigious: Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Aegean University in Izmir, Ataturk University in Erzurum. Education in universities is conducted in both English and Turkish.
For admission to a Turkish university, foreign applicants must submit an application to the “Student Selection and Enrollment Center” (OSYM – Öğrenci Seçme ve Yerleştirme Merkezi) – an organization that admits foreign students to Turkish universities; have a high school diploma, pass entrance exams and take a test in English or Turkish. Also, a prerequisite for admission is the completion of the Turkish language course, or the last class of the Turkish school. The number of study places for foreign students is predetermined, so you need to be well prepared to pass the competitive selection. Entrance exams can be taken not only in Turkey, but also in some cities of Russia. The cost of considering an application for admission to a university and passing the exam is about 80 euros. The cost of training at state Turkish universities ranges from 400 euros to 1000 euros per year, in private universities, training costs a little more: from 4000 euros to 10,000 euros annually.