The Internationalization of Higher Education in Turkey: Realities, Motivations and Opportunities


Insight Turkey Volume 18 No. 4, 2016

The internationalization of higher education constitutes one of the essential components that countries pursue for their higher education systems. Higher education institutions are compelled to put effort into the international arena in accordance with their own priorities, due to financial considerations and other factors, such as increasing the quality of the education they offer; having more international students, faculty members, and higher international rankings; and increasing the quality of their research and their international recognition. International students and faculty members also offer significant opportunities in terms of public diplomacy and soft power. Therefore, countries focus on the internationalization of their educational systems and revise their strategies dynamically.

International students and faculty members positively affect education and research capacity and the quality of the higher education institutions with which they are affiliated. In addition, higher education institutions can have multinational and multicultural campuses, owing to the international students and faculty members they host. According to UNESCO’s 2013 data, there are approximately 4 million international students around the world. The countries that have the largest numbers of inter national students also entertain the largest economic income due to the international higher education they offer.

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