FPJ Exclusive: Scholarships For Indian Students At Turkish Universities Expand Opportunities

FPJ Exclusive: Scholarships For Indian Students At Turkish Universities Expand Opportunities

Türkiye is becoming an attractive destination for international students due to multiple factors.

Simple VishwakarmaUpdated: Monday, May 27, 2024, 01:44 PM IST
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Cüneyt Yavuzcan, Consul General of Türkiye |

Türkiye's education system is gaining global recognition for its quality and diversity. Türkiye Scholarships, the flagship international scholarship brand, received 117,367 applications from 163 countries in 2023, the Turkish Consul General Cüneyt Yavuzcan told The Free Press Journal (FPJ).

In an exclusive interview with the FPJ, Yavuzcan highlighted the Türkiye Scholarships programme, which helps students adapt to Turkish society by providing financial aid and a Turkish language course. He also discussed Türkiye's current student exchange programme with Indian colleges and its focus on emerging fields like artificial intelligence, making it an attractive destination for students seeking higher education.

FPJ: Are there scholarships specifically offered to students from India?

Yavuzcan: Given the increasing popularity of Turkish universities and the comprehensive scholarship programmes like “Türkiye Scholarships”, it's likely that the enrollment of Indian students will continue to grow.

Türkiye’s flagship international higher education scholarship brand, Türkiye Scholarships, is increasingly consolidating its position in the global student mobility landscape. In 2023, it received 117,367 applications from 163 countries.

The Türkiye Scholarships programme not only offers financial support but also includes a one-year Turkish language course. This is aimed at helping international students fully integrate into Turkish society and culture, enhancing their educational experience in Türkiye. 

The application is open for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, welcoming candidates interested in bachelor's, master's, and PhD levels. Applications for these scholarships are typically accepted once a year, with specific deadlines and application requirements detailed on the official Türkiye Scholarships website. Other programmes like Research Scholarships, Achievement Scholarships, and KATIP have different application periods and are announced on websites and social media channels.

FPJ: Is Türkiye planning joint ventures/ student exchange programmes with Indian universities?

Yavuzcan: Türkiye is actively engaged in various student exchange programmes, including joint ventures with international universities, which include partnerships with Indian institutions.

Türkiye's active engagement in exchange programmes such as the Mevlana and Erasmus Plus programmes significantly contributes to its appeal.

Mevlana is an initiative developed by the Turkish government to promote exchange between students and academic staff of Turkish higher education institutions and those from around the world, including India.  The programme is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as academic staff. The exchange duration can vary, typically from one semester to a full academic year. 

Erasmus+ is a significant part of Türkiye’s strategy to internationalise its higher education system, fostering broad participation across many countries, including potential collaborations with Indian universities. Participants in the Erasmus+ programme typically need to be enrolled at a higher education institution that holds an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education. It is open to students at all levels of higher education, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral studies. Participants receive grants.

FPJ: Are there any specific programs or initiatives focused on emerging fields like AI that Indian students could participate in?

Yavuzcan: Türkiye offers a range of programs and initiatives focused on emerging fields like artificial intelligence (AI) that Indian students can participate in. Several Turkish universities are known for their robust AI programs designed to equip students with critical skills and knowledge in this advanced technological field. Universities offer comprehensive curricula covering various aspects of AI, including machine learning, data science, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics and blockchain technologies. Students benefit from hands-on experience, research opportunities, and collaboration with industry partners, preparing them for diverse careers in AI-related fields.

FPJ: What are the overall prospects for Indian students studying in Türkiye?

Yavuzcan: The prospects for Indian students studying in Türkiye are quite promising due to several factors:

Türkiye offers a wide range of academic programmes across various fields including engineering, medicine, social sciences and humanities. 

Türkiye's unique position as a bridge between East and West provides a rich cultural experience and a unique perspective on global affairs, making it an attractive study destination for students interested in international relations, history and regional studies of the Middle East and Europe.

Compared to many Western countries, Türkiye offers more affordable tuition fees and lower living costs. 

Türkiye's growing economy and strategic location provide various internship and job opportunities for students. This is particularly beneficial for students interested in sectors like tourism, international business and diplomacy.

FPJ: Which academic programmes or fields of study are most in demand for Indian students in Türkiye?

Yavuzcan: Indian students in Türkiye are increasingly attracted to a variety of academic programmes that align with global employment trends. Engineering remains one of the most popular fields, known for its rigorous curriculum and strong job prospects. Business studies and medical studies are a significant draw due to the quality of education and lower costs compared to many Western nations. 

FPJ: How does the number of Indian students studying in Türkiye compare to other Asian countries? 

Yavuzcan: The number of Indian students studying in Türkiye is relatively modest compared to other popular destinations for Indian students. As of the latest data, 549 Indian students are studying in Türkiye. According to the data available on the YÖK (Council of Higher Education) website for 2023, over 330,000 international students from 198 countries are pursuing their education at universities in Türkiye. 

FPJ: Are there programmes offered to support students from your country before they arrive in Türkiye, and upon arrival to help them adjust?

Yavuzcan: Yes, there are programmes and initiatives in Türkiye designed to support international students both before they arrive and after they land in the country to help them adjust to their new environment. 

Many Turkish universities offer pre-arrival information through their international offices, which includes details about visa processes, accommodation options, registration procedures and orientation schedules. Some universities also conduct pre-arrival webinars or virtual orientations to help students prepare to move to Türkiye, covering topics like cultural adjustments, academic expectations and practical living advice.

Upon arrival, most universities provide a comprehensive orientation programme that includes campus tours, registration assistance and introductions to various student services.

Many universities in Türkiye have international student offices that offer ongoing support, including counselling services, help with bureaucratic procedures (like residence permits) and assistance in emergencies.

Turkish universities often organise social events, cultural integration programmes and language support classes to help international students adapt to the academic and social life in Türkiye.

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