Turkish Prime Ministry’s Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) said nearly 108,000 international students from 180 different countries are studying in Turkey.
YTB's acting president Ahmet Algan told Anadolu Agency that the number of students studying on Turkish scholarships have surpassed 20,000, adding that these scholarships will play an important role in Turkey's goal of reaching 350,000 international students.
He said more and more students are flying abroad for higher studies due to an improvement in communication and transportation.
Nearly five million students are registered at higher education boards of countries that they are not citizens of.
"According to estimates, the number of international students across the world will reach 10 million in 2025," Algan added.
He asserted that Turkey began to receive more students with the agreements made with different countries and universities.
"Turkey's successful infrastructure and foreign policy moves beginning in the 2000s, has required the country to revise its policy on the mobility of international students, a matter which has become more important than ever.
"In this context, Turkey Scholarships was established in 2012 with nearly 20 public institutions and organizations coming together and working on educational trends in the world," he said.
- Number of applicants growing every year
With the scholarship program, international students are able to obtain education at prestigious universities in Turkey, said Algan.
"Turkey Scholarships is one of those rare international programs which includes university placements. It pays above standard monthly stipends to beneficiaries, and covers accommodation, general health insurance, tuition fee, Turkish language education and one-time arrival and departure transport cost," he added.
The scholarship, which only caters to foreign nationals, can be applied online during a specific time of the year. The students who pass the first assessment phase are interviewed by global academics and experts.
Algan said in 1992, the number of international students in higher education institutes were nearly 50,000. Since 2012, the country has hosted 40,000 international students including Syrians.
Nearly 150,000 alumni from Turkish universities are spread across 160 countries, he said.
The "Great Student Project" that began in Turkey in 1992, continues as "Turkey Scholarships" since 2012 under the patronage of YTB.
The project gives students a chance to serve their home countries after graduating from universities and building lasting friendships.
Turkey has provided higher education opportunities to 1,425 Syrians in 2016 as part of the program.
Every year 5,000 scholarships are provided to students from over 160 countries.
As Turkey Scholarships becomes a name to be reckoned with, the number of applications are increasing.
In 2012, 42,000 students from 131 countries applied for scholarships, a number which grew to 56,000 from 165 countries in 2013, 82,000 from 179 countries in 2014, 114,000 students from 175 countries in 2015, and 120,000 students from 164 countries in 2016.