Education In Turkey

The Ministry of National Education (MEB) runs educational administration and make adjustments in the Education System In Turkey. The Supreme Council of National Education discusses and decides on curricula and regulations prepared by the Ministry. According to Turkish Laws, every citizen has to right to education which is free of charge for the compulsory primary education. Because of this, Government allocates %10 of the general budget for the Education System.

Education System contains two main sections in Turkey; Formal Education and Non-formal Education.

Formal Education

Formal education is the common education of individuals in a certain age group and given in schools. In Turkey, all Turkish citizen must get compulsory education. The current education system has 12 grade and called ‘4+4+4’. Most of the Primary And High Schools owned by the government and provide free education.  There are also many private schools in every city.

Primary School

Currently, Primary School has 4 grade. Generally, parents register their children to the nearest public school. Students can get educate with no spending on education or books. If parents want, they can register their children to a private school. Of course pricing change between private schools. After Primary School, they continue Middle School.

The Middle school has the same grade and change as Primary School. But after 4th grade on Middle School, students must enter an exam to select and continue their education in high school. After this exam, they get educated in a high school according to their exam result. Also, there are private high school.

Primary School In Turkey

High School

Highschool is the final part of 4+4+4 education system. There are two types of high school in Turkey; General High Schools and Vocational and Technical High Schools.

  • General high schools: This schools prepare students for higher learning institutions. Some of the high schools and private secondary schools have foreign language preparatory classes. This kind of private high schools have double language education (such as Italian Highschool, German Highschool, Austrian Highschool, French Highschool, and so on)
  • Vocational and technical high schools: This schools provide specialized instruction with the aim of training qualified personnel.

After the end of the high school, the students take a two-stage examination known as YKS  (formerly known as ÖSS - Student Selection Examination) in order to be admitted to Universities and other higher education facilities.

Highschool In Turkey


University education In Turkey is not compulsory. There are 193 universities and 552 different types of University department in Turkey.

Universities, faculties and institutes of four-year higher education schools are established by Law, while the two-year vocational schools, departments and divisions are established by the Council of Higher Education (YÖK). Universities are under the oversight of this Council and their programmes must be regularly accredited.

Students who have four-year faculty graduation can go further for their Master’s Degree. The Master’s Degrees have 2 years duration and can be complete with or without thesis. Doctoral programs require a master’s degree and have a duration of at least four years. Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry students can directly apply to Ph.D./Doctorate programmes when they graduate.

University In Turkey

Non-Formal Education

Non-formal education in Turkey is overseen by the Ministry of Education. With non-formal education, the government offers citizens to learning reading and writing, completing their incomplete education, learning new professions and skills for job opportunities.

There is also Distance Higher Education which is offered at the Open Education Faculty of Anadolu University. This program lasts for 2 or 4 years.

Foreign Students Admission

Foreign students who would like to register in the post-graduate programs of the Turkish institutions of higher education can apply directly to universities if they have a graduate equivalent of a Turkish Highschool. They need to confirm a Turkish Embassy in their country and apply for a student visa. Universities have a limit for allocated places for foreigners.  Because of this, foreigner students must take the Foreign Student Examination(YÖS). YÖS consists of two tests; “basic learning skill test” and “Turkish language proficiency" test. Foreign students must score at least 40 on the “basic learning skill test”.  Language courses are organized for foreigners who don’t know Turkish. And in some universities courses are taught in English, German or French.

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