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Education System

There are 3 stages in Education System:

Optional kindergarten education, up to 6 years of age.

4 years of High School (Lise), or Vocational High School education, 15-17/18 years of age. Some schools might have an additional year of language study. High schools are mostly owned by the government and provide free education.

4 years of University, or 2 years at Higher Vocational Schools. Some schools have an additional year of language study. Under normal circumstances, Master’s study lasts 2 years; PhD 3-5 years. This category includes all educational institutions which will provide post-secondary education. They are under the supervision of Higher Educational Council (YOK).

Types of High Schools

Public High Schools (“Normal Liseler” or “Duz Liseler”): Any student who successfully completes 8 years of basic education can go onto these schools. Graduates of public high schools, if successful in the nationwide University Entrance Examination (ÖSS), can go onto higher education institutions. Graduates are awarded with the Lise Diploması.
Vocational High Schools (Meslek Liseleri): Some of these schools may take an additional year to complete. Graduates can automatically go on to higher vocational schools (Meslek Yüksek Okulları – 2 Year Vocational Colleges) in their respective fields of study if they wish. Alternatively, if successful in the university entrance examination, they can go onto 4-year schools in their respective fields.
Anatolian High Schools (Anadolu Liseleri): One year of English study followed by 3 years of regular high school education, additional hours for English. Math and Science lessons at these schools are sometimes taught in English. Lessons at some Anatolian high schools are taught in either German or French.
Super High Schools (Super Liseler): The difference between these and normal high schools is one extra year of English study. They differ from Anatolian high schools in that the language of instruction for math and science courses is always Turkish and less hours are given to English lessons.
Science High Schools (Fen Liseleri): These are special public schools for students who have exceptional aptitude in the sciences. These very competitive high schools train students specifically for higher education in the sciences, technical and medical fields. There is also Anatolian Science High Schools (Anadolu Fen Liseleri), where the medium of instruction for math and sciences is sometimes in English.
Private High Schools (Ozel Liseler): Most private high schools charge very high tuition fees and are very competitive.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

State Universities (Devlet Universiteleri): The university system in Turkey is governed by the Higher Educational Council (YOK). Turkey has 104 state and 62 private universities (a total of 166 institutions of higher learning), 5 of which are located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Apart from the public and private universities, 8 foundation higher vocational schools serve the job market.

Generally, undergraduate education takes 4 years at universities, but some fields such as medicine (6 years), dentistry (5 years), and veterinary science (5 years) take longer. Turkish high school graduates go directly into fields of study such as medicine, law, dentistry and so on. No tuition fee is charged at public schools (devlet universitesi); students pay only a small basic fee. Students need to pass a nationwide University Entrance Exam (OSS) to enter a university. The graduates of 4-year programs are awarded with the Bachelor’s Degree (Lisans Diplomasi).

The medium of instruction at some state universities is English, German or French. Therefore, all correspondence with the university staff and applications to the faculties can be done in English, German or French. However, instruction language at state universities is mostly Turkish. When entering the exam of the university, the knowledge of Turkish is not necessary. Those who pass the exams, and have only a little knowledge of Turkish, are considered to take one year of language foundation to gain proficiency in the Turkish language.

Graduate-level programs consist of master and doctoral programs, coordinated by institutes in universities. Medical specialty programs are carried out within the faculties of medicine and the training hospitals owned by the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Institute (SGK).

Higher Vocational Schools (Meslek Yuksek Okulları): They offer 2 years of undergraduate study after high school and are very much like the community colleges in the USA. The only difference is that students cannot easily transfer to 4-year schools in the USA due to fewer places at the 4-year schools. Two year graduates must take the national Vertical Transfer Test (Dikey Gecis Sinavi) and have a high GPA to be able to apply to 4-year schools. The graduates of 2-year programs are awarded with the Associate’s or Pre-Bachelor’s Degree (On Lisans Diplomasi).

Private or Foundation Universities (Ozel / Vakif Universiteleri): In Turkey, private foundations obtained the right in 1984 to establish and develop universities. They were established with the fundamental aim of creating a centre of excellence in higher education and research. Private universities take more active initiatives to form and to select international and global educational and research networks.

The medium of instruction in most private universities is English. Almost all have one year of English study for those whose level of English is not found to be proficient upon entrance.

Private universities charge tuition fee ranging from USD 6,000-20,000. Although private institutions, they offer considerable financial aid; more than 40% of all students receive some sort of financial aid.

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Pre-School Education

Optional kindergarten education, up to 6 years of age.

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Primary Education and Secondary Education

4 years of High School (Lise), or Vocational High School education, 15-17/18 years of age. Some schools might have an additional year of language study. High schools are mostly owned by the government and provide free education.

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Higher Education

4 years of University, or 2 years at Higher Vocational Schools. Some schools have an additional year of language study. Under normal circumstances, Master’s study lasts 2 years; PhD 3-5 years. This category includes all educational institutions which will provide post-secondary education. They are under the supervision of Higher Educational Council (YOK).

Types of High Schools

Public High Schools (“Normal Liseler” or “Duz Liseler”): Any student who successfully completes 8 years of basic education can go onto these schools. Graduates of public high schools, if successful in the nationwide University Entrance Examination (ÖSS), can go onto higher education institutions. Graduates are awarded with the Lise Diploması.
Vocational High Schools (Meslek Liseleri): Some of these schools may take an additional year to complete. Graduates can automatically go on to higher vocational schools (Meslek Yüksek Okulları – 2 Year Vocational Colleges) in their respective fields of study if they wish. Alternatively, if successful in the university entrance examination, they can go onto 4-year schools in their respective fields.
Anatolian High Schools (Anadolu Liseleri): One year of English study followed by 3 years of regular high school education, additional hours for English. Math and Science lessons at these schools are sometimes taught in English. Lessons at some Anatolian high schools are taught in either German or French.
Super High Schools (Super Liseler): The difference between these and normal high schools is one extra year of English study. They differ from Anatolian high schools in that the language of instruction for math and science courses is always Turkish and less hours are given to English lessons.
Science High Schools (Fen Liseleri): These are special public schools for students who have exceptional aptitude in the sciences. These very competitive high schools train students specifically for higher education in the sciences, technical and medical fields. There is also Anatolian Science High Schools (Anadolu Fen Liseleri), where the medium of instruction for math and sciences is sometimes in English.
Private High Schools (Ozel Liseler): Most private high schools charge very high tuition fees and are very competitive.

Types of Higher Education Institutions

State Universities (Devlet Universiteleri): The university system in Turkey is governed by the Higher Educational Council (YOK). Turkey has 104 state and 62 private universities (a total of 166 institutions of higher learning), 5 of which are located in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Apart from the public and private universities, 8 foundation higher vocational schools serve the job market.

Generally, undergraduate education takes 4 years at universities, but some fields such as medicine (6 years), dentistry (5 years), and veterinary science (5 years) take longer. Turkish high school graduates go directly into fields of study such as medicine, law, dentistry and so on. No tuition fee is charged at public schools (devlet universitesi); students pay only a small basic fee. Students need to pass a nationwide University Entrance Exam (OSS) to enter a university. The graduates of 4-year programs are awarded with the Bachelor’s Degree (Lisans Diplomasi).

The medium of instruction at some state universities is English, German or French. Therefore, all correspondence with the university staff and applications to the faculties can be done in English, German or French. However, instruction language at state universities is mostly Turkish. When entering the exam of the university, the knowledge of Turkish is not necessary. Those who pass the exams, and have only a little knowledge of Turkish, are considered to take one year of language foundation to gain proficiency in the Turkish language.

Graduate-level programs consist of master and doctoral programs, coordinated by institutes in universities. Medical specialty programs are carried out within the faculties of medicine and the training hospitals owned by the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Institute (SGK).

Higher Vocational Schools (Meslek Yuksek Okulları): They offer 2 years of undergraduate study after high school and are very much like the community colleges in the USA. The only difference is that students cannot easily transfer to 4-year schools in the USA due to fewer places at the 4-year schools. Two year graduates must take the national Vertical Transfer Test (Dikey Gecis Sinavi) and have a high GPA to be able to apply to 4-year schools. The graduates of 2-year programs are awarded with the Associate’s or Pre-Bachelor’s Degree (On Lisans Diplomasi).

Private or Foundation Universities (Ozel / Vakif Universiteleri): In Turkey, private foundations obtained the right in 1984 to establish and develop universities. They were established with the fundamental aim of creating a centre of excellence in higher education and research. Private universities take more active initiatives to form and to select international and global educational and research networks.

The medium of instruction in most private universities is English. Almost all have one year of English study for those whose level of English is not found to be proficient upon entrance.

Private universities charge tuition fee ranging from USD 6,000-20,000. Although private institutions, they offer considerable financial aid; more than 40% of all students receive some sort of financial aid.

Credit System

About the Credit System

The credit system used in the higher education system is based on class hours (i.e. theoretical or practical hours per week). 1.0 credit stands for each hour of lecture a week. The current credit system allocates a predetermined number of credit hours for courses. Most universities have converted their credit transfer systems to ECTS credits. This way, they could participate in such EU programs as SOCRATES-ERASMUS.

Bachelor’s level programmes consist of 240 ECTS, while two year Associate’s level programmes consist of 120 ECTS.

Graduate level of study consists of Master’s Degree and PhD/Doctorate Degree programmes. There are two types of Master’s programmes: with or without a thesis.

The Master’s programmes with a thesis have 120 ECTS and consist of a minimum of seven courses, one seminar course, and a thesis. The seminar course and thesis are non-credit and graded on a pass/fail basis. Non-thesis Master’s programmes have 90 ECTS and consist of a minimum of 10 courses and a non-credit semester project. The semester project is graded on a pass/fail basis.

PhD programmes have 240 ECTS and consist of a minimum of seven courses, passing a qualifying examination, preparing and defending a doctoral dissertation.

For Erasmus Exchange Students

Erasmus exchange students should take into account only the ECTS credits. The normal workload for a semester is 30 ECTS credits.

Restrictions, special conditions or prerequisites for courses do not apply to international exchange students. You must instead get the approval of your Department Erasmus Coordinator. It is very important that you consult with your Department Erasmus Coordinator prior to course selection.

education-training

Grading in High Schools 

The grading system used to be on a scale of 0-10, “10” being the highest. Nowadays, a scale of 0-5 is used, “5” being the highest. All examinations, homework assignments and projects are currently judged on a five-point grading scale.

Numeric                  Letter              Description
5                               A                   Very good
4                               B                       Good
3                               C                     Average
2                               D                     Passing
1                               E                      Failure

Grading at Universities
Percentage             Course Grade               Coefficient
90-100                          AA                                4
85-89                             BA                               3.5
80-84                             BB                                 3
75-79                             CB                                2.5
70-74                             CC                                  2
65-69                             DC                                1.5
60-64                             DD                                 1
50-59                              FD                               0.5
49 and below                FF                                   0

The student’s achievement is measured in the form of a Grade Point Average (GPA). The total credit points for a course are obtained by multiplying the coefficient of the final grade by the credit hours. In order to calculate the GPA for any given semester, the total credit points are divided by the total credit hours.

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Some universities use a scale of 0-100, “100” being the highest, whereas others use the typical American A-F scale where GPA is calculated on a scale of 4.00. The letter grades, coefficients and percentage equivalents are given below.