International students and graduates in Turkey will soon be allowed to work in the country during and after they complete their studies, as the Middle Eastern nation bids to become one of the world’s top study abroad destinations.
According to Greater Kashmir, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said for this to happen, “all foreign students and graduates will receive working permission in Turkey.”
“We not only open up our schools to visiting students, but our hearts as well. No matter where they are coming from, we would like to continue our relations with them in the future,” he added at the 11th International Students Gathering in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, on Saturday, as quoted by Hurriyet Daily News.
Previously, students were unable to work on their student visas, and remaining in Turkey after graduation was difficult with strict rules on obtaining a working visa, forcing most students to return home.
All of Turkey’s 117,000 international students who graduate from Turkish universities will be granted working visas after Turkey issues the formal orders.
And this was not the only announcement benefitting the country’s international student population. The president also announced, “all students will get health insurance without waiting three months”.
Turkey to grant working visa to foreign students https://t.co/0WsHPvwKoA
— Pristine Kashmir (@pristinekashmir) May 15, 2018
Erdoğan has high hopes for Turkey’s growth as an international student hotspot.
The government reportedly aims to make the country one of the world’s top five study abroad destinations with over 350,000 foreign students. Although, despite these initiatives, it is unclear how the government plans to make this dream a reality or when it hopes to achieve it by.
International student numbers, however, are on the rise in Turkey.
Turkey’s Federation of International Student Associations (UDEF) reported that in 2004 there were just 10,000 international students in Turkey, a number that has increased to well over 100,000 in 2018.
“Compared with 2004, today we can say that Turkey has become an educational base,” Greater Kashmir reported the head of the Federation of International Students Associations Mehmet Ali Bolat said.
The international student population is highly valued by the Turkish government.
The president in his speech also acknowledged that currently, the majority of international students leave the country and return to their home countries after graduating in Turkey.
But this is set to change, he suggested.
“Turkey is the second country for every Turkish graduate. Its flag is our flag. Every graduate who returns to his country returns as an ambassador of Turkey,” Head of the Association of International Alumni in Turkey (TUMED) Ergash Jumaev said prior to an event organised to bring together thousands of international alumni in November, according to UDEF.
The International Students Gathering is an annual event organised by the Federation of International Students Associations in Turkey and has just celebrated its eleventh year.
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