Turkish educational institutions and study programmes

Below, we explain what types of educational institutions and degree programmes there are in Turkey. We also explain how we check whether these are accredited. We check the to make sure that the quality is sufficient. We give the necessary information per educational sector.

Secondary education | educational institutions

In Turkey, secondary education is offered by different types of schools:

  • General secondary education (for a Lise Diploması) is usually offered by general secondary schools (genel lise). Students may also choose to attend other types of schools, such as:
    • private schools (Özel Ortaöğretim). These schools were not founded by the government. Aside from Turkish private schools, these include ‘minority schools’ (for the Greek, Armenian and Jewish communities), schools with a non-Turkish curriculum (such as American, French or German schools) and international schools (for expats only).
    • Imam Hatip schools. These schools provide the same general education as a genel lise, but additionally train students for the profession of imam (boys) or religious studies teacher (girls).
  • Technical secondary education (for a Teknik Lisesi Diploması) is offered by technical secondary schools (teknik lise).
  • Vocational secondary education (for a Meslek Lisesi Diploması) is offered by vocational secondary schools (meslek lise).

Higher education | educational institutions

In Turkey, higher education is offered by:

  • public universities; or
  • non-profit foundation universities;
  • other higher education institutions.

Public universities

In 2019, Turkey counted 129 public universities. Education is free.

Non-profit foundation universities

In 2019, there were 72 non-profit foundation universities in Turkey. These universities receive no funding from the government, as they were founded by companies, organisations or private individuals. For this reason, students pay tuition fees. Many non-profit foundation universities have a foreign language as the language of instruction, usually English.

Other higher education institutions

There are also other higher education institutions, which have the development of military skills as part of their study programmes. Examples are the National Defense University and the Turkish National Police Academy (TNPA).

Turkish higher education institutions offer both research-oriented and profession-oriented education.

Checking the accreditation of higher education institutions

Turkish higher education institutions need to be accredited by the Yüksek Ögretim Kurulu (YÖK), the Council for Higher Education. You can find 2 overviews of accredited higher education institution on the YÖK website:

Higher education | study programmes

Study programmes of accredited Turkish higher education institutions are automatically recognised. On our webpage about Turkish higher education, we describe the diplomas students can get.

English-language programmes

At some universities, such as the Bilkent Üniversitesi, Boğaziçi Üniversitesi and the Örta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, the language of instruction is English. There are also universities that offer certain degree programmes in English or as bilingual programmes.

To qualify for admission to foreign-language and bilingual programmes, students must take a 1-year hazırlık (preparatory language programme) if English was not the language of instruction at their secondary school (lise).