May 13 2018

Erdoğan promises foreign students health insurance, work permits

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday said that foreign students - who number around 117,812 in higher education - and graduates would be given work permits and health insurance, state-run Anadolu News Agency reported.

The Turkish president emphasized that students will be given health insurance without having to wait three months after their arrival, while speaking at an event organized by the Federation of International Students Associations in İstanbul.

Erdoğan shared a goal of attracting around 350,000 foreign students, up from the current 117,000, making Turkey one of the world's top five destinations for study abroad.

The Turkish president highlighted that most of the foreign students who graduate in Turkey return to their home countries after completing their education, stating, ‘’We have not established a mechanism for continuing the relationship with these students.’’

The number of European students visiting Turkish universities for one or two semesters peaked in 2014 at 7,948 students, however, that number fell to 3,004 in the 2016-2017 academic year after a number of European countries issued travel warnings for Turkey.