Turkish institutions of higher education include universities, faculties, institutes, schools of higher education, conservatories, vocational schools of higher education and application-research centers. All these institutions are bounded to the Turkish Ministry of Higher Education know as Yükseköğretim Kurulu (YÖK).
The quality of education at Turkish universities is greatly valued, some providing education and facilities on-par with internationally renowned schools. For example, Turkish technical universities are often comparable to universities in the United States and are regularly visited by the U.S. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Higher education institutions can be classified into three groups in Turkey: state universities, foundation universities and higher vocational schools.
Turkish universities provide high-level, specialized education in various fields for students who have completed their secondary education. Universities are founded and managed by the state; as such, they are legally defined as public entities, which enjoy autonomy in teaching and research.
Each university consists of numerous faculties, institutes and four-year schools and offer not only bachelor's and master’s level programs but also associate's degrees through their higher vocational schools.
Some Turkish state universities are internationally renowned, attracting many of the highest scoring students as well as having the most competitive and sought-after applied science, education, engineering, art and social science programs in Turkey. Among them are Bogazici University, Middle East Technical University, Istanbul University, Istanbul Technical University, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and many more.
Institutions of higher education, under the supervision and control of the state, can also be established by private foundations, providing they are in accordance with the procedures and principles set forth by law and are non-profit in nature. They aim to compete with leading universities around the world through the strength of their academic staff, research,
quality of educational-instructional programs, study abroad opportunities and their modern and technical facilities.
Private or foundation universities are dedicated not only to teaching and conducting research but also educating the brightest minds to become critical thinkers and leaders in the work force of the future. Likewise, they are committed to maintaining the highest international standards; contributing to scientific, technological, and cultural knowledge; upholding universal ideas and values; and remaining sensitive to local and global issues.
Private or foundation universities have competitive faculties, institutions, and both undergraduate and graduate programs, offering bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees as well as associate’s degrees through their vocational schools. With their prominent faculty, they strive to be among the leading research institutions in Turkey. To promote the quality of their teaching and research programs, they enter various academic and strategic cooperation agreements, seek strong academic affiliations with leading universities abroad and actively participate in international exchange programs. They also carry out joint programs with many universities across the globe. In this environment, students are exposed to open-minded faculty with global experience and enjoy numerous interactive learning possibilities.
Private or foundation universities offer several scholarships to support their students throughout their academic life at the university.
Most foundation or private universities have dormitories, shopping centers, banks, post offices, and a wide variety of sports facilities, including gymnasiums, tennis courts, basketball and football fields, swimming pools and many more on their campuses.
Turkish higher education institutes generally offer at least two years of higher education and educate students for associate's degrees. The focus of these schools is to provide specific vocational training, and two-year vocational schools offer pre-bachelor's (associate's) level programs of a strictly vocational nature.
Both state universities and private or foundation universities have higher vocational schools, and they are continuously creating new departments in their vocational schools to meet the demands of their students and the market.