When we set out to add value to our country in the field of educational counseling, higher education institutions in Turkey did not easily accept foreign students in those years. There were many central examination obstacles for increasing the number of foreign students in higher education.
Central YÖS (Foreign Student Placement Exam) was one of the difficulties in accepting associate and undergraduate students. Thanks to the interviews with the Higher Education Institution (YÖK) and various universities, we have contributed to the central YÖS exam applied to foreign students by universities from now on.
Especially for applications of postgraduate and doctorate programs, YÖK was asking to pass a certain threshold from international TOEFL and IELTS foreign language exams. Students who got 60 points or more in these exams gained the right to apply to master's and doctorate programs. We have contributed to YÖK's cancelling of the application to demand success from the mentioned central international exams. Each of the universities started to conduct foreign language exam independently in order to accept students for master's and doctoral programs.
By 2014, each university has been contucted its own foreign language exam. In this way, we ensured that 1658 students were placed in master's and doctorate programs just in 2014. At that time, it is a big achievement to make such changes in Turkey. On this occasion, we would like to thank YÖK administrators and officials for their vision and missions in the past.
The postgraduate quotas of universities for foreign students consisted of only a few people on the basis of department. This was far below the required capacity. We have contributed to the departments increasing their foreign student acceptance rate from 1-2% in previous years to 50-60%.
Approximately 98% of the education language in Turkey, Turkish, and the remaining 2% constitutes other languages including English and Arabic. Arabic education was previously given only in the Faculty of Theology and the Departments of Arabic Language and Literature. Apart from these departments, we have contributed to the opening of different programs taught in Arabic and the number of programs taught in English twenty times, thereby improving the language diversity of education in our country. We congratulate the administrators of the universities that open education programs in these foreign languages.
In previous years, there was a system in which the fee of tuition for foreign students was determined centrally by YÖK. This system required equal fees to be charged by all universities. Many universities did not favor foreign students because of low tuition fees and equal pay requirements. Thanks to the bilateral meetings with YÖK, we contributed to transferring the process of determination of tuition fees foreign students to universities in 2015. In this way, universities started to determine the fees themselves, taking into account the preferences of foreign students. Thus, it was ensured that more foreign students came to the country.