Best Turkish Universities in a Scale of Academic Indicators

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Either private or public, Turkey has some of the most qualified and high-ranked higher education institutes in the world. So, you may pursue your postgraduate education in some of the best Turkish universities, as well as your touristic desires in the country.

Obviously, when someone talks about the best universities, institutions, or colleges around the world, Harvard, Oxford, MIT, or Yale are among the first ones that come to mind. So, today, we kindly wish to inform you about the best Turkish universities before making your academic plans. Thus, you may want to reconsider your dream school and the country to study!

Turkey offers some of the most qualified and inexpensive higher education institutes.
Turkey offers some of the most qualified and inexpensive higher education institutes.

Growing Number of International Students in Turkey

The number of international students choosing to study in Turkey has witnessed a significant upsurge from the 2015-16 academic year. Currently, there are around 650,000 foreign students in Turkey. So, this fact is signaling the country’s growing importance as a higher education destination.

What are the Motivations to Choose Best Turkish Universities?

Motivations for study in Turkey include the opportunity to gain a relatively inexpensive and good quality education. Moreover, it also offers opportunities for scholarships that also pay a monthly allowance. On the other hand, it covers accommodation and tuition fees, health insurance, and travel expenses. Therefore, there are many good reasons to study in Turkey.

There are many convincing reasons to study in Turkey.
There are many convincing reasons to study in Turkey.

Turkey’s Attraction as a Touristic Destination

Turkey is already a firmly established tourist destination. Nearly 52 million tourists visited Turkey from all over the world in 2019 according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. So, this number makes the country the 10th most popular holiday destination on the world scale.

Some of Turkish universities are ranked among the best global universities.
Some Turkish universities are ranked among the best global universities.

How Many Universities Are There in Turkey?

There are currently 209 universities in Turkey. The majority of those universities are the state. Moreover, most of these institutions are relatively young. As recently as 1970, there were only eight state institutions. And the first private university (Bilkent University), was not established until 1984. Meanwhile, the great majority of Turkish universities are located in Istanbul, with a number of 59. And 23 universities take place in Ankara, the capital of Turkey.

Campus life in Istanbul's world-famous prestigious university Boğaziçi.
Campus life in Istanbul’s world-famous prestigious university Boğaziçi.

Both public and private universities in Turkey conform to the Bologna Agreement. The agreement standardizes degree programs across Europe. Furthermore, many Turkish universities are participants in the Erasmus+ program, which supports international student exchanges.

The List of The Best Turkish Universities

So now, it is time to list some of the best Turkish universities.

1- Boğaziçi University

Boğaziçi University and its amazing campus.
Boğaziçi University and its amazing campus.

Boğaziçi University is one of the most qualified and prestigious Turkish universities both in Turkey and the world. The university is located on the European side of Istanbul, with its magnificent Bosporus view. The state university established in 1863, is still serving as a high-ranked higher education institute.

2- METU (Middle East Technical University)

METU (Middle East Technical University) Campus.
METU (Middle East Technical University) Campus.

Middle East Technical University is a public technical university located in Ankara, Turkey. The city, Ankara, by the way, is the capital city of Turkey. The university has been serving since 1956 with the “Scientia Dux Vitae Certissimus” motto, which means “Science is the truest guide in life.” METU specializes in Engineering and Natural sciences with more than 30 thousand students.

3- Koç University

One of the most prestigious universities in Turkey, Koç University.
One of the most prestigious universities in Turkey, Koç University.

Koç University is a non-profit private university in Istanbul, Turkey. It started education in temporary buildings in İstinye in 1993. Later on, it moved to its current Rumelifeneri Campus near Sarıyer district in Istanbul, in 2000. The private university is not only one of the most prestigious universities in Turkey but in the world, as well. Koç University currently has around 7 thousand students.

4-Sabancı University

Sabancı University is one of the first ones to come to mind as a private university.
Sabancı University is one of the first ones to come to mind as a private university.

Sabancı University, established in 1999, is a young foundation university located on a 1.26 million square-meter campus. It is about 40 km from Istanbul’s city center. Its first students matriculated in 1999. The first academic session started on October 20, 1999.

5- Bilkent University

The university of Bilkent is the first private university in Turkey.
The university of Bilkent is the first private university in Turkey.

Bilkent University is a private university located in Ankara, Turkey. It was founded by Prof. İhsan Doğramacı in 1984. The aim was to create a center of excellence in higher education and research. It was the first non-profit private university established in the country. The name Bilkent is an abbreviation of “Bilim Kenti”: Turkish for “city of science”. It is constantly ranked among the top Turkish universities since its establishment. In 2011, it was listed as the top 112th university in the world by The World University Rankings. In 2020, it ranked at 501.

6- Istanbul Technical University

The one and only technical university of Turkey.
The one and the only technical university of Turkey.

Istanbul Technical University is an international technical university located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is the world’s third-oldest technical university dedicated to engineering sciences as well as social sciences recently. Moreover, it is one of the most prominent educational institutions in Turkey. The QS World University Rankings ranked ITU as 173rd worldwide in the field of “Engineering & Technology”. And in 2016, it ranked the university as the 307th worldwide in the field of “Natural Sciences”.

7- Ankara University

The first university of the Republic of Turkey, Ankara University.
The first university of the Republic of Turkey, Ankara University.

Ankara University is a public university in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. So, the university was the first higher education institution in Turkey after the foundation of the republic in 1923. Ankara University is highly famous for the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Political Sciences.

8- Hacettepe University

Another prestigious university in Ankara, Hacettepe University.
Another prestigious university in Ankara, Hacettepe University.

Hacettepe University, established on July 8, 1967, is a leading state university in Ankara, Turkey. URAP ranked the university as 1st among the Turkish universities in 2019. So, the university has about 50 thousand students and is a very prestigious university in Turkey.

9- Ege University

With its huge campus, Ege University, Izmir.
With its huge campus, Ege University, Izmir.

Ege University, which differs from other universities located in Istanbul and Ankara, is the one which is located in Izmir, the 3rd biggest city in Turkey. So, the university, serving since 1955, is a quite attractive one with its amazing campus. Ege University, by the way, is the 4th oldest university in Turkey and has around 9 thousand students.

10- İstanbul University

The iconic entrance gate of Istanbul University.
The iconic entrance gate of Istanbul University.

Istanbul University is a prominent Turkish university located in Istanbul. The main campus is adjacent to Beyazıt Square in Fatih. It is, meanwhile, the capital district of the province, on the European side of the city. Even though some pre-1923/1930 western sources refer to it as the University of Constantinople, after the previous name of the city, the final name became Istanbul after 1933.

Furthermore, Istanbul University is associated with 2 Nobel laureates, Aziz Sancar (in Chemistry) and Orhan Pamuk (in Literature).

11- Izmir Institute of Technology

Founded on July 11, 1992, in the Aegean city of İzmir, the main fields of study that can be accessed at the İzmir Institute of Technology are science and technology. So, within these fields, the university’s principal aims are to carry out research, education, production, publication, and consultancy, among other things.

The first public research university Izmir Institute of Technology.
The first public research university Izmir Institute of Technology.

Izmir Institute of Technology (İzmir Teknoloji Enstitüsü or more commonly İYTE) is a public research university. Furthermore, İYTE maintains a strong emphasis on the natural sciences and engineering. What’s more, it is the only institute of its kind in Turkey with a special focus on scientific research.

So, tell us which one of those universities have you heard of before? Or, have you ever been to one of those best universities in Turkey? Please do not hesitate to share your precious comments with us.

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