Understanding the Internationalization of Higher Education in Turkey: The meaning and Current Policies

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Year-Number: 2022-Volume 14, Issue 4
Number of pages: 1107-1124
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Abstract

In the present study, the issue under scrutiny is the meaning and current policies of the internationalization of higher education (HEI) in Turkey. This research is a descriptive case study and the data were collected through document analysis. The documents analyzed within the scope of the study are as follows: “Internationalization Strategy Document in Higher Education 2018-2022 (CoHE, 2017)”; “Research Project Report on Making Turkish Universities an Attraction Center for International Students in the Framework of Internationalization of Higher Education (Kadıoğlu & Özer, 2015)”; “Growth, Quality, Internationalization: A Roadmap for Higher Education in Turkey (Çetinsaya, 2014)”, “10th Development Plan 2014-2018 (T.R. Ministry of Development, 2013)” and “11th Development Plan 2019-2023 (T.R. Presidential Strategy and Budget Department, 2019)”. The content analysis method was used to analyze the data. The available evidence seems to suggest that the internationalization of higher education in Turkey has academic meanings in the sub-dimensions of education/training, institutional quality, research/publication, and human resources; cultural meanings in the sub-dimensions of cultural ambassador, diversity, and integration; political meanings in foreign policy, soft power, political closeness sub-dimensions and, finally, economic meanings in the sub-dimensions of human resources, growth, global competition, and economic mobility. There is overwhelming evidence corroborating the notion that the policies of recognition and visibility, mobility, internationalization, strategic planning, and student opportunities have been applied to the internationalization of higher education in Turkey. Overall, this study strengthens the need for the Internationalization of Higher Education Working Committee, which comprises all the stakeholders under one roof. The current data highlight the importance of continuous efforts to make the faculty members, students, and administrative staff competent in foreign languages.

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