The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) plans to generate about $1 billion in revenue in 2019 from 102,000 students studying at 21 Turkish Cypriot universities. About 55,000 students from the Republic of Turkey are studying in the universities that stand out as the "leading sector" of the TRNC economy.
According to the Measuring, Selection and Placement Center's (ÖSYM) results of quotas of formal higher education programs and the number of entrant candidates, 8,039 students from Turkey are eligible to attend universities in the TRNC this year.
Preparations for new incoming students have started in the TRNC. TRNC Economy Minister Hasan Taçoy noted that education makes up about 10% of the TRNC economy in a statement to Demirören News Agency (DHA) yesterday. He added that the education sector makes numerous contributions to the TRNC economy. Indicating that the TRNC made $800 million in revenue from the education sector in 2018, Taçoy said, "We expect approximately $1 billion in 2019."
Pointing out that universities are being strengthened with technoparks and research and development (R&D) activities, the minister said: "We want to pioneer the industrialization of our universities, which are a smokeless industry. We are working in this direction."
Emphasizing that the TRNC is a safe country for education, Ziya Öztürkler, director of the Department of Higher Education and Foreign Relations at the Ministry of National Education and Culture, said, "Universities in the TRNC are a campus in its fullest sense. They have high-level technical equipment. The number of academics per student is very good."
Noting that there is no problem with equivalency and undergraduate transfer of students studying in TRNC universities, Öztürkler said that diplomas received in the TRNC are valid in the world and prestigious.
In response to a question why TRNC universities should be preferred, Öztürkler said: "The TRNC is in a good position in terms of security. It is an important part of the Turkish world. Students enjoy the hospitality of Turkish culture and people at the highest level here. Our country provides a comfortable and peaceful living space for students."
"The TRNC is an island of education in the strictest sense. We are in significant records in the world," Murat Tüzünkan, vice chairman of the board of trustees of Near East University, remarked, adding that students constitute 30% of the population. All the needs of students studying at TRNC universities are satisfied, he said.
Hakan Ok, a student studying in the TRNC, said that Northern Cyprus is a student city and Cyprus has all the facilities for the comfort of students. Mustafa Bozkurt, a cafe worker, noted that cafes would be empty if it were not for universities, adding that they are looking forward to students in the holiday period. Ali Rüstem, the most renowned bookseller in the capital of Nicosia, emphasized that the student presence is crucial for them and for the country.