A total of 16,000 students from 160 countries are studying as part of the "Turkey Scholarship" program, according to a Turkish education institution on Friday. In a statement, the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) said the students were studying at 105 Turkish universities in the country's 55 provinces. A total of 1,425 Syrians were also on YTB scholarships, the institution said.
More than 100,000 are studying in Turkey using non-government funds, according to the YTB.
The number of international students in Turkey has increased by a factor of five: from 25,000 in 2012 when the scholarship was launched to 125,000 at present.
Launched as the "Great Student Project" in 1992 by Turkey, the project has been coordinated by the YTB since 2012 under the banner "Turkey Scholarship."
Students in the scholarship program establish a bridge between Turkey and their home countries after studying here, the statement added.
A total of 5,000 students out of 122,000 applicants from 172 countries were awarded scholarships to study in Turkey for the 2016-2017 academic year, the YTB said.
Only foreigners can apply online for the scholarships; then they go through an interview process at around 100 locations worldwide.
Candidates who are successful in the interviews, which are conducted by scholars and YTB experts, come to Turkey and take Turkish classes in their first year. After that, they are placed in universities in the field of their preference.
The scholarships include accommodations, food and a monthly stipend as well as insurance plus their flights to Turkey and back home. Alumni meetings are also arranged under the program. There are around 150,000 foreign graduates.