The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) launched a new scholarship program to meet the employment needs of other countries for the public sector.
YÖK President Yekta Saraç told Anadolu Agency (AA) that it was a landmark program for Turkey and the world. He said it would help target countries to improve their manpower as it has a clause requiring those graduated from Turkish schools to work in state institutions in their native countries.
"We will educate students in sectors their countries need more manpower in but they are obliged to work about twice the period they attended university here in order to be granted a scholarship," he said. Saraç described the program as beneficial for both Turkish universities and Turkey's international role.
A group of students from Rwanda and Kashmir are among the first participants in the program, Saraç added.
Turkey already has a scholarship program named Turkey Scholarships that has benefited thousands of foreign students since 1992. Under the government of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the past decade, the program has further increased the number of applications in a bid to increase its reach even more. Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), the state-run agency offering Turkey Scholarships, looks to establish alumni associations in 40 countries in order to contribute to the development of political, cultural, economic and commercial relations with the countries of the graduates. According to the YTB, in 2013, 55,181 people from 165 countries applied for the scholarships. This has increased to 106,550 people from 163 countries.