Majority of Turkish Cypriot students from abroad

Ministry figures reveal surge in number of students enrolled at universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

The majority of students studying in North Cyprus are from abroad
The majority of students studying in North Cyprus are from abroad

By Michael Daventry

THE VAST MAJORITY of university students studying in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus come from abroad, government figures have revealed.

Turkish Cypriot students number barely a fifth of the 62,726 people enrolled on courses in this academic year, while more than half are from the Turkish mainland.

The figures were obtained by Londra Gazete from Hüseyin Kavaz at the Higher Education and Foreign Relations department of the Turkish Cypriot education ministry. They put the number of Turkish mainlanders at Turkish Cypriot universities at 34,858.

Students from over 100 other countries numbered 15,210 while there were 12,658 Turkish Cypriots enrolled.

Mr Kavaz noted the eight universities in the Turkish Cypriot section of the island were associated with the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) in Turkey, which awarded their graduates degrees that are accepted around the world. A ninth university is set to open next year.

Mr Kavaz added that studying in Turkish North Cyprus was becoming increasingly attractive to students from European and Middle Eastern countries.


Turkish Cypriot president Derviş Eroğlu said this week that the state should work to further support the development of higher education in North Cyprus.

He said Turkish Cypriot universities played host to students from 108 countries and academics from more than sixty, contributing to the country’s efforts for de-facto recognition.

kktc 2“I hope that with further organisation, contemporary developments and healthy strategies, we can take this figure over 100 thousand in the near future,” he said.

“I am pleased to see that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus now defends its universities, because this was not always the case.

“There were those who opposed them with such arguments as ‘how could there be a university in Cyprus?’ and ‘where would we find students and teachers?’.

“I am thankful that we have succeeded. The universities contributed to the development of national and international relations and the development of humanity and civilisation.”

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