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Education Team Newsletter – Winter 2016/17


Featured Market: Turkey
By Perim Akguner – Commercial Specialist, U.S. Commercial Service – Istanbul

Turkey's population of 79 million is relatively young when compared with many other countries. Over 30 percent of the population is under the age of eighteen. This young population provides considerable opportunities for international education institutions.

As of December 2015, there are 109 public and 84 private foundation universities serving five million students in various academic programs. 2015 figures reveal that 3.63 million students are enrolled in undergraduate programs, 342,000 in master’s programs, 78,000 in PhD, 20,100 in doctors in residency programs and 2.86 million in the Open University. Public universities charge a small fee, whereas private university tuition costs range from $4,000 to $20,000 per year.

Entrance into universities is competitive due to the limited capacity of Turkish universities. Students need to successfully pass two nationwide placement tests that are administered in March and in June every year. Every year an increasing number of students take the university exams. In 2015, around 2 million high school graduates took the exams and 25.6% of these applicants were enrolled in a 4-year program, 20.3% in a 2-year program, and 11% to the Open University (distance education in the various subfields). The rest were unable to enter any higher education program.

Why is Turkey a good student recruitment market?

The number of Turkish universities is insufficient to meet the increasing demand for quality higher education, thus there is a large Turkish student population studying abroad. Many students willing to study abroad place American universities at the top of the list due to the quality of education and good career prospects. Over 33,000 Turkish students go abroad for university education. U.S. colleges and universities already attract around one third of these students for undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as specialized training.

It is expected that 2016 will end up being a record year for Turkish students continuing their education abroad due to the political uncertainties and rise in youth unemployment in the country as well as the geopolitical developments in the region.

The Institute of International Education’s Open Doors 2015 Statistics show that Turkey, with its 10,724 students, is the thirteenth leading place of origin for students in the U.S. Among European countries, Turkey has the second place after the U.K. with its number of students in the U.S. The enrollment level of the Turkish students is as follows:

Undergraduate: 3,242
Graduate: 5,357
Other (Language, Training, OPT Courses): 2,125

Market Entry & Opportunities:

There are more students interested in higher education than can be accommodated by the Turkish universities. Thus, good opportunities exist for American universities and colleges to explore a rapidly growing market. The results of the central university placement exam in Turkey are not announced until beginning of August. Overseas schools that can accept unmatched or dissatisfied students for the second semester/quarter have an advantage.

The Ministry of National Education, the Council of Higher Education and many ministries offer scholarships to hundreds of successful students each year wishing to continue their studies abroad. These students usually apply to top "brand name" universities. Cost is not a critical factor in their decision-making process as the scholarship sponsors pay for their entire studies and the scholarship holders are usually bonded to work with their sponsoring organizations for about 4-8 years after they graduate. The student decisions are based mostly on the reputations of institutions, the faculty, and the programs.

Due to the competitive nature of the Turkish labor market and the significant level of unemployment, many students feel the necessity to have a post graduate/master’s degree to be able to find better jobs. These programs are even more competitive, so students seek placement at foreign universities. Graduate studies are the most popular level of enrollment for Turkish students; over 50% of the Turkish students in the U.S. are pursuing graduate degrees.

Several Turkish universities have cooperation programs (such as dual diploma, language programs) with American universities, enabling their students to continue their education in the U.S. institutions. Other American universities may wish to pursue such cooperative agreements as well as student exchange programs to attract qualified Turkish students.

Many students and professionals opt for supplementary English language education to improve their command of English, as fluency in English provides a competitive advantage in job hunting and career prospects. This opportunity gives U.S. firms a chance to compete in the market by providing private English language courses in Turkey and intensive language programs in the United States.


International Education Fairs

Saudi Arabia Vocational and Technical Training Education Fair, February 6-7th, 2017

VoTech Training Education Fair in Dhahran aims to help US professional training program providers to take advantage of lucrative opportunities and build sustainable partnerships in VoTech sector of Saudi Arabia.


The 2 day event will include:

  • Onsite meetings with 4-5 Vocational Schools and networking with decision makers in the lucrative Saudi VoTech sector
  • Dhahran Chamber of Commerce Exposition to present US institutions and build lasting relations through partner matchmaking sessions
  • Networking diner and country briefings
  • Transportation services from and to the airport
  • Some meals are included

** Target participants: Vocational and technical schools and training providers / Industry associations and accreditation organizations/ Community colleges/ Intensive English language training providers/ Train-the-trainer/ Curriculum developers


  • $1,000 for non-profit institutions/SMEs
  • $1,300  for profit  with 500+ employees 

Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each event participant.

For additional information, contact Anastasia Mukherjee:


Annual Israel/West Bank Recruiting Tour, February 27-28, 2017

The U.S. Commercial Service in Tel Aviv and the West Bank, in collaboration with Ustudy Global, is organizing its annual recruiting tour. The program is recommended for: Language Programs, Vocational/professional, Undergraduate, and Graduate schools. Emphasis will be placed on ESL, Acting and Filmmaking, Culinary Arts, STEM, and Business/MBAs.

For more information, visit:


Costa Rica Community College Education Fair, April 27-29th, 2017

The U.S. Commercial Service and Education USA Costa Rica would like to invite U.S. Community Colleges to participate in the second edition of the Community College Education Fair.

The fair will include:

  • Three visits to the high schools (students expected 600)
  • One afternoon will be dedicated to government meetings and the formal education sessions with counselors.
  • An Open Education Fair with students and parents that will take place on Saturday.
  • Optional cultural event.
  • Transportation services from and to the airport.
  • Some meals are included.

Cost: $1950

Expenses for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals will be the responsibility of each tour participant.

** We only accept Community Colleges with annual tuition fee lower than $15,000.

For additional information, contact Stephanie Heckel



Education Recruitment Tour to Portugal, France & UK - Fall 2017

For more information, please contact: Amy. or


Upcoming Webinars

Student Recruitment Opportunities in Kazakhstan and Ukraine

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016

Time: 12pm EST/11am CST/10am MST/9am PST

Cost: $30

What will the briefing cover?
U.S. Commercial Service education specialists located at our U.S. Embassies in these countries will highlight market characteristics, upcoming recruitment opportunities, and best practices and strategies for student recruitment.

Who Should Participate?
Accredited U.S. higher education institutions including: undergraduate and graduate programs, community colleges, summer programs, etc.

Why These Countries?

Kazakhstan has one of the strongest economies in Central Asia, which grew by 8% in the last decade. The government offers free education to top high school graduates; however these opportunities are limited. The government is reducing the number of universities in Kazakhstan from 139 to 100 to focus on the quality of education. Pursuing higher education is very important to Kazakhs, 62% of students participate in undergraduate programs. This makes higher education admissions process highly competitive and many elite students seek to study abroad. It is estimated that there are over 40,000 Kazakh student currently pursuing degrees in foreign academic institutions, the U.S. being 3rd most popular choice. Number of students from Kazakhstan to the U.S. increased to 2,017 for the 2014/15 academic year. The number of Kazakh students enrolled in US graduate programs has increase by 16% in the last year alone.

With one of the largest and adept student pools in Europe, Ukraine is an ideal recruitment market for U.S. universities that look for student body diversification. A combination of talented high school graduates, a lack of competitiveness in domestic higher education system, and the unmet demand for graduates with adequate workplace skills creates opportunities for Western universities, as well as language study programs. As a result, the number of international students from Ukraine has significantly increased since 2009. Between 2009 and 2014 the number of Ukrainian students studying abroad increased by 79 percent to reach 47,724 students studying in 34 countries.

Please Click Here to Register

For questions, please contact: or


Promotional Events Supported by the U.S. Commercial Service

November 30-December 3, 2016:
AIRC Annual Conference - Miami, Florida

The U.S. Commercial Service will have a booth in the Expo Hall and an International Trade Specialist will be available to answer questions on how our agency can help facilitate international student recruitment via agents and otherwise   Our Trade Specialist will also co-present a session on the topic "Ways to Attract More International Students - From Markets that are Right for You."



December 5-7, 2016: ICEF Workshop – Miami, Florida

U.S. Commercial Service Trade Specialists will be staffing a booth and participating in the business meetings.  We encourage participating U.S. colleges and universities to look for us on the Marcom schedule and request a meeting with us to discuss how we can help facilitate international student recruitment via agents and otherwise.  

Contacts: or


December 10, 2016: 1st Virtual Student Recruitment Fair of Turkey

The first virtual higher education recruitment fair in Turkey will take place on December 10, 2016. The U.S. institutions of higher education, including the community colleges offering undergraduate and/or ESL programs are invited to join this fair without leaving home to meet live with Turkish students who wish to continue their undergraduate degrees in the United States. The virtual recruitment fair has a unique model allowing students to connect virtually from all over Turkey as well as to visit physically venues in four cities (Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Adana) where they will be able to receive assistance during the fair and meet with U.S. diplomatic mission representatives promoting the U.S. as a study destination. The event is jointly organized by Mezun Group and ISF, with the support of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Turkey, including the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Event details can be found here:

For further information please contact:

Kristi Wiggins
International Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service St. Louis
T:  314-260-3787; C: 314-941-2468

Perim Akguner
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Turkey

Direct: +90 212 335 9197


January 25-28th, 2017: BETT Show 

On a scale of 1-10, How confident are you that your school is kitted out with the most innovative learning technology and that everyone knows how to use it to its full potential? If you're not a 10, well... you have nothing to worry about; the rate which these resources are being developed means nobody should be a 10!

BETT is your annual opportunity to experiment with the latest technology, hear from inspirational figures and experts in the industry and meet your peers from far and wide (as in literally around the world).

Read more: 

Register here

For more information, please contact Chrystal Denys,


January 27-28th, 2017: France Study Abroad Fair 2017

In 2017, L’Etudiant celebrates its 20th anniversary in Paris, France. Come and present your integrated programs, double diploma, language stay abroad and language classes, internships abroad to more than 10.000 students eligible and motivated to study abroad.

Contact: Morgane Flaux,


January 27-28th and March, 3rd-4th, 2017: What Career Live / What University Live 

Date: January 27-28th, 2017 (ExCel, London) and March 3-4th, 2017 (NEC, Birmingham)

The What Career Live? show takes place in London and Birmingham in 2017 and will help school leavers decide what to do next, whether it's an apprenticeship, training program or heading to university after A Levels.

What Career Live? is co-located with its sister show, What University Live? which will help school leavers identify and select which university they wish to apply to, and give parents the opportunity to find out more about how much it will cost, whether it's 'value for money' and the truth about student fees and debt.

More information, including venue and newsletter signups, can be found at


March 14-16, 2017: Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS)

Dubai World Trade Center

Dubai, U.A.E.

GESS Dubai is now entering its 10th year and has become the must attend event in the Middle East for educators and education institutions. 2016 saw over 10,000 education professionals from over 75 countries visit GESS Dubai to find the latest in educational supplies and solutions. The Gulf region, located between Europe and the Indian sub-continent, remains a strategically important area of the world. Quality education plays a key role in the economic development of any nation and in the case of the GCC countries; it is one of the key forces enabling their growth. Taking a stand at GESS is critical to your growth in the Middle East region, enabling you to position your company as an authority on the future of the education industry.

For more information, please contact:

William Toerpe
International Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Birmingham


Manal El Masry
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – UAE

Tel:  +971 2 414 2217


Virtual Education Events

Are you interested in an excellent opportunity to recruit international students?  How would you like to recruit students without ever setting foot on a plane?  The USDOC provides Virtual Education Events, which allow schools to showcase themselves to agents using a PowerPoint presentation on a webinar platform.  Below is a list of upcoming Virtual Education Events.  If you participate in one of these events, please be prepared to move forward if the appropriate opportunity presents itself.

Virtual Education Fair with Indonesia

Date of Event: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. EST/9:00 p.m. CST/7:00 p.m. PST

Cost: $650 limited to six (6) U.S. Institutions. Registration will be based on a first come, first served basis

Who Should Participate: Appropriately accredited U.S. higher education institutions, including graduate and undergraduate programs that offer degrees in Business, the STEM fields, and Hospitality

Contact:, tel.: 314-260-3787

Meet student recruiting agents in Indonesia, a country of 250 million, without traveling overseas.   Indonesian students are eager to improve their career opportunities by studying in the United States, and over 98% of Indonesian applicants to U.S. universities receive their student visas.  Furthermore, about 95% of Indonesian students are self-funded, with the remaining 5% receiving grants from universities, companies, government, and international organizations. 


Upcoming Virtual Education Fairs…

India, please contact

Western Europe, please contact

Kazakhstan, please contact


If there is a country/region that you are interested in that is not listed here, please let us know. For more information on any of these virtual fairs, or to be added to a list for specific events, please contact: Gabriela Zelaya, U.S. Commercial Service San Jose,


Top Education and Training Market Research

The Global Education Team has developed the Education and Training Services Resource Guide 2016. 

This resource guide includes comparable and individual market assessments of countries listed as best prospects for U.S. training and educational services. Assessments are based on observation and market research.  You can access the guide by visiting:


Commerce Department Releases Report Ranking Top Export Markets, Including Education

With a goal of helping U.S. educational institutions identify export markets, the Top Markets Report on Education provides in-depth commentary on key cross-border opportunities, trends, and challenges for U.S. institutions aiming to broaden their global presence. Country case studies in the report include Brazil, China, France and Germany, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.  To access the Top Markets Report on Education at no cost to you, and to learn more about the Top Markets Series, go to the Department of Commerce press release and click on Education:

  Notice to Visitors!

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  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website  disclaimer statement.

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.