Turkey: Education External Update - February 2017
REFUGEES’ RIGHT TO EDUCATION
An enabling policy and legislative environment guarantees access to education for refugees: The Ministry of National Education (MoNE) is responsible for ensuring that all refugee children enjoy access to schools and has taken steps to remove administrative barriers to enrolment.
Refugee/asylum-seeker children registered with the authorities can enrol in Turkish schools free of charge.
MoNE approved the establishment of “temporary education centres” (TECs) to enable Syrian refugee children to continue their education: TECs offer instruction in Arabic, are staffed by Syrian volunteer teachers and use of a modified form of the Syrian curriculum. They are present in all camps in southeast Turkey, and MoNE has approved over 350 to operate in urban areas hosting large numbers of Syrian refugees.
MoNE is now placing greater emphasis on the inclusion of Syrian children in Turkish schools and teaching Turkish language in TECs.
In October 2016, for the fourth consecutive academic year, the Council of Ministers waived higher education tuition fees in State universities for Syrian students for the 2016-2017 academic year.
In 2015, the Turkish government subsidized the tuition costs of approximately 1,600 Syrians in Turkish universities. Refugees of other nationalities may attend university, but are required to pay the same tuition fees as foreign students.
REFUGEE CHILDREN’S AND YOUTH’S ACCESS TO EDUCATION
40% of Syrian refugee children are out of school; enrolment is higher in camps than urban areas.
The number of Syrian children enrolled in Turkish schools and TECs rose to almost 500,000 in 2016: Over 160,000 Syrian refugee children are enrolled in Turkish schools, with the rest in TECs.
Non-Syrian refugees can enrol in Turkish schools in the cities and provinces in which they are registered.
2.2% of Syrian refugee youth are enrolled in Turkish universities vs. 20% enrolled in Syria before the war. Academic tuition costs have been waived by the Government of Turkey for Syrian students.
The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) has provided scholarships to over 2,300 Syrian refugees.
All refugees may enrol in free Turkish language and skills-training courses offered by MoNE’s Public Education Centres (Halk Egitim): These courses do not lead to formal vocational qualifications, but are sufficiently advanced to allow graduates to use their skills to support income generation and self-reliance.