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Structure of Turkey Education

The formal education system of Turkey encompasses school and tertiary education, and a non-formal education is also an integral part of the country.

School Education in Turkey

School education in Turkey starts with pre-primary education that is optional and for children up to the age of 6. Then is the primary education that lasts for 8 years and is compulsory; followed by secondary education which is not compulsory. Secondary education in Turkey lasts for 4 years and is imparted by the general, vocational and technical high schools. General secondary/high schools prepare pupils for higher education.  Vocational secondary schools provide prepare pupils for a vocation, or for higher education. Technical high schools provide study programmes that last for 4 years. At the end of secondary education, students must take high school completion examination. Students who pass must then appear for a “Student Selection Examination (OSS)” that is a requirement for taking admission into the higher education institution in Turkey.

Higher Education in Turkey

The Council of Higher Education (CoHE) is responsible for higher education system in Turkey. Higher education in Turkey is provided by universities- state and private, institutes, faculties, higher vocational schools and conservatories.
The language of instruction in universities in Turkey is Turkish. Programmes in English, German and French are also offered.

Structure of Turkish Education 

Pre-tertiary Education in Turkey

Period of Compulsory Education
  • Entry age: 6
  • Exit age: 18

Pre-primary Education

  • School type: Kindergarten, nursery schools and day-care centres
  • Ages: 3 to 6
    • Nursery schools: For children up to the age of 3 (0 to 36 months)
    • Kindergarten: for children aged 4 to 5 (37-60 months)
    • Pre-school: for 6 year (61-72 months) old children

Primary Education

  • School type: Primary schools
  • Duration: 8 years
  • Grades: 1 to 8
  • Ages: 6 to 14
  • Credential:  Basic/primary education diploma (Ilkoğretim Diplomasi)

Secondary Education

  • School type: General, Vocational and Technical high schools (Genel Lise, Meslek Lisesi, Teknik Lise)
  • Duration: 3 to 4 years
  • Grades: 9 to 12
  • Ages: 15 to 17/18
  • Credential: High school diploma (Lise Diplomasi)

Higher Education

Level: Associate degree
  • Duration: 2 years
Level: Bachelor’s degree
  • Duration: 4 years (5 years for veterinary medicine and dentistry; and 6 years for medicine)
Level: Master’s degree
  • Duration: 2 years
Level: Doctorate/PhD
  • Duration: 3 to 5 years

Educational Credentials

School Education Credentials

  • Primary education diploma (İlkoğretim Diplomasi)
  • General secondary/high school diploma (Lise Diplomasi)
  • Preparation certificate (Hazirlik)
  • Technical secondary school diploma (Teknik Lise Diplomasi)
  • Vocational secondary school diploma (Meskek Lise Diplomasi)

Higher Education Credentials

  • Associate degree (Onlisans Derecesi)
  • Bachelor's Degree (Lisans Derecesi)
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Muhendislik Diplomasi)
  • Dentistry licentiate diploma (Dishekimligi Lisans Diplomasi)
  • Doctor of veterinary medicine (Veteriner Hekim Unvanı)
  • Higher licentiate diploma (Yuksek Lisans Diplomasi)
  • Medical doctor licentiate diploma (Tip Doktoru Lisans Diplomasi)
  • Science specialist diploma (Bilim Uzmanliği Diplomasi)
  • Specialist certificate (Uzmanlik Belgesi)
  • Doctorate (Doktora Diplomasi)
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