The Turkish National Education System consists of 3 stages:
Children in Turkey can attend non-compulsory preschool education before the compulsory primary school education. State and private preschools are available.
Primary and Secondary Education
Compulsory education for children starts with the primary education at the age of 5½ and comprises elementary (4 years) and middle school (4 years) education. At the end of the compulsory primary education, students take standardized exams to qualify for various secondary schools. The length of secondary education is also 4 years and divided into two categories; General High School Education and Vocational and Technical High School Education. State and private primary and secondary schools are available.
Higher Education System
The higher education system in Turkey is supervised by the Council of Higher Education (CoHE). The CoHE is an autonomous institution which is responsible for the planning, coordination and governance of higher education system in Turkey in accordance with the Turkish Constitution and the Higher Education Laws. Universities decide upon their own academic calendars; however, academic year generally starts in September and ends in June. There are winter and summer breaks. Summer school is also available at some universities.
Turkish universities offer:
* Associate’s degree programs
* Bachelor’s degree programs
* Graduate programs
* Post-graduate programs.
Associate’s Degree Programs:
Associate’s degree programs take 2 years. Vocational high school graduates can qualify for associate’s degree programs without taking any centralized exams.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs:
Bachelor’s degree programs generally take 4 years. Specialized bachelor’s degree programs, such as medicine (6 years), may be longer.
Universities in Turkey offer a wide range of graduate programs. While master’s programs take about 2 years (non-thesis master’s programs generally take 1½ years), doctoral programs take about 4 years.
Post-graduate opportunities are also available in universities in Turkey. Duration depends on the program and university.
The Turkish National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education (TYYÇ):
The National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in Turkey (TYYÇ) developed with reference to the Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area and the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning was adopted by the CoHE in 2010. The levels of the TYYÇ with reference to the European overarching qualifications frameworks as well as that to ECTS credits and student workload are shown below.