International Students Meet At Iftar Dinner Organized By CoHE


June 13, 2017 / Ankara


CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç met with international students, who are far away from their families and are studying in the universities of Turkey, at iftar dinner.


In addition to CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç, CoHE members, Yusuf Tekin, Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Education, and Hüseyin Gündoğar, Vice President of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities, ambassadors and education attachés of the countries of the students that attended the dinner and about 150 international students from 56 countries, who are studying for bachelor's and master's degrees at the universities of Ankara, attended the second iftar dinner organized by CoHE.


Students from Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, the Republic of the Congo, the United Kingdom, the USA, Tunisia, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zambia gathered at the iftar dinner.


Speaking after the dinner, CoHE President Saraç noted that nearly 5 million international students had been studying abroad as of 2017.


CoHE President Saraç stated that international students had been traveling around the world for education and that it was thought there would be 7 million international students by 2020. "Nearly 110 thousand of these international students are studying in Turkey. We have students from 56 different countries in four different continents. We want to increase this figure and get integrated with the youth of today's world more," he said.


President Saraç emphasized that the students, who would have iftar dinner at the Council of Higher Education that night, were there on behalf of those 110 thousand students and added that the Council of Higher Education placed great importance academically, socially and culturally on the fact that international students had chosen Turkey to study.


CoHE President noted that they considered the intellectual knowledge of the students and the dynamics of the countries and regions they came from as the most important and precious treasure they have.


He said, "We know that you are the point of reference that made Turkish universities the international center of attraction. You will reflect Turkish higher education to the world in the best way. That is why, as the new CoHE, we brought the culture of quality to the fore in education and university life in order to offer you a better education.


Dear students, you will play the most important roles in establishing good and friendly relations and ensuring development-oriented cooperation between your countries and Turkey in the future. You will shape the world of tomorrow. We hope that the world, which will be shaped in your hands, will be surrounded by peace and love. We will wholeheartedly support you in this journey.


Turkish Higher Education will continue to provide you with knowledge today and tomorrow in line with the social security policies and with the essential understanding of pluralist democracy."


CoHE President Saraç concluded his speech by extending his good wishes to all people at the iftar dinner which was held in Ramadan, when the highest values of humanity such as unity, tolerance, patience, love and friendship are treasured the most.


Click here to read the full transcript of the speech made by CoHE President Prof. M. A. Yekta Saraç. (in Turkish)


Assoc. Prof. Yusuf Tekin, Undersecretary of the Ministry of National Education, referred to the importance of conveying the relation and friendship between cultures to the future cultures.


Tekin emphasized that CoHE and the universities had been carrying out a very important task for this purpose and said, "There are 110 thousand international students in Turkey and over 500 thousand Syrian students continue to study in the schools of the Turkish Ministry of National Education. We regard this as an important knowledge for future generations. We also want our children, students and universities to see it this way."


CoHE President Saraç talked with the students after the iftar dinner.


Dalya, a Mauritian student attending the iftar meal, noted that he was doing his Master's degree in International Relations at Yıldırım Beyazıt University and said, "I have been here for 5 years. I think of Turkey as my second home. I do not feel like an outsider either. We are in a great place. It is a good organization. We were also here last year. We attend it every year. It is a nice event. I hope to have work experience after graduation. I am planning to return to my country after that."


A Tanzanian student called Muhsin said that he came to Turkey about 7 months before and that he would study in the Faculty of Medicine at Cerrahpaşa University after learning Turkish at Gazi University.


"Turkish is sometimes difficult, but it is mostly easy. I will return to my country after graduation because they need help. I love Turkey so much. Everything including the landscape, people and life in Turkey is so great. The food is delicious. I am happy today because it is good thing to meet with different people," he said.