Turkey has broken a record on higher education for students under international protection, the head of the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) said on Tuesday, says Anadolu Agency.
Abdullah Eren said that YTB provides "Turkey scholarships" to students from different parts of the world since 2011.
A conference was held on the "higher education for students under international protection in Istanbul with the cooperation of YTB, UNHCR Turkey and TRT World.
"We're currently providing scholarships to students from more than 170 countries studying in Turkey. There are now 16,000 students from 170 countries," he told the conference.
Eren said that Turkey had been carrying out a successful and humanistic work for those who took refuge in the country for eight years, which was also praised on the international stage.
"All of the institutions in Turkey are putting a very professional and significant effort on this issue. Unfair criticism Turkey currently faces inside and abroad will find the answers in this event," Eren said.
"With the 'Turkey Scholarship' program, we provide scholarships to many students, also benefitting from the UNHCR and EU funds. On the other hand, Turkey has broken the record in the number of refugees attending universities with 6 per cent," Eren added.
Katharina Lumpp, UNHCR representative in Turkey, shared global education statistics for refugees. Lumpp said that 61% of refugee children in the world are attending primary schools while only 23% of refugee adolescence are enrolled in secondary education. However, UNHCR representative said the figure is only one per cent when it comes to higher education.
Lumpp also added that students under international protection have good higher education opportunities in Turkey.
Pointing out the importance of the event, TRT World editor-in-chief Serdar Karagoz said TRT has been providing journalism training to refugees living in the camps. "It is one of our priorities to have the stories of these people heard on the world stage," he said.