Our Soft Power: International Students
The biggest move against the colonial order of the West is that international students in our country receive quality education and that the law of fraternity can be established with the people of our country.
The number of foreign students increasing every year in our country’s higher education institutions imposes responsibilities not only on the citizens of this country, but also on our guests. As a country that makes expansions especially to Africa, the Middle East and the Turkic Republics, it is an important mission to protect the international students studying in our country in the best way and to ensure that the students who return or will return to their countries after graduation are our cultural ambassadors and that the world of the future is built together. We know that the West has been doing this for many years only for profit and we are taking quick steps to make up for the lost time.
In the last 10 years, there has been a 75 percent increase in the number of international students studying in our higher education institutions, and according to current figures, our country has become one of the countries that host the most international students in this field, with approximately 148,000 international students, 25 thousand of whom are on scholarship. Our country aims to host 200 thousand international students in 2023. (ytb.gov.tr)
“Turkey Scholarships” administered by the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and the international scope of “YÖK Scholarships”, “Government Scholarships”, “Diyanet Foundation of Turkey’s scholarship” of the Higher Education Council (YÖK) or for international students who come to the country with their own means. 207 universities offer the opportunity to study in nearly 60 thousand programs. (aa.com.tr)
Speaking at the Turkey Scholarships 10th International Students Graduation Ceremony, YTB President Abdullah Eren said, “We have a common country; Turkey. We have a common language; Turkish. We have a common purpose; education. We have a common ideal; peace. We also have a common identity; This is being a graduate of Turkey.” The expression is actually the best summary of everything on this subject. (qha.com.tr)
In recent years, as a country, we have been making large investments in Africa in military, commercial, agricultural and cultural fields. Considering the cost spent on these geographically distant countries, it will be seen that the marginal benefit of each budget allocated to international students coming to our country will be much higher.
The important thing is that the state takes the first step and creates the infrastructure… After that, it should be carried out by civil society. Civil society should be more organized and more altruistic, especially in order to convey national and spiritual values and to utilize this potential. We should not allow those who do not have their share of the country’s values even though they live among us, to corrupt these valuable guests.
In this context, I would like to convey some of my suggestions as an academician to these students, almost all of whom have become more “us” than us.
In addition to the undergraduate or graduate diploma you will receive, you should also get the “Turkey experience” diploma, which is just as important. Its geostrategic location, fertile lands and the merging of different civilizations of east and west, south and north offer you great experience opportunities.
Be determined in learning to learn, digital efficiency, power of expression, problem solving, adaptability, command of Turkish. Your personal vision and mission; Accordingly, set your short, medium and long-term goals. To achieve these, go out every morning with new determination, determination and excitement.
Build a good social network alongside your education. In addition to brotherhood law, Turkey has great opportunities to provide you in the context of contact with the world. You can be sure that our people from all walks of life will show you sympathy, empathy and hospitality. Your contact with non-governmental organizations and the business world outside the university will add a lot to you.
Maintain fraternal relations with our country after you return to your country. This relationship should not be self-interested. The main purpose is to contribute together to the mission of oppressed nations to stand up. As a result, material gains will return to you as secondary gains.
You should learn to seek your rights with your actions rather than your rhetoric, not by making sharp posts on slogans or social media platforms, but by improving yourself in every field.
You must be vigilant and sensitive about post-truth, Islamophobia, racism, all kinds of addiction and discrimination.
Not: “Yumuşak Gücümüz: Uluslararası Öğrenciler” adlı makalenin İngilizce sürümüdür.