Turkey has been applying open border policy since 2011 and are hosting about 4 million Syrian refugee. CoHE plans and coordinates all of the issues related to higher education of refugees (students, researchers, scholars and graduates). Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan and Crimea is being accepted as countries with war/ invasion/ annexation conditions beside SYRIA. Around 15.000 Syrian students were enrolled to Turkish universities last year and Turkey has 3 times bigger rate than rest of the world in total. Recognition procedure is carried out in a fair and transparent manner by DRES. New rules are applied to refugees that are in favor of them. Applications without documentary evidence is accepted and refugees are supported to access in academic and professional life. Number of recognition applications has been increased very rapidly in previous year and is expected to be on the rise in the future. Syrian qualifications were formed of %15 of total recognition applications in 2017.


Application Criteria:

Photocopy and Turkish translation of the identity document issued by the country of citizenship, or the passport identity page

  • Recognition/Equivalence Application Form (The application form must be completed and signed and attached to the application documents.)
  • Official diploma or graduation certificate for which recognition and/or equivalence is requested and Turkish translation approved by the Notary Public or Foreign Representatives of the Republic of Turkey
  • Official transcript including all the course hours, credits and course grades taken during higher education and Turkish translation approved by the Notary Public or Foreign Representatives of the Republic of Turkey
  • Original diploma supplement for diplomas from member countries of the European Union and Bologna Process and Turkish translation approved by the Notary Public or Foreign Representatives of the Republic of Turkey
  • If there are courses transferred from another HEI to the graduated HEI, official transcript showing these courses and Turkish translation approved by the Notary Public or Foreign Representatives of the Republic of Turkey
  • Document showing that applicants with dual citizenship lived in the country where they studied during their education
  • Photocopy of the original passports used during the period of higher education, and the legible pages showing the entry and exit dates
  • The reason/s for applying for residence and diploma equivalence in Turkey:
  1. a) A letter of intent/declaration for foreign nationals to be working in Turkey,
  2. b) Documentation for those who applied to acquire the citizenship of the Republic of Turkey,
  3. c) An approved copy of the agreement for those who are or will be employed as a foreign teaching staff in a Turkish HEI,
  4. d) Documentation for those who will be employed for research and development projects carried out or supported by public institutions and organizations and HEIs, international programs coordinated by   the mentioned institutions and organizations, or the projects under the European Union Framework Programs


  • If any, documents showing professional experience, and other certifications.
  • Photocopy of all documents to be submitted during the application for equivalence.
  • In cases where it is deemed necessary, documents related to the previous learning, high school equivalence document or additional documents may be requested by the Council of Higher Education.


Detailed information about the current decisions and changes by the Council of Higher Education regarding the equivalence processes can be found at web address.

For any other questions and requests, you can contact us at



Refugee Application Form (English)

Refugee Application Form (Arabic)



Processes of Recognition and Equivalency (English)

Processes of Recognition and Equivalency (Arabic)



Denklik Flow Chart



For the first time in its history, the Council of Higher Education realized the scholarship program for international students with the condition of compulsory service in their home countries after graduation in order to help contribute to the needs of friendly countries that are in need of academic staff or to help fulfill the need for trained manpower in some countries starting from the 2016-2017 academic year.        

In this context, Kosovo students with Turkish origins were placed as CoHE scholarship holders in undergraduate programs of various universities in the 2016-2017 academic year according to the agreement signed between CoHE and the Ministry of Education of Kosovo.


Foreign Academician Information System (YABSİS)

Foreign Academician Information System (YABSİS), prepared by CoHE in collaboration with Prime Ministry, is a web-based application developed in order to create a constantly updated database of academicians and researchers who were forced to abandon their country, flee to Turkey because of war and internal turmoil, and thus provide them the opportunity to study in Turkish higher education institutions.

 Academicians and researchers who want to work in Turkish universities and research centers can upload their information into the database using this portal. The collected information is classified and shared with the relevant institutions; and these institutions can directly contact academicians and researchers who apply to the portal through their contact information in case of need.

Although this portal was originally designed for academicians and researchers who had to come to our country because of war and internal turmoil in their countries, it has been opened to all foreign academicians and researchers who want to work in Turkish higher education institutions.

The number of international academicians or academician candidates uploading data into the system in order to work in Turkish higher education institutions has reached 11,981 in total.



There is no doubt that ensuring qualified international lecturers and researchers along with international students to work in Turkey and facilitating this process will make our higher education area more attractive and contribute to a significant level to the accumulation and development of the whole country. In this sense, it is conceived that the International Labour Law numbered 6735, which came into force once published in the Official Gazette dated August 13, 2016, will make a significant contribution to the realization of our goals to become a centre of attraction for qualified foreign labour-force.

Like international lecturers, international student, enrolled to a formal education programs at higher education institutions in Turkey, are permitted to work with the International Labour Law provided that work-permit is obtained. Furthermore, foreign engineers and architects who have graduated from the universities recognized by Council of Higher Education will be able to perform their profession by obtaining work-permit on temporary and project basis.


The number of students who continue their higher education in Turkey under Türkiye Scholarships is increasing per academic years.  23.527 international students in total have been supported over the last five years since the 2012/13 academic year under the name of Türkiye Scholarships. Although the grants and rights of some of these students were terminated due to various reasons, the total number of students enrolled in our system under Türkiye Scholarships was 13.873 in the 2016/17 academic year. Considering that this figure constitutes approximately 12.84% of the total number of international students of the same period, it is clear that this project has made a great contribution to the internationalization of Turkish higher education system.

It will be more feasible for Türkiye Scholarships to continue in harmony with future strategy of Turkey by keeping the same quotas but more intensifying graduate programs.

International Conference on Syrian Students in Turkish Higher Education System

The Foreign Academics Information System (YABSIS), which was developed in cooperation with the Prime Ministry in order to create a database of academics and researchers, who were forced to leave their countries due to war and  internal conflicts and emigrated to Turkey, and to provide them with the opportunity to work in Turkish higher education institutions, allowed many international academics to work in Turkish higher education institutions.

In addition to a series of new practices such as diploma equivalence, transfers between universities, special student status, programs in foreign languages and assignment of special missions to eight universities in the region, which facilitated the integration of university-age refugees into the Turkish higher education system, the Council of Higher Education held a conference entitled “International Conference on Syrian Students in the Turkish Higher Education System”, which was hosted by Mustafa Kemal University, in order to discuss the status of the Syrian youth on 9 March 2017 in Hatay,.

The decisions taken at the conference were shared with the public in the form of a final declaration.


One of the significant steps taken on internationalization by Council of Higher Education has been to extend the international students’ stay in Turkey after graduation, having received doctoral education in Turkish universities.
Before the new regulation, international students, having doctoral degree in Turkey, used to be required to leave Turkey within fifteen days after completing their studies. With the enactment of the protocol signed on October 27, 2016 between Council of Higher Education and Ministry of Interior, international students are ensured to build their future lives and conduct joint studies staying in Turkey for a certain period of time following their doctoral study.
Besides, with the same protocol, it is possible for international students, studying at Turkish universities, to get residence permits from their universities directly, which is one of the initiatives of the new CoHE to facilitate the internationalization of our universities. The protocol signed with the General Directorate of Migration Management under Ministry of Interior facilitates official procedure for international students in Turkey and differentiates students from other foreign citizens in a positive way.