FAQs on Turkey
Below you will find FAQs on the consequences of the situation in Turkey for education. Much about those consequences is still unclear at the present time. We are gathering as much official information as possible and sharing it with the educational institutions.
We have drawn up these FAQs together with the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (Vereniging Hogescholen) and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU). As soon as we receive new information, we will update this page.
January 2017 - the recommendations and answers below are still valid.
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1. How is the state of emergency impacting exchanges of Turkish researchers and students via Erasmus+?
There is currently no reason to suppose that the Erasmus+ programme with Turkey will be suspended or that exchanges will be impossible. International educational exchanges remain the best way to engage and remain in dialogue.
We advise you to keep a close eye on the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. You can also contact your partner institutions in Turkey to discuss the situation. In consultation with the students, they can decide to let the planned exchanges go ahead or to look for an alternative.
In a notification sent to the National Agencies for Erasmus+ (NA), the European Commission states that the NAs may apply the force majeure clause. This clause can be used to deal with requests such as cancellation or postponement of activities, interruption and termination of projects, replacement of project partners etc. in the most flexible way, notwithstanding the respect of the general legal framework applying to Erasmus+.
The European Commision will continue to monitor the evolution of the situation in Turkey and may decide to adopt further measures to ensure the smooth implementation of the projects.
We also recommend that you read the article that Times Higher Education placed on their website, upon receipt of the letter of Prof. Yekta Sarac, President of the Turkish higher education council (YÖK). The letter was sent to numerous international education organisations, to explain why the measures were taken following the coup attempt.
It is not clear yet at the present time what effect the declaration of the state of emergency and the measures against educational staff will have in the long term on the exchange of students and lecturers between Turkey and the Netherlands.
2. What should students, researchers and lecturers who are about to leave the Netherlands to travel to Turkey on an exchange do?
In the first place, we follow the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That is standing policy. At present, that advice does not impede travelling to Turkey, unless the Turkish partner institution has been closed (see answer to question 4). In case of doubt, contact the international office of your educational institution. They maintain contact with the Turkish partner institutions.
3. What does EP-Nuffic advise Dutch students, lecturers and other educational staff who are currently staying in Turkey to do?
We closely follow the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We advise you to report to or register with the nearest Dutch representation in Turkey. If the safety situation changes, the representation can inform you of this. We advise you to contact the international office of your educational institution.
4. What does EP-Nuffic advise Turkish students, lecturers and other educational staff who are currently staying in the Netherlands to do?
We advise Turkish students and educational staff to contact their Dutch educational institution and possibly also their Turkish institution to discuss the situation.
If we receive additional information that is relevant for this group, we will share that information via these FAQs with the Dutch educational institutions and in other ways.
We advise students, lecturers and other educational staff wishing to travel to Turkey (with a Turkish passport) to contact the embassy or the consulate, who will be able to advise you.
On 23 July, the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK) placed a statement on its website. This states that a number of private universities have been closed due to the state of emergency, and that the Council will place students who are registered with those universities with other universities. There is as yet no further information on this.
Statement of the Turkish Council of Higher Education (in Turkish, 88 kB)
This relates to the following universities:
- Altın Koza (İpek) Üniversitesi (Ankara)
- Bursa Orhangazi Üniversitesi (Bursa)
- Canik Başarı Üniversitesi (Samsun)
- Fatih Üniversitesi (Istanbul)
- Gediz Üniversitesi (İzmir)
- İzmir Üniversitesi (İzmir)
- Kanuni Üniversitesi (Adana)
- Melikşah Üniversitesi (Kayseri)
- Mevlana Üniversitesi (Konya)
- Murat Hüdavendigar Üniversitesi (Istanbul)
- Selahattin Eyyubi Üniversitesi (Diyarbakır)
- Şifa Üniversitesi (İzmir)
- Süleyman Şah Üniversitesi (Istanbul)
- Turgut Özal Üniversitesi (Ankara)
- Zirve Üniversitesi (Gaziantep)
These 15 universities are part of a larger group of 23 institutions that were closed down. The other 8 institutions are small military TVET colleges that do not engage in international activities.
Some of these universities have partnerships with several Dutch institutions. The National Agency for Erasmus+ is liaising closely with these institutions on this.
6. What are the consequences for internationalisation in other sectors of education (primary, secondary and senior secondary vocational education and training)?
Although media coverage focuses mainly on higher education, the consequences of the measures will not be limited to higher education. At present, however, little information is available on the consequences for primary and secondary education. Exchanges such as those in higher education also take place in senior secondary vocational education and training via Erasmus+. See the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 for this.
We are following developments closely and maintain close contact with the Primary Education Council (PO-Raad), Secondary Education Council (VO-raad) and the Netherlands Association of VET Colleges (MBO Raad) on the consequences in those sectors.
Turkey is an important partner country with regard to student mobility and cooperation in education. At present, the measures of the Turkish government do not yet have any direct consequences for the position of our Neso office in Turkey.
The Neso office is following the local situation closely and is in direct contact with the consulate in Istanbul. The Neso office is carrying out its regular tasks to the greatest possible extent. The office also plays a significant part in the provision of information on the current situation.
The pre-departure briefings will take place as scheduled on Tuesday 16 August in Ankara and Thursday 18 August in Istanbul. Each summer, the Neso offices organise pre-departure briefings to prepare students for their stay in the Netherlands and give them the possibility to connect with their fellow students.
The education fairs will also go ahead as planned. Institutions that have registered for participation in the fairs, can contact the Neso office in Turkey.
8. What does the state of emergency mean for Turkish researchers and students for whom you have applied for a residence permit?
For the time being, this process is proceeding in the usual manner. Students and researchers can still obtain a MVV (entry visa) at the Netherlands Consulate and or Embassy. Applications for residence permits for ‘study’ or ‘work’ are also still handled via the usual procedure. We will inform you of any changes in these procedures.
Our first concern is for the students and educational staff in Turkey and for our colleagues in our office in Istanbul who are impacted by the political situation.
We are committed to internationalisation of education. We believe that this is a basis for good social, economic and diplomatic relations. We work to make exchanges of Turkish and Dutch students possible. We administrate a range of programmes for that purpose, including the Erasmus+ subsidy programme.
Read our full statement (in English) on the situation in Turkey.
We estimate that around 800 Dutch students are staying in Turkey every year. This estimate is based on the figures on higher education (higher professional education + university) in recent years. Some are following part of their course of study abroad, others are in a traineeship or a full study programme.
In 2015-2016, 179 Dutch nationals were enrolled for a full course of study in Turkey for which they received Dutch grants or loans for students. The actual number is likely to be higher. That is because these students are not registered in the Netherlands, as many of them are Dutch nationals of Turkish descent or have double nationality.
In 2013-2014, 538 Dutch students took part in an exchange in Turkey via Erasmus+. Of these, 452 students did so for their studies, and 86 for a traineeship. Little information is available on the number of Dutch students studying in Turkey via other exchanges.
There currently (on 23 July) are 23 Dutch exchange students in Turkey via Erasmus+.
Last year, there were around 1,000 Turkish students studying in higher education in the Netherlands or in traineeships. In 2015-2016, 403 Turkish students were enrolled for a full course of study at Dutch higher education institutions.
In 2013-2014, 537 Turkish students took part in an exchange in the Netherlands via Erasmus+. Of these, 460 students did so for their studies, and 77 for a traineeship. Little information is available on the number of Turkish students studying in the Netherlands via other exchanges.
There currently (on 23 July) are 31 Turkish students (higher professional education + university) in the Netherlands. 18 of these are in traineeships here, and 13 are following part of their course of study here.
12. What does EP-Nuffic advise to the Dutch institutions with regards to their partnerships with Turkish education institutions?
Even in difficult times continue cooperation in education is important. We advise to closely follow the travel advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to keep an eye on this FAQ and to act at your discretion.
We maintain contact with our relevant international counterparts. At this moment we have received no indication that they are organising their partnerships in a different manner. We therefore do not advise the Dutch institutions to discontinue their cooperation with Turkey.
Please find below the information provided by the Turkish National Agency (NA) Erasmus+:
- As for the implication for the Erasmus+ Programme, the NA is regularly undertaking the Programme implementation and work of the NA has been continuing as scheduled.
- As far as mobilities under the selected projects are concerned, due to the state of emergency in Turkey, project participants who are civil servants need to obtain a special authorisation from the institution for which they work to go abroad. Participants get this authorisation from their institutions when they apply with relevant project documents. This procedure applies only for civil servants but not for other participants like students, young people, NGO representatives etc.
- We (Turkish National Agency Erasmus+) don’t expect any significant delay in the implementation of the projects. However, civil servant participants like public school teachers may reschedule their activities abroad.
- There is no difficulty at all for participants from other countries to participate in mobilities and project activities in Turkey. There are also no particular conditions/restrictions or risks from security point of view in carrying out Erasmus+ activities in Turkey and these activities are being carried out as scheduled.
- The Turkish NA is ready to use the "force majeure" provisions in order to allow beneficiaries to manage the situation in the most flexible way, still within the respect of the general framework of rules underlying the implementation of the Programme – see also the answer to question 1.
14. What does the withdrawal of the call for proposals of the Jean Monnet Scholarship Programme entail?
The Turkish authorities have withdrawn the (JMSP) for the 2016-2017 academic year. They did this without involvement of the EU. The withdrawal is published on the Jean Monnet website.
To avoid confusion: this is not the Jean Monnet Programme that is part of Erasmus+. It is a Turkish programme aimed at European integration, as part of the IPA programme for Turkey’s accession tot he EU. It is meant for employees of Turkish universities and government employees, to increase their knowledge of Europe.
For the time being, you can get more information through the Jean Monnet website.
Journalists can contact the spokespersons of EP-Nuffic, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) or the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (Vereniging Hogescholen).
EP-Nuffic: Anne Lutgerink, alutgerink[at]epnuffic.nl, +31 6 29 16 18 93
VSNU: +31 70 302 14 00
Vereniging Hogescholen: Eva Kloosterman, kloosterman[at]vereniginghogescholen.nl, +31 6 51 89 21 65 or the general telephone number +31 70 312 21 21
EP-Nuffic has prepared this list of questions and answers with the greatest possible care, but errors may occur. EP-Nuffic is not liable in any way whatsoever, and cannot be held liable for any damage or loss whatsoever arising from the information provided by EP-Nuffic.