Student interest from Turkey surges on election results


At Studyportals, we track the student demand data day-by-day for market analyses. Sometimes we spot the ramifications of geopolitical events for higher education happening in real-time. 

Seven years ago, we saw an immense spike from Turkey (Türkiye) with Turkish students looking to study abroad, as a result of the Turkish coup d’état attempt in 2016. The share of Turkish visitors on our portals almost tripled overnight, from approximately 1.4% to 3.3%. Students reported feeling uneasy with the political direction and safety of the country and a desire for refuge abroad.  

Since 2016, the share of Turkish students slowly grew even further on Bachelorsportal and Mastersportal, especially for on-campus programmes. As a share of our total pageviews it reached approximately 3% for Bachelor’s programmes and 4.5% for Master’s programmes in 2022 and 2023.  

This May 14 2023, parliamentary and presidential elections were held in Turkey, resulting in the incumbent president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being announced as the winner on 28 May.  

This is reflected in the Studyportals visitor data – below you can see the share of Turkish (prospective) students out of the total audience looking for on-campus Bachelor’s (blue) or Master’s (orange).  

On 14 May, the election day in Turkey, the share of Turkish students dropped significantly, as they were heading to the polling booths, followed by a spike the next day. This spike may have been pent-up demand from the previous day, or due to the initial election results. 

However, when the election results started becoming official, the share of Turkish students tripled yet again from 27 May to 29 May. For Bachelor’s, the share spiked from a baseline of approximately 2.5% for Bachelor’s to 8.8%, and for Master’s, the share increased from a baseline of approximately 4.2% to 12.5%.  

 The following chart shows the most popular destinations for Master’s students from Turkey

 The following chart shows the most popular destinations for Bachelor’s students from Turkey


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