With over 117,000 applications this year, Türkiye's popular scholarship program gathering students from different regions and continents has Thursday sent off a new group of students and global ambassadors in the ceremony held in the capital Ankara.
The "12th International Student Graduation Ceremony" was organized at Ankara Music and Fine Arts University under the auspices of the Presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), which grants scholarships.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, YTB President Abdullah Eren, numerous students, and other distinguished guests.
"Through Türkiye Scholarships, the Republic of Türkiye has shifted its paradigm in foreign policy towards a different point in educational diplomacy over the past 20 years," YTB's president Eren said in his speech at the ceremony.
So far, scholarships have been provided to nearly 35,000 students, and this year, 1,848 international students graduated, Eren noted.
"From this period onward, we will begin to see concrete returns from the scholarships we have provided," he said.
Eren also expressed that YTB will work to increase the contributions of Türkiye's graduates and international students who have studied in Türkiye. He emphasized that when the students return to their countries, they will prioritize Türkiye in areas such as trade, tourism, and cultural cooperation.
Furthermore, Eren pointed out that the "Türkiye graduates" initiative will be taken to another level, and the number of graduate associations is set to increase to 50 within five years.
He shared the goal of establishing international student export cooperation in collaboration with organizations focused on exports, including Türkiye's Ministry of Trade.
"The synergy created by all these efforts will lead to this result; there is a vast army of Türkiye graduates who have received education in Türkiye. In almost every country in the world, these domestic and national companies, as well as private and public sectors operating in Türkiye, will have Türkiye graduates who will contribute to us. That's why we have great hope and expectation from you," he said.
Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, who attended the graduation ceremony expressed his pleasure to be among the young graduates of the Türkiye Scholarships program.
"In the first year of the program, there were around 42,000 applications. But today, thanks to the efforts of our colleagues, this number has exceeded 117,000," the minister said.
"The fact that 117,367 applications were made from 162 countries for Türkiye Scholarships in 2023 shows how effectively the work is progressing,” he underscored.
The fact that students from Azerbaijan to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Indonesia to Egypt, Nigeria to the Americas, the young people from all around the world are participating in this program serves as evidence of Türkiye Scholarships' global success story, he noted.
"We know that you have received a good education at international standards. We believe your hearts beat for the benefit of humanity. Today's graduates may return to their countries tomorrow. Our paths may diverge after this journey we've been on together. But even if it seems like our paths are diverging, we have actually signed under an eternal and everlasting brotherhood,” Ersoy said.
After his speech, Ersoy presented diplomas to the young graduates and took commemorative photos with them.