Internationalization of higher education: case study — China, Turkey

For the past two decades internationalization of higher education institutions has been increasing in terms of its scope, volume and complexity. It has also been referred to as a worthwhile ‘business’ which involves gains for students, universities and other stakeholders. The article considers approaches to the interpretation of the concept of “internationalization” by foreign authors, main forms and elements of internationalization of higher education institutions, and identifies the features of internationalization of higher education. Taking into account the impact of the globalization process on internationalization of universities, the article analyzes the current level of internationalization of higher education in the sectors of China and Turkey in a pragmatic manner. This article provides an empirical model based on data analysis, and also highlights significant aspects of internationalization of higher education. We hope that the article will consider these points and provide long term strategies to pursue a more standardized education system as a model for Central Asian states.


There is no single upon agreed definition on internationalization of education, since this is a complex phenomenon with a broad concept and evolution of its meanings, approaches and elements. In spite of the fact that the term internationalization has been used in political science for a long time, it began to gain widespread use in education only in the 1980s. The concept of internationalization has developed since 1994 when Knight first defined internationalization as “the process of integrating an international dimension into the teaching, research and service functions of higher education” [1]. In addition, Knight and de Wit highlight three components of the term: internationalization as the process; internationalization as a response to globalization; internationalization covering both international and local elements [2]. Sӧderqvist characterized internationalization as a transition process from a higher education institution to an international higher education resulting in incorporating an international dimension in all facets of its comprehensive management in order to improve the quality of education and to accomplish required competencies [3]. In 2003 Knight worked out a renewed definition of internationalization at national, sectoral and institutional levels as a process of introducing international, intercultural dimensions into goals, functions and the provision of higher education [4]. The updated definition was extended to national and international levels by taking into consideration advancements and restrictions of the previous definition. According to Knight, the internationalization of higher education has two major fields — internal and external [5]. These two main types of internationalization can be distinguished further. The process of internal internationalization is aimed at expanding the international activities of a university. This, in turn, means building a global approach into the curricula of universities, as well as attracting foreign students, scientists and teachers. External internationalization is characterized by the opening of branches and subsidiary campuses abroad, the promotion of student exchange programs and interuniversity education.

The complexity of defining the internationalization process of higher education stems from the fact that it can take different forms. Knight offers the following classification of internationalization in higher education according to the movement of:

  • people — mobility of students and teaching staff, including exchanges and studies at border universities;
  • providers — institutions that have access to education;
  • programs — mobility of the educational programs between countries;
  • services and projects — various modes of collaboration based on research or teaching curriculum development, quality management [6].

Among the modes and actions of international cooperation inextricably related to the internationalization of higher education there are:

  • inclusion of international educational standards into national educational programs;
  • construction of inter-institutional collaboration;
  • organization of international mobility for students, teachers and faculty by transferring credits;
  • engagement of foreign specialists by developing special exchange programs;
  • development of common international standards, comparable requirements and methodologies for the quality assurance of educational programs;
  • promotion of institutional partnership and building strategic educational alliances.

The key aims of a country, institution, individual or other stakeholders developing internationalization process in higher education can be described as follows:

  • diversification and growth of financial receivables through bringing in of foreign students paying tuition fees;
  • participation in foreign alliances and cross-border networks at a strategic stage;
  • increase in accessibility and innovativeness of higher education;
  • financial benefits and contribution to the prosperity of the national fund;
  • extension of regional higher learning institution network for the efficient use of the resources;
  • improvement of quality of research and education;
  • achievement of excellence in teaching, research and community service;
  • enhancement of the higher education reputation and competitiveness of a country.

Literature Review

In this work attention is paid to the development of issues relating to the prevailing characteristics of establishing the process of internationalization in higher education in the works of J. Knight, H. de Wit, I. Wallerstein, A.R. Denisov, M.M Stepanova, V.M. Filippov, A.A. Semchenko, O.V. Saginova, V.V. Fokina, etc. The works of the above-mentioned authors investigate the course of the transformations carried out in developing countries' higher education systems in light of the internationalization of education. The internationalization of education in these works is evaluated as an important tool to foster international cooperation in the field of education. The problem of internationalization of higher education in China is considered in the works of L. Xiaoshu, B. Xiang, R. Fedasiuk, L. Chen, D. Huang, I.A. Shvedova, T.G. Frezghi, R. Yang, etc. These works assess internationalization as a major factor in the development of higher education in China; explore the concept of internationalization, the role of the Chinese government and student mobility. The study argues that the government exerts significant influence over higher education institutions through legislation, funding, planning and evaluation. In addition, the study notes that the internationalization of higher education provides China with economic and cultural capital.

In the work of G. Tasci and S. Kenan the internationalization policies in Turkey were examined. Authors state that in Turkey this process has experienced a shift towards implementation activities more related to the internationalization of global scientists and students. However, is not yet in a position aimed at a level of internationalization compared to world countries. J. Visakorpi, F. Stankovic, J. Pedrosa, C. Rozsnyai conclude that the main limitation to the development of the internationalization in university systems is “lack of autonomy”. What needs to change, the authors suggest, is the regulatory system, which today is largely implemented by YÖK. For that to change it's important to break away from the mindset that drives the current system.


Analysis of the internationalization principle in modern higher education has not yet been implemented in theoretical literature. At the same time, the use of its analysis will help to form new strategic guidelines for the higher education system and implement effective educational technologies in pedagogical practice. This situation formed the epistemological research strategy: to analyze the basic trends in the development of the modern university as a socio-educational phenomenon.

Scientists Jane Knight and H. de Wit identified the most important stages of internationalization of higher education and defined the term “internationalization” in their works. According to J. Knight, internationalization of higher education at the national, sectoral, and institutional levels is understood as a process in which the goals, functions, and organization of educational services take on an international dimension. The same author considers internationalization as the process of integrating the international aspect into the teaching, research and other functions of the university.

Definition of internationalization according to H. de Wit lies in the fact that it is considered as a set of processes whose combined impact, planned or unplanned, is aimed at strengthening the international component in higher education [7].

This article focuses on the actualization of problems that give rise to problems with understanding the nature of the process of internationalization of higher education. This actualization is mainly related to the need to develop a specific conceptual framework. Interest in theoretical and empirical problems of socio- philosophical cognition of the process of internationalization of higher education has been sharply increasing in recent decades. Based on these observations, we set ourselves the task of determining the relationship between equally important components in the process of internationalization of higher education — theoretical and empirical factors. The methodological and factual framework of this study will limit the dynamics of the process of internationalization of higher education.

In this article, in regards to the need to develop a methodological strategy, we also assume that the integration of a number of methods will contribute to the discovery of some insufficiently researched aspects of the process of internationalization of higher education. In addition, it can help to identify new aspects in this process. Therefore, we came to the conclusion that the integrative approach is most appropriate for studying the process of internationalization of higher education. In the published study the formulation of general methodological questions led to the need to approach the phenomenon of higher education in China and Turkey from the standpoint of various research paradigms, including historical, philosophical and sociological.

The article focuses on the epistemological potential of the approach. On the basis of this approach, a strategy is created for the effective study of the phenomenon of higher education as a system, as well as for explaining the integrity of higher education and its mechanism. Using the methodology of system analysis higher education was studied in the context of a set with determined integral properties. Thus, the trend of development of university education is determined by special system-forming and integrative links of university education as an object.

The article also used the methodology of world system analysis, the basis of which can be found in the works of an American sociologist, professor at Yale University, founder and head of the Fernand Braudel Center for the Study of Economies, Historical Systems and Civilizations I. Wallerstein. The world-system of I. Wallerstein is divided in space into the core (rich developed world), semi-periphery (semi-industrial countries) and periphery (underdeveloped countries) [8].

At the same time, we proceeded from a broad understanding of the world-system approach as a methodology that allows us to analyze the problems of the formation of the modern social world as a system that unites the human community. In its methodological guidelines, the world-system approach is based on the globalization model of the modern world and, thereby, reveals the role and significance of globalization as a basis for the phenomenon of internationalization of modern university education.

Results and discussion

In order to achieve the major goals internationalization of higher education requires international cooperation, respect for cultural identity and tolerance in educational activities. Despite today's issues, it also needs a collective action, rationality, creative mindset, intercultural tolerance, communication abilities, science-based approach and acceptance of criticism.

It is highly essential to develop an operational and effective strategy for incorporating international dimensions into research, teaching and service functions. Higher education internationalization highlights active involvement in educational programs, reforms and challenges as well as research activities. Implementation of this substantial viewpoint is necessary to design and realize crucial internationalization programs. The most significant strategies of higher education internationalization based upon the global experience are as follows:

  1. providing an internationally high standard of education;
  2. advancement interaction with international society as well as international and regional cooperation;
  3. generating a long-term internationalization plan;
  4. improvement of research activities by strengthening international networks;
  5. enhancement of infrastructure to promote internal internationalization process;
  6. reconsideration of subjects, textbooks or courses pertinent to the content of world community knowledge and international issues as well as introduction of special textbooks for foreign students;
  7. provision of necessary management-level preparation to carry out an international higher education and cope with the higher education challenges;
  8. beneficiation of university environment in accordance with global standards for academic and research activities;
  9. human-resource development to fulfill economic, social and cultural consequences of internationalization of education.

In order to assess the achievements in the field of internationalization of education it is important to choose the right instrument for assessing the results. This evaluation is carried out via:

  1. accreditation by special international organizations, such as the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), the European Center for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU) and others;
  2. development by universities of their own system of indicators to enable them to independently evaluate the current achievements in this area [9].

The evaluation of the level of internationalization via accreditation by special international organizations is focused on the benchmarking of universities in all countries. Universities with the best practice in the area of internationalization can be identified through these procedures. This approach was developed by the activities of the Association of Specialists in the Internationalization of Education NAFSA (Association of International Educators). The Association has looked for the most prominent examples of internationalizing higher education and categorized them according to the following criteria:

  1. administrative support and infrastructure;
  2. research and faculty exchange;
  3. community service and outreach;
  4. curricular initiatives;
  5. student learning and participation;
  6. faculty commitment;
  7. support for education abroad;
  8. institutional commitment;
  9. support for international students and scholars [9].

The first criterion is directly linked to the practical implementation of the internationalization process. The funds provided by the university administration to advance internationalization initiatives are of particular importance in determining this criterion. The Chinese government has always played the role of the main source of funding, helping Chinese teachers and students gain international experience. With the dramatic increase in the number of self-funded international students in China and self-funded Chinese students studying abroad, it is easy to conclude that the share of private funding is growing rapidly as a portion of total spending on the internationalization process of higher education. However, there is a number of government programs to fund the internationalization process of Chinese higher education. For example, the China Scholarship Council, established in 1996 under the Ministry of Education, administers various types of scholarships to fund the training of employees and students of Chinese government institutions abroad and to support foreigners to study at Chinese government institutions. Government funding is not the only funding for the internationalization of Chinese public higher education institutions, but it always makes up the bulk.

In an attempt to develop a more standardized and internationalized aspect of higher education, Turkey became part of the Bologna system in 2001 and since then there have been many legislative regulations within the process. The National Bologna Experts Team, first set up in 2004, had a very important role regarding the proliferation and implementation of the process in Turkey. Strategies have been adopted at the national level with established commissions. Moreover, support groups for universities and other higher education institutions have started activities and provided aid through various meetings and consulting. The state allocates funds from the national budget in order to implement all projects and reforms. Majority of public funding for education in Turkey (98 % in 2014) comes from the central government. The Council of Higher Education and the university concerned with the Ministry of Finance and, in the case of the investment budget, the State Planning Organization consider the annual budget of each state university.

Education is presently the biggest item on the Turkish government budget, and the Turkish Statistical Agency reports that direct and indirect expenditures on education increased by 54 % between 2011 and 2014, from 73.6 billion Turkish liras (USD $20.3 billion) to 113.6 billion liras (USD $31.4 billion). UIS data, likewise, suggests that the percentage of education spending as part of the overall Turkish budget increased by one third between 2006 and 2013, from 8.5 % to 12.4 % [10].

Investments in research and innovation are growing in Turkey to produce and practice quality research. According to the statistical data from the “Research and Development Activities Survey, 2017” of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), gross domestic expenditure on research and development has an increase of 5 % in 2017 compared to 2016, which means an amount of 5 billion 214 million TL (USD $1.44 billion) increase was realized leading to 29 billion 855 million TL in 2017 (USD $8.3 billion).

The criterion “Research & Faculty Exchange” is measured through the following indicators:

1) The organization of special programs of foreign internships for young teachers and their training in the field of intercultural communication, etc.

2) The presence of special units at the university to assist teachers in the management of international programs.

As for criterion “Research & Faculty Exchange”, a number of Chinese higher education laws and regulations have been issued that clearly state that the goal of higher education is to encourage academics to pursue advanced academic research as well as skilled workers to put science and technology into practice rather than cultivating xianshi (noble officers) and “jungzi” (gentlemen) under the old education system with political education in the center.

For teaching staff exchange, Turkey has initiated a program for academic mobility in the framework of the Erasmus program: Staff Mobility for Teaching Assignments (STA) and Staff Mobility for Staff Training (STT). The program aims to enable the beneficiaries to gain knowledge and practical skills through the transfer of knowledge and experience. In addition, the program allows them to learn the experiences of a different institution and to improve the knowledge and skills needed for their work. Training activities involve practices such as short-term assignment, work training and work visit.

Between the years of 2004–2013 approximately 16 thousand academic staff out of 22.000 has been sent abroad for lecturing within the scope of Erasmus from the European Union Education and Youth Programs, and approximately 15.000 more than 10 thousand academic staff have come to Turkey. Within the framework of the Erasmus+period, more than 7 thousand personnel have gone to Program countries in Europe, and 886 personnel have gone to the partner countries in the rest of the world to teach. Within the same scope, more than 5 thousand personnel came from Europe and 802 personnel came to Turkey from partner countries [11].

Exchange in the field of research mainly operated through government agency TÜBİTAK (The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey) the prominent agency responsible for management, funding and conduct of research in Turkey. The agency was founded in 1963 with a task to improve science and technology, and also to conduct research and support Turkish researchers. It allocates fellowships qualified PhD students and young post-doctoral researchers from other countries to pursue their research in Turkey. The goal of the program is to promote scientific and technological collaboration with countries of the prospective researchers and encourage researchers to contribute significantly to Turkey’s aim of international cooperation in scientific and technological development. The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey supports research projects conducted by universities after assessing proposals submitted by faculty members. However, such grants are provided directly to faculty members, and are thus not included in university income.

The Turkish government also offers scholarships through Turkish Government Research Fellowship Program aimed to encourage international researchers and academics to work with Turkish academics on collaborative research in Turkey and contribute to the development of the international scientific interaction between researchers.

Regarding to the third criterion “Community Service and Outreach”, the most prominent example is Confucius Institutes. The Confucius Institute is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to teaching the Chinese language and spreading Chinese culture overseas. China began to create them in 2004, following the experience of Great Britain, France, Germany and other countries in spreading their languages. At the moment, 1.87 million people study in the Confucius Institutes or Confucius classrooms established in 162 countries and regions of the world, 550 and 1172, respectively, and the teaching staff totals 46.7 thousand people [12]. The tasks of the Institutes include not only teaching Chinese language, but also holding various cultural and scientific events, providing information about education, culture, and society of China, conducting the Chinese language proficiency exams and teacher certification, publishing educational literature on the Chinese language, etc.

In the criteria regarding “Public Relations” for international students, the Turkish Language in higher education is being promoted through CoHE Türkology Scholarship Programme, which grants scholarship to undergraduate students of Turkish Language and Literature. Most programs at state universities in Turkey are offered in Turkish, but English programs can also be found. Private universities offer many more programs taught in English. If the level of knowledge of English or Turkish languages of students is insufficient for admission, universities will still accept candidates. In this case, universities offer one-year preparatory programs in English or Turkish before starting the course.

The criterion “Changing curricula to achieve the goals of internationalization” allows us to identify the best examples of incorporating international educational programs in the general curriculum. One of the ways to involve those students who cannot go to study abroad for some reason is to include foreign languages and disciplines in the curricula of a particular institute. Allocating a semester for study abroad, transferring subjects to institutions abroad, as well as adding special disciplines and courses to curricula can help achieve a high degree of internationalization.

In terms of this criterion, those courses and subjects reflecting traditional views and ideas have been completely removed from the new curriculum in most of the Chinese universities. Many of the courses offered by Peking University in the 1920s were brand new even at prestigious universities in the USA and European countries [13]. During this period, the entire curriculum system was borrowed from higher education institutions in the West, and a large number of Chinese universities and technical schools used the original textbooks of some Western universities. This allowed modern Chinese higher education institutions to closely monitor the curriculum design and educational models of the West, but the other side of the coin was that it led to the disconnection of what was taught from the realities of China.

The Turkish government has launched a number of reformation processes in the educational system within the framework of the Bologna system. The system of operation of educational institutions in terms of evaluation, education system and qualification recognition have been changed. For instance, in 2014 Turkey signed the Lisbon Recognition Convention (LRC), which aims to ensure that holders of a qualification from a signatory country can have that qualification recognized in another. The works on establishment of the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and Diploma Supplement also came to the final stage.

In addition, one of the principles of the Bologna process is the implementation of a three cycle educational system consisting of undergraduate, master and doctorate degrees. Turkey successfully managed to adopt the three cycles educational system, which did not become a serious problem since this system has been already implemented there [14].

Turkey’s Tenth Development Plan (2014–18) highlights improving skills as one of three overarching objectives, placing particular emphasis on the need to better align the education system with the needs of the labor market. Towards this end, and important for this report, is the emphasis given to developing a curriculum that is less exam-oriented, a transition system that is based on the interests and skills of students and a standards-based evaluation framework that focuses centrally on student learning.

The curricula also should be updated to meet internationally accepted standards of professional competence. These curricula should have content that will give both Turkish and foreign students useful and professional competence in their own countries. Most Turkish universities have been updating their education plan accordingly. As an example, a new dimension has been added to higher education with the emergence of Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in internationalization. Online platforms such as Coursera and Edx host courses and degree programs from world-renowned universities [15].

The “Student participation” criterion is measured in terms of the number of students who are leaving for studies or internships at universities abroad and who are involved in foreign programs on their campus. Universities are taking different steps to promote the work of students in foreign educational programs. The number of Chinese students going abroad to study continues to grow. About 662,100 Chinese students left China to pursue their studies abroad in 2018. Compared to 2017, this number increased by 11.74 % and makes China the world's largest country of origin for international students [16]. According to an education survey conducted by Statista, the United States and the United Kingdom were the most preferred countries to study abroad for Chinese students in 2019. Students have been more attracted to the UK and Germany in Europe and some Asian countries while the United States has lost appeal over the past five years [17].

CoHE aims to develop and enhance joint education and training programmes between higher education institutions from all over the world. Joint education and training programmes can be established in all levels (associate, undergraduate and graduate) by signing a protocol between the Parties.

Turkey has been a participant of the Erasmus programme since 2004 and has been one of the most active participants, being involved in the Socrates, youth and Leonardo de Vinci programmes.

Bologna Process aims to facilitate lifelong learning activities and, for this purpose, continuous education centers, which offer seminars, conferences and refresher courses opened in almost every university in Turkey.

During these years, Turkey has received the highest number of applications for Erasmus+ among all the participating countries. Turkey is the 6th sending country and the 15th receiving country in terms of individual mobility. Since 2014 the Erasmus+Turkish National Agency has contracted almost 8,000 projects for a total amount of EUR 617 million. As of June 2020, applications for the Erasmus+ program’s mobility actions had increased from 10,584 in 2018 to 12,816 in 2019, with a budget of nearly EUR 123 million [18].

“Faculty commitment” merely represents the importance of involving teachers in the internationalization process, both at the level of development and implementation of the International Educational Programs (IEP). The need for mandatory participation of teachers in the assessment of the MOP standard and in the work of foreign programs is also a distinctive feature of this requirement. Accordingly, it should be noted the types of remuneration for teachers for their contribution to the internationalization process such as grants for trips to foreign universities in the framework of international educational and research projects, material remuneration for participation in the practical implementation of IEP.

“Faculty commitment” criterion is also taken into account in the strategy for the internationalization of Chinese education. In compliance with the Education Exchange Agreement between China and other countries, the Ministry of Education of China sends Chinese language teaching advisers and teachers to ministries of education, universities, secondary and primary schools of foreign countries in order to promote cultural and educational exchanges with other countries, as well as to assure the quality of teaching Chinese language and to assist foreigners in education. The most famous program in this direction is created by the Headquarters of the Confucius Institute (Hanban). It is an overseas Chinese teacher training program in China to subsidize overseas Chinese teachers around the world for their professional development. The course mainly includes professional knowledge of the Chinese language, various teaching skills and methods of the Chinese language, teaching materials on the Chinese language, as well as comparing the cultures of China and foreign countries.

In order to successfully implement the internationalization strategy and achieve the goals set, changes must be implemented in terms of university-wide administrative structuring. The case of Ataturk University shows that the university aims to add all its employees to the internationalization processes by reconsidering its administrative, financial and corporate organizational structure. In order to achieve this, it is planned that a certain part of the revolving fund income obtained through the ATAYÖS (entrance examination) exam will be allocated and transferred to the “internationalization budget”. New initiatives will be created to enable all ATAUNI employees to actively participate in internationalization efforts. A new “welcome” orientation program will be prepared, covering all international students. This orientation program will be of great importance for the adaptation of international students to Erzurum and the university. In addition, it is planned to create part- and full-time job opportunities for international students within the framework of YÖK rules [19].

The criterion “Support for Study Abroad” characterizes how much institutions are involved in encouraging students to participate in international programs. It is necessary to find out whether there are obligations for students to spend part of their study time at a foreign university, what benefits are received by the students participating in this, who fund this trip, what are the tools to support students who go to study abroad. “Support for study abroad” criterion is developed by The China Scholarship Council. It is a nonprofit organization of the Ministry of Education of China that maintains international academic exchange with China and is the primary vehicle through which the Government of China awards scholarships. CSC provides funding to both Chinese citizens and residents to study overseas and international students and scholars to study in China. The agency mainly provides scholarships to individuals, including portions allocated to specific foreign universities. The CSC funds about 65,000 Chinese students studying abroad in a given year, and the same number of international students in China. About 26,000 Chinese students in the United States receive funding from CSC [20]. Among its largest and best-known scholarship programs, CSC manages the Chinese Government's Award for Outstanding Self-Financing Students Abroad, which funds nearly five hundred students annually; and fellowships from the National Postgraduate Program of the University of Civil Engineering, to which about 10,000 graduate students are awarded annually [21]. CSC's elite foreign exchange funding mechanism is the International Cooperative Program for Innovative Talents (ICPIT), which funds hundreds of specialized training programs resulting from collaborations between leading Chinese and international organizations.

There are domestic support programs operating in Turkey. For instance, “100/2000 CoHE Doctoral Scholarship Project” was designed as a long term project with a participatory approach to increase the number of PhD-level human resources in the prioritized fields. CoHE TEBIP Scholarship is a unique initiative both in Turkey and around the world aiming to establish a distinguished class of students at İstanbul University. The students have been selected from the state universities according to their success in ranking (top three in the order of placement) in the placement for each fundamental sciences program (Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics). The aim of CoHE TEBIP Scholarship program is to train successful students as prospective scientists for the future of Turkey.

The Council of Higher Education launched the “Research Scholarship for Doctoral Studies Abroad for Research Assistants” (YOK-YUDAB) in order to promote academic staff, who are working as research assistants at state universities and writing their doctoral theses in priority fields determined by CoHE, to do research abroad for a minimum of six months and a maximum of one year

Domestic Support Program encourages Turkish students to study abroad and support them with accommodation, monthly allowance and additional fees. For instance, CoHE TEBIP Scholarship program provides accommodation in state dormitories and the monthly stipend of 950 TL.

The criterion “Institutional commitments” makes it possible to evaluate certain forms of practical implementation of internationalization processes such as the presence of a detailed plan. As an example of the Institutional Commitment, in 2005 the leadership of Wuhan University adopted a resolution “Guidelines for international exchange and cooperation of the university”, which developed a plan for the internationalization of the university in terms of strategic sustainable development [22]. The Guide articulates two strategic goals for the internationalization of the university, one of which is to foster international student and staff awareness, international vision, international communication skills and international competitiveness, and the other is to foster the international influence and competitiveness of the university. In practice, four integrations must be achieved, that is, the university must integrate international cooperation in disciplinary development, student education, research and social services. With this leadership in mind, the university is conducting a series of positive experiments on the following three aspects.

The university has created many opportunities for students to study abroad. Since 2007, the university has been developing student exchange programs with foreign partner institutions, including Paris 11 in France, Waseda in Japan, Cambridge in the UK, etc. The university has partnered with foreign partners to launch a number of international special programs such as the Sino-French Economics Program, Sino-French Management Program, Sino-French Legal Program, Sino-French Medical Program, Sino-German Legal Program, and Sino-British Business Program. The programs are well received by students and have become a brand name for the university. The university, taking advantage of the China Scholarship Council funding programs and other sources, offered graduate students more chances to study or research abroad.

Finally, the criterion “Support for foreign students and scholars” indicates the degree of support of foreign students and scholars by the institution. It is important to assess the progress of their inclusion in the educational activities of the host university, organizing different events and orientation programs for foreign students, assisting them to adapt the host country via student-to-student communication, organizing associations of foreign students at the host university, developing volunteer organizations to foster their sociol- cultural adaptation, as well as providing financial support for foreign students and scientists through various foundations.

As for the ninth criterion, great attention is paid to attracting foreigners to study and work in China. This initiative was actively supported by students primarily from Asian countries (North Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia) and the United States. For such students, it is possible to receive various scholarships that fully or partially cover the costs of tuition, accommodation, medical insurance, office, etc. [23]. Among these programs are:

  • China Government Scholarship;
  • Great Wall Fellowship Program (co-sponsored by the PRC government and UNESCO);
  • Scholarship for outstanding students;
  • HSK Scholarship Program (Chinese Language Proficiency Test);
  • China Cultural Studies Scholarships;
  • Scholarships for students of Chinese as a foreign language and teachers of the Chinese language.

In Turkey, the indicators provided by OECD show that in the last decade the number of students from abroad studying in Turkish universities has increased by 75 % and according to current figures, the country is on a par with countries with a large number of foreign students, with approximately 120 thousand international students. And the country aims to host 200 thousand international students by 2023.

The Turkish universities analyze the views of international students, especially from a cultural point of view, on issues related to health and nutrition, satisfaction rates will be increased by creating solutions to the problems they face. Each university in Turkey has different sports clubs (diving, camping, volleyball, basketball, and football) and interest communities (business, photography, biology, cooking). Every year universities organize festivals, concerts and sporting events. For example, Bilkent University holds annual spring festivals and regular symphonic orchestra performances, and the Middle East Technical University organizes a large number of events, in 2018 there were 863 [18].

In youth and sport, Turkey actively participates in the youth actions of the Erasmus+ program. Turkey joined the European Solidarity Corps program in 2019, with a budget of EUR 6 million. Turkey became a leading partner in ten projects under Erasmus+ Sport 2019 call. The National Youth and Sports Policy Paper continues to be implemented. It includes key topics defined in European Union Work Plan for Sport (2017– 2020) such as anti-doping, good governance, innovation in sport, sport and health, social inclusion and education through sport. As an Erasmus+ Program country, Turkey also participated in the European Week of Sport.


The internationalization of education in a growing number of countries is becoming the object and the topic of a strategy aimed at solving unique national, political, social and economic problems on the part of the state. Nowadays internationalization issues are attracting special attention in the world from scholars, practitioners, the authorities, and the general public. Many governments are starting to establish national strategies to develop the process of internationalization.

It is currently possible to evaluate the results of a particular strategy pursued by higher educational institutions in the field of internationalization of education through using the above-mentioned criteria. It is also important to note that these standards are not universally accepted and mandatory, as there is a wide variety of criteria system in the field of internationalization of education to assess the achievement of universities in this area.

Taking into consideration the interest and operation of regional universities in developing international activities as a factor and condition for the effectiveness of their activities in general, the study of related experiences of Turkey and China, where internationalization has become one of the core tasks of higher education in recent decades, seems interesting and useful. Since Central Asian states have auspicious educational, scientific and cultural relations with China and Turkey, it was important to research their experiences in developing and promoting international education as a model for fostering the process of internationalization of higher education in the region.

The countries of the region possess the capacity to develop their own strategies to increase the availability of higher education, the emergence of international quality standards and the development of the creative nature of higher education, as well as the globalization and expansion of knowledge by researching policy of foreign countries in the field of promoting international education. Thus, it seems expedient for Central Asian states to take a set of measures according to the listed criteria in order to strengthen the framework of strategic management of the internationalization processes of universities.



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Year: 2021
City: Karaganda
Category: History