Perceptions and Attitudes of Turkish Youth Studying at Hungarian Universities – A Quantitative and Qualitative Approach
In recent years, one could observe a visible increase in the number of Turkish nationals studying in Hungary both on the basis of short-term (one semester) or long-term scholarship programs. Contrarily to the 1990’s and early 2000’s when Turks have opted for Hungary as they were unable to enter Turkish higher education institutions due to a discriminatory entrance policy in vigor in Turkey, nowadays, they tend to choose the Central European nation for various other reasons. The main goal of our present paper is to discover some of the motivations Turkish students might have and to describe an average Turkish student pursuing his or her studies in Hungary in terms of interest, education strategy and orientation for future career, and of course, the possibilities of research provided by Hungarian actors of the field. Our preconception is that the major issues to deal with while examining the Turkish youth learning in Hungary are that the country is located both physically and culturally closer to Turkey than many other European nations; most Turks strongly believe in the common origin of Turks and Hungarians and develop an interest in the shared past of the two ethnic groups; Hungary provides a high quality higher education in a variety of foreign languages and a European experience for a reasonable price; and finally, the Hungarian government offers a state scholarship for the Turks since 2014. Turkish students studying in Hungary constitute an important bridge between the two countries linked by common values and history and can refresh the developing relationship of Ankara and Budapest.
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