Higher Education Research


The State of English in Higher Education in Turkey was published on 25 November 2015 by the British Council and is one of the largest baseline studies of its kind in Turkey with 38 universities in 15 cities across Turkey taking part in the study. With over 400 teachers and 4,300 student surveys, 65 observed lessons, over 350 teachers taking part in focus groups, and over 72 interviews with senior managers, the report presents many questions and explores the strengths of and the challenges faced by teachers and learners of English in higher education institutions in Turkey.

Please download the report on this page or visit here.

The British Council has held 3 major events to discuss the recommendations on how to improve the current English provision at tertiary level with various stakeholders across the three major cities in Turkey.

The report and the dissemination conferences have contributed to the development of national quality standards for language teaching and supported the formation of the local accreditation board for language teaching (DEDAK).

The publication of the report has also led to The Council of Higher Education’s (YÖK) formation of a task force with the rectors of the leading English Medium Universities (EMI) universities to improve standards in EMI which led to changes in EMI policy.

From an institutional perspective, the British Council was invited to universities by Rectors and Directors of Schools of Foreign Languages to provide support and guidance on how to overcome some of the barriers of implementing English Medium Instruction.

Since its launch, the State of English in Higher Education in Turkey has generated major discussions around quality assurance in HE and has supported major policy change from the Council of Higher Education in Turkey.

These were:

  • The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) in Turkey put out a call for recommendations on how to improve the processes around Foreign Language Education in the HE context and
  • In March 2016 new standards were introduced for EMI lecturers in English Medium Universities.

 The Events

Exploring English, skills and employability: Industry, alumni and academia: Özyeğin University

In February 2017, the aim of this one day conference which will take place in Ozyegin University will be to discuss the recommendations of The State of English in Higher Education in Turkey with key stakeholders from industry, academia, and alumni to come up with a set of recommendations on how these actors can collaborate to enhance the English proficiency and employability skills of university graduates.

See the details and photos from the event.  

Cultivation of Quality Culture in ELT in Higher Education: Ege University

In May 2016, the third event took place at Ege University to explore implications of the report for teachers and students. This event focused on the implications of the new regulations affecting Higher Education for English Medium Instruction (EMI) and EMI lecturers in Turkey. The event was also important as participants

  • learned how Turkish universities can adopt a quality driven approach in HE and understand the role of Language to improve internationalisation, and staff and student mobility agendas
  • explored the role of accreditation in achieving quality in HE
  • gave an insight into student views of the challenges they face regarding English Language Education in their preparatory years and beyond.

See the details, video and the photos from the event. 

English and Beyond in Higher Education: Istanbul Technical University (ITU)

In February 2016, a second event was held in at Istanbul Technical University with over 450 participants in which the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) reported back on what was being done at a national level to improve the quality of HE. Since then, the report has been among the major drivers of the policy change regarding the competencies of EMI lecturers in Turkey. The event was also an opportunity for rectors to share their views on how to overcome the challenges inherent in the current system. The event additionally gave teachers the chance to express their opinions on the challenges that teachers and students face with respect to Foreign Language Policies in the HE.

See the details, video and the photo album from the event. 

The State of English in Higher Education in Turkey Launch

In November 2015, the British Council launched the event in Ankara with the participation of higher education representatives. The President of the Council of Higher Education (YÖK) and Rectors, Directors of Schools of Foreign languages, international agencies, and UK publishers were among the participants where the main recommendation of the report were presented and panels took place on improving the quality of English in Higher education.

See the details, video and photo album from the event.