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International alumni reunion kicks off in Istanbul

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Around 500 international alumni from Turkish universities are gathering Saturday in Istanbul for the first reunion since Turkey’s launch of the Grand Student Project 25 years ago. reports citing AA that, they include deputies, ministers, teachers, academics, artists, journalists, doctors and engineers.

The program, titled "Turkey Again: Alumni Gathering", was launched with an inaugural speech by Mehmet Kose, head of presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB), at the Grand Cevahir Hotel in Istanbul.

YTB is the sole authority to provide government scholarships to international students under the Turkiye Burslari program.

Graduates from nearly all corners of the globe are attending the event which allows them to exchange experiences and projects with each other.

Following the inaugural speech, Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu is expected to address the audience.

A workshop and brainstorming session will be held in the afternoon to discuss further cooperation and collaboration between the alumni and their respective countries.

There will also be visionary speeches, with a panel titled “Together 25 years and new cooperation opportunities” scheduled to be held in the afternoon.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim is expected to attend the program's gala dinner.

According to Deputy PM Cavusoglu, more than 500 international alumni will be attending the program from across the world, while a YTB official told Anadolu Agency that scores of international alumni from inside Turkey will also be taking part.

Graduates from Pakistan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Jordan, Bosnia, Albania, Germany and Greece are attending the event along with guests from other countries.

The event also provides an opportunity for cooperation and collaboration to the alumni as many local NGOs, universities and other institutions will have stalls at the event venue.

Today’s event was a result of the Grand Student Project launched in 1992 by the Turkish government following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Since then, around 150,000 students from more than 150 countries have successfully completed their studies at Turkish universities.

In recent years, Turkey has become a popular destination for international students, both for scholarship holders and self-financed students.

According to the latest data from YTB, 16,817 foreign students study in Turkish universities on scholarships provided by the government, while those who obtain an education in Turkey by their own means total more than 100,000.

This year, around 106,550 students from 163 countries have applied for the Turkey Scholarship Program, up sharply from 8,000 applicants in 2011.

2017.11.25 / 17:19
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