Classroom view of the other side of Europe

TURKEY features high up on the Pisa league table. So how are things done there?

• The Turkish education system sees children attend school between the ages of six and 18.

• Pupils are also required to complete three or more years of high school education in public, distance-learning and vocational high schools.

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• About 95 per cent of students attend public schools and about 1.5 million students graduate annually from Turkish high schools.

• High school lasts four years, with some having an additional year of preparatory classes in a foreign language.

• There are different kinds of high schools in the Turkish system including public high schools and Anatolian high schools which provide more lessons in a selected foreign language, with some of the latter also teaching religion.

• There are also science high schools, as well as vocational schools, which focus on a certain type of profession, including tourism, electrical and industry subjects.

• Imam-Hatip high schools are another type of vocational high school with lessons about Muslim religion that educates imams.

• There are also private high schools, established by private enterprises.

• As of 2007, there were 7,934 high schools in Turkey.

• When students complete the ninth grade, they choose one of four tracks - Turkish language-mathematics, science, social sciences and languages.

• No tracks were offered in vocational high schools, while in science high schools only the science tracks are offered.

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• At the end of high school, following the 12th grade, students take a high-school finishing examination and they are required to pass this in order to continue their studies at a university.

• Universities provide either two or four years of education for undergraduate studies whereas for graduate studies, a further two years are necessary.

• There are 118 universities in Turkey.