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2020, Cilt 10, Sayı 3, Sayfa(lar) 404-413
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DOI: 10.5961/jhes.2020.400
Education Abroad and Post-graduation Location Choices: An Inquiry on Turkish Republic Citizens studying in the United States of America
Murat DEMİRCİ
Koç University, College of Administrative Sciences and Economics, Department of Economics, Istanbul, Turkey
Keywords: International students, Return rates, Higher education, Turkish citizens, Unetid States of America

This study analyzes education and post-graduation residency choices of students who go abroad from Turkey to pursue higher education. It has been found that most students have chosen to study in countries where the university system is advanced and the quality of academic publishing is better than Turkey. The analysis of students who have taken education in the United States as the most commonly preferred country has shown that the majority of students has attended in the master’s- and doctoral-level programs. In addition, it has been observed that Turkish citizens studying at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels in the United States were more likely to study in technical fields, such as engineering and computing, compared to university students of the same level in Turkey. It has been also found that a nonnegligible ratio of Turkish students in the United States, such as 21 percent, has enrolled in universities that are considered among the best 100 universities in the world. Although the abundance of Turkish students studying abroad in prominent universities seems to be a richness for Turkey, whether this richness benefits the Turkish economy depends on the rate at which these students return to Turkey after their graduation. To understand the return rate, whether the initial residency choice was the United States or not has been analyzed for all Turkish graduates of American universities who started their studies in the 2005-2015 period. It has been found that most of these students, such as 70 percent of master’s and doctoral degree holders, have continued to stay initially in the United States. Lastly, the longterm residency choices of students who graduated from three American universities have been analyzed, and it has been found that the ratio of them who returned to Turkey 10 years after their graduation has stayed at a low level of 40 percent.

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