A significant increase in the number of university dropouts was recorded for the last five years in Turkey. According to the data provided by Turkey's Ministry of National Education (MEB), 1 million 115 thousand 530 university students have either dropped out or frozen their registration in the last 5 years.
According to DW Turkish, the number of students who quit their university education increased rapidly in the academic year of 2017-2018. According to the data, the number of students who dropped out of university in the 2017-2018 year exceeded 408 thousand with an increase of 92.2 percent compared to the previous year.
According to the Education and Science Workers' Union (Eğitim Sen) General Secretary Özgür Bozdağan, university students in Turkey have several reasons to drop out.
One of the main reasons is the decreasing employment opportunities for particular departments after graduation. Bozdoğan stated “Students are reviewing after graduation employment opportunities of their departments during their education. Students freeze their registrations in the departments where employment opportunities are considered low after graduation."
Students who have financial difficulties also leave their university education, according to Bozdoğan. The union representative gives an example of a university student Kadir, who is one of the four children of a father working as a welder. When his father lost his job, the student had to drop out of school, Kocaeli University, where he was in Public Relations Department in order to earn living, but he had no chance finding a job.
According to the data provided by MEB, the amount of loans granted to undergraduate students in the 2017-2018 period increased by 11 percent compared to the previous education period. However, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute’s 2018 data on housing, water, electricity, and heating covering annual price has increased by 24 percent. In the same period, food prices increased by 25 percent.
The ratio of students who received scholarships and loans also decreased compared to the previous year. The increase in the number of graduates who have difficulty repaying their loans also contributed to the decrease in the number of students receiving scholarships and loans.
According to the data of General Directorate of Credit and Dormitories Agency (KYK), the number of borrowers reported to the tax office was 279 thousand 897 people in 2018.