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International Education: Focus on Turkey

Student/Country Focus

The October/November 2017 Student/Country Focus is provided by Ayse Gur Geden from Turkey.

Ayse Gur Geden


My name is Ayse. I’m a full-time student married to a full-time PhD student, a mom to a toddler and an aspiring gardener. Being pretty much engaged in domestic responsibilities in Oxford, I’m also doing a PhD in London at UCL Institute of Education in the Department of Culture, Communication and Media.

My project focuses on internationalization of higher education and linguistic diversity. I work on concepts such as stance taking, language ideologies, commodification of higher education, and English medium instruction. By employing ethnography, my aim is to explore how linguistic diversity in Turkish higher education context is taken up in policy documents and in classroom practice, and how African students position themselves while being positioned by others based on their linguistic resources.  


Ayse's Education and Experience in Turkey

I received my Bachelor’s degree from the Department of Western Languages and Literature at Bogazici University in Istanbul. In the same year, I started working as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Instructor at a private university.

In 2010, I obtained my PGCE in English Language Teaching and for improving my teaching skills, in 2011, I completed two modules of Cambridge Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults (DELTA). I also did my Master’s in Sociology at Istanbul University during which I conducted an ethnographic study on illegal African immigrants residing in one of Istanbul’s most diverse districts.

My education in Turkey stopped when I started my MA in Applied Linguistics at King’s College London in 2014. Later, I wanted to pursue an academic career and applied for MPhil/PhD at UCL IOE so as to study the higher education system in Turkey which is a contested area witnessing fierce disputes based on political ideologies, modernization, secularism, and nationalism. As I am working on my project, I am looking forward to the results of my ethnographic work and hoping to contribute to the discussions to improve the overall efficiency and quality of Turkey’s higher education system.

Featured Resources

Ayse recommends a publication by Turkey’s Council of Higher Education describing the higher education system in Turkey. You can access the document here:

You can also find more resources about education in Turkey on Explore. Below is a sample: