Istanbul - Education

Education

Further information: Education in Turkey

Istanbul University, founded in 1453, is the oldest Turkish educational institution in the city. Although originally an Islamic school, the university established law, medicine, and science departments in the 19th century and was secularized after the founding of the Turkish Republic. Istanbul Technical University, founded in 1773 as the Royal School of Naval Engineering, is the world's third-oldest university dedicated entirely to engineering sciences. These public universities are two of just eight across the city; other prominent state universities in Istanbul include the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, which served as Turkey's primary institution of art until the 1970s, and Marmara University, the country's third-largest institution of higher learning. Istanbul Medeniyet University, founded in 2010, is the newest public university, offering two-year degrees through eleven academic departments.

While the most established universities in Istanbul are backed by the government, the city has a number of prominent private institutions. The first modern private university in Istanbul was Robert College, founded by a group from the United States in 1863. The tertiary element of its education program has become the public Boğaziçi University in 1971, while the remaining portion in Arnavutköy continues as a boarding school under the name Robert College. Private universities were officially outlawed in Turkey before the Constitution of 1982, but there were already fifteen private "higher schools", which were effectively universities, in Istanbul by 1970. The first private university established in Istanbul since 1982 was Koç University (founded in 1992), and another dozen had opened within the following decade. Today, there are at least thirty private universities in the city, including Istanbul Commerce University and Kadir Has University.

In 2007, there were about 4,350 schools, about half of which were primary schools; on average, each school had 688 students. In recent years, Istanbul's educational system has expanded substantially; from 2000 to 2007, the number of classrooms and teachers nearly doubled and the number of students increased by more than 60 percent. Galatasaray High School, established in 1481 as the Galata Palace Imperial School, is the oldest high school in Istanbul and the second-oldest educational institution in the city. It was built at the behest of Sultan Bayezid II, who sought to bring students with diverse backgrounds together as a means of further strengthening his growing empire. It is one of Turkey's Anatolian High Schools, elite public high schools that place a stronger emphasis on instruction in foreign languages. Galatasaray, for example, offers instruction in French, while other Anatolian High Schools primarily teach in English or German alongside Turkish. The city also has foreign high schools, such as Liceo Italiano, that were established in the 19th century to educate foreigners.

A few of Istanbul's other high schools are notable for their styles of teaching or entrance requirements. Kuleli Military High School, located along the shores of the Bosphorus in Çengelköy, and Turkish Naval High School, located on one of the Princes' Islands, are military high schools, complemented by three military academies—the Turkish Air Force, Turkish Military, and Turkish Naval Academies. Another important school in Istanbul is Darüşşafaka High School, which provides free education to children across the country missing at least one parent. Darüşşafaka begins instruction with the fourth grade, providing instruction in English and, starting in sixth grade, a second foreign language—German or French. Other prominent high schools in the city include Kabataş Erkek Lisesi (founded in 1908) and Kadıköy Anadolu Lisesi (founded in 1955).

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