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Turkey: YEDAB counsellor course to boost awareness of sector

Turkey’s Association of Study Abroad Counsellors YEDAB has announced a new strategy encouraging young people to become study abroad counsellors through a university course in the country’s largest city.

Nisantasi University in Turkey's largest city will run the education counsellor course. Photo: maxpixel

OECD expects the Turkish economy to grow by 3.2% in 2020

Partnering with Istanbul’s Nisantasi University, the association noted the new international education counsellor program will “guarantee” graduates a job placement, while increasing “the total quality of the sector by well-educated counsellors”.

“Young people see our job not as a life-long profession but a short-term income source”

YEDAB’s newly elected president, Osman Yilmaz, general manager of Aktif Education Abroad, hopes the project will bring the importance of a booming industry to Turkish students.

“When we gather together with the agents from Turkey, we observe a consultant circulation rate which is not common for many other sectors,” Yilmaz highlighted.

“As YEDAB, we have tried to look behind this problem and discovered that young people see our job not as a life-long profession, but a short-term income source. When we look even deeper, we find out they do not have… information on the sector, the volume of international student exchanges,” he said.

The program will have different modules including theoretical, practical lessons and internships and, following the course’s completion, will culminate in a job-placement.

“It will increase the quality of services agencies give to the students and families, while giving new job opportunities to the young educated people in Turkey,” Yilmaz explained to The PIE News.

Government incentives for hiring young professionals include salary and social security support, Yilmaz noted, encourage agencies to recruit more staff.

Those incentives by the Turkish government were much in response to a struggling economy – earlier in 2019, it also raised the minimum wage. However agents have previously warned that smaller agencies may suffer more from a devalued Turkish Lira than their larger counterparts.

While the OECD has forecast the country’s economy may contract by nearly 2% in 2019, it also expects the economy to grow by around 3% in 2020.

Coupled with a young population – around 40% of the population is under 40 – this growth indicated a strong market potential where education counsellors can thrive.

Yilmaz added that after the announcement, other private universities had also shown an interest in the project aiming to “professionalise” the industry.

“The model we try to create will even be a good example for other agency associations”

The course could also be beneficial for a country with aims to recruit 350,000 international students, the organisation’s president argued, although “acceptances will be limited by the need of these related sectors”.

“[The] content of this program is not only for agencies like us but also for Turkish universities which increase their number of international students day by day,” Yilmaz continued.

“I personally believe the model we… create will be a good example for other agency associations from all over the world.”

For the organisation going forward, YEDAB is planning to cooperate closer and “create a real ongoing 24/7 collaboration between agents who have the moral and commercial standards of good service”.

In February, when Yilmaz was elected YEDAB president, the association counted 93 international and 52 domestic organisations as members.

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