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Higher education institutions around the world compete with one another in the internationalization zone. One of the biggest competitions centers on the mobility of…
Higher education institutions around the world compete with one another in the internationalization zone. One of the biggest competitions centers on the mobility of students fighting for the share from the student market pie. The Turkish higher education system, as an emerging competitor, also participates in this competition. While many studies focus on international students in Turkish higher education institutions, the literature lacks information about why Turkish institutions participate in this game, and what tools and strategies they use in this endeavor. This study examined the rationales and strategies of higher education institutions using a semistructured online survey data collected from international offices at participating institutions. Findings revealed that Turkish higher education institutions attract international students to create a multicultural environment by increasing diversity at the campus and to increase the quality of the institution. In contrast to the findings in the literature, seeing international students as institutional revenue source was not among the rationales mentioned by the participant institutions. Besides the rationales, findings also revealed the strategies institutions use for their international student recruitment. Paralleling with the trending mechanisms used worldwide, Turkish institutions use similar strategies such as participating in fairs and events, advertisement through technology, web and social media, and using agents; however, there are also unique mechanisms created by Turkish institutions including visiting parents of current international students, high school visits, and summer camps as effective strategies. Additional research, with broader scope and depth is needed to better understand the internationalization of Turkish higher education.