Erasmus mobility in Turkey: motivations and expectations of higher education students at METU

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Sociology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2017


Supervisor: BESİM CAN ZIRH


This study focuses on the pre-mobility phase of Erasmus Program participation and aims to understand the determinants of Erasmus Program participation of higher education students in the case of METU. Although there has been a steady rise in terms of the demand and participation in the program throughout its implementation in the country, the Erasmus phenomenon is a particularly under-researched subject in Turkey. From this perspective, this study attempts to provide a picture of the Erasmus Program participant profile at METU in terms of demographic, socio-economic and departmental characteristics of the applicants. Moreover, this study also aims to reflect on the interpretation of Erasmus Program by the participants and their motivations and expectations to participate in the program. A comprehensive online survey had been conducted to the applicant cohort of 2017 application period at METU which consisted of 1107 students. The survey resulted with the participation of 415 applicants and it was followed by semi-structured, in-depth interviews with 19 students whose applications to participate in the program had been successful. The research revealed that the Erasmus phenomenon in Turkey is a multi-faceted subject, which can be interpreted and analyzed through wider theoretical discussions on the concepts ranging from mobility and biography to key characteristics of socio-economic status of the participants, their demographic and departmental profiles and personal expectations from the program. The study also revealed the effects of Turkey’s domestic political context on students’ drive to participate in Erasmus Program.