All international students in TRNC to receive 500 Turkish Lira in "Student Friendly Island Project", set target of 100,000 students

Protocol signing ceremony for the "Student Friendly Island Project" aimed at providing better living conditions for all university students studying in the TRNC and TRNC citizens studying abroad, was held on Friday. 

The scope of the Student Friendly Island Project, which is a state project, is aimed at facilitating the living conditions of students studying in the island and to make TRNC a country preferred by students.

The project also aim to create a discount system that TRNC students studying abroad and all university students studying in TRNC can use in their shopping.

Work on the project with the Cooperative Central Bank for the card and discount system, which is one of the important steps of the project, was concluded on Friday and a protocol signed on the issue.

Within the scope of the Student Friendly Island Project, 500 TL will be provided to all students who will register to TRNC universities in 2020-2021 academic year and who will receive this card.

Following the signing of the protocol, officials of the Ministry of National Education and Culture and university rectors held a meeting on “Fall Term Planning and Student Friendly Island Project in Higher Education.

Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, Minister of National Education and Culture Nazım Çavuşoğlu, Finance Minister Olgun Amcaoğlu, Health Minister Ali Pilli and Cyprus Turkish Cooperative Central Bank officials also attended the meeting at the Lefkosa Atatürk Cultural Center.

Speaking on the protocl, TRNC Minister of National Education and Culture Nazım Çavuşoğlu, said all students who receive the card will get 500 TL. He noted that tourism and higher education has been accepted as the locomotive sector in TRNC for years, and these sectors are too important to be left to their own destiny. 

Stating that these sectors have been moved to certain points with the steps taken over the years, Çavuşoğlu emphasized that all sectors have been doing great despite the crisis that occurred this year. 

He recalled that during his tenure in 2010, there were around 45 thousand students, but that this number fell by a thousand each year, so they solved the problems with a series of studies and joint projects. He explained that they had exceeded 60 thousand targets with increasing student numbers and just when they were about to approach the 100,000 goal, a decrease in numbers started to occur.

He noted that universities contributed to the economic development of the country in the concept of the university island but unfair perception about the TRNC has been created abroad and that the country was working to overcome obstacles to solve related problems. 

“'Student Friendly Island' instead of 'University Island'” 
While trying to minimize the losses in the past years, Çavuşoğlu said that with the advent of the pandemic, the risk of epidemic, travel limitations and economic losses, the problems related to the arrival and departure of the students have arisen, and then they came together and talked about their requests from YÖK and other institutions. He emphasized that they gave up the concept of 'university island', switching to the concept of “Student Friendly Island” in order to eliminate false perception.

Çavuşoğlu said that they demand support by contacting several sectors, but that many steps are slower than their expectations.

Stating that these cards will be produced with the protocol signed on Friday, Çavuşoğlu said that with the production of the card, universities, markets, real estate agents, clothing, apparel should reveal what students can gain with the card.

He said the government is trying to do it's best to have a successful higher education period and to set new goals by passing 100 thousand students. 

“A new era will be opened with the student-friendly island concept” 
Çavuşoğlu stated that a new era will be opened with the concept of “Student Friendly Island” and stated that they will provide financing of the project with the purpose of joint promotion in digital environment.

He explained that the government will continue it's work related to the fall semester with the rectors  on how to shape the 2020-2021 academic year.

He thanked those who contributed to the project and those who supported the students during the pandemic period, in which food aid was provided to 8 thousand students by the ministry.

The Student Friendly Ada Card application, will have many features to the electronic banking applications. 

Prime Minister, Ersin Tatar stated that it is not possible to live universities without student flow by isolating them hundred percent.

He called on the press to send messages to the world that the TRNC is safe for both the flow of students and various sectors, including tourism.

He explained that the government is expected to contribute 5 million TL per year to the service of this card adding that other banks could benefit from this opportunity if they come up with similar cards and projects for students.

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