Compulsory education lasts 12 years. Primary and secondary education is financed by the state and free of charge in public schools, between the ages of 6 and 18, and by 2001 enrollment of children in this age range was nearly 100%. Secondary or high school education is not mandatory but required in order to then progress to universities. By 2011 there were 166 universities in Turkey. Except for the Open Education Faculty at Anadolu University, entrance is regulated by a national examination, ÖSYS, after which high school graduates are assigned to university according to their performance.
In 2002, the total expenditure on education in Turkey amounted to $13.4 billion, including the state budget allocated through the National Ministry of Education and private and international funds.