International Expansion Strategy of Gülen Inspired Schools Through Internationalization and Localization


From the perspective of the educational sciences, globalization is one of the crucial subjects today and several educational movements attempt to open international markets by opening branches or working on cooperations. The Gülen Movement is one of these movements, which has successfully globalized their schools and, thus has become an international educational movement in the last three decades, like the Waldorf and Montessori movements (Alam, 2019, p. 136). The purpose of this study is to examine the globalization of the Gülen Inspired Schools. A qualitative research design is used to study this issue. Semi-structured expert interviews are conducted with managers of the Gülen inspired schools and experts on the movement from three continents, such as Europe, Africa, and America. The results show that, initially, globalization strategies, founding, and the success of the Gülen inspired schools in different regions of the world are researched. Following, the effects of the failed coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016 on the globalization of Gülen inspired schools, their current situation, and the future of these schools is discussed with the participants of this study. The results show that Gülen inspired schools used internationalization, despite globalization, and localization as a basic strategy through their international expansion. Besides, the failed coup also accelerated the globalization of the movement and forced the movement and their schools to become more international. As a result, Gülen inspired schools transformed themselves into local schools without losing their international network and practice “global thinking, local acting” philosophy in these institutions.

Author Information
Mehmet Evrim Altin, International University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2021
Stream: International Education

This paper is part of the ECE2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Altin M. (2021) International Expansion Strategy of Gülen Inspired Schools Through Internationalization and Localization ISSN: 2188-1162 The European Conference on Education 2021: Official Conference Proceedings
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon