Nowadays, the number of countries that regard that education is the best way to promote their national interests on the world stage is increasing. Especially big powers started to pay special attention and importance to the use of education as an effective instrument/source of soft power. Also, a successful national education system can help create a more favourable and lasting image among the international audience, thus further enhancing a country's soft power. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).