Istanbul Bilgi University

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Istanbul Bilgi University
Istanbul Bilgi.jpg
Motto "Non scholae sed vitae discimus"
Motto in English
We do not learn for the school, but for life
Type Private
Established 1996
Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Durman
Location Istanbul
Campus Santralistanbul • Dolapdere • Kuştepe



Istanbul Bilgi University (Turkish: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi) is a non-profit university in Istanbul, Turkey, privately owned by US-based Laureate Education. Laureate is both a for-profit college corporation and a Public Benefit Corporation. Laureate also has a B Corporation (certification). The purpose of a benefit corporation is to create a material positive impact on society and the environment.

In Turkish, Bilgi means knowledge. According to Bilgi University literature, the school "seeks to educate free-thinking, creative, intellectually curious and enterprising individuals who will contribute to a world in which knowledge is accessible to all."[1]

The Bilgi Education and Culture Foundation was founded on October 31, 1994 in Istanbul.[2]

The school has three campuses in Istanbul.[3]

As of 2016, Bilgi University has 25,000 students, nearly 1,000 academic staff members, 6 facilities, 5 institutes, 5 schools, 3 vocational schools, and 200 programs that provide education to its associate, undergraduate and graduate students. The university has graduated approximately 30,000 students.[4]

Rankings and awards[edit]

Istanbul Bilgi University ranks third among private foundation universities in Turkey for its undergraduate placement according to the 2011 National Student Selection and Placement Center (National Exam Center) and is ranked among the top 10 institutions of higher education in Turkey, according to Webometrics.

Its law school is ranked one of the nation's top three.[citation needed]

Bilgi University's Dolapdere campus received the 2002 "Structure and Life Architecture Award" and the 2005 "European Award for Steel Structure."

History and Organization[edit]

In 1994, a precursor to the University, Istanbul School of International Studies, operated in partnership with Portsmouth University and the London School of Economics offering courses in Business Administration, International Relations, Economics, and LSE Economics programs. Istanbul Bilgi University opened in earnest in 1996. The university provides a liberal arts and business-economics oriented curriculum in Turkey. Istanbul Bilgi University joined Laureate International Universities in 2006 and is one of the largest private universities in the country.

In 2006 the university joined the Laureate International Universities network,Laureate Network, and transformed into a non-profit institution.

Bilgi is administrated by a Board of Trustees having nine members.[5] The main responsibilities of the board are to select the rector of Bilgi University, to determine the goals and strategic direction of the University, and to approve the annual budget. The university's rector is elected by a vote of the board members every four years.The rector of the University is given the authority for actual control of the university, including day-to-day management. In practice, part of this responsibility is delegated by the rector to other departments of the administration, to the faculty, and to the student support center.

Istanbul Bilgi University is a member of the European University Association (EUA), the International Association of Universities (IAU) and the OECD/IMHE (Program on Institutional Management in Higher Education). Bilgi is also a very active participant in the Erasmus exchange network and has strong academic affiliations with numerous universities abroad.Erasmus Programme

On February 10, 2009, Istanbul Bilgi University announced that it would join the Laureate International Universities network.

In 2010, Recep Erdogan was awarded an honorary degree by one of Bilgi's sister schools in Spain, Universidad Europea de Madrid (UEM).[6] The same year, Samil Erdogan became the administrator of Bilgi's International Center.[7] On October 2, 2010, US President Bill Clinton also presented a speech to hundreds of students at Bilgi University.[8]


Bilgi University is organised into 6 distinct faculties, a vocational school, and 4 institutions which form the university's graduate school.[9]

  • Faculty of Communication
    • Advertising
    • Art Management
    • Cultural Management
    • Film and Television
    • Management of Performing Arts
    • Media and Communication Systems
    • Photography and Video
    • Public Relations
    • Television Reporting and Programming
    • Visual Communication Design
  • Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences
    • Business Administration
    • Business Economics
    • Business Informatics
    • Economics
    • Economics and Management Honours
    • Economics Honours
    • European Union Studies
    • International Finance
    • International Relations
    • International Trade and Business
    • Mathematics and Economics Honors
    • Political Economy and Social Philosophy
    • Political Science
  • Faculty of Law
    • Law
  • Faculty of Arts and Science
    • Comparative Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Financial Mathematics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Music
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • English Language Teacher Education
  • School of Advanced Vocational Studies
    • Design and Printing-Publishing
    • International Trade Management
    • Management
    • Online Journalism and Publishing
    • Photography and Videography
    • Public Relations and Advertising
    • Radio and Television Programming
  • Faculty of Architecture
    • Architecture
    • Interior Design
    • Industrial Design
  • School of Engineering
  • Graduate School
    • Institute of Social Sciences
    • Institute of Natural and Applied Sciences
    • MArch in Architectural Design
    • European Institute
  • Post Graduate Programs
    • PhD in Economics
    • PhD in Mathematics
    • PhD in Organization Studies
    • PhD in Political Science
    • MA in Comparative Literature
    • MA in Cultural Studies
    • MA in Cultural Management
    • MA in Clinical Psychology
    • MA in European Studies
    • MA in Film and Television
    • MA in History
    • MA in Human Resource Management
    • MA in International Political Economy
    • MA in International Relations
    • MA in Marketing Communication
    • MA in Philosophy and Social Thought
    • MA in Psychology
    • MArch in Architectural Design
    • MBA
    • e-MBA
    • MFA in Visual Communication Design
    • MSc in Economics
    • MSc in Mathematichs
    • MSc in Financial Economics
    • MSc in Accounting and Auditing
    • MSc in International Finance
    • LL.M. in Business Law
    • LL.M. in Human Rights Law


Santral Istanbul[edit]

Santral Istanbul

The largest of the 3 university campuses, spreading over an area of 118,000 m² (30 acre approx.).The SantralIstanbul (Turkish: Santralİstanbul), opened in 2007, is an arts and cultural complex located at the upper end of Golden Horn in the Eyüp district of Istanbul, Turkey. The center, consisting of an energy museum, an amphitheater, concert halls and a public library, is situated within the Silahtarağa campus of Istanbul Bilgi University that was formerly the first power station of the Ottoman Empire.


BILGI's Dolapdere campus received the 2002 "Structure and Life Architecture Award" and the 2005 "European Award for Steel Structure." Located in ten minutes away from Taksim, the heart of art scene, social activities and city life.It hosts the faculty of Law along with other faculties divided between Santral Campus. It is the home to Bilgi's swimming team, having state of art gym and swimming facilities available for all Bilgi students.


This campus is located in Şişli district, the center of İstanbul and the business life. The campus is solely dedicated to English preparatory school having mostly international staff. This campus facilitates non-English speaking students from all over the world and Turkey, having one of the most extensive English language program in the country which aims to prepare student in their further studies at Bilgi.

Student Life[edit]

Student union[edit]

Students at Bilgi are represented by a Student Union elected by the students each year during the fall semester. The union has the right to interfere in various issues regarding the school. Academic representatives from each department, elected by the students in the fall semester, are also a part of the union.

Student clubs[edit]

  • The Internationals
  • Anatolian Youth Club
  • Bioengineering Club
  • Art Club
  • Bilgi Community Club
  • Business Economics Club
  • Chess Club
  • Cinema at Bilgi Club
  • Colours of Bilgi Club
  • Dance Club
  • Ecological Life Club
  • Forum of European Journalism Students Club
  • History Research Club
  • Japanese Club
  • Literature Club
  • Martial Arts Club
  • Model United Nations Club [1]
  • Modern Lawyers Club
  • Mountaineering Club
  • Public Relations Club [2]
  • Psychology Club
  • Rainbow LGBT Club
  • Rintintin Animal Rights Club
  • Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Club [3]
  • Rock Club
  • Rowing Club
  • Social Sciences Club
  • Socialist Thinking Club
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Club
  • Theatre Candela
  • Theatre Triole
  • Travel Club
  • Turkish Club
  • uA Bilgi Uni Club
  • Women in Business Club
  • Informatics Club

Libraries and Museums[edit]

Bilgi has three libraries, one in the Dolapdere campus, one in the Kuştepe campus, and one in the SantralIstanbul campus. Bilgi Library offers an extensive system to support university degree programs, research and teaching. The virtual library contains more than 25.000 electronic books, 23.000 electronic journals, 37 electronic databases and encyclopedias. Access to these resources is available over internet, on-campus and off-campus.

In addition to its library at the SantralIstanbul campus, Bilgi opened a modern arts museum, named Santralistanbul, which hosts conferences, seminars, and exhibitions started in the fall semester of 2007.

Notable past and present faculty[edit]

Alumni Association[edit]

Istanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association (Bilgim) was established on 16.11.2009 by the following alumni:

Serkan Memisoglu, Candemir Baltali, Nezahet Tokyay, Bahar Moraligil, Mehmet Emin Alkan, Burak Alkan, Burcu Yatmazoglu, Mervan Eren Gul, Muhammed Talha Erol, Osman Tunc Abraz, Ali Korur, Osman Yilmaz, Murat Tutuncu, Asli Uzunlu, Israfil Coskun, Ozgur Sagmal, Zeynep Tuluce, Aylin Aydogan, Onur Erdem, Doguscan Oto, Ulgen Cetinkaya, Abdulkadir Onal

Bilgim also publishes monthly magazine Vitae and sends electronic newsletter Bilgim Updater to alumni. Association has also a training center called Bilgim Academy.

In 2012 Association also announced its new services Bilgim HR which provides HR solutions to Bilgi Community.

Academic freedom and silencing dissent[edit]

In 2011, professor and journalist, Ahmet Sik, was detained by Turkish authorities from 2011 to 2012 and his book was banned. The prosecutor claimed that the arrests of Ahmet Sik and other journalists were unrelated to their media work but said he could not reveal his ‘proof’ for reasons of confidentiality.[10][11]

In March 2016, Cambridge University-educated computer science professor Chris Stephenson was detained as a possible terrorist, for distributing a leaflet for a New Year's celebration involving a Kurdish group. A prosecutor accused Stephenson of "making propaganda of a terror organisation" because there were messages and pictures "aimed at making PKK propaganda." [12]

In June 2016, Professor Zeynep Sayın Balıkçıoğlu was fired for allegedly speaking rudely about Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and the incident reached social media.[13][14] On July 1, 2016, students at Bilgi University protested the firing of Professor Zeynep Sayın Balıkçıoğlu.[15]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 41°00′46.93″N 28°57′49.95″E / 41.0130361°N 28.9638750°E / 41.0130361; 28.9638750