Istanbul Bilgi University
|Motto||"Non scholae sed vitae discimus"|
Motto in English
|We do not learn for the school, but for life|
|Rector||Prof. Dr. Mehmet Durman|
|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 Public Benefit Corporation. Laureate is also a B Corporation. The purpose of a benefit corporation is to create general public benefit, which is defined as 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."
The Bilgi Education and Culture Foundation was founded on October 31, 1994 in Istanbul in accordance with the following provision of the Turkish Civil Law: “To found and operate educational institutions and foundation based higher education institutions of every degree and quality and provide teaching in foreign languages, social sciences, sciences, and technology, to conduct scientific and cultural research, to found and operate museums that aim to protect the country’s cultural heritage, to conduct seminars, briefings, conferences, and similar gatherings to develop the country’s cultural position, and to provide aid or financial aid to people and corporations that conduct cultural activities.”
The school has three campuses in the heart of Istanbul, providing more than 14,000 students with a range of social and cultural activities that create a vibrant university life. 
- 1 Rankings and awards
- 2 History and Organization
- 3 Education
- 4 Campuses
- 5 Student Life
- 6 Libraries and Museums
- 7 Notable past and present faculty
- 8 Alumni Association
- 9 Community Involvement
- 10 Silencing Dissent
- 11 See also
- 12 External links
- 13 References
Rankings and awards
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.
Bilgi faculty and alumni have been honored with World Bank and OECD Global Development Learning Network recognition, American Academy of Achievement Award, Cannes Lions Young Entrepreneurs Award, and Restfest Film and Digital Arts Festival Award. It is ranked among the top in Turkey for its English medium education system.
Bilgi University's Dolapdere campus received the 2002 "Structure and Life Architecture Award" and the 2005 "European Award for Steel Structure."
History and Organization
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 is recognized as a pioneer in providing 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. 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). The same year, Samil Erdogan became the administrator of Bilgi's International Center.  On October 2, 2010, US President Bill Clinton also presented a speech to hundreds of students at Bilgi University. 
Bilgi University is organised into 6 distinct faculties, a vocational school, and 4 institutions which form the university's graduate school. BILGI's e-MBA program in English and Turkish is the first online program accredited by the Turkish Council of Higher Education. The university maintains several research centers, including the Center for Applied Research in Arts, Culture and Museology; Human Rights Law Research Center; Marine Law Research Center; IT Law Research Center; Social, Economic and Political Research Center; and Center for Migration Research. BILGI operates under the aegis of the Turkish Higher Education Council and is a participant in the Bologna process. Its English Preparatory School is accredited by EQUALS.
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.
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.
Internationality is one of the most important aspects of İstanbul Bilgi University. Therefore, the university aims to provide services and encourage its domestic and international students to participate in any exchange, language or summer programs that are available at all times. İstanbul Bilgi University has signed agreements with a number of universities all over the world. The purpose of this initiative is to able to offer all BİLGİ students the chance to study in some of the most prestigious universities worldwide, taking advantage of the agreements for the bilateral programs, Erasmus or the Laureate Universities Network.
Libraries and Museums
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
- Gulten Kazgan - Emeritus Professor
- Ugur Alacakaptan - Emeritus Professor
- Mete Tuncay - Emeritus Professor
- Ali Nesin - Professor of Mathematics
- Murat Belge
- İsmail Cem (1940-2007)
- Ricky Ford
- Pınar Kür
- Betül Mardin
- Ulus Baker
- İlter Turan
- Şule Kut
- İlhan Usmanbaş
- Serap Yazıcı
- Derviş Zaim
- Niyazi Öktem
- Laszlo Nemeth
- Butch Morris
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.
Istanbul Bilgi University offers learning programs for residents of local communities. The university works in conjunction with the International Youth Foundation and the Laureate Foundation to offer the Young Social Entrepreneurs at Bilgi award, which provides support for Turkey’s young social entrepreneurs. Bilgi signed the [United Nations Global Compact] and has joined the UN Global Compact working group on higher education. Bilgi University is launching a program to raise awareness among students of their responsibility to society. 
According to University of Bilgi's literature the school "has attempted to establish a community that promotes tolerance and respect for diversity of individuals with different lifestyles, beliefs and ways of thinking within the framework of contemporary universal values." 
Also according to their literature, "The University’s academic staff and students are entitled to academic freedom which includes the right, without restriction by prescribed doctrine, to freedom of teaching, discussion, scholarly and creative work and service, freedom in carrying out research and disseminating and publishing the results thereof, freedom to express their personal opinions, freedom from institutional censorship, and freedom to participate in professional or representative academic bodies."  The literature adds that the "University safeguards its academic staff against improper or arbitrary actions, including personal malice and political coercion."
However, Turkish authorities and Bilgi administration have not been consistent with this message.
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. 
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." 
- Istanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association
- Istanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association Training Center
- Istanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association HR Unit
- Vitae - Istanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association Monthly Magazine
- Istanbul Bilgi University Publications
- Istanbul Bilgi University Department of Computer Science
- Cinema at Bilgi
- Bilgi Egitim
- Bilgi Career Center
- Bilgi in Pictures
- Matematik Dünyası-Popular Mathematics Journal edited by Ali Nesin (in Turkish)
- SantralMüzik-Online Journal on Music (in Turkish)
- Study in Turkey