Ozyegin University (OzU) is a non-profit, foundation-supported, state-recognized, financially accessible, and entrepreneurial research university. It was established in 2007 with a vision to form a knowledge triangle of education, research, and innovation and to interact with and meet the needs of society. OzU aims its students and graduates to become individuals who have high international competitiveness and inter-cultural competencies to thrive in an interconnected society. Based on this international approach, the language of instruction of all the academic programmes at OzU is English, except for the Law Faculty. OzU recruits students from over 65 countries and hires academic and administrative staff from various countries by following effective equality and non-discrimination policies.
OzU believes that internationalization enhances the quality of education and research, civic engagement, and the quality of university life and aims to integrate all these elements attributed to higher education and create an environment that provides multiple opportunities for intercultural exchange to support creativity, learning, and discovery. To this end, OzU adopts a multidimensional strategy to facilitate a multi-cultural student experience; aims to increase the number of student and staff mobility, to support the international research and development activities, international and inter-sectoral collaboration; and to establish the necessary structures to serve the multinational world. In light of this strategy, strengthening the quality of education and services through mobility and cross-border cooperation is one of the key objectives of our institution. The Erasmus programme is a big contributor to our efforts to increase our visibility and to take part in joint research possibilities with partner universities. OzU has received excellent results from its participation in European and international cooperation projects so far, including the Jean Monnet programme, which enables us to share experience in teaching and research, as well as strengthen our international reputation.
The internationalization policy supports the EU’s modernization and internationalization agenda for Higher Education, and the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education is an essential part to realize the strategic goals that will build on what has already been achieved. The key concepts identified by the institutional strategic plan and the internationalization policy involve a multidimensional strategy to create a multicultural student experience and supporting student and staff mobility, international research & development activities. In efforts to support the EU’s agenda, the Bologna Process serves as an essential framework for the design of all of OzU’s educational programmes. OzU will follow on the initiatives developed by the Commission to work towards a European Education Area, and is a recent member of the European University Association (EUA) and a signatory to the Magna Charta Universitatum.
To facilitate the mobility of individuals, transparency, and recognition of qualifications, curriculum development is based on the European and national qualifications frameworks and the ECTS is used for credit allocation. OzU promotes and makes full use of the existing recognition tools such as ECTS, Europass, and the Diploma Supplement. OzU abides by these principles strictly, and has achieved an automatic recognition mechanism for the credits earned abroad and will continue to implement and fully support the recognition of qualifications and the outcomes of learning periods abroad.
While designing the academic programmes, OzU secures the internationalization perspective through the quality and assurance process and carries out necessary enhancements to improve functionality and sustainability. The Framework for Qualifications of the European Higher Education Area and the National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education in Turkey lay the foundation for designing the academic curricula, facilitating student mobility, respecting the transparency principle, and recognizing the qualifications. The international protocols and collaborations developed are closely monitored with the academic programme coordinators and are regularly updated and enhanced per the feedback of the outgoing students about partner institutions. The Accreditation and Quality Assurance Unit apply for memberships to international associations and consortiums, as well as international rankings.
Ozyegin University aims to become an internationally recognized, entrepreneurial research university with accredited programmes and top placements in the international rankings. One of the institutional key objectives is to attract the best researchers and projects in the prioritized areas of research and development to increase the international competitive capacity of OzU and Turkey. In line with this strategic goal, increasing the number of international students and faculty; establishing partnerships with internationally reputable institutions, and the initiation of international collaboration for research and scientific activities by the faculty members are highly encouraged.
The faculty members are active researchers who are well-recognized in their respective areas and are experienced in applying their research results in building innovative businesses. OzU has managed to attract several quality graduate students and a healthy amount of funding, both from industry and government agencies. OzU has ranked among the first 10 out of all the universities in Turkey multiple times and puts great importance on strengthening its research portfolio and international collaborations with the support of the Technology Transfer Office (TTO). As a result of TTO’s efforts, a remarkable volume of OzU’s research funds comes from international projects. TTO will continue to play a significant role in the research management system of the university and will continue to link our education and research activities with the business world, and contribute to regional and global development.
OzU adopts a multidimensional and inclusive approach that offers possibilities for innovation and develops an environment that includes different cultures and points of view. The university evolves in an environment of diversity, providing different opportunities for intercultural exchange and supporting creativity, learning, and discovery. Hence, great importance is attached to international academic cooperation and exchange programmes offered to students and faculty members. All outgoing and incoming mobility participants are regarded as international ambassadors who can contribute to their local communities with the experience they gained through the Erasmus programme. In line with the internationalization policies, the student and staff mobility is considered as an important aspect. Serious efforts are devoted to providing the outgoing and incoming mobility participants with an international perspective and experience.
Ozyegin University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programmes in the social sciences, humanities, law, management, engineering, aviation, hospitality, gastronomy, and architecture & design, and also boasts a School of Languages to support the multilingual needs of the students. With more than 130 existing Erasmus+ agreements with European HEI’s, OzU aims to maintain partnerships in multiple locations over a vast geography. OzU has been establishing international partnerships based on the quality and compatibility of respective academic programmes across different disciplines. The faculty members have extensive international experience, which contributes substantially to establishing and sustaining partnerships abroad. As of today, more than a total of 170 partnerships have been established in over 38 countries. Erasmus agreements with partner countries constitute the majority of OzU’s bilateral agreements; however, there is an increased interest for cooperation in other parts of the world, such as North America, Australia, and Asia. The possibility of engaging in KA107 ICM projects with institutions from these parts of the world will be explored in the scope of mobility between Programme and Partner Countries.
In line with the idea of being an accessible and inclusive institution, a financial support model was developed at the establishment of the university to make it accessible to students from various socio-economic segments of Turkey and the region. In line with this model, there are generous merit-based scholarships available to qualifying students. “Equal Opportunities in Education Scholarship Programme” is one of these scholarships and has been initiated to address the financial problems of successful students who are not able to afford an education at international standards. The programme has been in effect since the 2015-2016 academic year and enables students to be given 100% academic scholarship in any faculty, stay at the dorms free of charge, and receive a monthly stipend as long as they study at OzU. As part of our efforts to ensure that fair and equitable opportunities are provided to all potential Erasmus programme participants, including groups with fewer opportunities of participation who are usually under-represented in mobility programmes, OzU implements the Turkish National Agency’s evaluation criteria and awards bonus points to eligible applicants. All individuals applying for mobility with fewer opportunities for participation are offered special assistance, in the form of additional financial support as well as being awarded bonus points during the evaluation phase. On the other hand, OzU does not tolerate any type of discrimination in the administration of its educational and employment policies, its scholarship conferment, or any university-sponsored programmes or activities and will continue to do its best to guarantee a gender balance in the cohort of mobility participants.
Ozyegin University has always strived to be a green university since the day it was founded. Sustainability is one of the core elements that was included in the University’s first founding strategy and stands out in its research practices and education principles. Research on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals corresponds to 20% of OzU’s collective research funds. In fact, these research projects extend far beyond the limits of research, and cover a wide spectrum of activities, from academic publications to conferences, from MakerLab, which provides the necessary infrastructure for research, to the Finance Laboratory, and even training programmes for women entrepreneurs. As a testament to our commitment to being a green and sustainable university, three of our campus buildings received the LEED Gold Certificate based on the measurements of the US Green Buildings Council. OzU also houses an on-campus Energy Distribution Center, to manage all on-campus energy generation and consumption and has comprehensive building automation applications and well-organized water and waste management practices in place. The environmental management system is designed in a way to ensure that it is easily adopted by students, faculty, and staff, and is an integral part of their lives. As part of this system, OzU promotes and supports training programmes, seminars, events, and activities to increase environmental awareness. In addition to the eco-friendly practices at its campus, OzU will continue to promote environmentally sustainable and responsible behaviour among Erasmus programme participants. As part of this endeavour and as a result of the rapid development of digital technologies changing the ways universities operate on so many levels, the transition to the “Erasmus Without Papers” will be ensured to carry out the administrative tasks digitally. The “EWP” will ease the management of and communication with mobility participants as well as providing more efficient and environmentally friendly management of student data. Apart from digitalizing these services, OzU will also promote the opportunities provided by the programme to support sustainable means of travel and reduce the negative impact of mobility on the environment. OzU is making conscious efforts to minimize the impact on the planet by making on-campus events more sustainable. These efforts include recycling waste paper, reusing, and/or recycling any potential waste in order to prevent environmental pollution. OzU guarantees that it will protect the environment, help reduce environmental pollution, increase energy efficiency, comply with the effective legislations, satisfy the compliance requirements, and continuously improve its eco-management system to increase its performance. Sustainable resource use for environmental protection entails recycling, putting emphasis on the quality of water and air, minimizing climate change, and the protection of biodiversity and ecosystems.