The Bologna Process serves as an essential framework for the design all of Özyeğin University's (OzU) educational programs. To facilitate the mobility of people, 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 and the Diploma Supplement.
The following dimensions are included and implemented in OzU’s internationalization strategy: international students and international faculty, internationally ranked and accredited programs, student-faculty exchange and study-tour programs, dual/multiple degree programmes with international partners, delivery of programs abroad, memberships in international university associations, and internationalization at home.
OzU is a financially accessible and entrepreneurial research university. In all of its programs, OzU aspires to be recognized nationally and internationally as one of the top ten in Turkey, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and part of the world’s top 200. With this vision, the institution targets to become a regional center of attraction for top students and faculty. 60% of the OzU faculty come from the top 100 universities around the world, while 85% come from the global top 200 universities. OzU is actively recruiting full-time international students from numerous countries. The targeted ratio of international students is 15%.
Our faculty has extensive international experience which contributes substantially to establishing and sustaining partnerships abroad. OzU aims to maintain partnerships in multiple locations over a vast geography. Currently, 65 partnerships have been established in over 25 countries. Erasmus agreements constitute the majority of OzU’s bilateral agreements; however, cooperation in other parts of the world, such as North America, Australia, and Asia, is also increasing. OzU has been establishing partnerships based on the quality and relevance of respective academic programs across different disciplines.
OzU's mobility ratio is 33% and a considerable number of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 graduates have benefitted from either study or placement mobility. Mobility programs do not exclude any group of students; however, undergraduate students constitute a significant portion of our student body, and this majority is reflected in the number of outgoing students. As long as our prospective partners agree and programmes match, OzU is inclusive in terms of the levels of study included in the bilateral exchange agreements. Maintaining reciprocity in exchange student numbers is given special attention.
Establishing double/multiple degree programs is one of OzU’s internationalization targets. OzU explores multiple venues and opportunities in Europe towards implementing such degree programs. In the meantime, an opportunity to establish such degree program with US institutions has been realized, and, became applicable as of 2014.
In order to achieve our institutional targets, regular attendance at international student conferences, fairs, and global education conferences is also critical. Regular visits by international collaborators (for seminars, short courses, workshops, joint research) are accommodated. Memberships in international associations and consortiums are also formed.
Internationalization is one of the core principles of OzU, and the strategy of participating in European education policies, especially Erasmus, was formulated as of inauguration. In line with its vision of becoming a regional educational centre, implementing international cooperation projects is a priority for OzU. The IRO provides information and assistance regarding the implementation and preparation of international cooperation projects within the Program, with the support of relevant academic and administrative units. Dissemination of the best practices is an important tool used to establish and maintain novel implementations in the field. It is also critical to launch efficient partnerships that would create multiple opportunities for different beneficiaries.
Academic and administrative policies at OzU actively encourage faculty and staff mobility as well as participation in joint research, research consortia and thematic networks. In one very recent effort, a group of volunteering youth applied to a Youth Initiative and their project application was accepted during the 2012-13 academic year for a local project. In order to support the efforts of volunteering youth and add a valuable dimension to their work, international volunteerism will be introduced on campus. Similarly, close guidance on Intensive Programs has been provided to our faculty members who are planning to implement such programs. Guidance and administrative support is provided to faculty members who consider working on establishing thematic networks.
With its unique sectoral solutions approach and close proximity to different sectors of the economy, OzU is both nationally and regionally well-positioned to build structured partnerships with the business community. OzU will continue to extend its partnerships for Erasmus placement exchanges with the support of its Professional Development Unit and relevant faculties. OzU is a non-profit, foundation-supported, state-recognized HEI established in 2007 to form a knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation and to interact with and meet the needs of society.
OzU believes that internationalization enhances the quality of education and research, and wants to create an environment that provides multiple opportunities for intercultural exchange to support creativity, learning and discovery. Strengthening quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation is one of the key objectives of our institution.
Non-discrimination is one of OzU’s basic values. A non-discrimination statement covering gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin, creed, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity is widely publicized. 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. When crating the campus design, accessibility for the physically disabled was guaranteed. OzU community outreach projects, implemented by students and staff, have been improving substantially. These include mutual projects with the leading NGOs of the country as well as students’ own project ideas.
Close cooperation with the sectors has been one of the founding pillars of our institution. As part of the core curriculum, practical training is compulsory for Ozyegin University students, who have the option to complete it internationally. The skills and competences defined for the programs seek to provide a high degree of employability upon graduation with stakeholder input built into course design and content in order to match the knowledge, understanding and skills of future labor market needs. Representatives from different sectors visit our campus frequently and attend to sectoral courses besides carrying out projects with OzU students.
OzU is an entrepreneurial research university. Our faculty members are active researchers, well-recognized in their respective areas. They are experienced in applying their research results in building novel businesses. OzU has managed to attract quality graduate students and a healthy amount of funding, both from industry and government agencies. OzU has ranked among the first 10 out of 165 universities in Turkey and was awarded with Technology Transfer Office (TTO) support. The TTO will maintain the research management system of the university. Entrepreneurship is emphasized at different levels, from offering the first undergraduate and graduate programs to assisting students and professionals in developing business ideas. The Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE) aims to build entrepreneurship culture and skills with its education, research, and outreach programs targeting both individuals and legal entities.