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İstanbul Gelişim University



İstanbul Gelişim University (IGU) is an 11-year-old, a very young, institution, which has set ambitious goals for itself to become a “world university” through research, internationally accredited education, community service and quality based governance.

IGU is advocating that higher education is the most important tool of sustainable development and today it also has more than 25 thousand national and international students; There are 3 faculties, 4 schools, 2 vocational schools, 3 institutes with its 71 undergraduate program, 57 associate daytime program, 38 associate night program, 17 thesis, 15 non-thesis graduate programs and 4 doctoral programs.

To achieve its goals stated in its 5-year strategic plan the University is making major investments in its physical; human resources; educational and research capacity. IGU has purchased a new campus area of 285000m2 including a 30-storey smart building (physical capacity investment);  the number of staff members has risen to 1142 (HR investment); has more than 24000 active and 22000 graduate students, 106 labs and studios in 198 graduate and undergraduate programs (educational investments); the best research and publications monetary incentives in Turkey, the patent applications champion of 2017 and #2 in 2018 (research investments) are of many actualized goals.

For the purpose of internationalization IGU has set up a two-step strategy: 1)Increasing institutional legitimacy 2) Building institutional capacity  to attract international students:

In 2017, IGU has applied to highly respected program accreditation agencies; AQAS (Germany) for Social and Applied Sciences Programs; ABET (USA) for Engineering Programs.  The international accreditation processes is described by the University administration as a means of feedback mechanism on program designs and outcomes, as an “external auditing” tool of the educational investments, and as another means to continuously improve the educational quality of the school. More importantly, international accreditation is described as an organizational legitimacy builder for an 11-year-old young University. Without internationally recognized programs and supporting institutional capacity, it would not be possible to attract international students, staff and partners nor it would be possible to become a world university.

In 2018, from the 4 accreditation agencies 26 international auditor panels consisting of scholars, business professionals and students has visited IGU campus and inspected facilities, classrooms, labs, archives; joined courses; analyzed university’s digital systems; interviewed professors, students, graduates and external stakeholders for each program.  As a result, IGU has broken a Turkish record with 54 internationally accredited programs as the “leading Turkish University with the most internationally accredited programs” and the process for some other programs is still continuing. Moreover; IGU is accepted as the first and only Board Member of AQAS from outside Germany.

One of the most important steps was the founding of The International Student Office with 11 multilingual international staff on January 2018 specialized in recruiting new international students. In one year ISO signed 103 international collaboration agreements and combined with the positive effect of other steps of the IGU strategy the number of international students surged to 664 in 2018 from 28 in 2017 and the nationality diversity increased from 9 to 56. 

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