Adopting the principle of 'Non scholae, sed vitae discimus' (We do not learn for the school, but for life), İstanbul Bilgi University took its place within the Turkish system of higher education as a civil corporation after the application made by the Bilgi Education and Culture Foundation on 7 June 1996 and the subsequent approval by the Turkish Grand National Assembly according to Law number 4142.
Over time İstanbul Bilgi University has grown to encompass 4 main campuses that total 158,000 m2 and it is on these four campuses (Kuştepe 25,000 m2, Dolapdere 18,000 m2, santralistanbul 112,000 m2 and Kozyatağı 2,880 m2) that it continues to serve its students and the academic world in Turkey.
Having realized many firsts in its 21 years and with the aim of increasing the quality of education and research and becoming a university that can compete globally, İstanbul Bilgi University began a long term partnership with Laureate Education, one of the largest international education networks in the world, in 2006 and continues to be a part of this network.
The university currently has 25,000 students, nearly 1,000 academic staff members, 7 faculties, 5 institutes, 4 schools, 3 vocational schools, and 200 programs that provide education to its associate, undergraduate and graduate students. As of 2017, the university has graduated approximately 30,000 students.