Social Engagement Policy

Istanbul Bilgi University’s social engagement policy is built upon the principles of full enjoyment of human rights and freedoms by all, gender equality, social inclusion, diversity and sustainable development. Social engagement at BİLGİ includes, but is not limited to, research, projects, seminars, workshops, courses, conferences, trainings and summer schools, all of which aim to empower vulnerable groups, raise awareness on social issues and build capacity within the civil society, the public and private sectors. BİLGİ aims to provide a safe space for discussion of all social issues.

Social Engagement through Research and Projects

Believing that social engagement activities will fail to achieve their aims unless they are combined with a profound understanding of social issues, interdisciplinary research is considered as a key component of social engagement. In order to guarantee the highest relevance and impact, a wide range of stakeholders are consulted at all stages of research and projects via innovative models of engagement. Research and projects prioritize the disadvantaged and vulnerable sectors of the society, aiming to shed a light on the causes of their vulnerability, as well as to create partnerships towards their empowerment, with both the civil society and the public and private sectors.

The strong support by Istanbul Bilgi University Publications allows for a wide dissemination of such research.

Student Involvement in Social Engagement

Education at BİLGİ is based on the principle of 'non scholae, sed vitae discimus' (learning not for school but for life). Involvement of students in social engagement activities is considered an effective instrument in the realization of this principle. Academic programs across BİLGİ encourage students both through courses and other means to get socially engaged; enabling the students to further develop their problem-solving skills and to assume social responsibility. Student clubs are an essential part of such efforts; allowing students to experience the power of active citizenship, responsibility, leadership and cooperation.

Cooperation with and Empowerment of the Civil Society

As the key actors of pluralistic democracy, non-governmental organizations are the major partners of BİLGİ’s social engagement efforts. BİLGİ values the knowledge and expertise of the civil society and recognizes them as agents of social change. Believing that an ever-growing civil society is the key to strengthening democracy, the capacity building of the civil society has always been and will continue to be an important mission of BİLGİ. BİLGİ will also continue to be a hub for cooperation between non-governmental organizations and the public and private sectors.

Cooperation with the Public and Private Sectors

BİLGİ considers partnerships with the public sector both at the local and national levels as vital for the greater sustainability of the social engagement efforts. Providing a space where civil society and the public sector join on an equal footing, BİLGİ’s partnerships enable the development of cooperation between the civil society and the public sector by enhancing constructive dialogue between these sectors. The increasing awareness within the private sector regarding its social responsibility is considered by BİLGİ as an opportunity to broaden the dialogue and to facilitate partnerships which include the private sector.

Open Campus and Access to Resources

Believing that universities are common spaces where life prospers in all aspects, BİLGİ adopts an open campus policy where ideas and experiences are shared freely. BİLGİ libraries in all campuses do not only open their physical doors but also open the doors of a world of knowledge to the general public.