Why Choose Koç University?
Koç University was founded in 1993 as a non-profit private university in Istanbul, Turkey. Since its establishment, Koç University has become one of the leading universities in Turkey, distinguished by notable contributions to the elevation of education, knowledge and service both domestically and beyond.

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Please also see our latest fact sheet here.

Why Turkey?

“It is time to notice Turkey as an emerging market and regional leader. For institutions around the world, collaborating with Turkish institutions enables one to examine the mosaic of this country with an intimacy and perspective that is impossible to fully capture beyond its borders.”

Turkey is decisively a significant emerging economy that has attracted international interest in all sectors for the last decade. With sustainable growth and OECD projections suggesting that growth will continue to rise, Turkey is attracting attention worldwide. Istanbul has become an international hub for universities, policy centers and corporations cognizant of the country’s geostrategic value and its good relations with both the Middle East and the West. Its membership in the G20 further underscores its emerging relevance and influence on a global scale. Already, Turkey has become the 16th largest economy in the world. With a time zone conducive to several financial markets, and a system in place to leverage this reality, Turkey has become a center for financial activity and investment.

Several features of Turkey, features constructed through the development of educated thought and reasonable mind, pave the way for the country’s success. Serving as a critical energy corridor, securing a liberal investment climate and sound infrastructure, encouraging booming domestic markets and export activity, and establishing favorable trade conditions, Turkey’s economy is strategically and fiscally strong. Further, with 65% of the population 35 and under and the country’s success in creating a qualified labor force, Turkey’s role as a regional leader and global contributor indicates strong reasons for studying, understanding and investing in this country.

Beyond the country’s relevance in the global marketplace, it serves as a model of democratic ideology for its region, a role made even more important by the current upheaval in the Middle East. Further, firm in its decision to maintain good relations with both its neighbors and the West, Turkey is a critical player in global affairs. In short, it is time to notice Turkey as an emerging market and regional leader, trends that are the product of an educated populous taking action. It is time to examine its duality as a bridge of East and West and old and new, a country where the call to prayer emanating from the mosques intermingles with the rock music blasting out of a car stereo, where people connect to their faith while retaining their freedom, where a rich heritage and national identity coexist with modernization and innovation.

For institutions around the world, collaborating with Turkish institutions enables one to examine the mosaic of this country with an intimacy and perspective that is impossible to fully capture beyond its borders. Whether one is an economist wanting to learn how to leverage the dynamism of the marketplace; whether one is a political scientist curious to understand Turkey’s role in the region and the globe; whether one is an archeologist eager to unearth the many lifetimes embedded in the soil of this country; whether one is a scientist, an engineer, or simply an adventurous mind, learning from and in Turkey is a unique asset for a multitude of academic pursuits and institutional goals.

Further, economic and practical realities lead to vigorous competition among the youth. For the 1.5 million people who take the university entrance exam each year, only 900,000 university spots are available. Universities, particularly the leading universities, thus design demanding curricula intended to foster students’ potential and secure their success at a global level.

The educational system in Turkey is a demanding one. The conviction with which the system was established is palpable in the excellence of institutions throughout Turkey, focused on creating leaders with the high levels of competence and multi-dimensional awareness necessary to preserve and refine the country’s ideological “youth” and modernist perspective. From an early age, students face demanding academic concepts and an expectation to be disciplined and dedicated to their education, an education considered critical to the continued elevation of the country as a whole. With the emergence of ubiquitous media channels and a socioeconomic reality conducive to self-exploration, the youth are dynamic, driven, fueled by curiosity and optimism for their futures.

Guidelines for International Cooperative Agreements

Guidelines for International Cooperative Agreements

Koc University’s position as a leading global university is enhanced by the well-established partnerships with prominent higher education institutions worldwide. International Partnership Development aims to build and nurture these collaborations with a strategic approach.

Our partner institutions should complement the University’s strengths and further the core missions of teaching and research. International affiliations should be based on clear commitments from Koç University colleges or schools and departments and the partnering institutions, and should offer long-term benefits to the participating Koç University unit(s) and the partnering institutions. Sustainability of the affiliation should be a major factor when selecting a partner institution.

International agreements, which formalize the University’s international partnerships, are established by a process of consultation, negotiation and approval, in accordance with the University’s rules and procedures.

Process for establishing an international agreement

The first step in setting up an international agreement (of a type handled by Exchange Programs & Partnerships Team) is to complete a Proposal to Negotiate an International Agreement (Proposal) which sets out relevant details of the proposed agreement, including parties, scope of proposed activities and benefits to the University. (Note: Co-tutelle and Double/Joint Degree Agreements have a different initiating process and do not use the Proposal form).

In addition to securing approvals from relevant stakeholders at the University, the Proposal should be circulated to the Exchange Programs & Partnerships Team for feedback on how the proposed partnership aligns with relevant regional objectives and initiatives, and the University’s Strategic Plan.

Once a completed Proposal is submitted to the International Partnerships Coordinator, a draft agreement will be produced. This draft will then be circulated for internal comment from stakeholders at the University, before being shared with the proposed partner institution for its review and comment.

Preparation and negotiation of draft agreements can be a lengthy process. The International Partnerships Coordinator will be able to advise on an indicative time-frames. Urgent agreements will be given corresponding priority.

The University uses standard templates for all of the types of agreements listed below. Arrangements that depart from the standard templates will need to be reviewed by the Office of International Programs.

Types of Agreements

The University has approximately 300 active agreements with international institutions, of a type handled (or recorded) by Exchange Programs & Partnerships Team including:

  • Erasmus+ KA103 Student & Faculty Mobility
  • Erasmus+ KA107 International Credit Mobility
  • Double Degree Program Agreements
  • Joint Degree Program Agreements
  • Joint Study Abroad and Exchange Agreements
  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOU)
  • Sponsored Project &Student Scholarship Agreements
  • Faculty Exchange Agreements
  • Student Clinical Placement Exchange Agreements
  • Student Co-tutelle Agreements
  • Student Exchange Agreements
  • Student Exchange Agreements for the Master of Management(CEMS) /CEMS Masters in International Management
  • Summer Exchange Agreements
  • Visiting Scholar Agreement (VSA)You can search the University’s International Partnership Agreements Database for an overview of where the University is engaged regionally and globally.

The Vice President’s Office for Research and Development at the University provides support in relation to all research agreements (commercial, government and non-commercial) that involve the management of research and intellectual property.

Since 2014 Summer, Koç University Visiting Scholar Program is managing by the Vice President’s Office for Academic Affairs.

Faculty members with research appointments (Asst. Prof., Assoc. Prof. or Prof.) can apply to take advantage of the Koç University Visiting Scholar Program. Applicants (other than those for Harvard) are expected to make arrangements with the University they wish to visit and to obtain an invitation from thereof. This program is managed by VPAA Office.

Similarly, we encourage faculty members to extend invitations to scholars working at international universities to participate in the Visiting Scholar Program at Koç University so that we can establish the foundations for research-oriented and long-lasting partnerships.

Koç University support for outgoing scholars include:

  • a stipend of USD 3000 (for 8-week visits) for outgoing faculty members,
  • a round-trip economy class airfare,
  • outgoing participants are expected to make their own housing arrangements.

Koç University support for incoming scholars who will be hosted by a Koç faculty include:

  • a round-trip economy class airfare,
  • accommodation at faculty housing at no cost (subject to availability).

Faculty members interested in participating in this program to visit another university or to host a visiting researcher should first discuss their possible visits with their deans and secure their support, then they should send the application form* and other required documents to vpaa@ku.edu.tr.

Internationalization of Turkish Research Universities (ITRU)
The Internationalization of Turkish Research Universities (ITRU) Group is a new initiative of the International Offices of five of Turkey’s top public and not-for-profit research intensive universities that aims to bring together their expertise to create new synergies and strengths and in the long term contribute to further improve the quality of The Turkish Higher Education System in the area of internationalization. At present the group is comprised of representatives from the International Offices of:

◉ Bilkent University (BU), Ankara (Not-for-profit/Foundation)
◉ Boğaziçi University (BOUN), Istanbul (Public/State)
◉ Koç University (KU), Istanbul (Not-for-profit/Foundation)
◉ Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara (Public/State)
◉ Sabancı University (SU), Istanbul (Not-for-profit/Foundation)

For more information, please visit ITRU’s webpage