Koç University News & Announcements Bulletin

August 2018


Dear Members of the Koç University Community,

This year, the all-important undergraduate student recruitment and placement period, which traditionally takes place in July, being the month after the University Placement Exams in Turkey, was switched to August as the exam took place much later, at the end of June, due to the National Elections. 

This one-month delay, however, did not take away a bit from the hustle and bustle of that two-week marathon which ended on August 14th, right before the Feast of Sacrifice. 

This year, we once again had thousands of visitors, candidate students and families who had a chance to visit our wonderful campus, talk to our faculty members and Deans and listen to a host of presentations. Many of these visitors may not end up enrolling at Koç University; nevertheless, we strongly feel that our ‘rendezvous’ with them is an outstanding opportunity for us to orient these bright students in making healthy and well-founded choices, wherever they eventually decide to go. After all, the fact that these visitors are here means that they have scored high enough in the national exam to consider the opportunity to be placed at Koç University; that in turn means that they are within the top 5% of all high school graduates in the country!

My personal highlights of these fast-paced and exciting two weeks are the times when I get to stand every single day in front of a full house of eager families and student candidates at our Sevgi Gönül Cultural Center (SGKM), to share with them the vision of our university and to talk to them about what makes us different. My goal really is to try to orient them in the direction of making choices along the lines of what the young candidates are really excited and enthusiastic about, rather than being overly guided by the advice and direction of parents, siblings and friends or by the perceived employment opportunities in one field or another.

As part of my brief introductory remarks, I spell out in macroscopic detail the tremendous investment of the Vehbi Koç Foundation in our country via our university, both in terms of capital investment in our facilities and the generous financial contribution we receive every year for our operating budget. I talk about the deep sense of responsibility that myself and my colleagues feel in trying to utilize these resources in the most impactful way for our bright students so that we can best serve our country. I am so glad to see that we are seeing the fruits of these investments as the profile of students that get placed each year and the profile of our graduates continues to get better.  

There is a ‘Groundhog-day’ effect in these gatherings, as I basically talk about the same stuff every day, albeit to completely different audiences. I repeatedly talk about our emphasis on providing a free environment guided only by the wants and wishes of students and faculty, minimizing central regulation and bureaucratic impediments to the pursuit of excellence. I tell our visitors that our vision is to gather excellent people and then ‘get out of their way’. People produce the best and the most when they are the freest, so all we really have to do is to provide and protect the free environment.

I am proud to be talking about our successes, whether it be in terms of the vigorous global search efforts for outstanding faculty members and the fact that 11 out of the 32 people we hired this year for Colleges other than the School of Medicine, are foreigners, or the rising number of double-majors each year or the fact that 8 out of the 14 mega-grants (1.5 to 2.5M Euro each) in Turkey from the European Research Council are hosted at Koç University or the exceptional rankings of our undergraduates or the richness of our student clubs. My feeling of pride about these accomplishments of our great institutions is accentuated even more by the admiration and respect on the many faces in the audience.

The question and answer session that is part of these events is always enjoyable and memorable, especially when excited and worried parents sometimes take it upon themselves to ask off-the-beat questions, even as the students sitting right next to them are obviously embarrassed by the exchange. Nevertheless, more often than not, I am pleased to see the student candidates in charge, asking questions with great self-confidence and poise, with parents listening on the side.

Our other excitement during this period is the selection of the Anatolian scholarship students who come from far corners of our beautiful country and who are quite successful in the national placement exam but are ranked just below the lowest rankings of placement at KU with full scholarship. This year, we were able to select no less than 124 students from among 4000 applicants from all around Anatolia. We are very grateful to our donors, both companies and people, who sponsor these bright-but-needy students. Since 2011, a total of 376 students were recruited to KU under this program, rising to 87 in 2017 from the 60 per year average of previous years. The placement of more than 120 students this year is thus a new record, surpassing all of our targets, about which we are elated.  The program has now acquired a truly national character, with a total number of 216 sponsoring companies supporting no less than 500 students!  Our alumni classes provided enough funding to support 18 of the new Anatolian Scholars, a huge feat for a young university, especially considering that almost all our graduating classes are now giving back to our wonderful school. I thank our alumni for their generous support and hope to see growing participation on their part in this program.

As usual, we now wait for the placement results with anticipation and excitement, and we eagerly look forward to meeting and welcoming our new incoming class!

September is already around the corner and promises to be as exciting as ever, with the upcoming kick off of our annual Homecoming, bringing together our alumni and their loved ones. We also look forward to our ‘Time Capsule’ ceremony for our newly-minted class of 2018 on the ‘alumni pathway’, which should be another joyous and emotional event.

September is also when we shall live the remaining 25th year celebratory events, including a classical music concert, a special performance by our very successful musical club and a reunion at our first Campus, all building up to the final birthday celebration on October 4th, 2018, the 25th anniversary of the ‘First Lecture’ presented by our founder, the late Vehbi Koç.

My best wishes and regards to you all,

Umran Inan



2018 Undergraduate Student Recruitment and Placement Period

Throughout the first two weeks in August, hundreds of prospective students and their families visited Rumelifeneri Campus for the annual recruitment and placement period, offering them an opportunity to learn more about our University, meet faculty members and visit the campus.

We wish them all the very best in their future university life.

Koç University wins two awards at the 2018 International Business Awards

The Koç University Anatolian Scholarship Program and Koç University Annual Report both received honors at the ‘Stevie Awards’, the world’s premier business awards. Launched in 2002, the Stevie Awards Competition recognizes business achievements by organizations and individuals from more than sixty nations.

The 'Together We Can Achieve More' campaign for Anatolian Scholarship Program is a series of short documentary films telling the story of six young Anatolian scholars. The campaign won Gold in the 'Non-Profit Fund Raising' category.

This year's Koç University Annual Report received a Silver Stevie for 'Best Annual Report - Print'.

‘I Remember’ Video Series

'I Remember' is a series of short videos to commemorate Koç University's 25th Anniversary. The short videos featuring Koç University faculty and staff include personal memories and key moments from the history of our University from its first days to the present.

Visit the 25th Anniversary website to relive some of the most memorable moments of the last 25 years.