Center for Sociology and Education Studies (SECBİR)

SEÇBİR aims to increase information and the sharing of knowledge between primary and secondary school teachers and academia by acting as a bridge between the two fields. SEÇBİR develops materials on how to deal with concepts such as identity, multilingual education, discrimination, democracy, citizenship, poverty, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity in primary and secondary schools, as well as the arranging of educational seminars and the conducting of field research in schools on these issues.

Center for Civil Society Studies (STCM)

The main purpose of the Center for Civil Society Studies, established in 2008, is to support the development of a civil society both in Turkey and in the world. The Center aims to contribute to this progress by means of conducting scientific research, application and training programs, publications and documentation on the social, economic, and cultural dimensions of this development. Working in cooperation with official and private institutions, and non-governmental organizations, it strives to contribute to the accumulation of knowledge in related fields. STCM is an umbrella formation for the units NGO Research and Training Center, Child Studies Unit and Youth Studies Unit at BILGI.

NGO Training and Research Center

  • Child Studies Unit (ÇOÇA)
  • Youth Studies Unit

Center for Migration Research

İstanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research, as the first migration research center to carry out large scale, multi-dimensional scientific researches in Turkey, started its studies as a unit of the Social, Economic and Political Research Center at BILGI and was founded in 2005. Historically Turkey has been affected by, and has produced, diverse forms of migratory movements and refugee flows. It is within such a climate that the Center for Migration Research has formulated its mission to strengthen institutional co-ordination among researchers through several networking activities, support new research and joint projects, and produce reliable information based on research findings that can contribute to realistic policy and decision-making processes. Research Centre for the Environment, Energy and Sustainability

The centre, established in Fall 2010, aims to contribute to studies carried out in the field of the environment, taking into account all aspects of environmental problems, including energy and sustainability. The center also targets to construct a bridge between all stakeholders (universities, NGOs, public institutions, private sector etc).

Human Rights Law Research Center

The Center at BILGI was established in late 2000 with considerable support from BILGI Law Faculty. The Center’s sphere of activity covers all fields of human rights law. Since its inception the Center, either alone or in cooperation with national or international partners have carried out research projects as well as trainings for various target groups, including judges and prosecutors, civil society organizations, local and central public authorities etc. The Center’s research and training activities mainly focus on women’s human rights, domestic and international human rights monitoring mechanisms, anti-discrimination, minority rights, refugee rights, rights of persons with disabilities, freedom of expression and internet freedoms, access to justice and judiciary, human rights education and human rights activism. The Center also supports the work of the other research and training units and programs at BILGI.


The European Institute at İstanbul Bilgi University was established in 2007 with three main pillars: EU politics, EU economics and EU law. The Institute also works on and researches intensively issues such as perception of EU values (aka universal values such as democracy, human rights, gender equality, freedom of press, intercultural relations, ethics) in Turkey with a special focus on societal issues and civil society. The Institute has been involved in a large number of EU funded projects which allowed research and academic publications on these important themes. The European Institute also reaches out to different segments of civil society with the support of partnerships with local Authorities (Municipalities) and NGOs.The Institute has currently two Marie Curie Fellowships, two Horizon 2020 projects due to start in April 2016, as well as two Jean Monnet Chairs. It has also recently completed two Jean Monnet "Learning EU at School" Project (Digital EU: E-Book for High School students in Turkey I and II) which produced an E Book for high school students largely focusing on universal values and it’s companion Teachers Manual.It is due to achievements such as these that in 2013 the Institute has been nominated for “Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence” with the "European Values at School - EUducate" Project by the European Commission becoming the third reserach group to receive this title in Turkey. The European Institute has regular publications (newsletters, working paper series and academic publications) both in Turkish and English.


BİLGİ Legal Clinic

The clinical legal education program at BİLGİ (Faculty of Law) commenced in 2003. It is a legal education model that was initiated in the US in the 1960s but meanwhile has spread all over the world. The method is based on “learning by doing”. Typically, students would have two options: They may choose to help those who cannot afford an attorney to solve their legal problems. This involves interviewing them, researching the legal issue at hand and writing legal memoranda. Students may also accompany these people in their visits to government offices and help them filling out application forms or writing petitions (Private Law Clinic). Alternatively, students may visit prisons located in Istanbul and provide convicts with legal education for about nine weeks on issues they might need to know during and after their imprisonment (Street Law Clinic). While establishing its programs, BİLGİ Legal Clinic has taken foreign experiences as a model for itself. A cooperation was established with the American University and Georgetown University in Washington DC, USA, Eötvös Lorand University (ELTE) in Budapest, Hungary and University of KwaZulu, Natal in South Africa. The clinics have been visited by scholars from Egypt, Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan, Palestine, Afghanistan and Lebanon while trainings were also provided by BİLGİ Legal Clinic in Lebanon and Pakistan.

BİLGİ Young Social Entrepreneur Awards

The BILGI Young Social Entrepreneur Awards , initiated by the leadership of İstanbul Bilgi University, is a national affiliate of the International Youth Foundation’s (IYF) YouthActionNet® program. The project is supported by the Laureate International Universities network, of which İstanbul Bilgi University is a member.  The Awards seek to identify and support young social entrepreneurs who have succeeded in making positive contributions to their communities. Awardees are young leaders who work relentlessly every day to bring peace, justice and prosperity to their communities. They are expected to have devoted themselves to their projects and, by using their creativity and leadership skills, to have served as role models to others in achieving a more egalitarian world. The ten social entrepreneurs selected annually receive mentoring to develop their leadership skills and strengthen their impact in the community, attend customized training programs, and are honored at an awards ceremony. Each finalist also becomes eligible to receive cash awards to enable them to improve their projects.

Over time, the Awards seek to develop an expanding network of social entrepreneurs throughout Turkey who share their knowledge and experience with their peers both inside the country and internationally through the YouthActionNet Global Network.

İstanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association (BİLGİM) HR

The Istanbul Bilgi University Alumni Association - BİLGİM (, was founded on 16 November 2009. The aim of the association is to organize activities that contribute to the alumni's social, cultural, sporting, professional and academic lives by gathering alumni groups together. The association builds and develops networks among alumni, the university and current students. The association has organized two activities within the report period with the partnership of Hayata Dokun Derneği (An association that works against the discrimination of women and supports children’s rights):

İstanbul Bilgi University Publishing

İstanbul Bilgi University Publishing has completed its fourteenth year of activity, and has made a significant contribution to the world of academic publishing, critical thinking, and freedom of thought in Turkey. ( Publications related with UNGC principles are:

Volunteers at BILGI

Adım Adım: By taking the familiar model of fundraising through endurance sports such as running swimming and biking, and adapting it to local customs Adım Adım is achieving much more than leveraging resources. Adım Adım was initiated by two entrepereneurs (one of them is an academic member of BILGI- Itir Erhart, PhD) in 2008, prioritizing the needs of NGO’s in Turkey. Both BILGI members and students in growing numbers are participating in this cause.

Volunteering for Child Studies Unit: The unit calls for volunteers due to the needs of the projects that are on going. Students are trained and participate in the volunteering actions of the unit.

Course Based Volunteering: The Pub 311 course is designed to enable students to do volunteer work with NGO partners and raise their awareness about civil actions.

BILGI Student Council:

The Council aims to contribute to the development of İstanbul Bilgi University students, solve their problems, and relay their opinion and suggestions to the relevant departments. 

Career Center:

The BİLGİ Career Center offers İstanbul Bilgi University students and alumni advice and guidance on career planning, preparation of CVs and cover letters, interview techniques, assistance with internships and jobs at the santralistanbul campus. With more than 900 corporate members, the website of BİLGİ Career Center ( provides a platform for students and alumni to engage directly with recruiters and companies. Aside from advice and guidance, the BİLGİ Career Center offers year-round training programs.