Istanbul University 2018-2019 Academic Year Opening Ceremony

Academic Year of Istanbul University, a “Research University” that has pioneered numerous scientific researches, has opened.

The Opening Ceremony of 2018-2019 Academic Year was held on October 9th, 2018 with two functions. Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin also attended the ceremony.

The first event was a wreath-laying ceremony for the Atatürk and Youth Memorial. Istanbul University Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak, laid a wreath on Atatürk and Youth Memorial on behalf of Istanbul University. After a moment of silence and the National Anthem, faculty members and students moved to IU Faculty of Science Prof Dr Cemil Bilsel Conference Hall for the second ceremony.

The second ceremony began with a moment of silence and the reading of the National Anthem. Afterwards, “Istanbul University Presentation Movie”, prepared by IU Press and Public Relations Department, was screened. After the presentation movie the message of Vice President Fuat Oktay, who couldn’t attend the event due to a sudden schedule change, was shared with the attendees.

In his message, Vice President Fuat Oktay said, “Dear Istanbul University family, despite my wish to be with you all at your 2018-2019 Academic Year Opening Ceremony, due to a sudden schedule alteration I am unable to attend. I would very much like to be with you all at another event at the earliest chance I get. I wish the faculty members, the administrative staff and the students of Istanbul University an excellent academic year.”

After the delivery of the message, Istanbul University Student Representative Hasan Tarık Yumuşak and Research Assistant Representative Res Asst Dr Derya Gül Ünlü made their speeches.

“I wish us to be a generation that protects and furthers our cultural and moral values”

In his speech, Student Representative Hasan Tarık Yumuşak said, “As Istanbul University Student Council, we carried out many activities during our 2 year long term. Aware of the impact and importance of student clubs in 2017, we have broken new ground in Istanbul University. With the collaboration of 27 clubs and the Student Council, we held a ‘Sign Language’ seminar for over a thousand of students. As we did in 2017, we had hosted ‘Istanbul University Student Council 1453 Award Ceremony’ this year as well. In 2018, we also participated in the EU Project WESREF orientation program which was written by our faculty members, and introduced our university to new, local and foreign students.”
“Our country continues its journey for a strong Turkey with sure steps. Honouring us by qualifying as a Research University, IU provides us with the needed foundation in education, especially with the involvement and experience of post graduate students, and enables us to partake in our goals as a country. I wish us to be a generation that protects and furthers our cultural and moral values, not content with only using the current equipment but that also produces and develops a generation that thinks and most importantly works hard. I wish the 2018-2019 academic year to hold welfare and prosperity.”

“Our university acts with the mission of generating useful knowledge to our country and humanity”

In her speech, Assistant Representative Res Asst Dr Derya Gül Ünlü said, “As you all know Istanbul University acts with the objective of raising qualified individuals while generating useful information in mediums such as Social Sciences, Health Sciences and producing scientific publications for our country and people. Our university has proven itself a world university with its academic studies and graduates working in many different fields.”

“Now that our university is a Research University, I believe that this will increase the research skills of my research assistants who will continue their postgraduate studies in new research areas with new opportunities. In this respect, I believe that research assistants are required to be supported in the process of producing scientific publications, and thus, Istanbul University will be further highlighting scientific researches, projects, qualified publications, patents and international collaborations to be produced as a Research University.”

After Istanbul University Student Representative Hasan Tarık Yumuşak and Research Assistant Representative Res Asst Dr Derya Gül Ünlü, IU Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak got up to make his speech.

“The most powerful university in our country in terms of human resources”

In his speech, Istanbul University Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak said, “We are proud and excited to open the new Academic Year. Pioneering numerous scientific researches, Istanbul University has received the title of Research University because of all the hard work. In addition, IU got the title of ‘University with the Most Patent Applications and Approvals’ and has become the only Turkish university that has been listed for 14 times in the ARWU ranking ‘World’s Top 500 Universities’.”

“4 years ago, we set off with the understanding of modern universities’ missions are ‘education’, ‘basic scientific research’ and ‘serving the public’. Ours is the most powerful university in our country in terms of human resources. This specific element is the most important potential of Istanbul University with its number, quality, research capacity and educational power.”

“30% of our students continue their graduate education”

Continuing his speech, Prof Dr Ak said, “In total, Istanbul University has 75 thousand and 446 students. 6 thousand 467 of these students receive doctorate, 15 thousand 862 graduate, 52 thousand 316 undergraduate and 801 pre-graduate education. We also have 205 thousand 516 students in the Open and Distance Education Faculty. Approximately 30% of our total number of students are in graduate education. In advanced universities the ratio of graduate students to the number of undergraduate students is 25% or above. As Istanbul University our numbers exceed this and is %30.”

“We opened centres that coincide with our vision”

Prof Dr Ak said, “The first and only logistic faculty of our country, Istanbul University Faculty of Transportation and Logistics was founded in our university. In addition, Faculty of Architecture, Turkey’s first department of Ukrainian Language and Literature and department of Korean Language and Literature has opened this year. We also opened centres that coincide with our vision, where academic studies will prevail such as Migration and Migration Research and Application Centre, African Studies Research and Application Centre, Islamic Economics and Finance Research and Application Centre, and Farabi Eurasian Studies Research and Application Centre.”

Prof Dr Ak said that to further strengthen and improve the education and training programs at Istanbul University many important laboratories have been established within the university. Also pointing out that the education of higher education students should be carried out together with art and sports as well as science and research studies, Prof Dr Ak said, “For this purpose, we started a very serious project as Istanbul University. In total, there are 45 branches of sports that is actively done in our university.”

Talking about the newly opened Quality Coordinatorship Prof Dr Ak said, “We successfully completed the ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management System audit conducted by TSE as Istanbul University and then joined the TSE family. As Istanbul University, we organized IU 2019-2023 Strategic Plan Workshops to discuss the ways to increase the brand value of the university and improve its vision.”

“To enable more international students come to our university we opened Istanbul Medical Faculty English Medical Program, Faculty of Pharmacy English Pharmacy Program, Faculty of Dentistry English Dentistry Program, Faculty of Political Science English Political Science and International Relations Program, and Faculty of Theology Arabic Theology Undergraduate Program. 6533 international students from 145 countries are studying at our university. The increase of numbers in undergraduate and graduate education is the result of the work we put in internationalization.”

“We doubled the number of IU YOS Exam Centres”

Prof Dr Ak said, “This year IU YOS exam was held in 68 countries and 95 examination centres simultaneously by Istanbul University officials in German, Arabic, English, French, Russian and Turkish. While doing YÖS in 34 countries and 42 exam centres in 2015, we are currently doing this exam in 95 exam centres in 68 Countries. It can be seen that we have doubled the number of countries and test centres. Because of this exam, the applicants are eligible to apply to more than 100 universities in our country, not only in our university.”

“University with the Most Patent Applications and Approvals”

Prof Dr Ak said, “According to the Turkish Patent and Trademark Authority data, Istanbul University has the Most Patent Applications and Approvals between 2014 and 2017. We have increased our total number of patents to 538 between 2014 and 2017. At the same time, we care very much that our students also take part in the patent applications. One hundred and four students from 40 different fields in Istanbul University are studying with YOK 100/2000 scholarship. These fields include Social Media Studies, Ancient Turkish Language, Philosophy, International Security and Terrorism, Communication Studies, Islamic Law Procedure, Monetary Policy, Psychology, Natural and Herbal Products, Cosmetic Products, Micro and Nanotechnology, Aquaculture and Fisheries Technology, Optics, Electro optics and Photonics, Biotechnology.”

“YOK Basic Sciences Programs Outstanding Classes (TEBIP) opened in Istanbul University”

Prof Dr Ak said, “As Istanbul University we collaborated with YOK for the YOK TEBIP project and its mastermind YOK President Prof Dr Yekta Saraç. The high achievement classes that opened through the project, which are in physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology, continue. This program has the up most importance on the road to Nobel Prizes. With the support we give to this program, we aim to contribute to the raising of the names of the Nobel Prize winners of Istanbul University. Young people have too big of a potential that we cannot fit only in the student mould.”

“Istanbul University is the only Turkish university that has been entering the Chinese, Jiao Tong University’s list ‘World’s Top 500 Universities’ which is recognized as one of the most influential assessment authorities in the field of higher education. According to the 2018-2019 ranking results of the World University Ranking Centre, our university has been among the 13 Turkish universities that succeeded to take place in the top1000 and continues to bring honour to our country. Ranking 251-300 in the fields of Medicine, Pharmacy, Educational Sciences, Agriculture, Forestry and 451-500 in biology, Istanbul University also received ‘Area Oriented Achievement Award’. In the report prepared according to 10 different world rankings of 160 Turkish universities by URAP Laboratory, Istanbul University took place in 10 of the 10 rankings made in 2017. In the field-based university rankings, we are much higher in the top 500 as Istanbul University. For example, Istanbul University Faculty of Business Administration Master Programs are ranked in ‘Best Master’s Degree and Business Administration Programs’ in the Middle East and Eurasia Region by ‘Eduniversal Evaluation System’.”

“100 Turks Leading Medical Sciences”

Talking about the “100 Turks Leading Medical Sciences” list, Prof Dr Ak said, “Istanbul University and our sister university, Istanbul University Cerrahpaşa got in the list with the research and discoveries of 7 academic members that has catch the world ‘s eye. Many scientists that has graduated from Istanbul University were also in the list and made us proud. In addition, another development that made us proud is the return of Prof Dr Nuray Çağlar and Lecturer Dr Leyla Türker Şener, who represented our country in the 10th Women's Innovations Exhibition, with a total of 7 awards from Korea.”

“Our cooperation with Turkish Airlines and the establishment of one of the world's leading aeronautical psychology institutes within our university have enabled us to receive the ‘University-Industry Collaboration Award’ in ‘2017 YÖK Outstanding Achievement Awards’. ‘Protocol on Continuing Education Centres Certification Program’ was signed with Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. The main purpose of this cooperation is to train human resources to develop high-tech products.”

“As you know, Istanbul Medical Faculty graduate Prof Dr Aziz Sancar, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, has donated his Nobel Medal and Certificate to our university. This year, we lost Prof Dr Fuat Sezgin, who was one of the world's foremost scientific historians and a treasure for Islamic Sciences that also had been trained by Istanbul University. The President of the Republic of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has declared the year of 2019 as ‘Prof Dr Fuat Sezgin Year’. His world-renowned work of 17-volume long Arab-Islamic literature history (Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums) is translated into Turkish under the leadership and supervision of our faculty members. In addition, IU Faculty of Communications Dean Ergün Yolcu and faculty members are preparing the documentary about the life and scientific studies of Prof Dr Sezgin.”

Emphasizing that one of the basic principles of Istanbul University is the renovation of its physical infrastructure, Prof Dr Ak continued his speech, “The restoration of the Faculty of Political Science was completed and the Annex Building of the Faculty of Economics was completed and opened to education. The works for the completion of the Biology Building of the Faculty of Science at the Vezneciler Campus continue rapidly. Works for the restructuring of the Central Library Building at the Beyazıt Campus in Istanbul University has begun. Designed to benefit from all the possibilities of the technology, the new library building of 10 thousand square meters will serve the researchers in modern conditions with its collection containing approximately 1 million 300 thousand publications.”

Pointing out that as Istanbul University many studies on Social Services has been carried out, Prof Dr Ak said, “The Project on Monitoring Drugs and Other Psychoactive Substances from Waste Water has been actualized for the purpose of conducting a community-oriented analysis instead of a individualistic one of illegal substance use. We aimed to get young people to reflect on social problems through works such as ‘Volunteer Istanbul Portal and Volunteer Academy’ within the Volunteer Academy and Volunteer Training Project. ‘My Neighbourhood Istanbul’ Project provides a map-based database and information retrieval system that will be available in the online and mobile spheres that will enable the acquisition of information on urban and public services at the neighbourhood level in Istanbul. Important studies were carried out in order to get disabled individuals to be included in the producing society with the aid of the Voice Question Bank Project. In addition, we continue to organize dedicated days in the honour of our esteemed professors to familiarize them to the young generations.”

Prof Dr Ak also commented on “15th of July treacherous coup attempt” and said, “As a result of the coup attempt on the night of July 15th, as the administration we immediately issued a statement explaining that we are against the attempt. We organized many activities for 2 years as the Istanbul University Rectorate in order to get the youth better understand and remember the attempt.”

Prof Dr Ak ended his words by saying, “I believe that we, together will carry Istanbul University, with its 565 year-long history and now the well-deserved title of ‘Research University’, forward and we will continue to contribute as Istanbul University in all areas our country and the world need. On these thoughts, I hope that the new academic year will once again be beneficial to our university and all our members.”

After Prof Dr Ak, Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin made his speech.

“One of Turkey's most well-established universities”

In his speech, Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin addressed Istanbul University as one of Turkey's most well established universities and expressed his best wishes for a new semester. He continued, “Istanbul University is one of the most important universities in the world. Istanbul University has a different meaning, value and signification.”
“You should hold your tongue with a scholar and your hand with rich. Therefore, I will be brief and deliver my assessments. Otherwise, we stand with the scholars. We follow and pursue them. They will say and write, they will give us the results of intellectual processes and then we will apply them. Science should always be illuminating administrations and government like a lighthouse. And so, science has both the administration and the social needs to manage. Our expectations from our universities is to continue to enlighten our way.”

Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin pointed out that the universities in Turkey came to a very important point in terms of their numbers and he said that this development has created the groundwork for scientific research. Governor Şahin emphasized the importance of Istanbul University in education and advised students to take full advantage of the opportunities given.

After his speech Governor Şahin was given a plaque by Prof Dr Ak.

Afterwards, “Symphony of Folk Songs” was performed with IU State Conservatory Ethnomusicology Department Prof Dr Mehtap Demir as a soloist and with the arrangements of Program of String Instruments Chamber Orchestra and Composer Lecturer İlke Karcılıoğlu.

Approximately 100 people took part in the Opening Ceremony of the 2018-2019 Academic Year, organized by IU Press and Public Relations Directorate.

Translated by Ece GÖÇ
IU Press and Public Relations

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