Erasmus+ Policy Statement

Please describe your institution’s international (EU and non-EU) strategy. In your description please explain:

a) how you choose your partners,
b) in which geographical area(s) and
c) the most important objectives and target groups of your mobility activities (with regard to staff and students in first, second and third cycles, including study and training, and short cycles).

If applicable, also explain how your institution participates in the development of double\multiple\joint degrees.

İstanbul Şehir University (ŞEHİR) is a non-profit, state-recognized, higher education institution established by the Foundation for Sciences and Arts (BİSAV) in 2008. Its founder BİSAV is a renowned NGO functioning for more than 25 years in the field of social sciences, organizing many international and national academic activities for free. ŞEHİR strives to become a prestigious higher education institution in Turkey and its neighboring regions. The university’s vision is to be a world- class research university in social sciences providing top quality education in terms of teaching and research outputs and global student satisfaction.

The university welcomed its first students in 2010-2011 academic year. At the second academic year, the university proved to attract highly qualified students to all its programmes with its available scholarships and academic staff. The main components in ŞEHİR’s internationalization strategy are:

i) to provide mobility for a high quality study and training for incoming\outgoing students at all levels, as well as for academic and non-academic staff;
ii) to attract full-time international students on partial or full tuition waiver scholarships;
iii) to develop strategic bilateral relations with higher education institutions in a geographically balanced fashion to ensure long-term, structured and sustainable participation in European and international cooperation projects; and lastly,
iv) to initiate or participate in the development of double\multiple\ joint degrees on the international level.

ŞEHİR gives great importance and high priority to curriculum development, recognition of degrees, quality assurance and being a research – oriented university which develops its strengths through cooperations and collaborative projects with partner universities in the region and world. In this context,  ŞEHİR firmly adheres to the principles of the Bologna Process and strives to become an active participant in the EHEA through ERA and LLP. Mobility from underrepresented groups are encouraged specifically. In order to increase the mobility, the students and staff, that have not benefited from the mobility before is given priority and also administrative staff in university is prioritized over academic staff. The balance between outgoing and incoming student and staff is also observed. For this reason, the course and curriculum information is updated semesterly and through a strong and academic advising and buddy system students are felt home during their mobility period.

In terms of the demographics, at its first year, 8% of ŞEHİR’s student population was composed of international students while this rate increased to 15 % at the third year from 44 countries worldwide. This reflects the university’s desire to provide a true internationalization at home. The university targets to have 30% of its total student body from outside Turkey within its five-year plan. The university deploys a comprehensive scholarship policy in order to attract the best quality students from all over the world in addition to the quality of education offered.

Choosing institutional partners globally among various universities, enterprises, international and non-governmental organizations is a very strategic and concerted effort, involving many different actors at ŞEHİR based on the specific project at hand. Nevertheless, in an effort to centrally conduct  the internationalization strategy of ŞEHİR as well as its Erasmus\LLP activities, the International Relations Office (IRO) has been established at the outset. ŞEHİR IRO functions as the main operational center that has signed partnership contracts with close to 30 higher education institutions for Erasmus exchange mobility and with a number of universities in non-EU regions for exchange as well as academic research and summer school collaborations. All the cooperation agreements are fully utilized for the benefit of our students and staff.

Development of double\multiple\joint degrees is among the important agenda items from the very beginning. Joint courses with the SUNY and Wilfried Laurier and double degree MBA with the University of Sheffield have already been developed and the work on the formation of the Global Problem Solving Consortium, which was established by University of Brasilia, University of New Delhi, Higher School of Economics of Russia, İstanbul Şehir University, University of Nairobi, Seoul National University, Tsinghua University, Kenyatta University, and George Mason University, is about to finish. The consortium targets to produce competent international graduates and researchers worldwide who have finished one or two semesters at multiple universities.

İstanbul Şehir University does not discriminate against any individual or group of individuals on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, language, and religion as a fundamental principle guiding its overall strategy.