Dr. Levent Uysal, the founder of Nişantaşı Education Foundation, who has served as a senior manager in the information and telecommunication sectors for many years, talked about the innovations of Nişantaşı University, which he established based on his observations and experience during this period, and his future goals and opportunities for students.
How did the idea of establishing a university come about? Did your previous studies provide you with an infrastructure to establish this university? One of the points where Nişantaşı University differentiates itself is that it has entered the world of university with a focus on vocational education and is close to business life. What opportunities do you offer to students studying here in this context?
People; He receives university education in order to open up to the outside world, to learn what has been done in the sector and to get into business life as soon as possible. We proceeded with the mentality of how to provide all of these to our students. Before opening a program, we found our partners and solution partners related to this program. We talked to 10-15 sector leaders such as what kind of application area we should provide and what kind of curriculum we should apply so that we can create very good human resources for them. We formed both our curriculum and our laboratories in line with the “know-how” we received. As a result, our solution partners gave our students the opportunity to work. Some started full time, some started part time. Our biggest fiction here is that our children meet the business world as soon as possible and the SSI records are opened as soon as possible. Because the sooner social security starts, the more peaceful a person feels.
You gave your first graduates. Have you supported them in job orientation and career determination in the same way?
We have a department that we call Human Resources Workshop, which works like an İK company. The task of this department is to arrange internships, part-time jobs while studying and to offer job opportunities as soon as the student completes his education. Thanks to these opportunities we provide with our solution partners and our İK Workshop, 90 percent of our graduates are currently working. Our student comes to us first to help us when he has a business / sector-related problem. If he is dismissed for reasons not caused by him, we pay 1000 TL to our student for 6 months and we look for other job opportunities during that time. The criteria we have determined to take advantage of these opportunities are very simple; The student must not be absent while studying, have completed their internship and recommends a friend from the school as an intern.
How do you balance this practical work with theoretical education during your school?
30 percent of our trainings are given theoretical and 70 percent practical. He learns to apply the theoretical knowledge he receives at the school in his internship and affects the reference passing grade given by his supervisor / chief in his internship. Our guiding students to the internship while they are studying turns them into a human resource who has knowledge about the corporate identity, organization and operation of the company after graduation. It is distinguished from any graduate with these features in the eyes of the employer.
What kind of contact was there with the industry while determining the departments? After that, 4-year programs that are probably more academic will increase. What are your criteria when determining them?
First of all, we do market research without opening the department. We determine this by researching the occupancy rates in higher education institutions and what kind of resource is needed in which sector in human resources companies. We do not open a department without an agreement with a minimum of 3 solution partners. Because the person who comes here will work in that sector after his education. Think about it, everyone studied business administration for a while and there are about 60 thousand business graduates. However, there is not that much demand in the market and these students were exposed. We determined a strategy like this. Yes, let’s get business school but “focus” business; Let there be departments that are more categorized within themselves, such as Civil Air Transport Management and Maritime Management, so that it is clearer where the student will focus.
Can you give us information about the new sections to be opened?
We have applications to open three faculties: Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Law. We have submitted our relevant files to the Council of Higher Education and we will be positioned according to the response from there. We are opening 5-6 more departments in the Vocational School. In addition, we have a plan to open evening classes in daytime departments so that working students can continue their education at night.
What percentage of incoming students study on scholarship?
We divided our scholarship students into three: The scholarships we have given in the ÖSYM guide; scholarships given by our board of trustees (tuition scholarships); scholarships such as food, transportation and accommodation scholarships in direct proportion to the student’s success while studying. Our aim is for all our students studying to benefit from these scholarships in line with their success, because this is a foundation and we care about how we can return the tuition we receive from our students. We do this by using both in scientific research, in developing the international networks of our children and in increasing the living standards of our children in need.
Could you tell us about the 1 + 4 + 1 system applied in your university?
No matter what profession you do, if you do not have English, you cannot follow the world. For this reason, we say to the students that 1 year of English and 4 years of vocational training and we give a free master’s education for 1 year. We want Nişantaşı University to be the club of the managers. When the student completes a master’s degree, he will be one step ahead. Our brand is our graduate, our promise… The more equipped the graduate is, the more successful it is in the business world both scientifically and in the sector, the faster Nişantaşı University grows. Think about it, without giving the right trainings, if a few people work as a memory, then the employer does not accept this, we are trying to create human resources that will ensure continuity, the trainings we provide will be positioned correctly and will be effective in the business world. We organize career days in all cities, we establish common platforms with 120 mentors and we do not only promote Nişantaşı University; We are telling about the pros and cons of architecture, the pros and cons of the child development department so that students choose the departments consciously. 7 out of 10 people are not doing the job they graduated and they are unhappy.
What kind of work do you do about master’s degree?
As of March, we will take our first students in master’s degree. Here, too, we deal with partners and companies. The company sends its employees to our graduate program for two years, and the employee guarantees that he will not quit his job for those two years. The most important thing is to be able to work with long-term human resources, to put the right human resource in the right seat and to ensure that the arrows that can go for a long time with it.
Are there any new projects for the development of the university?
The employer, of course, prefers a graduate who speaks English very well, has a very good background, has done an internship in world companies and has a master’s degree. We students are bringing students closer to 150 than good AIESEC which 60 countries to learn English, these students we meet all the costs and 1-2 months of the project and ensure that they remain based with students studying particular part of the preparation to remain in Turkey. We have two projects in this direction: Where should your classmate come from and where should your roommate come from? For example; A student from England spends 24 hours with our student here. The advantages of this are many; here the parent’s burden of sending the student abroad for language training practice is eliminated. The student uses English in his daily life to gain self-confidence.
What did you pay attention to while determining the location of your campuses?
When choosing the campuses, we set them close to metrobus and metro lines with easy access so that there is no absenteeism and the road does not force the student. In addition, the fact that Bayrampaşa and Nişantaşı are intertwined with the business world was effective in our choice of campus. There are companies from the fashion, logistics and technical sectors that are directly related to us.
Do you have a goal to open Nişantaşı University abroad?
One of our main goals is to internationalize Nişantaşı University. First of all, our aim is to open our university in New York, to have the students who won Nişantaşı University Istanbul and completed the preparatory department to study in New York. Our next plans are to establish Nişantaşı University in London and Dubai and implement the same application.