As the university exam approaches step by step, we continue to keep the pulse of higher education for the education agency readers.

By feeding theoretical knowledge with practice, which prepares students for professional life, the newest and most dynamic universities in Turkey Nisantasi Education Foundation founder Levent Uysal, answered our questions for the education agency reads.

When we started this business, we set out with the will of our father. In fact, we wanted to dedicate a primary school to our state. In the meeting we held with our YÖK president at that time, he suggested that it would be more beneficial to open a vocational school to ensure continuity due to my father’s contribution to higher education. In 2010, we structured Nişantaşı Vocational School and in 2012 the High School turned into a University.

“Levent Uysal, one of the founders of Çukurova University, Assoc. Dr. Cevdet Uysal’s son. His father is from Mersin, his mother is from Kayseri. His father had an academic career and worked in government planning for many years. After giving lectures at the University of Stuttgart he has worked for 16 years in structuring Cukurova When he returned to Turkey. Before he passed away, he left an important legacy to his family. “When you don’t need our assets here, build a school and focus on education.”

We believe that our students who come to Vocational School come from vocational high schools, so they should be intertwined with the sector.

We opened the sections that are mostly application-oriented. We are entering our 5th year, we have over 10 thousand students. Last year, we are one of the top 3 most preferred universities.

How does an Nişantaşı University graduate start life?

On the one hand, we develop the social networks of our students, on the other hand, we try to solve this business by transferring theoretical knowledge but applying them, especially with our sectoral partners.

With a good English background, we try to explain how to innovate with business partners around the world, how to improve the industry, how to use technology very well in this direction, we are trying to convey these to our students.

As a university, our first priority is to create structures where inner peace can reflect the positive energy of people to each other, and especially for our students to socialize with clubs in the right proportion. Our clubs make sectoral invitations one day a week, bringing our students together with the professionals of the business, and let them hear firsthand that whatever they do in the sector they will be successful.

What is your priority when determining your programs?

Before opening a program, we definitely determine at least 5 business partners of that program. For example, if we are to open a program about fashion, we will get together with the human resources and senior managers of national and international brands of fashion and what kind of human resources they will need, which curriculum we will benefit in practice, we are working on them. In this direction, our rector and academy team ensure the structuring.

I think a university is a large human resources company. We both produce human resources for the academy and produce human resources for the sectors. While doing this, we believe that it is absolutely necessary to work with international platforms.

You are also the General Secretary of the Foundations Union. What kinds of studies are carried out in the name of higher education here?

We are working on the branding of foundation universities. We believe that if any of the other foundation universities are affected by a negative reason, it will affect all foundation universities. We established a union for this. We focus on benefiting each other through our dialogues with YÖK, our dialogues on international platforms, and by making gentlemen’s agreements within ourselves. We have an administration consisting of 6 people under the presidency of Rıfat Sarıcıoğlu. We meet every month and discuss current issues. Foundation Universities, maybe one step later, with the advent of the private university law, we are transferring information to our state. We are working with the Ministry of National Education and our Higher Education Institution and express our opinions. We have a very positive structure and we conduct studies focused on gaining benefit rather than harm.

The Council of Higher Education has restricted the order of success in medicine and law programs and may include other departments in the future. How will this affect foundation universities?

I think the quality in education should be measurable. Our YÖK president writes a prescription about the criteria of everything and how everything should be realized by establishing positive dialogues. We apply that prescription.

We determine the base scores of foundation universities. We have suggested this, most of all, it is decided by listening to us. This is the biggest power the union provides to all foundation universities.

Which programs are you assertive?

We introduce our children to the industry in our practice centers.

We have a very good gastronomy laboratory, we opened the Culinary Arts Department. We have equipment available in 5-star hotels and we have a German partner.

We established a very good cinema TV lab. Likewise, our friends studying at our New Media Department gain practice in the practice centers here.

We opened Nısh Radio and Nısh TV. Again, our children rule.

Here they see how the economy is developing. They are learning to read the balance sheets. Thus, when they graduate from here, they join the industry with experience.

Likewise, we have health laboratories. Whatever is in the emergency department of a hospital is available in our laboratory. Our lessons are taught there.

We are very assertive in our interior architecture department, in our civil engineering department. We are also very assertive in the banking, finance and economics departments due to our rector.

How does the process of meeting the student with the industry begin?

There is a human resources workshop. As soon as our student starts his education, interviews are held, his goals are determined, his suggestions are evaluated, if he does not have a goal, we introduce them to the human resources and management offices of the brand we recommend. Every week, we bring our children together with Human Resources directors from various sectors. Then we determine a road map. He focuses there because he hears firsthand how the sector he is interested in works and what he has to do. We enable our students to decide what to do when they start working in the industry while studying here. Accordingly, we arrange part-time or full-time jobs according to his preference. We discriminate our working students positively, since our school is open 24/7, our students have the chance to make up for the lessons they missed.

We have continuous English education and they attend the workshops in any program they lack. We say learn English for yourself, we try to explain that he should do his own development for himself, and we try to give this awareness, so there is no grading system.

We offer a free double major opportunity for those who want to change their department. Let’s say that a person who is not happy in civil engineering can switch to architecture with vertical transition and switch to industrial engineering. Or he loves his department very much, but also wants to be an architect. He takes both diplomas by giving difference courses as a minor or attending summer school. Also, we do not charge for the second diploma.

Turkey also universities that are the biggest scholarship. We provide 80 percent scholarship. Very few students in our country have a 50 percent scholarship, 10 percent have 100 percent scholarship. Scholarship rates vary according to the points threshold and programs.

What does Nişantaşı University offer its students for anticipation? With what expectation do the students choose you?

Some of the students want to gain their own economic independence in the business world, and some come with the desire to serve in the academy.

We create practical trainings and sectoral structures for them.

We offer studies aimed at the student’s goal.

We offer platforms where our students can exercise their freedom in a peaceful environment, in a completely transparent environment, in a way that does not harm anyone with them.

Technology infrastructure, English infrastructure, development of sectoral points, this is actually a completely positive human resources company, our difference, we also teach.

How many graduates have you graduated in the industry so far? How do you assess the fact that unemployment in Turkey?

We have 670 graduates, all of them are working. If you do your job well, people will come and find you.

It is called unemployment, but currently the most developing sector is Human Resources companies. Human Resources companies are increasing, especially on the online side, they had to go bankrupt.

Apart from the scholarships we have given, we also introduced an award system in line with the demands of our students.

Our students collect points by becoming a member of a club, preparing a social responsibility project, bringing students to our school, and earning whatever awards are available in return. We give awards to the deserving employee.

All of our students take part in projects that will benefit the school. We are doing a joint campaign with the Red Crescent. Anyone who gives a liter of blood to the Red Crescent can get English free for 1 month here. We collected 400 liters of blood that week.

We have a department on beauty and hair care, our students go to elderly nursing homes and organize various activities with them. Our Child Development Department students go to the Child Protection Agency and organize activities there and organize various aid campaigns.

Children learn to manage this project in the best way by organizing projects with their own ideas. We make them decide.

We are a utility center, supported by theory but practical training, we benefit our location, we both touch and touch.

Interview: Billur Ocak
                  Arzu Kalaylı