By partnering with UNDP Turkey in the scope of regional Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) initiative, Koç University is taking a step further in responding to the global call for business schools and other academic associations to advance corporate social responsibility worldwide and to respond to the need for developing more inclusive markets.
As a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) – a framework for academic institutions to advance the broader cause of corporate social responsibility and incorporate universal values into curricula and research – Koç University’s Graduate School of Business plays an active role to promote the inclusive markets in the faculty.
The Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) is the largest and longest-running student-led business plan competition providing mentoring, exposure, and prizes for social ventures from around the world. The competition supports the creation of real businesses that bring about positive social change in a sustainable manner. The GSVC is organized by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in cooperation with 6 Regional Partners and 3 Outreach Partners.
The mission of the GSVC is to expand the reach of the competition and to educate more students on the benefits of social ventures. Koç University, as a provisional Outreach Partner, is responsible for conducting Outreach in the Turkey region, in charge of administering a social venture business plan competition within Turkey.
Koç University Social Impact Forum (KUSIF) fosters social innovation through education, research, and collaboration to create social impact. KUSIF will carry out its activities in collaboration with specialists or organizations in different disciplines and backgrounds. Goals of KUSIF are to raise social awareness among KU students, academics and staff; to generate programs and tools to foster social impact and contribute to the social sector; and to become a “reference point” for social impact. Stakeholders of KUSIF are Koç University (Students, Faculty Members, Staff and Alumni); Social Sector (NGOs; Public Institutions; Social Entrepreneurs); Private Sectors (Enterprises, Entrepreneurs, Intrapreneurs.)
Highly aware of its responsibilities for the environment, it has always been the goal of Koç University to ensure a “green” world for the future generations. As a main principle, the University protects natural resources, uses them in the most efficient way through basic modifications in consumption methods, minimizes the creation of waste at the source and prefers recyclable products with minimum negative effects.
The Main Campus of Koç University and other campuses built afterwards have been equipped with the automation systems targeting utmost energy efficiency. For instance; a central system controls lighting and ventilation of the classes and corridors. Lighting, heating and cooling of the offices, on the other hand, are managed by motion sensors and the automation system shuts them after 15 minutes if no motion detected. Furthermore the cogeneration system built in 2005 in the Main Campus both provides the electricity need of the campus and maximizes gas efficiency by obtaining hot water through the stack gas of this facility. Koç University, additionally, carries the international environmental standards to its campus by acquiring ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems certificate.
Founded in 2001, Koç University (KU) Volunteers’ Club operates under the Dean of Students Office. With its increasing number, KU Volunteers develop many projects and make donations primarily in Sarıyer and various regions of Istanbul and Turkey in general.
Moreover KU Volunteers achieved to be the 2nd in the Social Responsibility category of The Most Active Club Contest held by Üniaktivite in 2010.
With its over 250 active members in 2010, KU Volunteers manage these activities through 9 different sub-groups and various short-term projects as the largest social club of Koç University.
‘Little Hearth’ Project: Aiming to create a loving and caring environment for the children at Social Services and Child Protection Agency, the projects runs for 7 years. Volunteers of 50 visited Bahçelievler Şeyh Sait Children’s Home in 2010 every Saturday. Initiated by Koç University, the project has been adopted by many other universities.
KET (Koç University Society for Education): Primary school students from Sarıyer and the neighboring region have English, Turkish, Science and Mathematics classes given by the volunteers at Koç University. Additionally preparation courses for the university exam, high school lessons and study programs are offered for secondary and high school students. 51 students and 31 volunteers took part in the project in 2010.
Children with the Faculty of Thinking: Selected students from the schools of Sarıyer and the neighboring region enjoy free lessons. Around 30 students from the primary classes have had classes on Read-Think-Make, Theatre, Music, Turkish and Mathematics in order for them to discover their talents and think differently.
Social Awareness Group: They organize Alternative Career Days to bring Non-Governmental Organizations and students together. The fund created by the incomes of various events meets the needs of underprivileged students and is used for building libraries at schools in every corner of Turkey. The Group built a library with 3.000 books and a laboratory with 30 computers at Hatay Keskincik Primary School by the collected charity at “Chill-Out Carnival” held in 2010. Furthermore campaigns for collecting charity organized in the University have made it possible to support primary schools in Diyarbakır-Köprülübağ, Bitlis-Derince, Kars-Ağadeve, Mardin-Çataltepe with clothing and stationery.
Teeth on Track: Under the supervision of dentists,Koç University students train students at the primary schools in Sarıyer and the neighboring region about dental health.
KU&TOG: KU&TOG Group, created by Koç University students of the Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG), organizes various social responsibility projects. With the collaboration of the bakeries around Sarıyer, the volunteers help economically underprivileged residents with the project “Bread Sospeso” (bread ‘in suspense’), regularly visit old people at the nursing home on Sundays and give anti-violence education to primary school students.
“Share Your Dream” Project: The Group carries out projects to make wishes of the children suffering from life-critical diseases come true.
KU-Environment: The environment group carries out recycling projects. They try to create awareness about environment.
KUYAT (Koç University Summer Workshop): Organizing summer workshops, the volunteers give lessons on Art, Science, Music, Environment and Sports for the 7th grade students from Sarıyer and the neighboring region.
KU Global Aid, established in September 2011 under Koc University International Programs Office, aims to produce social aid projects in global vision as well as providing global awareness to its members and improving leadership skills with different perspectives and cultures. By representing both Koc University and Turkey in the international field, KU Global Aid plays an important role in integrating communication and cooperation with social responsibility projects, and differently from many national and local aid organizations, works with a focus on producing sustainable aid projects, which have been rapidly developing and becoming common today. KU Global Aid has realized its first aid project in April 2012 in Bosnia, and has been continuing its works with its expanding team in the new academic year, for social responsibility projects to be realized in Bosnia, Tunisia and Malatya with Turkish and foreign exchange students.
Handicapped Employement: Koc University has employed 19 handicapped personnel this year.
Working Environment for the Handicapped: Ramps, automatic doors and one shuttle bus for the disabled were purchased in order to create convenient working places in the university.
Training for People with Mental Disabilities, their Families and Traniers: A symposium for people with mental disabilities, their families and trainers will be organized. It is planned in December 2012.
Ayder Trainings: An “Awareness Training” will be given to the employees by Ayder in cooperation with Koc Holding.
‘Blood for My Country’ Campaign: The faculty, staff and students of Koç University have supported ‘For My Country’ campaign initiated by Koç Holding with the collaboration of Turkish Red Crescent Society in order to create awareness in society about the importance of donating blood and to encourage voluntary blood donations in the country.
Koç University devotes its academic knowledge and power to the welfare of the society. To this end it conducts activities for the social development and improvement in various fields as well as takes part in such organizations.
The Koç University – Kyoto University International Symposium on Innovative and Sustainable Development: As the 16th in a series of international symposia which have been held periodically by Kyoto University since 2001, The Koç University – Kyoto University International Symposium on Innovative and Sustainable Development focuses primarily on efficient, smart growth and development. During the symposium, hosted by Koç University on September 7-9, 2011, eminent decision-makers and forerunners of the business and academic world are to share their knowledge and discuss how development can be achieved in the most effective way.
The Green Information Platform “Responsibility Now” Conference: The corporate social responsibility program which is pioneered by KoçSistem, Koç.net and Promena, affiliated companies of Koç Information Group and as well as Tanı and Zer, companies of Koç Holding, The Green Information Platform partnered with Koç University and organized a conference on environment, “Responsibility Now Before Running Out of Resources”, on June 8, 2011 in parallel with the World Environment Day and Environment Protection Week. Leaders of the business and economy world, academicians, NGOs, artists and journalists participated in the conference which was held in 3 sessions: economic, academic and social approaches.
Symposium for Education of the Genius:‘1st International Symposium for Education of the Genius’ was held on 23-24 September 2010 with the collaboration of Koç University, the Turkish Educational Foundation and the Ministry of National Education.
Sharing the Best Practice in Education: With the aim of reaching the perfect education system throughout the country and encouraging sharing of the best practices in education, Koç University held an event to present its student-oriented and inter-disciplinary approach to education with high school managers and counselors on 28 May 2010. Hosted 48 educators from 29 high schools around the country, the event basically focused on learning process with the main theme “Learning the Learning Approach and Developments in Student-Oriented Teaching”.
Panel on ‘After the Referendum: Democratization Perspectives in Turkey’: Founded in 2004, the Center for Research on Globalization and Democratic Governance (GLODEM) carried out a significant conference organization in 2010. The panel on ‘After the Referendum: Democratization Perspectives in Turkey’ scrutinized this period with its participants from the academic world and the media.
Symposium on “Yes or No to Euthanasia?”:The symposium on “Yes or No to Euthanasia?” was organized by Law School of Koç University and the euthanasia was laid on the table.
Projects of KU Faculty: Koç University carries out research projects for the academic and social development. Some of these projects are as follow:
• School enrollment and drop-out problem in primary school education in Turkey: Determining individual, social and ecological factors.
• Development of Waste Battery Disposal and Recovery Technologies
• Disability Rights and Urban Citizenship: Actors and Dynamics Shaping the Lives of Istanbulites with Disabilities
• The Study of Early Childhood Developmental Ecologies in Turkey
Education Programs: With the support of Koç University, Sarıyer Municipality initiated seminars in order to inform executives, heads of departments and supervisors of the institution on the developments in local administration, help them to catch up with the new conditions and improve their management skills. In a cooperative initiative between the Municipality of Sarıyer and Koç University, six weeks of seminars were held under the umbrella of “Strategic Business Administration Education”, providing training on a wide range of issues, such as public relations, service and quality management, strategic planning, behavior in organizations, process management, problem-solving and decision-making.
City Council: Koç University has been elected as the university representative to the Executive Board of the Women’s Assembly operating under Sarıyer City Council. Thus aiming to contributing to many social responsibility projects focusing on education, environment and society, Koç University plays an active role in volunteer projects with the local administration.
Donations to High Schools: The Corporate Communications Office of Koç University makes donations to high schools throughout the country in accordance with their needs.
Donation to TEMA for Teachers’ Day: Corporate Relations and Development Office of Koç University has made donation to the TEMA Foundation (The Turkish Foundation for Combating Soil Erosion, for Reforestation and the Protection of Natural Habitats) to celebrate the Teachers’ Day of 160 high school teachers..