In a special ceremony, the first Honorary Doctorate Degree of Sabancı University was presented to Jan Nahum, member of abancı University Board of Trustees Member and Chair of the Board of Directors of Hexagon Consulting. After the ceremony, a panel entitled Sabancı University: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow took place. With the participation of Sabancı University’s Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı and Sabancı University President Yusuf Leblebici, the foundation of Sabancı University, its journey to the present day and its future vision were discussed. The panel was moderated by Sabancı University Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Social Impact Fuat Keyman.
Güler Sabancı stated that Sabancı University’s education system, digital vision and approach of ‘creating and developing together’, makes it a 21st century university. She continued, “Sabancı University as the first non-departmental university in Turkey, is, with this structure, able to meet the needs of today’s world by allowing transitions between disciplines. We can clearly see the advantages of this structure during the pandemic period. With the breaking point that the pandemic has brought about, new university programs will be created to meet the newly emerging needs. As our university has no departments, we will be able to respond to these new needs with new programs.
Güler Sabancı pointed out that, with the pandemic, the world has become more complex, and added, ‘We can see that we cannot overcome this virus with one or more disciplines. In today’s world, we need to consider a more interdisciplinary approach. In our university we tell our students, ‘You can decide on the program you would like to study after you are enrolled to our university. In fact, you do not need to choose only one program. You can take courses outside your field.’ I believe the students of 2020 are fortunate in this sense. They are the first generation that has experienced online education in its actual sense. Being forced to adapt to a different structure, makes them much stronger.”
In his speech at the panel, President Yusuf Leblebici said: “When I joined Sabancı University as a young faculty member, I observed that everyone was contributing, progress was fast, and it was a constructive environment. There was a sharing environment that I felt I contributed to with the first course programs and the construction of the laboratories. This sharing culture lies in the core and the DNA of the university. For the university’s future path, we will continue to consult with both our faculty members within and external stakeholders to continue to develop together.”
Yusuf Leblebici emphasized that our target in the future is to open up more to the world. He stated: “Our university has a significant potential to open up to the world with both its centers and its interdisciplinary programs. With the inclusion of topics such as food engineering, energy technologies and smart cities in our interdisciplinary programs, we foresee that we can take serious steps. Under the leadership of science and by using technology, we will advance and continue to make a difference in the areas we focus on.”