KOÇ-KAM, the Women’s Studies Center at Koç University, is a leading research center in Turkey dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Established in 2003, KOÇ-KAM conducts research, organizes events and conferences, and offers courses and programs on gender studies. The center collaborates with local and international organizations and academic institutions to advance research and advocacy efforts aimed at promoting gender equality and combating gender-based discrimination.
The center's research agenda covers a wide range of topics related to gender equality, including gender-based violence, women's rights, and women's political participation. The research projects conducted by KOÇ-KAM aim to provide evidence-based analysis of the social, economic, and political conditions affecting women in Turkey and to propose policy recommendations for advancing women's rights.
In addition to research, KOÇ-KAM also organizes events and conferences that bring together scholars, activists, and policymakers to discuss current issues related to gender equality. These events provide a platform for exchange and collaboration, and contribute to the development of new ideas and strategies for promoting gender equality and women's empowerment.
KOÇ-KAM also offers courses and programs on gender studies, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of the theoretical and practical dimensions of gender issues. Through its courses, the center seeks to promote critical thinking and analysis of gender-based discrimination and to provide students with the tools and knowledge to become agents of change in their communities.
KOÇ-KAM collaborates closely with the Gender Equality Office at Koç University to promote gender equality within the university community and beyond. The office works closely with KOÇ-KAM to integrate gender perspectives into the university's academic and administrative practices, and to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all members of the university community.
The Gender Equality Office (GEO) is proud to be in close collaboration with the UNESCO Chair in Gender Equality and Sustainable Development of Koç University. Established in May 2016, the Chair is a research center that serves as a hub for the intersection of science and society. It aims to advance research in gender equality and sustainable development, establish national and international cooperation among researchers, and promote the advancement of gender equality in academia, the public sector, the private sector, and law. The UNESCO Chair is closely associated with Koç University’s Gender Studies Center (KOÇ-KAM), which has been actively funding research projects, providing training programs, networking and collaborating with other similar centers and NGOs in Turkey and abroad since 2010.The partnership between GEO and the UNESCO Chair is based on shared objectives, including promoting and supporting research on gender studies from gender equality and sustainable development perspectives, encouraging interest and advancing policy-relevant applied research in gender studies, training professionals on gender equality, and providing policy advice on gender equality and sustainable development. GEO values the collaboration and knowledge-sharing opportunities provided by the UNESCO Chair and looks forward to further strengthening the partnership in the future.
Koç University Office of Learning and Teaching (KOLT) is committed to the continual improvement of learning and teaching at Koç University. Established in 2009, KOLT provides comprehensive support to enhance academic experiences.
KOLT offers a range of services to promote effective teaching and learning. It provides academic tutoring, review sessions, and language conversation circles for students. Teaching Assistants benefit from specialized training workshops and resources to enhance their teaching skills. Faculty members receive support in various aspects of teaching, including faculty orientation programs, seminars, and assistance with educational technologies.
The Gender Equality Office (GEO) collaborates closely with KOLT, particularly in the area of gender mainstreaming in learning and teaching. Together, they have launched initiatives such as the Gender Inclusive Teaching Improvement Grant, aimed at fostering inclusive teaching practices. This partnership aligns with the goals of the Koç University Gender Equality Plan (KUGEP) and contributes to creating an inclusive educational environment.
Through their collaboration, GEO and KOLT work towards advancing gender equality and inclusivity at Koç University. Their joint projects and initiatives aim to create a supportive and inclusive learning environment for all members of the academic community.
Koç University Social Impact Forum (KUSIF) is a renowned research and practice center on social impact based in Koç University, Turkey. Established in 2012, KUSIF plays a pivotal role in promoting social innovation through education, research, and collaboration. With a focus on social entrepreneurship, KUSIF has emerged as a leading organization in the social impact field in Turkey. KUSIF is an active member of several international organizations, including Social Value International, The European Network for Social Enterprises and Impact-Driven Leaders (EUCLID), and International Sustainable Campus Network.
One of KUSIF’s significant responsibilities is leading the Turkish Social Impact Group and setting standards for social impact measurement and management in Turkey. KUSIF is also leading and partnering in various social entrepreneurship projects, contributing to the development of the field.
As a part of Koç University’s commitment to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles derived from human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption, KUSIF prepares the UN Global Compact Progress Report for Koç University. The Gender Equality Office (GEO) is one of Koç University’s initiatives to support the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles.
The Gender Equality Office of Koç University (GEO) collaborates with the Koç University Working Group for the development and implementation of a “Human Resources Strategy for Researchers” (HRS4R) to implement fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers. The HRS4R is a voluntary process where research institutions align their human resource policies with the 40 principles of the Charter & Code for fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures. The European Commission recognizes the institutions that make progress in aligning their human resources policies with the principles set out in the Charter & Code with the “HR Excellence in Research Award”. KU aims to improve HR practices for researchers in ethical and professional aspects, recruitment and selection, working conditions and social security, training, and development.
In this regard, KUGEP identifies the areas for collaboration between the GEO and the HRS4R team. The review of the instructional structure and policies by KUGEP revealed the lack of standardized recruitment and career support structures for early career researchers, especially at the R2 level, which was also diagnosed by the HRS4R Award Task Force in 2018. To address this issue, both teams collaborate to achieve and maintain gender balance in KU leadership, establish work-life balance and family-friendly workplace, and develop open, transparent, and merit-based recruitment procedures promoting gender equality for R2 level postdoctoral researchers.
Furthermore, they also aim to improve gender-sensitive recruitment and career services for early career researchers through close coordination and collaboration between the Gender Equality Office and HRS4R Action Plan Task Force. They plan to revitalize the Researcher Development Office with an enhanced and revised Researcher Development Framework to support the career development of early career researchers with a gender-sensitive approach. In addition, they will organize a task force composed of R1-R2 researchers from all disciplines to diagnose gendered discriminations encountered and develop policy recommendations and institutional solutions to improve the working conditions and career needs of young researcher bodies.
The collaboration between GEO and the HRS4R team has many common objectives and actions to realize the goals of implementing fair and transparent recruitment and appraisal procedures for researchers, improving HR practices for researchers, and developing career support structures for early career researchers.
European University of Post-industrial Cities (UNIC) is an alliance of 10 universities aiming to boost mobility, inclusion and social impact. UNIC universities and cities are the following: Koç University (İstanbul), University College Cork (Cork), Erasmus University Rotterdam (Rotterdam), Malmö University (Malmö), University of Lodz (Lodz), University of Liege (Liege), University of Zagreb (Zagreb), University of Oulu (Oulu), University of Deusto (Bilbao), Ruhr University Bochum (Bochum). Within this alliance universities are collectively working on creating and implementing numerous mobility opportunities such as exchange programs, joint graduate programs, virtual-blended learning as well as staff and-faculty trainings and promotion of city-university cooperation towards mapping societal problems and devising solutions.
One of the themes of the alliance is superdiversity across our institutions so that universities can become more friendly and inclusive for different groups and stakeholders. To this end, a number of initiatives and activities have been carried out such as establishing a network of scholars and practitioners, state of the art research, superdiversity trainings, establishing connections with new students and candidate students, and superdiverse classroom guideline. The State of the Art (SoA) Report (2021) explains the need to focus on superdiversity vis-à-vis universities as: “Superdiverse student communities are already present and included in teaching, research and administrative practices of higher education institutions. However, there is a gap between higher education institutions’ superdiverse student populations, marked by multi-dimensional complex identities, rapidly changing needs, and activist mindsets; and institutional strategies and policies which rely on single-dimensional identity markers, gradual policy responses and identity politics.”
UNIC alliance also launched a joint research program on engaged research to involve and engage citizens, civil society and public/private authorities in research and innovation. Within this framework the alliance has been developing a joint strategy, structure, platform and excellence on engaged research as a strategy for enhancing inclusion, impact and mobility within and in between the partner universities towards strengthening the alliance by adding an important research dimension to the existing collaboration.
For more information please visit: https://unic.eu/en
Koç Academy of Medical Education Research (KAMER) was founded in 2020 under the direction and guidance of the School of Medicine and School of Nursing as an instrument to support and promote educational research in order to: establish effective medical education methods and strategies to help the faculty, students and staff; develop an infrastructure to support the career development of academicians whose primary function is medical education; promote and support curricular innovation, novel teaching strategies and research in educational technologies; and to develop national and international collaborations in order to advance medical education and medical education research in Koç University and in our country. The collaboration between the Gender Equality Office and KAMER represents a significant step towards promoting gender mainstreaming in medical education.The joint efforts of these two units aim to provide innovative educational resources and modalities for faculty, which will contribute to establishing effective medical education methods and strategies. This partnership will not only support the career development of academicians, but also promote meaningful collaborations to advance medical education and research in Koç University.
Koç University’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Disabled Student Coordination Unit is responsible for promoting an inclusive environment that supports the participation of all students, regardless of their religion, gender, language, disability, or cultural characteristics. The unit coordinates with other university departments to ensure that solutions are developed for any unequal or discriminatory practices that students may face during their studies.
The unit closely monitors and provides support to the 42 students with disabilities at the university, including those with visual impairment, hearing impairment, mobility impairments, chronic illnesses, learning disorders, and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The work-study students supervised by the unit provide essential support to these students, including scanning textbooks, converting them into word documents, creating sound recordings of certain books, and note-taking during classes. They also provide peer support for the social activities of students with disabilities in student clubs.
The unit collaborates with the Department of Construction to make the campus more accessible for students with disabilities, including increasing the number of gates with hydraulic motors, constructing a special elevator next to a ramp, providing remote controls for certain gates, and providing Braille maps in each building. Alterations have been made to the campus sidewalks, and new desks for classes have been provided for students with mobility impairments.
The unit also supports the students’ requests for captioning services and provides technical equipment and new versions of software programs to meet the special needs of disabled students. In addition, the unit is in close contact with faculties who have students with disabilities in their classes, sending guidelines to professors to follow in teaching and supporting disabled students.
The Diversity, Inclusion, and Disabled Student Coordination Unit also plays a crucial role in promoting gender equality within Koç University. As a partner of the Gender Equality Office, the unit actively engages with students and supports gender mainstreaming in teaching. In particular, the unit’s work is instrumental in realizing action items of the Koç University Gender Equality Plan (KUGEP) related to student engagement and gender mainstreaming in teaching. Through its efforts, the unit helps to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all students, regardless of their gender or ability status.
The Koç University Sustainability Committee (KÜSÜK) is a voluntary group comprised of academics, administrators, and students who are dedicated to documenting and promoting sustainability efforts at Koç University. KÜSÜK, which stands for ``Koç Üniversitesi Sürdürülebilirlik Komitesi`` in Turkish, is not resentful despite the similarity of its name to the Turkish word ``küskün,`` which means resentful. On the contrary, KÜSÜK is proud and hopeful, as it recognizes the significant progress being made in various sustainability domains at Koç University and aims to do more. The Gender Equality Office at Koç University engages in collaborative efforts with KÜSÜK, acknowledging the significance of gender equality as a pivotal and intersecting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). With a keen awareness of the interconnectedness between its activities and the broader sustainability framework, the Gender Equality Office endeavors to promote inclusivity and sustainability through its initiatives. Adopting a multifaceted approach, the office strives to drive positive change by fostering inclusive practices and sustainable measures within the academic community. KÜSÜK's mission aligns with the broader sustainability efforts at Koç University, and together, they strive to build networks and connections among people for a more sustainable future.