PIONEER OF NEW GENERATION UNIVERSITIES – International Higher Education Hub in the Heart of Turkey

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Abdullah Gül University (AGU), the first Turkish Public University supported by a philanthropic foundation (AGUV), was established on 21 July 2010 and enrolled its first students in the 2013- 2014 academic year.

The efforts towards the establishment of a second Public University in Kayseri began in 2007 with an initiative of the city’s various leaders. The university was named after the 11th President of the Republic of Turkey, the Honourable Abdullah Gül, a Kayseri native, highlighting the strengths of the city in the field of education and the nationally accepted merits of its citizens in economic development and entrepreneurship. AGU would be developed to high standards, creating a difference in Turkish Higher Education.

The university project transformed one of the earliest and largest industrial complexes of the Republic of Turkey, Kayseri Sümerbank Textile Factory, into a campus of higher education of 280.000 m2. The construction of a second AGU campus (3.600.000 m2) named after Mimar Sinan, the chief architect of the most glorious period of the Ottoman Empire, also born in Kayseri, continues as well.


(approx. numbers as of 06/2020)

  • Bachelor students: 1750
  • Master students: 110
  • Doctorate students: 110

Total: 1970

Including 190 international students coming from over 50 different countries (10% of the student body)

Abdullah Gül University, AGU, Institutional Report, Students, Steel Building


Faculty of Engineering:

Faculty of Managerial Sciences

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Faculty of Life and Natural Sciences:

Faculty of Architecture


  • Advanced Cell Analysis Lab.
  • BISA-LAB. (Biomedical Image And Signal Analysis Lab.)
  • Bio, Micro and Nano Systems Lab.
  • Biomedical Lab.
  • Bioinformatics Lab.
  • Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Lab.
  • Biomaterials Synthesis and Development Lab.
  • BIOMINDS (Bio and Micro-/ Nano-Devices and Sensors)
  • Brain-Computer Interface Lab.
  • Cell Biology Lab.
  • C. Elegans (Human Genetic Diseases) Lab.
  • Cell Culture (Cancer Research) Lab.
  • Central Research Lab.
  • Certification Lab.
  • Chromatographic Analysis Lab.
  • Confocal Imaging Lab.
  • Control and Robotics Research Lab.
  • Digital Modelling and Manufacturing Lab.
  • Electrical Machines and Power Electronics Lab.
  • Geotechnical and Soil Mechanics Lab.
  • Glycomix Characterization Lab.
  • Hydraulic and Hydro Energy Lab.
  • Laser Systems Lab.
  • Mass Spectrometry Lab.
  • Materials Lab. Transportation Lab.
  • Micro and Nano-Material Computational Design Lab.
  • Micro- and Nano-Device Fabrication Lab.
  • Microproduction and Lithography Lab.
  • Micro- and Nano-Featured Material Development Lab.
  • Micro- and Nano-Electromechanical Systems Lab.
  • Microwave Lab.
  • Simulation and Optimization Lab.
  • Nano Imaging and Analysis Lab.
  • Optoelectronic Material Development and Characterization Lab.
  • Organic Materials Design and Synthesis Lab.
  • Optoelectronic Device Lab.
  • Spectroscopic Analysis Lab.
  • Structural Mechanics Lab.
  • Tissue Culture (Cancer Signalling) Lab.


  • Career and Professional Development Application and Research Centre
  • Continuing Education Application and Research Centre
  • Digital Publications Application and Research Centre
  • Gifted Children Education Application and Research Centre
  • Lifelong Learning Centre
  • Middle East leadership and Entrepreneurship Application and Research Centre
  • Psychological Counselling and Guidance Application and Research Centre
  • Youth Studies Research Centre

2019 AGU Institutional Infographic-Photos copy


The Abdullah Gül University was created as a Socio-Technical University Model for Higher Education, an on-going initiative supported by the Turkish Ministry of Development.
The project was defined with the help of about 20 Search Conferences and 40 Workshops, and has aimed at pioneering the New Generation University model in Turkey, with unique and innovative curricula and educational processes, in the objective of disseminating the project’s findings across all higher education institutions in the country and beyond.

This pilot project, started in 2010 by the Turkish State to revolutionize Higher Education, was shaped by +700 contributors from Universities, Corporations, NGOs, etc. and is the 1st cross-sectorial initiative for a Hybrid University model.


The Abdullah Gül University was established in the city of Kayseri (1.5 Mio inhabitants), the birthplace of the architect Mimar Sinan and 11th President of Turkey, and a Historical, Trade, Industrial and Touristic Hub of Turkey.

Throughout time, the city became the cradle of many civilizations and an important halt along the Silk Road. It is also one of the “Anatolian Tigers” – these Turkish cities that have enjoyed immense economic growth – and has been an important touristic platform thanks to the continued popularity of both the UNESCO World Heritage site of Cappadocia and Mt Erciyes Ski Centre.


As part of its objective to innovate Higher Education and produce Graduates equipped with the best skills for today’s globalized society. All AGU programs are taught 100% in English, which makes AGU one of the very few institutions in Turkey to do so.
The University offers programmes with innovative and learner-focused approaches at the Bachelor, Master and PhD levels in its Faculties of Engineering, Life and Natural Sciences, Managerial Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences and Architecture. AGU research programmes emphasize interdisciplinarity and aim to make original contributions to academic literature and to support the economic, technological and social development of society.




The Abdullah Gül University Foundation (AGUV), established on 13 July 2011 with the sole purpose of supporting Abdullah Gül University on its path to becoming a world university, brings together the leaders of Turkish industry and business.
In addition to providing financial support, AGUV is a model of cooperation, focused on mutual vision and mission statements with the university for the achievement of its goals.

The primary support areas of AGUV include: Scholarship support for successful students, Support for the economic, social and cultural expectations of the faculty members and administrative staff and Developing the educational and technological capacity of the university and enhancing its research infrastructure.

AGU is the first hybrid model between State and private universities in the Turkish higher education system.


AGU, as a Research University seeking Solutions to Global Challenges through Partnerships and Learner-Centered Approaches, aims to develop Citizens who can contribute to Societies and Shape the Future by converting Knowledge into Personal and Social Values.

With its mission focusing on societal impact, AGU targets global challenges, which will also stimulate students’ professional careers and ambitions. AGU aspires to the ways of engagement with UN sustainable development goals (SDGs) through the provision of qualified human resources, development of technology, production of patents, founding of new start-up companies, running of industrial projects, development of economic and social policy, contribution to cultural life, and the dissemination of knowledge to the society.

Besides focusing on the production of knowledge to benefit society, AGU addresses real-world issues and problems in education and research. Real-world issues do not only feed naturally into trans-disciplinary studies but also highlight the impact of education. The education and research environments at AGU are designed to converge on real-life problems. Thus, students find opportunities within new learning and research experiences to develop their careers.

Although giving individual emphasis on Education, Research, and Societal Impact, contemporary universities are significantly lacking in the degree of integrating these three functions into their systems. While these requirements are often considered separately, AGU sets out to design the multiplicative rather than additive effect of these three interactive elements. By breaking down the walls between disciplines, the opportunity arises for real-world subjects to become the work in the university’s programmes.

With these principles, AGU has adopted an approach of continuous research and development and on training students on 21st Century Skills, including Adaptability, Creative Problem Solving, Communication, Team Work, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Know-How Exploitation.




AGU Values tr-eng3-02.jpg



The University designed and implemented a unique structure called “Multiplier Impact Platform”, which places Societal Impact in all core institutional operations and enables an interaction, through projects, with the other two University missions: Education and Research. All AGU activities are processed through the platform for a multidimensional approach and multiplied impact.

Abdullah Gül university, AGU, Multiplier Impact Platform, MIP, Social Impact Platform, Research Platform, Education Platform



The implementation of AGU’s vision triggered the creation of numerous unique departments such as:

The Youth Factory showcases the AGU Brand on the international arena with 12 projects funded by the European Union, United Nations and Erasmus grants. Countless students from both AGU and different regions of the country are trained with a focus on global problem areas. Over 300 students were sent abroad thanks to student exchange programmes and gained new experiences.

AGU became one of the centres in Turkey for international tests such as TOEFL and SAT. Students aspiring to continue their education abroad now have the opportunity to take international exams in Kayseri rather than having to travel to congested centres in Ankara or Istanbul.

The AGU Academy, the University’s Lifelong Learning Center, organizes certified training programs in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Brand Management, Cyber Security and English Language Education for engineers, managers and other occupational groups based in Kayseri.

AGU’s Children’s University has so far provided training courses to around 1500 families and trainers and organized workshops with 1400 children aged 4-14.

This Vision implementation also requires the strengthening of key existing units such as:


An Innovative Curriculum structure called “3dC” was also created. It includes 3 different paths named “Personal Development”, “Glocal Challenges” and “Professionalization”, as well as Competency-based personalized programmes units called “Capsule”.

Innovative courses were created in order to expose early-stage undergraduate students to current global challenges (“GLB: AGU Ways”) or enable international collaborative interaction and work via online courses (i.e. “Molecular engineering and soft Nano-materials” in partnership with the Missouri University of Science and Technology).


AGU developed an innovative Global Challenge Curriculum (GLB) composed of one mandatory course and several elective courses taught throughout the four Undergraduate academic years. These courses focus on global topics such as the ones tackled by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

AGU Global Courses’ objectives are the following:

  • To help students comprehend and seek solutions to current and future world challenges in an innovative and stimulating class environment.
  • To help students develop and improve soft and hard skills that are relevant to today’s job market
  • To establish a culture of dialogue, debate, “Learning by Doing”, teamwork, empathy and participatory learning
  • To enable progress through the blending of all 3 Contemporary University Missions: Education, Research and Societal Impact

Abdullah Gül University, AGU, Global Challenges, AGU WAYS, innovative, curriculum


A Digital Platform (AGU ePlatform) is being designed to go beyond the simple communication & networking functions used by HEIs and accommodate daily collaborative study routines as demanded by the competency-based projects driven educational model: Social functions and Learning Analytics for continuous formative assessment

Partnerships with local, national and international companies were set up in order to provide support for curriculum/course development, meaningful research, and placement opportunities.


Since the launch of the AGU – New Generation University project in 2010, the Abdullah Gül University has already observed the following positive outcomes:


Recognition in International Rankings:

Times Higher Education Impact Ranking (THE Impact)

This world ranking is based on the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which AGU is integrating into every aspect of university life, including in the development of its curricula.

AGU was ranked #101-200 in the ranking’s first edition (2019), which evaluated over 500 institutions from 75 countries The University’s notable achievements in this Ranking include: Top 10 in the “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, Top 40 in “Climate Action”, Top 60 in “Reduced Inequalities” and Top 80 in “Responsible Consumption and Production” categories.

AGU maintained its #101-200 in the 2020 edition, which evaluated over 850 institutions from 85 countries. AGU is the youngest university in the Top 200 as well as the only Turkish Higher Education Institution to have been ranked in the top 200 and is therefore this year’s top-performing university in Turkey.

Times Higher Education, THE, Impact rankings 2019, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Reduced Inequalities, Climate Action, Responsible Consumption and Production

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World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI)

This world ranking evaluates universities’ real contributions to society.

AGU was ranked 41st in the ranking’s first edition (2020), including a 10th position in the “Student Mobility and Openness” category, recognizing the innovative and rich AGU internationalization practices and mobility opportunitiesScreen Shot 2020-06-15 at 11.38.02.jpg

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Quacquarelli Symonds Emerging Europe and Central Asia (QS)

AGU was ranked 183rd in the 2019 edition of this regional ranking, with notable results, especially in the fields of:

  • Citations Per Paper: ranked 2nd among 354 institutions (1st in Turkey)
  • International Faculty: ranked 27th among 354 institutions (6th in Turkey)
  • Papers Per Faculty: ranked 72nd among 354 institutions (9th in Turkey)



Attraction of Quality Students: AGU attracts national students ranked in the Top 10% of the yearly National University Entrance Exam. The University is also enrolling international students scoring top-results at world-recognized tests/exams (e.g. SAT, ACT, IB, GCE, etc.).

Satisfaction of Students: AGU was ranked 1st among Public universities (5th overall) in the 2019 National Student Satisfaction Survey (TÜMA). AGU Rector Prof. Dr. İhsan Sabuncuoğlu was one of the 3 recipients nationwide of the Gold Award in the “Rector’s Performance” category. AGU ranked 1st among public universities in the national index evaluating the best transition to online education in response to the COVID-19 epidemic (2020). The University Assessments and Research Laboratory (ÜniAR) surveyed around 18.000 students in Turkey to create the ranking.

Research Output: the Abdullah Gül University is ranked in the Top 3 among Turkish universities for Research output (indexed publications, citations and impact factor per faculty), AGU counts many nationally and internationally awarded researchers, exploring new and innovative research topics, with a focus on societal impact. AGU members’ research projects have been receiving continuous support from industrial and public institutions (such as TÜBİTAK and the European Union).
In the period of 2014-2018, around 40 AGU projects received grants from TÜBİTAK’s Presidency for Research Grant Programs, and particularly in terms of its budget per project, AGU became one of the leading universities in Turkey.
In the latest list of the University Rankings by Academic Performance (URAP), known as an international rating agency for higher education, AGU was placed 2nd among the 86 universities established after 2000.

Academic Awards: AGU Faculty members have been recipients of numerous national and international recognitions, including “Outstanding Successful Young Scientists Awards” of the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA), “Young Scientist Awards” of the Science Heroes Association, TÜBİTAK Awards, World Science Forum “Young Scientist of the Year” and the “Leaders in Innovation Fellowship” of the Royal Academy of Engineering – London.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation performance: AGU was ranked 12th in the 2018 Turkish University Entrepreneurship and Innovation Index (out of 190 Universities); and 1st among young universities (younger than 25 years).

R&D Projects with the Industry: with the vision in mind to achieve global success with local strength and integration, AGU has carried out research and development projects with many companies including Kayseri Transportation, Orta Anadolu, Güven Makine, Başyazıcıoğlu, Haşçelik, etc. Moreover, within the scope of university-industry collaboration at the national scale, the University has implemented 22 projects with a total budget of approximately 13 Mio TL, with many companies including ASELSAN, Türk Telekom, Türkcell and Arçelik.

Ideal Learning Environment: AGU members benefit from a 7:1 Student/Academician ratio, modern facilities (brand new, top-quality equipment and connected classrooms) and award-winning campus.



Organisation and Strategy: Clear and ambitious internationalisation structure, strategy (Internationalisation Strategy 2015-2020, recognised at the Times Higher Education Asia Awards 2020) and implementation plan were put in place in order to increase the University’s international profile and impact. An Internationalization Committee and International mobility offices were created in order to increase the number of international students, staff members, activities, connections, mobility opportunities, etc.

Creating an International Hub: AGU’s internationalised approach has led the institution to reach a 20% international staff and 10% international student ratio with 50 nationalities on campus. 100% of AGU academicians have international study and/or work experience. The medium of instruction at AGU is 100% English. All AGU policies and regulations are internationally compatible and available in English.

Intercultural Trainings: Several intercultural events, such as festivals, series, workshops, etc. have been organised in order to encourage dialogue among cultures, intercultural exchange, cultural enrichment, etc.

A Growing Network: The University has signed partnerships with 150 academic institutions from 45 different countries on 5 continents. These include double degree programs developed with US and French Universities. AGU is a key knowledge partner of the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI), a global collaborative enterprise to propose policy responses to major global problems, addressed by the G20, the G7 and other global governance fora.

Accreditations and Memberships: AGU is Erasmus+ accredited since 2014 and is also a member of the Mevlana Program, Eurodesk and follows the Bologna process for European credit recognition. The University is European Voluntary Service (EVS) accredited and a member of the SDSN Youth network. AGU is a signatory and member of the Magna Charta Universitatum as well as the Hanseatic League of Universities.

Conferences: AGU hosted several international academic symposia, conferences, workshops, trainings, etc., attended by several hundred international guests. AGU designed and launched its International Higher Education Conference (IHEC) via its Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching. AGU has also successfully created and hosted three editions of its unique International Symposium on Youth Employment Challenges (ISYEC) via the AGU Youth Factory.

Test Centres: AGU is one of the few certified SAT® and TOEFL® Test Centers in Turkey. Hundreds of test takers from across the nation and abroad come to AGU in order to join AGU’s sessions of these tests.

Approach and Methods: AGU has developed innovative curricula and courses with international approach and components:

  • Learning outcomes complying with the requirements of the European Commission
  • International concepts, topics, methods, case studies, etc.
  • Programmes designed to fulfil employers’ expectations and needs worldwide

Abdullah Gül University, AGU, International Youth Fest


The Abdullah Gül University New Generation University project is innovative and the first of its kind, and of this scale, in Turkey. For that reason, the project has been divided into several roll-out phases, each phase being the subject of close inspections and evaluations by the involved stakeholders; especially the Turkish Ministry of Development. The fourth and last phase of the project is meant to be the dissemination and sharing of the model’s design, implementation and results with all interested national and international institutions.

As the New Generation University project has already brought rapid and significant positive results, AGU initiated the dissemination phase earlier and in parallel with the 2nd and 3rd phases. Many Turkish and foreign institutions, organisations, event holders have invited AGU members to present the model’s objectives and development stage during major events and summits.

Since 2015, the Abdullah Gül University New Generation University Model has been presented at over 30 separate study visits, meetings including the following:

Abdullah Gül University, AGU, International, conferences, participant

Abdullah Gül University, AGU, International Students, 2018

Since 2015, AGU members had the opportunity to speak and present the New Generation University Model at some of the most renowned international summits including the following:Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 10.26.47.jpgAbdullah Gül University, AGU, Hanseatic League of Universities Conference, Partner Universiies, Campus Visits


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