Volume 13, Number 1
12 September

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Entrance Exam’s Top Scorers Choose Bilkent

Based on the results announced by the Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM), Bilkent University continues to attract Turkey's best students. Onur Tidin, ranked first in the quantative category, and Cihad Ocak, ranked third in the quantative category, have both chosen to study in Bilkent's Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department. Burak Eryiğit, ranked first in the verbal category, has chosen to study in Bilkent's Faculty of Law. Sevcan Hacılar, ranked second in the foreign language category, has chosen to study in Bilkent’s School of Applied Languages in the Translation and Interpretation Department. Finally, in the equally-weighted category, Emrah Ayaz, ranked second, has chosen to study in the Department of Management.

Five of the ten students with the highest scores on the 2006 University Entrance Exam (ÖSS-Quantative) have chosen to study at Bilkent this year.
The number of top-ten scorers enrolling at different universities is as follows: Bilkent University - 5
Boğaziçi University - 2
Middle East Technical University - 2
Hacettepe University - 1

Bilkent Students Around the World

A number of Bilkent students, 119 to be precise, are off to spend time in Europe during the 2006-07 academic year. Bilkent students will spend one semester or the academic year in partner universities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Finland, Italy, Scotland, Denmark, Austria, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Belgium, Ireland. In return, Bilkent is hosting 63 exchange students from international universities around the world this academic year. We wish those students going abroad a wonderful and rewarding experience! And to those students joining us from around the world, we extend a warm welcome to you all!

If you are interested in spending a semester in Europe, please visit http://www.socrates.

If you are interested in participating in an exchange with American universities, please visit http://www.bilkent.edu. tr/bilkent/academic/international/

LAUD Students Win International Award

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Students from Bilkent's department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design were awarded for their work in an international competition this past summer. The competition, launched by Carleton University, under the auspices of UNESCO and UIA, was centered around the theme of the gentrification of historical districts.

The results of the competition were presented during the UN-HABITAT World Urban Forum III Conference in Vancouver, B.C., Canada from the 19th to the 23rd of June, 2006. The urban design competition was open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students in architecture, city planning, urban geography and sociology from around the world.

Under the guidance of Dr. Ayşegül Tokol, the LAUD student team including Sevgi Yücesan, Harun Ekinoğlu, Gökçe Gerekli, Müge Durusu and Seda Patır, were awarded for their project: "Antakya Tarihi Kentlerin Sürdürülebilirliğinde bir Yöntem Olarak 'Atomik Aktivasyon Enerjisi' Metaforunun Kullanılması" and placed 5th overall.

The aims of the competition were twofold. First, students were challenged to identify issues of gentrification that may impact a historical district's urban identity in their region. Next, the competition invited the students to articulate novel socio-cultural and economic perspectives in their historical district that enhance traditional architectural characteristics and social sustainability constructs. The Bilkent team is the first Turkish team to receive an award in this competition.

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From the Rector

Dear Members of the Bilkent Community,

Academic instruction at Bilkent began twenty years ago, in the autumn of 1986. Although the bulk of Bilkent's land had been purchased much earlier, in the 1960s, Turkey's constitution had in those years prohibited nonprofit foundations from establishing universities. (Our legal system at that time reflected many features of continental European models, where, in the sphere of higher education, state universities dominated the scene.) Our founder, İhsan Doğramacı, had been an advocate for nonprofit private research universities since the 1950s. His perseverance paid off in 1982 when his suggestions were incorporated into articles 130 and 131 of our constitution, thereby allowing foundations to establish such universities.

Historian John Grabowski of Case Western Reserve University narrates this drive for excellence and educational reform in greater detail in his video history documentary. His colleagues at Case found these pioneering events of such importance that our founder received a letter from Case Western Reserve last week stating that they would like to see him at their graduation ceremonies next spring so as to award him with his 26th honorary doctorate.

Let me return to 1986. That year, Deniz Ertaş, the student with the highest quantitative score on the ÖSS, the national university entrance examination, chose to attend Bilkent. A visitor coming to Bilkent twenty years ago would have felt the pioneering spirit permeating our entire community. To express our gratitude to the people who contributed to that spirit in 1986, we will organize special tributes during the course of the year.

And so, here we are in 2006. We see that twenty years later Bilkent continues to be a top choice for excellent students. Again the student with the highest quantitative score on the ÖSS (Onur Tidin) has chosen Bilkent. This year our Business School received full accreditation from the AACSB, making it the only one of its kind in the region of Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Caucasus. From the basic sciences to engineering, from the social sciences to the humanities, arts and music, Bilkent abounds with outstanding faculty members and students. Bilkent is also reaching out beyond its main campus to enrich educational opportunities for others. We are currently establishing a campus in Erzurum and will, next September, admit students to its high school, which aims to be world-class. Seventy-five percent of the students there will be on full scholarship. We plan to add a graduate school of education and an elementary school to the campus, and then replicate all this in Malatya, Şanlıurfa and Van. Finally, I would like to add that here in Ankara, the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra's 2006-2007 season will be more exciting than ever, with conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy making guest appearances.

In brief, Bilkent continues to grow as a center of excellence, while maintaining its pioneering spirit. It is you, the students, the staff and the faculty members, who make Bilkent what it is. This history in the making will be shaped by your continued commitment and your personal involvement. I wish you a wonderful new academic year.

Ali Doğramacı

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