Project Info

Project Info


Welcoming Syrian Refugees to İstanbul University: Improving Capacity and Knowledge Sharing





Grant Programme

H2020 Science with and for Society, Science4Refugees

CSA Coordination and Support Action


May 1, 2018-July 1, 2019 (14 months)


66.875 (EUR)


İstanbul University


       To increase Syrian students and researchers access, achievement and participation in higher education in Turkey

       To prepare higher education systems and higher education institutions to Syrian students and researchers increased inclusion and participation


       Preparation & Management (WP 1 & 2)

       Research (WP3)

o   Field work (İstanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep, Karabük)

       Piloting specifically tailored support at institutional level:

o    Application and Admission Support (WP 4)

o   Orientation Program (WP 5)

o   Academic Language Support (WP 6)

       Cooperation, dialogue and awareness raising (WP 7)

o   Info Session

o   Workshop

o   International Seminar

        Reporting (WP8)

Project Team

Management Team (PMT)

       Prof. Dr. Yeşer Yeşim Özer, İstanbul University, Faculty of Pol. Sci (Coordinator and WP 2 & 3 Leader)

       Prof. Dr. Ayşegül Komsuoğlu, İstanbul University, Faculty of Pol. Sci. (WP 8 Leader)

       Zeynep Özde Ateşok, İstanbul University, Faculty of Pol. Sci. (WP 7 Leader)

Team Members

       Mehmet Ali Ertürk, Istanbul University,  IT Manager (WP1 Leader) 

       Senem Ay Tunaboylu, İstanbul University, Business Analyst (Data Management Officer)

       Assist. Prof. Dr. Metin Ünver, İstanbul University, Exam for International Students Office (WP 4 Leader)

       Prof. Dr. Ergün Yolcu, İstanbul University, PR Office (WP 5 Leader)

       Assist. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yalçın Yılmaz, İstanbul University, Language Center (WP 6 Leader)

       Assist. Prof. Dr. Ceren Yıldırım Ark, İstanbul University, Faculty of  Pol. Sci. (Researcher)

Advisory Board

       Assoc. Prof. Dr. Reyhan Saydam, İstanbul University, Faculty of Health Science

       Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zişan Furat, İstanbul University, Faculty of Teology

Welcoming Syrian Refugees to Istanbul University: Improving Capacity and Knowledge Sharing (WESREF-IU)

With the flow of millions of Syrian refugees, Turkish higher education is facing the challenge of including ever growing numbers of refugee students to its system and preparing the system and institutions to their access, participation and inclusion. Although Turkey has taken crucial steps to provide refugees with access to higher education by revising and improving its legal framework, enrollment rates –which is above the world average of %1- are still low and needs further improvement along with the need to focus on their participation both educational and employment level.

There is an apparent need to understand the multifaceted, complex needs of refugee students, and to assure their integration into the system. HEIs’ recognition and understanding of the refugee students, researchers would not only contribute to their access and participation to academy, job market, eventual success and empowerment but would further increase the awareness regarding their value and diversity in the society. Therefore, with the aim of increasing effective cooperation with science and society and pairing science with social awareness and responsibility the project oversees the inclusion and participation of refugee students and researchers to HES in Turkey through the piloting of specifically tailored support mechanisms, general staff trainings, good practice and knowledge sharing with increased communication and cooperation.