Skills required by the information and technology-based global economy of our day may be gained by our young population only through education and training. Quality in education, access to education, and equality in education are accepted as the most important problems of our education system. For continuity of economic development of Turkey, for increase of welfare level, and for equipping the young population with knowledge and skills required for transformation into a knowledge-based society, the education and training funds must be increased, and reform in education must be speeded up. At this point, support of private sector is also important. In addition to social responsibility activities of Koç Group Companies in education, Vehbi Koç Foundation is, since its foundation, providing education grants and scholarships to students, and is showing exemplary models to the society with its education institutions targeted to be a center of excellence.
Vocational High Schools: A Matter of Country
The Vocational High Schools: A Matter of Country (MLMM) Project is initiated in 2006 with collaboration of Vehbi Koç Foundation, Ministry of National Education and Koç Holding, with the intention of creating awareness in all segments of society on the importance of vocational technical education, and leading the community in order to spread seeds of cooperation between the government and the business world.
By time, the project has so far been involved in by 264 vocational high schools and 8,000 vocational high school students, as well as by 20 Koç Group Companies of different scales and industries, and by over 350 employees as volunteers.
As a part of the project, various companies are matched to vocational high schools giving education in their fields of business, in order not only to increase the employability of youngsters, but also to contribute to training of qualified human resources needed by companies.
These matches have by time spread from scholarship, internship and volunteer mentorship supports provided to vocational high school students to curriculum, materials and laboratory supports to schools with the intention of improving the educational infrastructure and contents in schools, thereby adapting them to the cutting-edge technologies, depending on the needs and facilities of schools and companies.
This structure, named by time as "School - Company Matching Model" with the addition of such components as scholarship, curriculum, laboratory, internship, personal and vocational development and employment supports, is based upon the aim of building bridges between education and business world by developing industry-based collaborations between vocational schools and business enterprises. As a part of its "the Vocational High Schools: A Matter of Country (MLMM) Project", Koç Holding is striving to spread its above cited model in corporate, industrial and political levels.
Vehbi Koç Foundation Scholarships
Having established a relationship with more than 43 thousand students through its scholarship programs so far, Vehbi Koç Fundation has provided scholarship to 4,048 students, comprising 3,251 secondary school and 797 university students through its institutions and its centrally- managed scholarship programs in 2012 – 2013 academic year. Also in 2012, Vehbi Koç Foundation aimed to cover a greater number of successful and needy students by increasing its existing VKV Main Scholarship quotas. As a result, total number of universities being supported by Vehbi Koç Foundation reached 17.
Support to Van
Aiming to dress the wounds of education and educators in the region following the earthquake in Van, Vehbi Koç Foundation, with the support of Ford Otosan, completed the construction of "Ford Otosan Teacher Lodgings" complex in 2012.
The complex built in Kalecik Village of Van is composed of 4 three-storey buildings, and consists of a total of 128 apartment flats of 1+1 or 2+1, and 1 social facility, closed and open sports halls and courts, green areas and auto-park. Furthermore, 17 companies of Koç Group made contribution to construction of 17 teacherages by donating a total sum of 1 million 20 thousand lira to "Turkey For Van Money-Box" initiated by the Turkish Education Foundation (TEV) in cooperation with Turkcell and under the auspices of the Ministry of National Education.
The joint conference covering the themes of "Education Architecture in 21st Century" and "Effect of Environment on Education", organized by Vehbi Koç Foundation and Cannon Design, has, after the first conference organized in February 2011, been organized for the second time in Koç University, Anatolian Civilizations Research Center. Offering innovative education media and pedagogical approaches, and being in an organic relation with its student-centered population, and conducted with contributions of Cannon Design for creating a repeatable "model school", the Model School Project generated an architectural concept, and through this architectural concept, the education, architecture and learning in the new century issues are discussed by the participants. Thus, the ideas and thoughts shaped around a repeatable "model school" planned to be completed in 2014 have been shared with the public.
VKV Koç University
Turning 20 in 2013, Koç University is a foundation university accepting the greatest number of students from the first 500, 1,000 and 1,500. Furthermore, it is one of 3 universities from Turkey found eligible for entering the 250 universities on the world list in Times Higher Education survey.