Rector’s message to students

25 October 2020

Dear Students,

We share the happiness and excitement of reconnecting with some of you face-to-face and many of you via online platforms. I would like to congratulate all new students admitted for Fall 2020 and welcome them to our University.  

I would like to update you with recent developments and all our efforts to ensure your academic success and social development at the highest levels under pandemic conditions during the Fall 2020 semester. As you are well aware, the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic has forced us to carry the majority of our academic and scientific activities online. We will also continue to offer the majority of our cultural activities, one of the distinguishing features of our University, compatible with online systems.

In the past few months, we have worked intensely to improve our communication infrastructure, necessary to continue our academic and social activities actively and efficiently on online platforms. We have organized workshops and training sessions for academic and administrative personnel from all units to improve their experience and knowledge of online systems. Thanks to all of the precautions taken, many of our research laboratories have been able to resume their work under safe and healthy conditions. These developments will help us to minimize and even eliminate issues related to online classes and other scientific activities this semester as well. These have been positive outcomes of our experiences gained from 2020 Spring and Summer terms. Without any doubt, your timely adaptation to new conditions, efforts, and understanding have led to successful management of this process, and I would like to thank each one of you for that.  

Similar to previous terms, you can access the latest updates and information regarding the pandemic from our dedicated website at, where you also can learn about new regulations, campus access, etc. Together, based on the acquisition and sharing of trusted information we will prevent the spread of cases.   

For this term, we will be initiating new projects to improve distance education conditions and eliminate the disadvantages of being away from campus for all of our students. Specifically, for English Preparatory Class students, we have established the Departmental Peer program, prepared and led by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs. With your support, we believe this program will help English Prep students to adjust to our University settings. Similarly, our psychological support units (BÜREM/BÜSÖD) are fully operational to serve and support all of our students online.  I would like to remind you that you do not need to wait for a preliminary interview and can reach out to them at any time. 

For our students having difficulty accessing distance education, the financial support for internet access and the tablets/laptops provided last Spring will be available this term as well. Although limited in numbers, book support will also continue.  Those in need of such support, must apply to the Bursaries Office with the required documentation. The dormitories will also be available at limited capacity under the restrictions of the pandemic, with one student per room in flat-type units to be shared by four students per flat maximum. Under the current circumstances, rooms and flats cannot be occupied at higher capacities. For students taking face-to-face classes, dorm petitions are being collected and evaluated. However, the dormitories will continue to be open only under strict regulations during pandemic conditions. We are confident that our students who choose to stay at dorms will follow all COVID-19 protocols as explained in the signed declaration forms to protect their own health and safety as well as those of others present on campus and in the dorms.

It ultimately is important to comply with all of the new regulations in common study areas for our students who would like to utilize library services this new term. As a general rule, access to campuses on weekdays and weekends has been extended to 18:00, while that to North Campus, and to the common study areas next to the main library have been extended to 24:00. Starting from November 2nd, the library will be open until 20:00 during the week days only. These conditions will only be sustained as long as social distancing, mask-wearing, hygiene, and general rules are strictly followed.

All necessary disinfection procedures are carried out and social distancing measures have been taken in the student cafeterias.  In addition to lunch and dinner, breakfast is served in the dining halls in the North and Kandilli Campuses.  

In cooperation with a publishing house, we have provided our students an opportunity to send their purchase requests for international edition textbooks to the publishing house through the publisher's website.

Although the risk of infection forces us to conduct the majority of the University’s social and art activities online, I believe we will continue to experience a culturally-enriched semester organized by most of our units and departments. Within this framework, I would like to draw your attention to “Life Lessons in the Days of Corona - Corona Günlerinde Hayat Dersleri,” which will be organized by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs; “Career Chats – Kariyer Sohbetleri” and meetings, by the Career Center; and “Alumni on Campus- Mezunlar Kampüste” activities, by the Alumni Office. Our Public Relations and Communication Office also will organize an “Open Lectures –Açık Dersler” series coordinated by the Art and Culture Commission. We will continue to support all our student clubs fully so that they can carry out their events and activities this semester.

This past week, I was very happy to see that the University Orientation Days Program was well attended by our newly admitted students. Even though organized remotely, I hope you had the chance to meet with our student support units as well as the BU student clubs during the virtual fair, and to observe campus life and experience being part of it during the University Orientation Lectures.

It is without any doubt that the pandemic has negatively affected all of us. As Boğaziçi Family, our wishes and efforts are aimed towards minimizing these effects. All of our staff are working with you to get through these hard times. As such, our biggest wish is for this pandemic to come to an end so that we can see you face-to-face again, and our campuses return to their usual joy and happiness stemming from you. I am fully confident that your diligence and effort to comply with precautions taken for the common areas will help end this term as a good reflectance on our University.

I wish you all a healthy, happy, and successful 2020-2021 academic year.


Prof. Dr. Mehmed Özkan


October 25, 2020