Press Releases

Istanbul’s Bilgi University to Expand with IFC Support New Business School and Expanded Adult Education Planned

In Washington DC:
Corrie Shanahan

Phone: (202) 473 2258


Washington, D.C., December 1, 2005 — The International Finance Corporation has signed an agreement to provide Bilgi University in Istanbul with a $10 million loan and an additional stand-by loan of up to $5 million. The investment will allow the university to establish a business school and to expand the number of students enrolled. It will also consolidate its e-learning platform through a new information center and introduce distance learning for adult education through satellite learning centers across the country. This is IFC’s second investment in the university.

Mr. Nebil Żlseven, member of the university’s Board of Trustees, stated that the IFC investment will strengthen Bilgi’s reputation as a provider of comprehensive business education at academic and non-degree professional levels.  The university is expected to provide high-quality business education to a broad spectrum of students and to become a center for excellence in the field of professional training and mid-career educational opportunities.

“The investment will capitalize on Bilgi’s success in its business degrees, in particular its MBA and e-MBA programs, which the university initiated when IFC made its first investment of $12 million in 2001,” added Mr. Guy Ellena, director of the Health and Education Department at IFC.

“Through Bilgi, IFC will continue to assist a leader in the area of business education and significantly enhance the reach of quality education to more remote areas in Turkey,” said Mr. Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC’s acting regional director for Southern Europe and Central Asia.

Turkey has significant strategic importance for IFC.  As of October 2005, the country is IFC’s fifth-largest exposure in terms of committed portfolio, at around $1 billion.

IFC's Health and Education Department provides project financing through a variety of financial instruments, including loans and direct equity investments, as well as local currency financing. The department also provides technical assistance to support its clients throughout the life of a project and undertakes independent research to explore issues facing the sector in various regions.

The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.  IFC coordinates its activities with the other institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally and financially independent.  Its 178 member countries provide its share capital and collectively determine its policies.

The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its own funds and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.  For more information, visit