Cambridge, Mass., Istanbul, Turkey, January 21, 2011—MIT Sloan School of Management and Sabanci University’s Sabanci School of Management (Sabanci SOM) today announced an alliance intended to strengthen the Turkish school’s capacity in management education and bolster its industry outreach in Eastern Europe and the Middle East while exposing MIT Sloan faculty and students to learning opportunities in a critically important region of the world.
The five-year collaboration between MIT Sloan and Sabanci SOM includes classes and other training for Executive MBA students in Cambridge and presentations by MIT Sloan faculty at Sabanci’s campus in Istanbul. The joint venture takes a practice-oriented approach to management, which is one of the hallmarks of MIT Sloan and reflects Sabanci’s approach to education for practical application.
“As a leading educational institution in an exciting and rapidly developing region, Sabanci University was an excellent choice for MIT Sloan’s first collaboration in Eastern Europe and the Middle East,” said David C. Schmittlein, Dean of MIT Sloan. “We are honored to have the opportunity to engage with Sabanci’s outstanding faculty and students with the shared and mutually beneficial goal of transforming global management practice.”
MIT Sloan’s expertise in stimulating innovation, combined with Sabanci SOM’s twin goals of training entrepreneurial leaders for fast-moving economies and increasing the sustainability of enterprises in Turkey are a natural fit, said Nakiye Avdan Boyacigiller, the Dean of the Sabanci SOM. “In its first decade, the Sabanci School of Management has built a reputation as one of Turkey’s top business schools. Our goal for our second decade is to internationalize in order to become one of the top business schools in the region,” she said. “By entering into a long-term collaboration with MIT Sloan, we hope not only to provide superior programs for our Turkish students, but also to increase our attraction for students from the broader region. At the same time collaborative research between MIT Sloan and Sabanci faculty will increase our knowledge of the managerial challenges facing enterprises of this region and other emerging markets.”
Sabanci University Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabanci said, “I hope this cooperation between MIT Sloan and Sabanci University SOM is the first step towards greater achievements. This cooperation will make the Sabanci School of Management a center of excellence and attraction, and a management school that has great influence across the region. This brings additional responsibilities to us all. We have confidence in the support of the Turkish business world, and believe that global companies investing in Turkey and the near region will utilize the resources provided by this cooperation to the maximum possible extent.”
As part of the collaboration, each year nearly 50 Executive MBA students from Sabanci SOM will spend two weeks on an educational exchange program at MIT Sloan learning about the U.S. business environment. Students will visit companies in the Boston area, attend lectures from MIT Sloan faculty, and complete a Global Business Project in conjunction with MIT Sloan’s Leadership Center. In addition, the collaboration makes Sabanci MBA students eligible to apply for admission to the Master of Science in Management Studies degree program at MIT Sloan, which they can do in two semesters.
Throughout the academic year, faculty from MIT Sloan will provide guest lectures to Sabanci SOM programs on subjects from data models and decision-making, to innovation, to leadership. These exchanges aim to increase MIT Sloan’s knowledge of Turkey and the region, and deepen its ties with the worldwide academic community.
The collaboration also seeks to build the capability of the already strong, but young faculty at Sabanci. Each year, Sabanci SOM fellows will be a part of MIT Sloan in Cambridge, joining other professors from around the world from Sloan’s partner schools. The Faculty Fellows will participate in activities designed to boost teaching effectiveness, improve research, and enhance scholarship. Sabanci SOM will join MIT Sloan’s network of leading business schools around the world including Brazil, Russia, India, China, and Korea.
The announcement of the alliance was made at the Sakip Sabanci Museum and hosted by President Nihat Berker, before an audience of hundreds of Istanbul’s most influential members of the business and higher education communities. Güler Sabanci, chairperson of the Sabanci University board of trustees and family-controlled Sabanci Holdings, one of the largest industrial and financial conglomerates in Turkey, sponsored the event.