Adopting the principle of 'Non scholae, sed vitae discimus' (learning not for school but for life), İstanbul Bilgi University took its place within the Turkish system of higher education as a civil corporation after the application made by the Bilgi Education and Culture Foundation on 7 June 1996 and the subsequent approval by the Turkish Grand National Assembly as per the Law number 4142.
Over time İstanbul Bilgi University has grown to encompass 3 campuses that cover nearly a total of 210,000 m², namely Kuştepe, Dolapdere and santralistanbul, where it continues to serve its students and the academic world in Turkey.
Having broken many new grounds in Turkey within 23 years, İstanbul Bilgi University had a long term partnership between 2006-2019 with Laureate Education, one of the largest international education networks in the world, with the aim of increasing the quality of education and research and becoming a university that can compete globally. In 2019, Can Holding joined the supporters of Bilgi Culture and Education Foundation.
The university currently has near 20,000 students and 45,000 alumni, approximately 1,500 academicians; 7 faculties, 3 institutes, 4 schools, 3 vocational schools, and 150+ programs that provide education to its associate, undergraduate and graduate students.