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 according to Law number 4142.
Over time İstanbul Bilgi University has grown to encompass 4 campuses that nearly a total of 206,000 m2 and it is on these four campuses (Kuştepe 32,000 m2, Dolapdere 21,000 m2, santralistanbul 148,000 m2 -with annex building- and Kozyatağı 4,300 m2) that it continues to serve its students and the academic world in Turkey.
Having realized many firsts in its 21 years and with the aim of increasing the quality of education and research and becoming a university that can compete globally, İstanbul Bilgi University began a long term partnership with Laureate Education, one of the largest international education networks in the world, in 2006 and continues to be a part of this network.
The university currently has 23,000 students, nearly 1,000 academic staff members, 7 faculties, 3 institutes, 4 schools, 3 vocational schools, and 150+ programs that provide education to its associate, undergraduate and graduate students. As of 2017, the university has graduated more than 30,000 students.