Özyegin Rural Development Model
Özyegin University carries out studies in the fields of sustainable rural development and agriculture and food systems in the components of education, academic publication, creating student experiences, and preparing local development plans. ÖzU takes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as a reference in these studies. ÖzU Rural Development Model, which is shaped by the experience of integrated, rights-based programs initiated by Özyegin Foundation in 2007, has made it its mission to build bridges between academia, the public, non-governmental, and producer organizations to strengthen rural life. In this context, more than 400 professionals have benefited from the “Local and Rural Development Specialization Certificate Program” in which academics, local governments, civil society, and both public and private sector representatives share their knowledge and experiences. ÖzU Sustainability Platform prepared the “Research Report on the Integration of Rural and Urban Economies” in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Technology and Özyegin University in 2021.
This research examined the integration based on districts in terms of different axes such as production, consumption, demographics, and manifestations of social life, and produced policy recommendations on these axes. 170 districts included in the scope of the research were measured and classified over 41 different economic, social and cultural variables. The research report is the first study to analyze the integration of rural-urban economies according to quantitative data. Investment Plans for Mardin/Ömerli, Adyaman/Besni districts, and Kilis/Ravanda Basin were prepared by the cooperation between the Southeastern Anatolia Project (GAP) Regional Development Administration, Özyegin Foundation, and Özyegin University. District investment plans, which focus on holistic and sustainable local development, set an efficient example of multi sectoral cooperation with the active role of universities, civil society, and public institutions.
The model also enables ÖzU students and academicians to experience sustainable rural development practices on-site. In this context, the villages where the Hüsnü M. Özyegin Foundation has implemented rural development programs in Bitlis and Kilis are visited. During these visits, support is provided to meet the material needs of village schools.