The inauguration of Turkey's first blockchain university, the Istanbul Blockchain and Innovation Center (BlockchainIST Center), was announced by local state-owned news outlet Daily Sabah on August 4, which said the hub is intended to "close the expertise gap" so that the country can begin utilizing the technology across many industries.
The center, located at Bahcesehir University, will facilitate academic studies by students and entrepreneurs, and aims to carve out a prestigious name for itself in the international blockchain ecosystem.
The director of the new center, Bora Erdamar told Daily Sabah:
"The purpose of the BlockchainIST project is to be the most important center of research and development and innovation in Turkey in which scientific studies and publications are made in blockchain technologies. To this end, it is crucial to cooperate with other universities, the business world and government institutions."
Erdamar emphasized the importance for the nation's digitization and highlighted the opportunity for Turkey "to lead this business [of blockchain development] with such a center." He went on to say, "We will strive to train Turkey's human resources in blockchain and enable the country to lead the world in this area," which he believes has the potential to revolutionize global society.
According to its website, the BlockhainIST Center will not only provide undergraduates with the opportunity to learn about blockchain technology, but it will offer a FinTech master's program, and a graduate level blockchain and crypto economics course as well. In addition, the center will provide both undergraduate and graduate students with the opportunity to research, design, and test their own blockchain applications. While the site appears to still be under construction, the center intends to hold a fall 2018 session.
Education in blockchain technology has received a lot of attention lately. On July 17, ETHNews reported that IBM and Columbia University had collaborated to create the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, and the Copenhagen Business School's Blockchain Summer School begins classes next week.