Izmir Chamber of Commerce (IZTO), one of the leading non-governmental organizations of Turkey, which has 80 thousand members, was founded in 1885. Izmir Chamber of Commerce, which has witnessed three centuries, has always been the symbol of innovations and changes since the Izmir Economics Congress in 1923 to which Atatürk attended personally. Izmir Chamber of Commerce, which is on a mission to develop projects that will add value to Izmir, and make the city progress in all areas, has established “Izmir Chamber of Commerce Social Welfare Foundation” in 1988 in order to leave long-lasting works in the area of education. The Foundation, which grew rapidly with the support of the benefactors in Izmir, has trained many students by opening primary schools, Izmir Chamber of Commerce Foundation Industrial Vocational High School, and vocational courses. In 1995, the Foundation’s name was changed to “Izmir Chamber of Commerce Health and Education Foundation”. The establishment of a foundation university, a pride Izmir had been longing for, took place in 2001.
Izmir University of Economics was established officially with 2 faculties, 5 schools, and 2 graduate schools pursuant to Law No.4633 published in Official Gazette No. 24373 and dated April 14, 2001. On July 1, 2001, it moved to its current campus on Balçova with the support of Ahmet Piriştina, the Metropolitan Mayor of Izmir at the time. Starting its education journey with 288 students, Izmir University of Economics, which carries the status of being the first foundation university of the Aegean Region, became one of the most preferred universities across the nation and produced 16 thousand 200 graduates so far. Total of 464 academics, 59 of whom are foreign nationals, work at Izmir University of Economics which has almost 10 thousand students. Izmir University of Economics, which offers 28 associate degree programs, 35 undergraduate programs, 30 masters programs, and 6 PhD programs, continues to take firm steps towards its progress.