History & Philosophy


In March 1993, the Bilkent University Preparatory School was founded as the Bilkent Universitesi Hazirlik Okulu and became known as BUPS.

The school was created to promote academic, aesthetic, physical and social growth. It recognized the individual abilities, interests and talents of each child. Students were encouraged to question ideas and search for knowledge. BUPS fostered critical and independent thinking and creativity. Students were prepared for success in leading universities throughout the world.

When BUPS opened in September 1993 there were only 43 students in a preparatory class and Grades 6, 7 and 8. In the same year, the pre-school opened with 32 students as part of the Psychology Department of Bilkent University.

In 1994, when the school expanded to include Grade 9, it was approved by the University of Cambridge International Examinations to offer the IGCSE program and courses.

In 1996, BUPS officially became Section B of a preparatory school for the Music Faculty of Bilkent University. Its new official name was Bilkent Universitesi Muzik ve Sahne Sanatlari Fakultesi Muzik Hazirlik Okulu. In that same year, the International Baccalaureate organization authorized BUPS to offer the IB Diploma Programme to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.

The first high school students graduated in June 1998.

In September 1998, the school added Grades 1-5, joining the pre-school with the middle and high schools to create a Pre-K – grade 12 school. To better serve the educational needs of the international community, the Bilkent International School opened in September 1999, and BUPS/BIS was created. Turkish and international students were enrolled in BUPS from Pre-K through Grade 5, but from Grade 6 onwards, international students were enrolled in BIS and Turkish students were enrolled in BUPS.

As continues today, the school promoted understanding and respect for others and fully embraced diversity of persons, not tolerating words or actions that undermine this principle.

Bilkent University Preparatory School (BUPS) and Bilkent International School (BIS) were divisions of an independent, co-educational school. It provided an academically rigorous program from Pre-Kindergarten through High School leading to internationally recognized academic awards. The school made use of the historical sites, geographical locations and cultural aspects of Turkey in its programs. Within this context the school provided education in the ideals and reforms of Kemal Mustafa Atatürk, the Constitution and the principles of democracy.

In June 2009, BUPS/BIS had almost 600 students and over 100 teachers with graduates attending the best universities in Turkey, the United States, Canada and the UK.

In its 18 years of operation, the schools became an IB World School authorized to offer the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the IB Diploma Program, the IGCSEs, accredited by the Council of International Schools and the New England (USA) Association of School and Colleges, a member of the European Council of International Schools, the International Schools Theatre Association, the International Schools Sports Association, the Association for Music in International Schools, a THIMUN affiliate, and a recognized center for the SAT.

In June 2009, the school moved into its next phase. The Bilkent University Preparatory School (BUPS) became the Bilkent Laboratory School – Ankara. Instead of being part of the Faculty of Music at Bilkent University, the school became a lab school of the Bilkent University Graduate School of Education. Together with Bilkent International School, BUPS/BIS became BLIS, the new Bilkent Laboratory & International School, will a single identity, filling the purpose and mission of the original school back in 1993.