Turkish delegation in S.Africa for academic cooperation

Turkish delegation brought draft protocols for universities in South Africa

Hassan İsilow   | 21.11.2019
Turkish delegation in S.Africa for academic cooperation


A group of Turkish academics Thursday are in South Africa for talks with top universities with the possibility of initiating academic cooperation including exchange programs.

"We are here to explain the Turkish Higher Education system to universities and to make use of the experience of the best universities in the world, to increase the visibility of our university by making joint articles and conferences with them," Refik Polat, rector of Karabuk University, a public institution in Turkey, told Anadolu Agency.

He said his delegation met representatives of the Nelson Mandela University, the University of South Africa, the University of Pretoria and Witwatersrand university .

They discussed the possibility of cooperation and promotion of the Mevlana program which is run by the Turkish Higher Education Council.

The Mevlana program is open to basic natural sciences and engineering students and includes the exchange of academic staff and students.

"The fund for both academic incoming staff and students is paid by the Turkish Higher Education Council," Polat said, adding that the program will be effective once the institutions sign cooperation agreements.

"We hope the agreements will be signed most probably by the end of this December, because applications are taken towards February," he said.

The academic said the Turkish delegation brought draft protocols and left them with relevant universities in South Africa.

Polat said his university plans to organize co-chaired international conferences and, if possible, start joint degrees with some South African universities.

His delegation includes the university vice rector Izzet Acar and the International Relations coordinator Oya Onalan.

This is not the first Turkish institution to have expressed willingness to cooperate with South African universities.

Earlier this year, the Academic and Scientific Cooperation Project of Turkey (TABIP), met top South African universities to discuss the possibility of scientific and research cooperation.

In May, the TABIP team held a productive meeting with top universities in South Africa and agreed to cooperate.

Turkey and South Africa enjoy good bilateral relations having opened embassies in their capitals in 1993 and 1994 through a mutual agreement.

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