- CoHE President Erol Özvar Meets Ambassadors and Charge d'Affaires of 30 African Countries

- Özvar: "Türkiye's rich culture has enabled students from many parts of the world to find the traces of their own civilizations and has made our country a center of attraction with the progress made in Turkish higher education."

- “Türkiye's embracing and supportive stance towards the region has received positive response from the continent and our country has become an important attraction point for students from African countries.”

September 29, 2022 / Ankara

CoHE President Erol Özvar met with the ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of African countries for lunch. The representatives of 30 African countries, of which 21 are ambassadors to Ankara and 9 are charge d'affaires, met at Hacettepe University upon the invitation of CoHE President Özvar.

The ambassadors of Cameroon, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Mauritania and Niger and the charge d'affaires of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Morocco, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the working lunch.

The participants discussed the relations between the Council of Higher Education and African countries, the current status of academic and scientific cooperation between higher education institutions and new opportunities that can be established for the further development of relations in higher education.

CoHE President Özvar stated that they were pleased to welcome the ambassadors and diplomats of African countries within the scope of internationalization, which was among the primary goals of the Council of Higher Education.

Özvar noted that the African continent and Türkiye shared a common history of nearly 1,200 years and had social, cultural and commercial relations. He said that Türkiye's efforts in the continent, which had always developed into good relations with Africa, was appreciated by African countries.

He said that Türkiye, which hosted many civilizations throughout history, had served as a bridge between Asia and Europe not only geographically but also culturally, politically and socially.

“Being a unique country where traditional and modern, old and new, East and West are blended together, the multicultural structure of Türkiye has enabled different students from many parts of the world to find a trace of their own civilization and has made our country the center of attraction with the progress made in Turkish higher education.

The Turkish higher education area, with 208 higher education institutions, more than 8 million students, more than 185 thousand academic staff, 60,000 programs and 280 thousand international students from 182 countries, is growing day by day and competes strongly with other countries that dominate the global arena.”

“The number of students coming from the African continent for higher education has exceeded 50 thousand”

CoHE President Özvar pointed out that the number of international students who preferred our country for higher education had increased rapidly in the last two decades and added, “The number of students coming from the African continent for higher education has exceeded 50 thousand.”

Özvar noted that Türkiye's embracing and supportive stance towards the region had received positive response from the continent, and that Türkiye had become an important attraction point for students from African countries, adding “We hope to host more prospective students from the continent to study at our universities.”

Özvar emphasized that, as the Council of Higher Education, they were aware of the fact that education was the most important tool to carry their higher education goals forward and to create an international unity and that they supported the internationalization of Turkish higher education institutions by signing cooperation protocols with the competent authorities of various countries.

“In addition to maintaining our relationships with existing partners, we also focus on building new partnerships. In this context, we signed Memoranda of Understanding for cooperation in the field of higher education with 21 countries from the African Continent at the Ministerial level since the establishment of CoHE. These protocols paved the way for the realization of academic activities such as student-academic staff exchange and joint project development between our universities. Under the Implementation Protocols we signed following these protocols, 292 YÖK scholarships were provided to five African countries at undergraduate and graduate level. Currently, there are more than 50 thousand students studying at Turkish universities from 54 African countries at all education levels. The number of African academics working at Turkish universities is 227.”

He concluded his speech by saying that he believed that this meeting would encourage and guide the universities in Türkiye and African countries for cooperation. After Özvar's speech, the ambassadors and diplomats took the floor and conveyed their opinions and suggestions.