Turkey and Sudan announce higher education initiatives

Turkey and Sudan have unveiled a higher education cooperation plan that includes setting up a joint institution, networking among universities in the two countries and mutual recognition of degrees aimed at enhancing student and academic mobility.

The cooperation plan was the outcome of the First Sudanese-Turkish Universities Collaboration Forum and Education Fair, held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum from 12-14 January.

The forum was hosted by Sudan’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Cankiri Karatekin University, in partnership with the Turkish Council of Higher Education (YÖK), Turkish and Sudanese universities, and governmental and non-governmental organisations.

The aims were to explore the current circumstances of universities in the two countries, to help build a better future for university education, and to strengthen scientific and cultural cooperation between universities in Sudan and Turkey.

Sudan-Turkey agreements were signed promoting cooperation among universities in several fields including science and engineering, vocational and technical education, culture and sport, academic staff and student exchange, joint research and projects, and establishing networks among Sudanese and Turkish universities.

Joint academic programmes will be encouraged at the graduate and postgraduate levels, as well as Turkish-Arabic and vocational and technical education courses for Sudanese academics and students, scientific and educational meetings, and workshops on issues of national, regional and global significance.

Expert’s views

In a 2010 article in Comparative & International Higher Education 2, “Reflecting on Sudan’s Higher Education Revolution under Al-Bashir’s Regime”, Gamal Gasim concluded that many public universities and colleges needed “profound reforms and improved financial and human resources to function effectively.

“Reforms should include improvements in the overall academic infrastructure and student development and academic life.”

Eltayeb Mohamed Abdelgadir, a researcher at the Sudan-based Agricultural Research Corporation, welcomed the Sudan-Turkey higher education collaboration plan.

“This initiative will strengthen the weak performance and capabilities of Sudan's universities and higher education institutions that have been highlighted in international reports, and enable them to benefit from knowledge outcomes and technology produced along with best practices of Turkish universities,” Abdelgadir told University World News.

Establishing a Sudan-Turkey joint university would “act as a higher education bridge at both the national and African levels”, he added.