KAMPALA, Uganda 

A top Ugandan university on Thursday announced an agreement with a Turkish university under Turkey’s signature Mevlana student exchange program.

The program, supported by the Turkish government under the Council of Higher Education, will support Ugandan students and academic staff being hosted by Gaziosmanpasa University in Turkey’s Black Sea region for up to three months, while studying or lecturing.

“This initiative indicates the critical importance Turkey places on people-to-people engagement and will ensure that some level of exchange between Uganda and Turkey flourishes,” said Bunyamin Sahin, the rector of Kampala International University. He hailed the exchange program as a major breakthrough between Turkey and the landlocked African country.

“Educational exchange programs like this one foster the sharing of cultures, ideas, and build personal relationships which go on to form the basis of mutual understanding,” said Mouhamad Mpezamihigo, vice chancellor at Kampala International University.

The Mevlana Exchange Program aims at exchanging students and academic staff between Turkish institutions of higher education and their counterparts in other countries.

Mevlana Rumi, which gives the program its name, was a 13th century Turkish poet and scholar who championed tolerance and understanding. UNESCO declared 2007 the year of Mevlana Rumi and Tolerance.

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