Makerere University on Friday, 25th February, 2022 signed a memorandum of understanding with Yunus Emre Institute of Turkey aimed at enhancing international communication and building strong relations with Turkey.
The MOU was signed on behalf of Makerere and Yunus Emre Institute by Associate Prof. Umar Kakumba, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and Dr. Abdullah Kutalmis Yalcin, Vice President Yunus Emre Institute respectively.
The Vice President Yunus Emre Institute, Dr Abdullah Kutalmis Yalcin said that all is set to have elements of the collaboration begin.
"By signing this protocol, Turkish language courses will start at Makerere University and will be taught by our Lecturer appointed from Turkey. Mr. Sezer Avci, our Lecturer appointed to teach the Turkish language courses is also here today."
The Vice President affirmed that the Lecturer will equally guide Ugandan students on study programmes/courses in Turkey, how to apply for scholarships and internship in the country.
Article 3 of the memorandum of understanding entails areas of co-operation by both parties among which include, developing joint research, organizing joint academic, scientific and cultural events, reviewing academic curricula/programmes. Other areas of cooperation include; providing Makerere University with the usage of the cultural center of the Institute spread across 63 nations in the world, developing joint industrial approaches and entrepreneurship programmes and developing joint courses, training and summers schools.
Representing the Vice Chancellor, Associate Prof. Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) assured the Turkish delegation that Makerere University will provide land where to construct the institute.
" Even when you want space to and you are going to mobilize resources to build a center or institute for Turkish studies, Makerere University will be more than happy to provide land," he remarked.
He thanked the Yunus Emre Foundation and Turkish government for their commitment to the partnership with Makerere University and Uganda in general.
As the University marks 100 years, the Principal of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS), Associate Prof. Josephine Ahikire said it was an achievement to have Turkish added on the foreign languages taught at Makerere University.
Dr. Levis Mugumya, the Head of Department of Linguistics, English Language Studies and Communication Skills revealed that the idea of the Makerere University-Turkey partnership began in May 2019 when a delegation from Turkey visited the Department to initiate a research and training collaboration. Dr. Mugumya also acknowledged the instrumental role played by Dr. Hawa Kasule in the actualization of this collaboration. “This collaboration was earlier on triggered by Dr. Hawa Kasule during her doctoral training in Turkey.”
He believes that the collaboration will provide mutual benefits to both institutions, staff, students and the public intending to study Turkish or those that have business interests in Turkey.
Dr. Mugumya appreciated all the stakeholders including his faculty team for actively contributing to the collaboration. "We are so grateful to the Principal’s office that equally contributed to the process. The Dean of the School of Languages, Literature and Communication, thank you for your insightful ideas, I would like to thank the faculty from my department who accepted to engage in this collaboration and provide ideas towards efforts to have the MOU signed today."
The Dean School of Languages, Literature and Communication, Dr. Saudah Namyalo appealed to the University and the Yunus Emre Institute to embrace research in Uganda's local languages.
"As we venture into the learning of Turkish language, we should keep it at the fore front that learning our indigenous languages as well as undertaking research about the local languages will help cement this partnership."