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Rewards and Challenges of Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa University of Ljubljana Faculty of Education By Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu October.

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Presentation on theme: "Rewards and Challenges of Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa University of Ljubljana Faculty of Education By Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu October."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rewards and Challenges of Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa University of Ljubljana Faculty of Education By Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu October 2013, University of Ljubljana

2 Rewards and Challenges of Internationalization of Higher Education in Africa INTRODUCTION One of the change aspects of Higher Education, since the second half of 20 th century, is the dynamic transformation of Internationalization in scope, role, actors, concept, activities, aims, and rationales … The present process, aim, scope, actors and activities of internationalization of higher education are remarkably different from the past. It should be understood in the context of what is known as Globalization

3 Cont… Internationalization of Higher education is no more mere student and staff mobility, curriculum change, institutional collaboration for teaching and research It has embedded  new activities such as trans-boundary Mc Donaldization of HEIs,  new aims such as preparing students for the global and the knowledge economy scenario,  serving the development of national identity, promoting the international competitiveness, competence and accomplishment of stake-holders’ specific rationales…

4 Cont…  Institutional strategies and government policies to internationalize their HEIs’ research and teaching  new actors such as industrialists, bankers and other stake holders  Promotion of multiculturalism, peace and mutual understanding, quality of life… Hence, Internationalization of higher education is a process, a response to international, global socio- and-political-economic requirements; and composes of international and local elements (Wit, Hans de)

5 Rewards and Challenges… Is the above conceptual framework, practice, impact, process, rational…global and equally understood? In actual practices, the USA and Western Europe or ‘the powerful universities’ were/and still are the benchmarks or mainstreams for all the practices of internationalization of HE Weaker HEIs and systems with fewer resources and lower academic standards continued to copy with conditions

6 Cont… In most cases, such HE systems and Institutions are located in Africa African higher education institutions particularly universities are operating under a particularly unstable and poor socio- economic, cultural and political situations. African higher education requires new partnership to improve the local, regional and international socio-economic, political and cultural role higher education

7 Cont… And yet, according to the 2003 IAU survey report on the practices and priorities of internationalization of higher education, Africa was not a preferred partner Hence, Africa has tried to promote and develop ‘Africanization’ of higher education. However, this was not pacing as expected as well Higher education institutions in Africa continued to be peripheral that suffer from the copy-paste manners of reforms generated from the mainstream or centers

8 Cont… In spite of several attempts to find out regional revitalization strategies and apparent rewards, HEIs in Africa, due to the unequal terms of partnership and the ‘invisible hands’, continued to be peripheral and dependent HEIs in Africa were either impacted to accept the policies and roles of the centers or forced to change their policies in favour of conditions of the centers (who are represented through donors and governments). This trend has further aggravated the challenges of higher education institutions in Africa

9 Academic Benefits and Adverse Consequences Academic Benefits Improve quality of teaching, learning and research Stakeholders deeply engage in national, regional, and global issues Students will be better prepared as national and global citizens and as productive workforce ’ Adverse Consequences The gradual dominance of English may diminish the evolvement of diversity of languages studied or to deliver HE Global competition may adversely affect the diversity of institutional models, quality, and undermine HEIs of developing countries Deteriorate the capacity of HE in developing countries through brain drain

10 Cont… Academic Benefits Provide students the opportunity to access to programs nationally unavailable Enhance opportunities for faculty improvement and decrease the risk of academic ‘inbreeding’ Prepare the ground for networked research Adverse Consequences The competition may lead to unethical practices of large- scale international student recruitment, which may also overshadow the intellectual and intercultural benefits of internationalization Transnational campuses and distance programs would have many potential disadvantages over the local HEIs, which are established to support the national socio-economic and political needs

11 Cont… Academic benefits Offer institutions to learn from the international good practices Improves institutional policy-making, governance, student services, outreach, quality… through collaborative experience sharing Adverse Consequences Reputation and ranking may force HEIs and stakeholders to look for partner not on real academic and related interests but on the desire to gain prestige by associating themselves with ranking Universities. This trend may result in exclusions May result in asymmetrical relations that may depend on the capacity of resource and thus the capacity to implement internationalization strategies. Bench marking of large countries for internationalization may pose many challenges for small/periphery countries.

12 Conclusion Internationalization of higher education in the Knowledge economy and globalization scenario is becoming a challenge for developing regions such as Africa The research interest/paradigm also concentrates on the more competitive regions of Europe, USA and Asia/Pacific Rim. The situation requires deep and inclusive research and reconsideration because the world could not bring about global and sustainable socio-economic development, peace and quality of life … with out curing and neglecting part of its body

13 Cont… Issues for discussion Do the adverse consequences question the inherent values and benefits of internationalization? Are the challenges and the adverse consequences avoidable? If yes how? If not avoidable, what could be done to mitigate the impacts and the challenges? Given the many-faceted adverse effects and impacts of internationalization of higher education particularly on peripheral HEIs, to what extent do such institutions have to respond and/or tolerate the challenges? How can these countries/HEIs able to establish a knowledge society/economy and become part of the global knowledge area? Could the major aims of internationalization of higher education be attained without considering the rest of the world? What are the requirements to be internationalized?

14 END Thank you for your time and attention!

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