25 - 27 August 2021


Session 1

09:00 – 09:30
Wiseman Jack, President: IEASA, Vaal University of Technology
09:30 – 10:30 Opening Plenary: Setting the Scene
  Ahmed Bawa, CEO, USAf
  Prof Puleng LenkaBula, Principal & Vice Chancellor, UNISA
  Chief Mabizela, Chief Director, University Education Policy & Research, DHET
  Chairperson: Ms Orla Quinlan, IEASA, Rhodes University

Panel of South African leaders in higher education will discuss current context of social justice and inclusion in South Africa higher education and the role of internationalisation in an interactive discussion.

Session 2: Plenary Discussion

11:00 – 12:00 Topic: Re-imagining Higher Education International Collaborations to Promote Inclusion and Social Justice
  Aldo Stroebel, Executive Director Strategic Partnerships, NRF
  Thandi Mgwebi, DVC Research, Innovation and Internationalisation, NMU
  Farai Kapfudzaruwa, Fellow, Strategic International Partnerships, UP
  Chairperson: Tawane Kupe, Vice-chancellor & Principal, UP

Despite the benefits and opportunities of higher education international collaboration to Africa, the engagements have largely been immersed in competitive, economy-oriented paradigms, potentially reinforcing geographical inequalities of knowledge, power and being. Extant literature suggests that this economic-oriented paradigm, particularly in North-South partnerships, often devalues the contextual specificities for institutions and researchers in the global south, as well as perpetuate global north epistemic privileges and its consequent dominance in mobility flows and research activities. Post-colonial and decolonial perspectives have placed higher education internationalisation within a colonial matrix of power, associating the process with colonial history of exploitation of the global south, and seeking internationalisation approaches that are distanced from this dominant rationality.

This conceptualisation of higher education international collaboration tends to contradict contemporary practices related to “comprehensive internationalisation” which promote a more cooperative and inclusive approach to global engagement. These two competing dichotomies reflect a significant number of international engagements involving higher education institutions and researchers in the global south, including Africa. One part of the dichotomy is that higher education international collaboration is increasingly becoming intentional, with national and institutional authorities demonstrating a clear preference for partnerships with countries and universities well positioned within world ranking systems. This is a clear signal that higher education internationalisation has consolidated in a hegemonic way. These preferences tend to shape and restrict collaborative activities that are distant from the dominant rationality. However, and conversely, the socio-economic contexts in which these global south institutions exist compel them to be responsive to specific developmental issues such as digital inequality, extreme poverty, and food insecurity. There has been an increased urgency to respond to these challenges in the global south, further exacerbated by the pandemic. As an example, within the higher education sector, mass student displacements caused by COVID-19 have resulted in loss of vital campus services and support, mostly to students from low-income backgrounds who cannot sustain the transition to digital learning.

The above contradictions and challenges call for a reorientation of higher education international collaboration which promotes more cooperative and intercultural forms of global engagement – explicitly aligned with justice efforts aimed at shaping more inclusive, sustainable, or alternative futures. The proposed plenary session intends to bring together higher education experts to discuss how national policy orientation and institutional strategies in the global south can shift the dominant economic-oriented paradigm and promote higher education international collaboration which responds to global and local societal challenges in various productive ways.

To address these issues this plenary session will be moderated by Prof Tawana Kupe, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, University of Pretoria (UP), SA and will focus on the following questions:

  1. How do global south national policy frameworks facilitate equitable and inclusive higher education partnerships?
  2. How can global south universities acquire more agency in international partnerships to ensure mutual benefit?
  3. How can these universities develop internationalisation and global engagement strategies that promote inclusion and social justice?
  4. Present a case-study of the UP African Global University Partnership (UP-AGUP) initiative as an example

Sponsor Spotlight A

12:30 – 13:00
Medical scheme cover – a grudge purchase or critical protection?

Insights into Simeka Health’s annual exercise to review the IEASA panel of proposed schemes – Jacques van der Merwe (Principal Consultant, Simeka Health)

  • The workings of a medical scheme, the protection members enjoy and how the Immigration Act requirements in terms of Study Visa  evolved over years  – Josua Joubert (CEO and Principal Officer, CompCare Medical Scheme)
  • The costs related to COVID-19 and the importance to have proper private cover – Rikki Wooding (Head Student segment:  Momentum Health Solutions)

Sponsor Spotlight B

12:30 – 13:00
Flywire: How Education Institutions Simplify the Payment Process to Improve the Student Experience

Flywire offers an innovative and streamlined way for students to make payments from their home countries. Our mission is to save money for international students that would otherwise be lost to bank fees and unfavourable foreign exchange rates, and simplify the receipt and allocation of these payments for institutions.
African Leadership Academy (ALA) will present how Flywire helped their institution process hundreds of thousands of dollars with no fees.
University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) will take us through their reasons for recently choosing Flywire, and their expected outcomes.


Sandy Heera, Director Financial Reporting at University of KwaZulu-Natal
Pravie Govender, Business Development Manager, Adapt IT Education
Peter KIMINGI, Chief Financial Officer, African Leadership Academy



LeRoi Ramasike, Flywire Sales Manager, South Africa,

Lunch Break

13:00 – 14:00
Lunch Break

Session 3: Parallel Presentations

14:00 – 15:00 Presentation A Topic: Re-thinking internationalisation of higher education in South Africa
  Samia Chasi, IEASA
  Dr Savo Heleta, Specialist: International Education, DUT
  Chairperson: Lebethe Malefo, University of Johannesburg

Over the past few decades, internationalisation has played a key role in higher education, particularly regarding preparing graduates for an interconnected world, producing globally relevant knowledge and developing solutions to global challenges. However, critical voices have highlighted that dominant practices of internationalisation reflect and further entrench a hierarchical world order (Beck, 2012). As Stein (2017) notes, “there is growing concern that mainstream approaches to internationalisation may further entrench colonialist, capitalist global relations, and reproduce the Euro-supremacist foundations of modern Western higher education”. To address such issues of Northern and Western dominance, the importance of decolonial perspectives to internationalisation has been highlighted (Chasi, 2019; Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2021).

This session responds to IEASA’s call to re-imagine and re-define higher education internationalisation. As noted in an IEASA’s position paper published in 2020, the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportune moment to “critically examine traditional concepts, models and practices of internationalisation and to reimagine internationalisation from the perspective of South Africa, Africa and the global South”.

More specifically, the session tackles the Northern hegemony from a South African perspective and with particular reference to how the concept of internationalisation is generally understood. The presenters critically examine the definition of higher education internationalisation as a “process of integrating an international and intercultural dimension into the teaching, research and service functions of the institution” (Knight, 2004). While this definition serves as a global universal template for describing and analysing internationalisation in diverse regional and national settings (Singh, 2010) and has been widely accepted by higher education institutions around the world, its universal application and relevance are called into question.

In the South African context, both in reference to the country’s history of colonialism and apartheid as well as to contemporary issues of inequality, exclusion, coloniality and racism, the above-mentioned definition does not adequately reflect the realities, needs and conditions of internationalisation at the country’s universities. It requires further unpacking, re-imagining and re-orientation.

The presenters will introduce a new definition of higher education internationalisation, as informed by South African historical and contemporary perspectives, realities and needs, for engagement with the audience. Doing so is understood as a contribution to the decolonisation project in higher education, particularly to what Maldonado-Torres (2011) and Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2013) refer to as “shifting the geography of knowledge” to an “ex-colonised epistemic site”.

Presentation B

14:00 – 15:00 Presentation B Topic: Internationalisation of University Education, Is it a pipedream in the contexts of structural disadvantage?
  Valile Valindawo M. Dwayi, Walter Sisulu University
  Chairperson: Lara Dunwell, Conference Chairperson, CIEE Cape Town

The lasting impact of Covid-19 on University education promises to be an interesting area of study for social science. As such, what seems to be the immediate challenge and opportunities that this pandemic seem to create are not difficult to identify given the complexity of power relations in politics of knowledge and being for the South African context. In this context, the internationalization of education, as presently theorised, researched and practised, leaves open the question about what appears to be more of an espoused value than those in use. Drawing from the realist social theory as an explanatory program, in this paper, I argue that the very idea of internationalization in education might be a pipe dream for some universities in developing economies and against the mandatory social justice and equity imperatives. Data for this article was collected by means of mixed methods and triangulation, which, both as a strategy and tactics, could be mutually constitutive. As a consequence, data analysis ranged from the content of institutional documents to the emerging trends and patterns over time (the institutional strategic plan for 2015 to 2019/20). That approach then allowed me to be able to make an explanatory critique about the idea of internationalisation by focussing on the systems and practices in one case of a university in South Africa. Thus, having analysed the findings from the lens of a realist social practical theory, the paper will also suggest what can be engaged about the institutional systems for internationalisation as the practical alternative.

Presentation C

14:00 – 15:00 Presentation C Topic: Shifting from Verticality to Horizontality: Speculating On Internationalisation in South Africa
  David Reiersgord, IES Abroad Cape Town
  Mr Jody Felton, IES Abroad Cape Town
  Chairperson: Tasmeera Singh, IEASA, University of KwaZulu-Natal

Introduction: International higher education in South African is often oriented to a vertical axis. This axis, which is rooted in thinking in relation to the global north and south, tends to produce hierarchical thinking. In South Africa thinking vertically privileges specific locations and overlooks others. Facing an uncertain future, institutions of higher education in South Africa may be able to establish new partnerships that strengthen the project of internationalisation and expand inclusive opportunities for international and local students.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to explore how notions of horizontality can be formulated and integrated into the broader field of international higher education in South Africa. In addition, we wish to examine how study abroad centres partnerned with specific universities, such as the IES Abroad Cape Town centre partnered with the University of Cape Town, can add a horizontal layer to its programming to connect our centre, our students and the city of Cape Town to other students, universities and locations in South Africa.

Conceptual Framework: Introducing the notion of horizontality, this paper will define what horizontal thinking means in relation to the field of international higher education in South Africa. Part of this discussion will include contemplating how notions of horizontality can be incorporated into the existing vertical frameworks that govern internationalisation in South Africa. Our contention is that vertical thinking promotes hierarchies between partners and South African universities, which create limited engagements with other institutions, locations and students. This paper will also consider how the idea of horizontality approaches South Africa as a dynamic and multilayered study abroad destination enabling active, rather than passive, engagements with a variety of settings and institutions. We believe thinking horizontally could provide fresh approaches to study abroad and internationalisation in South Africa.

Session 4: Panel Discussion

15:30 – 16:30 Topic: Panel Discussion
  Susana Galvan, Country Director, British Council
  Anja Hallacker, Director, DAAD Information Centre 
  Huba Boshoff, Head of South Africa Office, Nuffic
  Chairperson: Mr Umesh Bawa, University of the Western Cape

Sharing of insights on the topic from the perspectives of three European organisations with long histories of supporting higher education and internationalisation in South Africa.

Session 5: Book Discussion

17:00 – 18:00 Topic: Decolonising the Human: Reflections from Africa on Difference and Oppression
  William Mpofu, Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
  Morgan Ndlovu is Professor of Anthropology, University of Zululand
  Melissa Steyn, Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, University of the Witwatersrand
  Chairperson: Dr Savo Heleta, Specialist: International Education, DUT

We are delighted that at the 2021 IEASA conference, we will discuss the edited volume Decolonising the Human: Reflections from Africa on Difference and Oppression (Wits University Press, 2021) with the book editors, Prof Melissa Steyn, the DST-NRF South African National Research Chair in Critical Diversity Studies at Wits University, and Dr William Mpofu, a researcher at the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies. We will also be joined by Prof Morgan Ndlovu from the Department of Development Studies at UNISA, who contributed a chapter to the book. The book discussion will be facilitated by Dr Savo Heleta.

Decolonising the Human is an important transdisciplinary book that offers perspectives on colonialism, colonially, decolonisation and the idea of ‘the human’ in a highly complex, unequal and unjust world. As the IEASA Conference focuses on internationalisation practices, approaches, definitions, challenges and new possibilities in our quest for a fairer world, this book is an excellent reference as we begin to think critically how internationalisation and higher education in South Africa and elsewhere need to transform in order to meaningfully contribute to inclusion and social justice for a fairer world.

The book is available as an open access publication at:

Note: Please feel free to share this link but refrain from disseminating downloaded PDF copies of the book.


Session 6

09:00 – 09:35 Welcome
Lara Dunwell, Conference Chairperson, Director of CIEE Cape Town 
  Chairperson: Lavern Samuels, Deputy President & Past President IEASA & Director: International, DUT
09:35 – 10:30 Topic: Student Roundtable Discussion
  Taonga Phiri, Rhodes University
  Simone Thomas, Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  Buntu Mnyaka, Nelson Mandela University
  Mats’olo Seloanyane, Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. University of the Witwatersrand
  Chairperson: Jerome September, Wits University

Session 7: Presentation D

11:00 – 12:00 Topic: Zooming through the COVID-19 pandemic to improve student academic support services at Mangosuthu University of Technology
  Heloise Emdon, Carleton University
  Katie Bryant, Mangosuthu University of Technology
  Nathi Madondo, Mangosuthu University of Technology
  Chili, Muntuwenkosi, Vaal University of Technology
  Chairperson: Lebethe Malefo, University of Johannesburg

Our panel will be rethinking Internationalisation in the light of our experience. We have experienced how universities in the North seldom collaborate meaningfully with universities in the South, despite the needs. For instance visiting scholars and students flock to universities in the developed nations and might return and find themselves misaligned with universities in the South and they are often not capable of transforming their response to the context. Likewise, visiting scholars from the North parachute in to Southern universities with little evidence of learning that goes both ways, which is co-created, and collaborative.

We look at the theories that underpin practices in education from the North and through our case study we share with you our experience. We aim to illustrate how universities that have in the past been ignored for these opportunities can benefit from international collaboration. We will reflect on the use of resources, models and practices in use at Mangosuthu University of Technology and Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and our shared social justice objectives, as well as how collaborating online during this pandemic has contributed to transformation that benefits the MUT students.

Session 7: Presentation E

11:00 – 12:00 Topic: Using an Appreciative Inquiry lens to re-imagine internationalisation: Towards policy renewal
  Nonceba Mbambo-Kekana, University of Limpopo
  Lynette Jacobs, University of the Free State
  Chairperson: Lara Dunwell, Conference Chairperson, CIEE Cape Town

There is no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on all sectors, including the higher education fraternity, yet it also provided the impetus for renewal. Although a long process of consultation took place prior to the pandemic, the long-awaited Policy Framework for Internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa was gazetted in November 2020, at the height of the COVID pandemic lockdown. The policy provides South African higher education institutions with principles, guidelines, and broad parameters for internationalisation, ironically at a time when many initiatives towards internationalisation are, at face value, not possible. In particular, international mobility has been since, almost impossible. Yet many endeavours are advancing internationalisation of higher education during this time, taking advantage of the narrowed distance between countries and continents through virtual interaction, including various forms of internationalisation at home.
One of the imperatives stipulated in the said policy is that higher educations institutions must develop internationalisation strategies or policies within the new policy framework. The challenge that those responsible to drive the process face, is how to energise those who should be involved, to focus on a matter that some might regard as less important, or at least not as high on the agenda as post-COVID matters, while not losing sight of the importance of making the strategy as inclusive and just as possible. Strategies and policies must be owned by all stakeholders to be successful, hence an inclusive process is required. In this paper we will report on a process that included senior leadership to develop strategy towards policy, using an Appreciative Inquiry lens. After presenting the approach taken, we reflect on the achievements of the process, towards advancing internationalisation in an inclusive and enabling way. Many stakeholders indeed participate in internationalisation activities without ever having applied the mind to them being part of a bigger process. Through learning and understanding them, one can enter into a dialogue how existing international activities can become part of an intentional, institutional internationalisation process. Appreciative Inquiry proved to be a favourable way to inclusively build a strategy towards achieving one’s dream.

Session 7: Presentation F

11:00 – 12:00 Panel Discussion Topic:  The Middle-Eastern Conflict- Soft or Strong Diplomacy in International Partnerships for Social Justice 
  Amir Khalil, Birzeit University, Palestine 
  Shaheed Mathee, University of Johannesburg
  Chairperson: Anisa Khan, University of Johannesburg

The University Internationalisation strategy creates a roadmap for achieving the university’s vision and mission through international partnerships and global engagement. It also provides a framework for activities that reflect the university’s values and approach to research, teaching, student support and community engagement. It is through the internationalisation strategy that a university can make a clear statement of its intent in contributing to an inclusive and “fairer” world. As Internationalisation practitioners, we can advocate for partnerships that promote these objectives. What constitutes social justice, fairness and equity in partnerships with Israel and Palestine? In contested spaces with contested histories, internationalisation practitioners need to balance arguments of academic freedom and soft diplomacy with calls for advocacy, boycott and sanctions to effect change for humanitarian reasons. How do we as internationalisation practitioners navigate this space with integrity and purpose to fulfil our university values, mission and vision? This panel of internationalisation practitioners from Palestine and South Africa will each present an argument for “strong” diplomacy in international partnerships for social justice, inclusivity and a fairer world.

Session 8: Poster Session I

12:10 – 12:25 Topic: Learning from here about there: ethics and tools for cross-cultural learning in spatial education
  Serah Calitz, Breda University of Applied Sciences
  Chairperson: Ms Huba Boshoff, Head of South Africa Office, Nuffic

Learning from here about there: ethics and tools for cross-cultural learning in spatial education is an open access resource of pedagogic approaches, design tools and research methods shared as a work in progress. The project is embedded within my teaching at the Breda University of Applied Sciences and reflective of my lived experience as an architect educated in South Africa and Europe.

Learning from here about there responds to the continued call for socially engaged spatial practice and concomitant need for practitioners, and thus students of architecture and urbanism, to work in ‘a condition of displacement: in relation to cultures and contexts, near and far, that are not their own’(1) . A need reflected by the proliferation of ‘Global Studios’ within higher education that demonstrate a broader understanding of the built environment as the product of ‘cross-cultural negotiations and translations of shared architectural questions’(2) .

This understanding, together with recent scholarship about the mobilities of architecture, urban planning, and construction practices (3), has begun to re-define our understanding of how spatial knowledge is produced and circulated.

Together with my colleague Zhan Goosen, we hope to extend this reconceptualisation to our study of the people and places encountered in the design studio Living in Cities. We do so with the understanding that the methods and tools we employ, situated within identifiable epistemes and thus the constructs of Western, Euro-centric thought, often fail to document the richness and complexity of the contexts in which we work. Simply put: we need other ways of looking to the world around us.

So, how do we learn from here about there?

How can we prepare students to navigate the double bind of transferring their knowledge and expertise across borders whilst responding to the specificities of context?

What design tools and research methods make it possible to operate within and across diverse contexts?

In the form of a poster presentation, we invite practitioners, educators, and students to think through these questions with us. We will share some of the tools and formats developed through our current investigation of Bellville, Cape Town welcoming feedback and critical dialogue. In opening our work to the contribution of others, we hope to take modest steps to constructing transnational and transdisciplinary solidarities.

  1. Avermaete, T., d’Auria, V., Havik, K., & Lenders, L. (2015). Editorial: Crossing Boundaries in ‘Crossing Boundaries: Transcultural Practices in Architecture and Urbanism’. OASE, vol. 95, pp. 3-7.
  2. Hernández, J., & Nuijsink., C. (2020). Architecture as Exchange in ‘The Architecture Competition as Contact Zone: Towards a Histography of Cross-Cultural Exchanges’. Footprints, vol. 14 no.1, pp. 1-6.
  3. See Stanek., L., ‘Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa and the Middle East in The Cold War’, Hernández, J., & Nuijsink., C. ‘The Architecture Competition as Contact Zone: Towards a Histography of Cross-Cultural Exchanges’ and Lagae., J & de Raedt., K. ‘Global Experts “off radar”‘.

Session 8: Poster Session II

12:30 – 12:45 Topic: Re-defining inclusivity – the experiences and perceptions of rural voices in higher education.
  Dineo Babili, University of Free State
  Chairperson: Ms Huba Boshoff, Head of South Africa Office, Nuffic

Despite the copious advancements in technology, mobility platforms and economic progressions,; inter- nationalisation of higher education appears to be backsliding. The pandemic has exposed levels of inequality, exclusions and socially unjust systematic practices within our institutions. Similar to nature taking its’ course, many Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) in the global South are pressured into reflecting on, reimagining and re-defining an interconnected society and the design, teaching, and learning of an inclusive curriculum. The phrase “charity starts at home” is most befitting in this scenario. HEI’s on the global South first need to learn how to cater for the needs of their context before supposing the global westernized to “accommodate” their students.
More so through the lenses of promoting the engagement of rural students. When compared to a traditional mode of lesson presentation, online learning has the potential to adversely affect the social relationships and overall connectedness amongst students. As online learning programmes remain on the rise, a call for continuous research into inclusive and effective teaching and learning pedagogies as a gateway to developing effective online learning experience design is crucial. Nevertheless, Hart (2012:20) ascertains that lack of student “connectedness” to the learning community is mutual across numerous post high school online learning courses. The past decade has witnessed ground-breaking findings and research on effective ways to increase engagement amongst students in a classroom setting. Through citing numerous authors, Ervin (2019) agrees that there is an existing large body of research focusing on ways to increase perceptions of connectedness within online learning environments. However, there appears to be limited information on how rural students with limited to no access experience and perceive online learning communities. Majority of whom were previously solely accustomed to learning through textbooks and face-to-face intercations. In a study conducted, Kajee and Balfour (2011:189) interviewed several first year South African students who expressed the difficulty in adjusting to digital literacy demands in higher education. Therefore, taking postulation that the presence of online learning communities will automate meaningful interactions as challenges to not only exposure, but access prevail is a treacherous fate. Warschauer (2002a; 2002b; 2003 in Kajee and Balfour, 2011: 189) agrees that opinions suggesting that the availability of technology will foster social change may be destructive.
As we witness a progression in digital learning, it is important for both current and future learning facilitators to have an understanding of the different kinds of experiences and perceptions students hold when required to participate online without much capacity. Therefore, this study will focus on the how rural university students perceive and experience the inclusivity, diversity and equity of online learning communities.

Session 8: Poster Session III

12:45 – 13:00 Topic: International Scholarships and Mobility
  Ruth Roberts, Department of Higher Education and Training
  Chairperson: Ms Huba Boshoff, Head of South Africa Office, Nuffic

The Department of Higher Education and Training promotes and implements a number of international scholarships offered by partner countries. Most of these are offered at Master’s level, with a few undergraduate and doctoral opportunties also being offered. There are increasingly a number of mobility and short term research opportunities that would be suitable for postgraduate students and academics at South African institutions to gain international experience and exposure to different learning and research environment. It is proposed that the range of opportunties that are offered to South Africans be presented during the conference. Full qualification scholarshisp will be presented briefly, but the focus will be on the short term opportunities. These include offers for part time research or co-supervised degrees for studies in China, Turkey, Italy, Switzerland, France amongst others.

Lunch Break

13:00 – 14:00
Lunch Break

Session 9: Presentation G

14:00 – 15:00 Topic: “Beyond Cape Town: Reassessing South African International Higher Education”
  Huba Boshoff,  Nuffic Neso South Africa, 
  Lebethe Malefo, University of Johannesburg
  David Reiersgord, IES Abroad Cape Town
  Lavern Samuels, Durban University of Technology
  Chairperson: Jody Felton, IES Abroad

Introduction: For the majority of American and European international students Cape Town and the surrounding area plays an outsized role in relation to the rest of South Africa. Given its coastal location, prevalence of English, perceived safety, and the prominence of the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University, this role is not surprising. However, with the rise of affordable travel and resources students are able to access South Africa in new ways that include other, less popular destinations. When viewed in conjunction to the short- and long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the position of Cape Town as the premier study abroad ‘destination’ may change.
Aim: The aim of this panel is to think imaginatively and move beyond the vertical structuring of South African international higher education destinations, towards a horizontal model. For a long time there has been little collaboration between institutions of higher learning in South Africa regarding how the country is promoted internationally as a valuable international education destination.
This panel therefore seeks to engage with the following questions: Can we imagine a future of study abroad in South Africa beyond Cape Town? What does it mean to think horizontally, instead of vertically? How might rethinking key destinations in South Africa shift how the country is packaged for international students? How do we work together to ensure South Africa continues to be viable destination and can better withstand major or transformative threats in the future?

Session 9: Presentation H

14:00 – 15:00 Topic: Navigating the unknown: Experiences of international migrant students at a university in South Africa 
  Kwazikwenkosi Biyela, University of Kwazulu-Natal
  Chairperson:  Janet van Rhyn, University of South Africa

Over the last couple of decades the number of students moving from one country to another for the purpose of studying at higher learning institutions has been growing steadily worldwide. For many students, studying abroad offers a range of opportunities including the opportunity of exploring new cultures, languages and educational prospects, as well as developing friendships in interesting locations. However, the experience is not without its challenges, and sometimes, international students encounter the unexpected. The focus of this paper is to examine the lived experiences of international migrant students at a tertiary institution in Durban, South Africa. Through qualitative in-depth interviews, the findings revealed that international migrant students encounter both positive and negative experiences in their academic journey in another country. The major challenges include language barriers, financial constraints and difficulties obtaining study permits. By having a better understanding of the academic challenges facing these students, it is hoped that students and the staff will recognize international migrant student’s needs and offer support more effectively. The study recommends greater involvement of the institution in improving the experiences of students.

Session 9: Presentation I

14:00 – 15:00 Topic: Will the COVID-19 Induced Move to Virtual Mobility Result in a More Inclusive Internationalisation Process? 
  Cornelius Hagenmeier, University of the Free State 
  Chairperson: Lara Dunwell, Conference Chairperson, CIEE Cape Town

Traditionally, internationalisation has been focusing on mobility, which meant that mostly as a result of limited resources, only a limited number of members of university communities could benefit. While laudable efforts had been made to broaden participation in international education programmes, such as asymmetrical exchanges or scholarships, success has been limited. Students based in the Global South seldom partake in exchanges; even academic staff, particularly from African countries, often lacked the resources to participate in staff exchanges, conferences abroad or other forms of international academic mobility. One of the COVID-19 pandemic’s consequences has been that physical mobility became neigh impossible, and a sudden, almost exclusive, move to virtual internationalisation spaces occurred.

In my contribution, I will argue that moving beyond mobility through virtual collaboration can act as a catalyst for developing an inclusive model of higher education internationalisation that assists in overcoming global inequalities. However, I will caution that there is a risk of increased stratification and elitism and posit that it will depend on whether virtual engagement is embedded in the intentional rethinking of existing international education structures whether the move beyond mobility will result in a more inclusive internationalisation process. I will explain that merely shifting from physical to virtual mobility alone will not suffice to achieve this goal and allude which other actions could contribute to achieving a more inclusive model of internationalisation, which benefits all institutions irrespective of their size and shape all students.

I will argue that it will depend on whether stakeholders in international higher education will work intentionally towards a common goal of inclusive internationalisation, which assists in overcoming global inequalities, whether the move to virtual internationalisation will result in more inclusive internationalisation. Such a new approach would have to be much broader than simply embracing virtual engagement. Internationalisation should be structured to benefit all universities, irrespective of status and strength, and all students, irrespective of backgrounds, equally and overcome entrenched colonial legacies. I will extrapolate that first, it would be critical to expedite the expansion of the discourse on internationalisation beyond the western world. Second, the enrichment through collaboration between universities of different character and ranking position should be cherished. Third, the value of connecting students from different backgrounds, not only in terms of world regions and culture but also in socio-economic and societal terms, for enriching international education should be recognised. Fourth, virtual engagements should be embedded in transformed and internationalised curricula that foster critical thinking and intercultural and global competence in all students. Fifth, existing and new collaborations and partnerships between the developing and developed world should be based on equality and embrace ethical principles. I will conclude that it will depend on whether virtual mobility will become embedded in a comprehensively transformed internationalisation process, which may include the five elements set out above, whether it will act as a catalyst to achieve truly inclusive internationalisation.

Session 10: Closing Plenary

15:30 – 16:30 Topic: Reflections on Conference
  Michelle Stewart, EAIE
  LaNitra Berger, NAFSA
  Maria Leonor Alves Maia, ANPET
  James Otieno Jowi, EAC
  Chairperson: Dr Lavern Samuels, Durban University of Technology

Panellists will reflect on social justice and inclusion in higher education and discuss the way forward.


08:30 – 12:00 Topic: Using Creativity and Innovation to increase inclusion in internationalisation.
  Michael Lee, Innotivity Institute
  Nadege Minois, Coaching Vision

This hands-on and highly interactive masterclass will look at how to apply the fundamental principles of creativity and innovation to issues of diversity and inclusion in Higher Education.

We start by looking at the challenges that exist for you, specifically, and the places your thinking and action might be stuck. From there, we’ll learn the basics of how to generate more and better ideas around diversity and inclusion faster and easier and implement better policies successfully.

The COVID 19 pandemic has forced us to rethink the models we use in the world of diversity and inclusion just as much as everywhere else. We cannot design new models by thinking in the same way we used to. Better creativity brings more ideas and wider perspectives, and understanding the challenges of innovating in the real world makes it easier to implement breakthrough solutions. These realities apply to Higher Education as much as everywhere else.

Technological advances in online learning have opened the door to a potentially wider access to Higher Education, particularly to students who wouldn’t be able to access it mostly for financial reasons otherwise. Mobility rules have also been challenged with the pandemic. What does it mean for inclusion in Higher Education institutions? How do these issues apply to Africa and South Africa in different ways than in the rest of the world?


13:00 – 16:00 Topic: Welcome to Coil
  Lavern Samuels, DUT
  Moeti Kgware, DUT
  Divinia Jithhoo, DUT
  Philiswa Mncube, DUT
  Phumza Sokhetye, DUT
  Penny Orton, DUT

Welcome to COIL is part of the Professional Development for COIL initiative offered by the International Education and Partnership Office of the Durban University of Technology. Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) has been in practice as a pedagogical method at DUT for a number of years, allowing further enhancement of internationalisation and decolonisation of the curriculum at DUT.