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September 2019

1443651948496Internationalisation – The search for a definition continues

Damtew Teferra is Professor of Higher Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and Founding Director of the International Network for Higher Education in Africa. He is Founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of African Higher Education. Teferra steers the Higher Education Cluster of the Africa Union’s Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA). He may be reached at teferra@ukzn.ac.za and teferra@bc.edu

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In the earlier posting on University World News, Prof. Hans de Wit argued that “a more descriptive and normative direction to the internationalisation process” is imperative. I respectfully disagree. I argue that the narrative of the definition is neither descriptive nor normative, but rather prescriptive and curative, as it attempts to identify ostensible challenges and advances arguable measures to address them. I maintain that the definition should remain a holistic mapping of the phenomenon, not a futuristic rendering which scaffolds upon ostensibly popular appeal or benevolent desire. Read More on University World News here.


The International Network of Higher Education in Africa is hosted at The University of Kwazulu-Natal and closely affiliated with the Boston College Center for International Higher Education. The Network is led by its founding director, Professor Damtew Teferra. Numerous initiatives of the Network are supported by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York.