UJ Institute for the Future of Knowledge

International Collaboration from an African Perspective: Strengthening Partnerships for our Common Goals

Higher Education in the World Report 8 Special Issue:
New Visions for Higher Education towards 2030
Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi)


Immediately after Africa’s independence in the 1950s and 1960s, many universities were established alongside the few founded during the colonial era. Against the colonial backdrop and with a resolve to safeguard its newfound independence, the continent opted to Africanise its universities rather than implementing strategies of internationalisation and collaboration. However, the globalisation of universities exemplified by the world ranking of higher education institutions and the attendant quest for global relevance, among other factors, dictated that Africa would have to abandon this agenda in favour of internationalisation. The recent call for decolonisation of African universities ignited by the 2015 student-led protests across South Africa (#FeesMustFall) begs the question of the relevance of African universities to the continent’s developmental goals as its higher education sector wallows in a myriad of challenges such as Eurocentric epistemology, weak digital technology, low research output, poor infrastructure and outdated teaching methods in the era of the fourth industrial revolution and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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