Internationalisation of South African higher education
: rationales and implementation

  • Sibongile Sowazi

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Business (DBA)


The primary aim of the study is to analyse the South African higher education sector’s understanding and implementation of the internationalisation of higher education, in conjunction with the identification of commonalities, variations and disparities in their activities. This entails the following supporting objectives: 1) understanding of internationalisation in the higher education institutions of South Africa selected for the study; 2) exploring the rationales and approaches undertaken in internationalisation in these particular higher education institutions; and 3) comparing the similarities and divergences of these entities’ internationalisation implementation strategies. The study employed qualitative research techniques; this was influenced by the researcher’s social constructivist stance, in combination with the qualitative investigatory methods, which were the most appropriate for the resolution of the research questions. Secondary data was collected from institutional policy documents, progress reports and websites. Primary data was collected through individual, semi-structured interviews.A comparison across three case studies yielded insights into the way internationalisation of teaching and learning is approached and implemented. All three case studies appear to regard internationalisation as a significant component of their business and activities. However, each institution adopts and interprets internationalisation in diverse manners, in conjunction with prioritising and contrasting different rationales. From the findings, some recommendations were derived for consideration by policy makers and practitioners in higher education institutions. This study has contributed to the body of knowledge by developing a practical tool that may assist in initiating and implementing international partnerships.
Date of Award14 Sept 2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorRobin Shields (Supervisor)

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