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20 October 2021 - 20 October 2021

1:00PM - 2:00PM

Online seminar using Zoom

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Part of the School of Education Research Seminar Series.

Decolonisation vs Transformation: Emerging Voices in the Internationalisation of Higher Education

Dr Juliet Thondhlana, Associate Professor, Education and Migration, School of Education, University of Nottingham

This will be a virtual seminar using Zoom. Contact for details about how to take part.

Internationalization has arguably emerged as one of the most significant areas of change in higher education (HE) globally in recent times (Maringe, 2013) with varying socio-economic, cultural and technological impacts depending on context. The more recent increase in internationalisation of higher education (IHE) activity in the Global South has brought to the fore issues around colonialism, coloniality and decoloniality given the fact that education in general and higher education as we know it today is a colonial project  for many Global South contexts. Thus, the project of internationalising higher education is often seen as running the risks of both reinforcing past and present inequalities and knowledge hierarchies, and creating new ones. More recent studies (e.g. Thondhlana et al 2021) have however begun to explore the emergence of internationalisation as a decolonial tool while at the same time acknowledging the accompanying complexities given what is known about its colonial and colonising epistemology and as presented in popular related discourses. In this regard, how we think, talk and work in relation to internationalisation and its decolonising, transformational potential have become matters of interest in emerging IHE debates and discourses. Drawing from findings of a recent IHE collaboration between the University of Nottingham and Zimbabwean higher education institutions, I demonstrate how viewing internationalisation of higher education more as a transformational than a decolonial project (in a globalising world) has potential to enable the generation of much stronger and positive impact for all parties in ways that serve to further the decolonial project thereby making IHE efforts more inclusive, accessible and effective.  



Juliet Thondhlana (PhD) is Associate Professor in Education and Migration in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham (UK). Her teaching is in international education. She has researched internationalisation of higher education in the UK and Zimbabwe and has co-led the development of a national internationalisation policy framework for Zimbabwe.