Webinar on the National Policy Framework for Internationalisation
UKZN hosted a webinar on the National Policy Framework for Internationalisation of Higher Education on 20 July.
The Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology published this policy framework in November 2020. It aims to provide a concise roadmap for Higher Education Institutions to engage in comprehensive internationalisation. The framework includes guiding principles on student mobility; international partnerships; international research collaborations that enhance teaching, learning, research and community engagement; and joint programmes and degrees. It also has relevance for the internationalisation of the curriculum that enhances the scope of internationalisation-at-home activities.
Acting Executive Director of Corporate Relations, Ms Normah Zondo opened the proceedings by welcoming all present. Professor Johannes John-Langba, academic leader of Research and Higher Degrees in the School of Applied Human Sciences at UKZN presented a brief background on internationalisation in Higher Education. He noted that ‘Over the past three decades, globalisation has resulted in a significant increase in international activities among universities.’ John-Langba observed that this includes international staff exchange programmes, joint research, an increase in the number of international students, joint degrees with other universities, student mobility and Memoranda of Understanding with universities abroad and in Africa.
Mr Mahlubi Chief Mabizela, Chief Director: University Education Policy and Research Support in the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) presented an outline of the policy. He said that the internationalisation policy focuses on three approaches. The first approach is mutual understanding, which is traditional to Higher Education, while the second is skilled migration and the third is capacity-building through the exchange of knowledge and learning.
Professor Nobuhle Hlongwa, Dean of the School of Arts in the College of Humanities at UKZN presented a critical response to the National Policy Framework for Internationalisation. She noted that it encourages learning across cultures and added that all relevant stakeholders will be involved in the University strategy and policy for internationalisation.
In closing the proceedings, Zondo remarked that, ‘It will take all of us working together to make sure that we interpret the policy well and that we come up with an individual institutional framework that will take the work of internationalisation forward.’
A recording of the webinar can be accessed on Zoom here.
Words: Langa Mathe