The Dynamics of Globalisation and Internationalisation Processes Shaping the Policies for African Higher Education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Higher education in general has historically been the domain of national policy processes with minimal influences from regional and global processes. The growing phenomena associated with globalisation and internationalisation have, however, been pushing higher education policy to not only go beyond national jurisdictions but also to converge at regional levels. Globalisation has accelerated the growth of interdependence of variances, which in turn have forged integration, cooperation and harmonisation across socio-economic and political processes. Factors that have shaped policy orientations towards internationalisation, regionalisation and harmonisation of higher education processes cover (i) the growing popularity of liberal economic principles, (ii) the increasing relevance of knowledge for economic growth and development, (iii) the introduction of market elements in higher education sectors, (iv) the coming of private providers of higher education and (v) the development and expansion of digital technologies. Regionalisation of higher education policies has always been taken not only as a collective response to challenges of globalisation but also as a regional roadmap for national higher education policy initiatives. For instance, the African Union has been initiating various pan-African higher education harmonisation policies and programmes, including curriculum, academic mobility, quality assurance protocols and centres of excellence; these make the African higher education space more relevant and competitive in the international higher education space and the globalised knowledge economy. The chapter examines the implications of globalisation on African higher education, drawing perspectives from Jan (Scholte, Globalisation: A Critical Introduction, Palgrave Macmillan, 2000) globalisation typology—globalisation as internationalisation, liberalisation, denationalisation, privatisation, universalisation and deterritorialisation. The paper critically interrogates the question of how globalisation and internationalisation processes shape the regionalisation of higher education in Africa by reflecting on the regionalisation and harmonisation of higher education policy processes in Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHigher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa in the 21st Century
Subtitle of host publicationPedagogy, Research and Community-Engagement
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9789819932122
ISBN (Print)9789819932115
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Globalisation
  • Harmonisation
  • Higher education
  • Internationalisation
  • Regionalisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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