Improving Access and Equity in East African Higher Education through Internationalization
The 1998 UNESCO World Conference on Higher Education in Paris recommended that global higher education institutions should internationalize and reduce inequalities between developed and emerging countries. Since then, universities strive to incorporate an international dimension in their service. The aim was initially guided by the 20th century understanding of internationalization being just, fair, and an equitable process that promotes peace and mutual understanding. However, under the influence of the General Agreement on Trade in Services and competition, internationalization changed focus and became less inclusive. This paper explores inclusive international education in East Africa using narrative review methodology. Findings suggest that rather than promoting access and equity in higher education, internationalization, for example, excludes economically disadvantaged, disabled, and adult learners. Thus, in addition to internationalization at home, inclusive internationalization abroad strategies should be devised. Internationalization of higher education is more valuable if it translates into fair, just, and peaceful social systems.
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