Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Cross-Border Higher Education in Africa: The Kenyan Experience

Academic journal article Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies

Cross-Border Higher Education in Africa: The Kenyan Experience

Article excerpt


Cross border higher education can be seen as one of the ways a country responds to the impact of globalization, yet at the same time respects the individuality of the nation. Internationalization of higher education as the process of integrating an international/intercultural dimension into the teaching, research and service function of higher education. Cross border university education is a step in developing aligning education to international standards and being responsive to global environment. Among the benefits of cross border higher education are international security, maintenance of economic competitiveness, fostering human understanding across nations, flow of technology, promotion of knowledge based economy and establishing of regional networks to compete with other regions of the world. Given the limited resources it is imperative that universities appreciate the potential for regional development in establishing regional partnerships. This paper will trace patterns and trends of cross border provision of higher education in the East Africa region, examine the relevant policy environment and make a critical analysis of potential benefits and challenges associated with this growing phenomenon in the higher education sub-sector. Discussions in this paper shall be limited university education drawing insights from secondary literature and reports from relevant bodies and ministries and institutions especially from Kenya. In view of this empirical studies are recommended. Addressing Social economic problems of Africa requires a regional approach by Africans with the context in mind. However, important lessons from other parts of the world are drawn. Studies on regional partnerships in other fields are common with very few focusing on cross border higher education as catalyst for regional development, an agenda this paper proposes

Keywords: cross border, higher, education, university, international.


Higher education has become more international in the last twenty years by having more students choosing to study abroad, enroll in foreign educational programs and institutions in their home country or simply using internet to take courses at colleges or universities in other countries. This can also be referred to as cross-border university education. The growth in cross-border education is a result of different forces among them; a desire to promote mutual understanding, the migration of skilled workers in globalised economy, desire of institutions to earn additional incomes or the need to build a more educated workforce in the home countries especially for emerging economies. Crossborder education has developed differently across countries and regions. Student mobility has been policy-driven in Europe and demand-driven in the Asia-Pacific region, while North America has mostly been a magnet for foreign students. Unless African countries invest more in higher education in terms of physical infrastructure, programmes, governance and research, the mentality that "quality international education cannot be obtained in Africa" will continue to deplete the cream of the faculty, students, and graduates in the predominant South-North trek of best brains. This paper will focus on the unilateral relations that have characterized cross-border education between most African countries and the developed nations, analyze policy environment, potential challenges and the accompanying benefits in Kenya.

Cross-border education can be seen as opening the education system in such a way that its inputs and outputs are not restricted to national boundaries. The future of higher education cannot be addressed without taking stock of national, regional and international context in which it is called upon to fulfill its mandate be it traditional or novel. Research and training henceforth cannot be conducted in purely local terms. Cross-border education encompasses a wide range of activities that are part of the wider international academic linkages, agreements, international development projects/aid and international commercial initiatives. …

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