Internationalization and Quality of Higher Education in Africa:A Comparative study of Makerere University Kampala, Uganda and University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria
Okello, Lawrence Rafaih
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Widely accepted global phenomenon of internationalization as a mainstream element of higher education assumes that there is value added to the quality of higher education institutions when international dimensions are enhanced (Knight, 1997). This study sought to examine the relationship between internationalization and quality of higher education in Africa, using Makerere University, Uganda and University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria as comparative case studies. This study adds empirical evidence on the debates and questions on internationalization of higher education in Africa, notably; whether internationalization of academic program content elevates quality, whether the internationalization of academic program delivery modes enhance quality and whether the internationalization of academic staff mobility activities lead to better quality. The cross sectional study design used in this research was guided by Critical Theory and Comparative Theory of Education. This research drew a sample of 452 respondents comprising of academic administrators, academic staff and students. The study took a crossectional study design with stratified, purposive and simple random sampling selection approaches. The study findings from qualitative and quantitative information obtained reveal both positive and negative correlations between internationalization and quality of higher education in Makerere University and University of Lagos, Akoka. At Makerere University, the correlation between academic program content and the constructs of quality was positively strong (r = 0.56), followed by staff mobility (r = 0.43) and then academic program delivery (r = 0.137). To the contrary, at University of Lagos, Akoka negative correlational results were found in academic program content (r = -.064), program delivery (r = -.095) and a positive correlational result was found in staff mobility activities (r = 0.27). In summary, the findings concluded that internationalization has a potential of shaping quality of higher education in Africa. The study recommends a stronger working synergy between higher education institutions and national, regional and African quality assurance and international agencies to enhance a higher standard in higher education institutions. The study recommends further research to focus on the relationship between internationalization and quality of private higher education in Africa and other parts of the world.