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IMPALA Workshops: supporting institutional strategic development at South African universities


From 20 to 24 February three workshops on internationalisation strategies were conducted in South Africa as part of the IMPALA project, in which ACA leads a working group with the very same title and whose task is to support the four South African partner universities in developing or improving their internationalisation strategies and strategic approaches to their current practices in international cooperation. The workshops were co-organised by ACA and the IMPALA coordinator (University of Antwerp) from the European side, and by the partner universities and experts in South Africa. They were implemented as a follow up to the IMPALA Training Week  that took place in Cape Town in March 2017 and IMPALA site visits of South African university leadership to three European higher education institutions (HEIs) in June 2017.

Through a tailored-made approach, the team of European and South African facilitators looked into the current stage of internationalisation at each university and engaged the participants (university staff from different levels and parts of the institution) to discuss and plan further steps in international(isation) development of their respective institutions. The workshops were delivered by European and South African experts - Anders Ahlstrand from the Swedish Council of Higher Education (ACA’s member in Sweden), Guido Van Leerzem of Tilburg University, Varkey George, IMPALA external evaluator and Merle Hodges, advisor on the project and one of its creators. 
What particularly adds to the relevance of the workshops is their timeliness within the national context given that the adoption of the long-awaited national framework for the internationalisation of higher education in South Africa is expected very soon (see ACA Newsletter, May 2017). The national internationalisation policy will not only guide the South African public universities in their internationalisation path but will also mandate their work through a number of requirements, one of which is an obligatory internationalisation strategy. 
For more information on the workshops, please contact ACA Policy Officer Marija Mitic on

More information about the IMPALA project can be found here