Internationalization Efforts in the Nigerian Higher Education Sector
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Incorporating international perspectives into teaching and research has become one of the core goals of higher education institutions that are keen about maintaining global relevance. For a developing continent like Africa, higher education is an essential instrument for socioeconomic development. In contrast with the popular view that African countries such as Nigeria are often sidelined in the move of internationalization, this chapter explores a new dimension in the internationalization of higher education. This chapter provides an insight into the internationalization efforts made by the higher education system of Nigeria. Particularly, the chapter highlights the profiles of two out of the topmost Nigerian universities and the characteristics of the international students studying at these two universities – the University of Ibadan (public university) and Covenant University (private university). Using valid responses collected through questionnaires from 64 international students at both universities, the findings reveal some significant differences in the demographic features of the international students between the public and the private universities. These features include differences in funding, first language, countries of origin, enrolment types, and residences. Very few studies report on internationalization in Africa; even more rare are studies that focus on internationalization in the Nigerian higher education sector, even though there are copious studies on the broad subject of internationalization globally. Hence, this study brings a significant contribution to the current trends and issues in the internationalization of higher education landscape of Africa, with a focus on Nigeria.
KeywordsInternationalization Higher education Nigeria International students University
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