Internationalisation and decolonisation of university curriculum: Myths and possibilities

Year: 2018


Type of paper: Abstract refereed

ABSTRACT Decolonisation of University curriculum comes at a time when Internationalisation of curriculum also has also gained momentum worldwide. Within the South African Universities of Technology sector pressure has mounted specifically on how the two processes are aligned and compatible with one another. Academic staff members’ concerns revolve around the extent to which the two processes are mutually inclusive, whether the two processes will not result in curriculum overload, the extent to their resource implications on the already depleted resources and institutional capacity to implement both processes. I am currently a deputy director in the unit for curriculum and academic staff development unit at Central University of Technology, Free State in South Africa and I have been tasked with the development of guidelines on ‘internationalising curriculum’. Furthermore, a concept document on ‘decolonisation of curriculum’ is also being developed within a unit for Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). Drawing from discourse analysis of both concepts, their definitions and implementation approaches, the paper explores firstly the extent to which both processes are compatible with one another and how best to introduce both processes preferably during curriculum conceptualisation phase and in a coherent way. The research methodology adopted includes literature review of the concepts, approaches and analysis of selected international universities’ modules specifically on ‘global citizenship’. The analysis of the identified modules revealed that while content on each cover essentially attributes that equip students with skills to adapt in different contexts both locally and internationally, ways of being in each local context play a key role. The results from the study revealed that both processes are compatible with one another and do not necessarily contradict each other. It may therefore be concluded that while both curriculum transformation strategies may be or have been introduced separately from each other, there are possibilities of aligning them. Key words: Decolonisation of curriculum, internationalisation of curriculum, University of Technology, curriculum mapping, South Africa,