Navigating Internationalisation in Challenging Times

The IEASA Annual Conference is a flagship event that brings together internationalization leaders, experts, academics and researches, professional practitioners, educators, students and innovators as well as organisations and individuals interested in higher education internationalization to share
thoughts, research findings, lived experiences and good practice examples.

20 – 23 August 2024 I Radisson
Hotel & Convention Centre,
Oliver Tambo Johannesburg, South Africa


Dr Lavern Samuels
Director: International
Education & Partnerships
Durban University of Technology
Ms Normah Zondo
Deputy President
Executive Director: Corporate
Relations Division
University of KwaZulu-Natal

Dr Tasmeera Singh
Manager: International Relations
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Mr Umesh Bawa
Director of International Relations
University of the Western Cape

Dr Savo Heleta
Internationalisation Specialist and Researcher
Durban University of Technology

Prof Judy Peter
Director: Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships
Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Ms Janet van Rhyn
Project Manager: Sector Support
Universities South Africa
USAf Representative
Ms Orla Quinlan
Director: Global Engagement Division
Rhodes University


Workshop Facilitators

The IEASA - AIEA partnership
By Orla Quinlan, Council Member

Developing partnerships with African institutions workshop
The Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Conference, specifically for those leading international education at higher education institutions, was held from February 18 -21, 2024, at the Marriot Marquis in Washington DC.

IEASA continued its strategic partnership activities with the AIEA and facilitated a four-hour workshop on Developing partnerships with African institutions, on February 18th, 2024.

The workshop included an introduction to IEASA by Orla Quinlan, Director of Global Engagement, Rhodes University; President of IEASA (2019-2020). A theoretical overview of types of partnerships was presented by Dr Nico Jooste, Senior Director, AfriC; President of IEASA (2015-2016).

Examples of successful African-US partnerships from South Africa institutions and the University of Botswana were shared, during the four-hour workshop, which also included exploratory group work and discussion about potential funding opportunities.

The South African IEASA institutional members who shared examples of successful partnerships from their respective contexts included: Refilwe Moleyane, Central University Technology, Carlien Jooste, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (online) and Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University. Dawid Katzke, Deputy Vice Chancellor: Finance and Administration, University of Botswana concluded the African specific input. Shahzad Ahmad, St Cloud State University, USA, followed and shared his extensive experience of working with partnerships in Africa and all over the world.

Strategic engagement between AIEA and IEASA in the future
At an open session with the AIEA leadership on future strategy, IEASA was invited to share their view of ways in which the two organisations could continue to work together in the future. Representing IEASA in the session, Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University, suggested that the two organisations could continue to organise joint events such as the Global Leadership Summit, which was held just before the IEASA jubilee conference in Durban in August 2023, organise joint workshops and webinars, on contemporary and relevant topics, and continue participation in each other’s conferences.

Congratulations to Amit Reza, President AIEA 2004-2005
IEASA congratulates Amit Reza, Dean of Babson Academy for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurial and Dean of Global Education at Babson College, who was recently elected as the President of AIEA, 2024-2025. This marks a moment in time when the current President, the Past President (2024-2025), Jeet Joshee, California State University-Long Beach; President-Elect (2024-2025), Paulo Zagalo-Melo, Western Michigan University, are all former international students in the US.

A fond Farewell to the Executive Director of AIEA
Darla Deardorff, the AIEA, Executive Director, a long- time supporter of IEASA, who was instrumental in developing the partnership between IEASA and AIEA, announced her intention to step down as the AIEA Executive Director at the recent AIEA conference. Darla plans to devote more time to peace building which is her passion through other projects including her UNESCO Chair on intercultural competency, hosted by Stellenbosch University. We thank Darla for her consistent engagement with IEASA, bringing the working relationship of the AIEA and IEASA closer together and look forward to continuing to work with her in different ways in the future.


The IEASA Mentorship Programme is back. The Calls for Mentors and Mentees were launched on 6 March 2024.

If you are interested in participating in the Programme as a mentor or mentee, please find more information at the button below and submit your registration form (Call for Mentors) or application form (Call for Mentees) online by 10 April 2024.

Do not miss this chance to build supportive and mutually beneficial relationships with other IEASA members working in the field of higher education internationalisation in South Africa!



CANIE Climate Justice Working Group

On 30 January 2024, Dr Samia Chasi joined a monthly meeting of the climate justice working group of the Climate Action Network for International Educators (CANIE). Following an invitation from Antonio Gutiérrez, the working group’s Chair, she shared reflections on global South experiences and perspectives on climate change and justice, which are, according to the Chair, currently underrepresented in CANIE’s work. Issues touched on included personal accountability of international educators; intersections of internationalisation, equity and sustainability; and considerations for personal and institutional privilege.
HESTI Counsellors’ Meeting at Dutch Embassy

On 27 February 2024, Dr Samia Chasi joined a meeting of European counsellors for higher education, science, technology and innovation (HESTI) based in South Africa to speak on the topic of (curriculum) decolonisation, at the invitation of Mr Berto Bosscha, Education & Science Attaché at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Pretoria.

In her presentation, Dr Chasi drew on South African contexts and experiences to illustrate the complexities of decolonisation of higher education and introduced a set of critical questions that can be asked about the curriculum to assist with undertakings to decolonise it. During the discussion, the meeting attendees explored what decolonisation means in the context of their work in South Africa and what role government representatives can play in this process.
HESTI Meeting Attendees • Photo credit: Berto Bosscha
FIU COIL Leadership Institute

On 27 February, Dr Samia Chasi participated in an online panel discussion to kick off the 2024 edition of the Florida International University COIL Leadership Institute, which has 49 participants from 13 institutions around the globe. The discussion was titled “Leadership Cultures Around the World, Co-Leadership, and Leadership Interaction”. In her contribution, Dr Chasi brought leadership and decolonisation into conversation by focussing on student leadership, as witnessed during the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements in South Africa, and questions emerging for decolonial classroom practices.

Other contributions to the discussion, which was moderated by Jon Rubin (COIL Consulting), were made by Dr Susan Buck Sutton (Independent Consultant), Prof Daniel Nolan (University of Minnesota Duluth) and Ms Gabriela Méndez (Florida International University).


Dr Samia Chasi was recently inducted as one of five new members of the National Academy for International Education (NAIE), based at the Institute of International Education (IIE). The NAIE is both an honorary society and a think tank dedicated to international education. Initiated in 2021 with an inaugural class of 23 leaders, it now has 28 members. These educators are from higher education institutions and organizations of all sizes and represent countries from around the world, including two in Africa. Academy members are actively engaged in shaping international education and in generating knowledge to advance the field. For more information, go to
Dr Savo Heleta, Durban University of Technology, and Dr Samia Chasi, IEASA, published an article titled “Decolonization and Internationalization: A Critical Perspective from South Africa” in the Journal of International Students ( The article is available as an open access publication at

Opinion Piece

Questioning Student Mobility Models in HOI in South Africa
By Dingaan Booi, Officer International Relations: Strategic, Initiatives and Partnerships

In contemplating the direction South African universities should take regarding study abroad programs, a critical question arises: should they prioritize a fee-paying model over the traditional reciprocal credit-bearing programs? This question, fraught with implications for accessibility and equity in higher education, demands careful consideration within the context of shifting socioeconomic landscapes.



News from the University of KwaZulu-Natal

Statistics Sensation Secures a Place at Oxford University

Mr Aaron Naidu, who completed his Honours in Statistics at UKZN in 2023, has secured a place at Oxford University in the United Kingdom (UK) for a Master of Science in Statistical Science beginning in October 2024.

Naidu enrolled at UKZN after he caught the attention of the University during his high school years at Eden College in Durban. A talented mathematics student, he won several awards at a national and international level, including in the South African Mathematics Olympiad (SAMO), Computer Programming and Physics Olympiads, and the International Mathematics and Informatics Olympiads. He also represented South Africa at the World Youth Chess Championships in 2014.

Blind First-Time UKZN Midmar Medallist at Home in the Water

‘It was awesome to complete but a very tough swim,’ said first-time Midmar Mile medallist Ms Kristy Greener, a blind UKZN staffer who has idiopathic motor polyneuropathy – an illness affecting her hands and feet.
The condition causes the motor nerves of the peripheral nervous system to malfunction, with usually no obvious underlying cause found by medical doctors.

Op-ed: Racing Against Time: KZN’s Flood Woes Demand Urgent Action

Flooding is a multifaceted problem with far-reaching consequences. It is one of the most common types of natural disasters and it has become a frequent occurrence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Moreover, due to climate variability, this challenge is likely to persist.


News from the University of the Free State

UFS among top ten Best Value Universities for International Students in SA
Leonie Bolleurs
Photo: Kaleidoscope

Study Abroad Aide (SAA) recently ranked the University of the Free State (UFS) as the eighth best value university for international students among 39 universities in South Africa and placed the university among the top 13% of universities in the Best Value University World Rankings.

UFS Achieves Double Honours at Inaugural Chartered Global Management
Anthony Mthembu
Photo: Supplied

The University of the Free State (UFS) has proudly clinched two prestigious awards at the inaugural Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Leadership Award ceremony. Organised by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, comprising AICPA and CIMA, this event recognises the continent's outstanding contributions to the finance and accounting industry.

African languages, gender, and sexualities explored in newly launched Thetha Sizwe
Leonie Bolleurs
Photo: Stephen Collett

The book, ‘Thetha Sizwe: Contemporary South African Debates on African Languages and the Politics of Gender and Sexualities’, saw the light six years after the idea for this publication was conceived. The launch took place on the Bloemfontein Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS).


News from the Rhodes University

Rhodes University celebrates 120 years of academic excellence- #RU120

Rhodes University’s 120th anniversary project in 2024 is a year-long celebratory programme packed with diverse activities, including reunions, high-level societal debates, unveilings, exhibitions and cultural activities, which started with a seminal education summit to further strengthen quality education as Makhanda’s unique selling point.



For a student, paying the most affordable medical aid contribution is key. For Momentum Medical Scheme, we focus on a lot more than just offering the lowest contribution - we aim to make comprehensive in-and out-of-hospital benefits as affordable as possible.

Private medical cover is expensive in South Africa and some medical scheme providers move costly procedures to government hospitals. Although the contributions look good on paper and students love the savings, they may not understand the risk when they need access to treatment in private hospitals, which can run into thousands of rands. State hospitals have limited beds available and international students may not be able to access treatment when they need it most.

Momentum Medical Scheme is committed to open, clear and transparent communication so that our members can easily understand the benefits they have access to. Students can view our benefit details, provider lists, medicine formularies, pathology lists and more on

We would like to caution students against medical aid providers that do not openly share the details of their cover. Some competitors combine benefits under one rand value for the year. Although it gives members freedom of choice on how to spend the funds, it is important to understand that if their benefits are then depleted during the year, they may need to pay for treatment, such as prescribed medicine, from their own pocket.

Momentum Medical Scheme has learned through experience that member education is key. We have also come to understand that students prefer viewing short videos, rather than to read about benefits. Click here to view and also feel free to share any of these videos on your institution’s media platforms to assist in educating members regarding their benefits.

Future peace of mind

Momentum Medical Scheme provides cover to more than 154 000 families and has been growing at 3.6% over the past decade. Many student members opt to remain on the Scheme upon completion of their studies, contributing to the Scheme boasting the lowest average beneficiary age in the large open scheme arena, which bodes well for its long-term sustainability.

In December 2023, the average age of beneficiaries was 36.2 years, with an average age of new business beneficiaries of 26.7 years.

Momentum Medical Scheme’s association with medical specialists has increased the flexibility of its benefit offering. Currently, Associated specialists are accessible across all provinces, with the majority residing in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces, in line with the distribution of our members. Associated specialists are accessible at a ratio of 43.7 principal members per specialist, making it one of the richest arrangements of its kind in the industry.

The Scheme's statutory solvency ratio of 34.9% is well above the statutory requirement of 25%, and our members have the peace of mind that they will have cover when they need it most, whether now, or years down the line.

Momentum Medical Scheme[1]

Looking for the ultimate healthcare connection?

CompCare’s Umbono: Healthcare that fits your lifestyle on your terms…

As a dad to two students, I get the grind – the late-night cram sessions, the endless assignments and squeezing in some well-deserved fun. But amidst the chaos, one thing you shouldn't sweat over is your healthcare.

Enter CompCare Medical Scheme. I'm not just the principal officer; I'm someone who knows the student hustle first-hand. And I'm here to introduce you to something that'll make your life a whole lot smoother – the Umbono option from CompCare.

Let's dive in
First off, we're all about affordability and reliability. With over 40 years under our belt, CompCare offers the most student-friendly healthcare cover in South Africa. Old might be old, but trust me, sometimes it's gold.
Now, picture this: essential healthcare cover tailored just for students like you. Whether it's a quick visit to the GP or a pharmacy run, our network's got your back. And because convenience is king, we've strategically partnered with GPs near campus and your digs for easy access.

But it's not just about convenience; it's about quality, too. We've teamed up with top-notch private healthcare providers to ensure you get top-tier care without breaking the bank.

Onto the perks
With Umbono, you get unlimited visits to a Universal Network GP and selected out-of-hospital benefits. Plus, we've got your back in emergencies with access to selected private hospitals. And if you're all about sports, our wellness benefits have got you covered for injuries on and off the sports field.

Top-to-bottom care
Umbono also covers chronic conditions so, we've got your back when it comes to ongoing treatment. And with day-to-day benefits covering everything from GP visits to meds, radiology and more, you can focus on acing your studies – and having a blast while you're at it.

Oh, and mental wellness?
It's super important, which is why we offer 24-hour helplines and face-to-face referral sessions with trained professionals because taking care of your mental wellbeing is just as crucial as caring for your physical health.
Ready to take charge of your healthcare journey? CompCare's Umbono option has got your back. And if you ever need a hand, our member app, website and dedicated helpline are here for you.

So, let's make your student experience healthier, happier and uncomplicated. To find out more, please visit or give us a shout at 0861 222 777.

Here's to your health and success!

Josua Joubert
Chief Executive and Principal Officer (and father to two students)
Newsletter Deadlines for 2024:

June issue – due Wednesday, 5 June 2023
September issue – due Wednesday, 4 September 2024
December issue – due Wednesday, 13 November 2024
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