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


Over the past few months, Dr Lavern Samuels has had numerous speaking engagements in his capacity as IEASA President, including at the SASUF Sustainability Forum, a UniPID/SAFINET networking session and the 2024 NAFSA Conference.
UniPID/SAFINET networking session

On 20 May, Dr Samuels delivered a keynote address at Tampere University to the networks of the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) and the Southern African and Finnish Higher Education Institutions' Network for Health and Well-Being (SAFINET). In his keynote, he focused on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and International Virtual Exchange (IVE) as tools for internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC).

2024 NAFSA Conference

Dr Samuels attended the NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference & Expo, which was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, from 28 to 31 May, and participated as a panellist in two sessions.

In the session tilted “Digging Deeper: International Education Associations' Research Agendas”, speakers explored the research agendas of four international education associations. Dr Samuels reflected on IEASA’s growing research endeavours, as informed by the South African higher education context. The other participants were Shanna Saubert, Associate Director of Research & Scholarship (NAFSA); Dr Laura Rumbley, Director for Knowledge Development and Research (EAIE) and Professor Ren Yi, Vice-President (IEAA).

In the session titled “Beyond Borders: COIL, Micro-credentials and Global Employability Skills”, Dr Samuels shared South African experiences using Durban University of Technology (DUT), which has 156 COIL projects across all of its six faculties, as a case study. The other speakers were Dr Ofelia Cervantes, Executive Director of the Programme for the Internationalization of the Curricula for the Americas (PIC Americas) and Dr Glen Lowry, Associate Vice President (Centennial College).
SASUF Sustainability Forum

Dr Samuels participated in the Sustainability Forum hosted by the South Africa-Sweden University Forum (SASUF) at Lund University, Malmö University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Campus Alnarp from 15 to 17 May. Dr Samuels, who has been involved in SASUF since before its formal launch, gave a keynote titled “Inclusion and Democratisation of internationalisation of Higher Education in South Africa and beyond”. In his address, he highlighted that higher education internationalisation should be a democratic, transformational and social justice-oriented endeavour, contributing to the broader human project and addressing historical and contemporary societal challenges, injustices and inequalities. He further expressed his belief that internationalisation can make a contribution to liberating the minds and imagination of students and broader communities. For this to happen, those involved in international education must embrace the entire world and all knowledge, peoples and perspectives equally.


IEASA, SASUF and SANORD network collaboration continues

Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University
In May 2024, the South African Swedish University Forum (SASUF) held the SASUF Research and Innovation Week, which brings together researchers, teachers, students, university management representatives, and so many more from all the 40 SASUF partner universities. The week was divided into two parts: Satellite events taking place all across Sweden, and the Sustainability Forum, hosted by three Swedish SASUF Partner Universities, namely: Malmö University, Lund University, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences at the Alnarp Campus. https://www.sasuf.org/sasuf-research-and-innovation-week-2023-1

Due to the overlap between the South African institutional members of IEASA; SASUF and the Southern African Nordic Centre (SANORD) https://sanord.uwc.ac.za/, the three respective networks optimise the opportunity for face-to-face engagements and side meetings at each other’s events. Just before the evening Mayoral reception in Malmo, the IEASA participants in attendance gathered outside for a group photo.
IEASA members gather outside the Malmo Townhall
A SASUF coordination meeting and dinner was held afterwards and several of the IEASA institutional representatives, spent the evening together again, with our Swedish counterparts.
IEASA Members connecting in Malmo
Then on the Friday afternoon just after the conference was closed, the same representatives, attended the SANORD AGM.
Coming Up:
The next in-person SASUF coordinator’s meeting will take place on 19 August 2024, the day before the official IEASA conference in Johannesburg from 20-23 August 2024. The SASUF Project Coordinator, Ms Helin Bäckman Kartal, expressed sincere thanks to the IEASA manager, Mrs Tohiera Bagus, for her continuing cooperation and logistical support, in relation to SASUF meetings at IEASA.
“Hot topics” in international education panel, AIEA 2024

IEASA Council member, Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University, chaired the “hot topics” in international education panel discussion, at the AIEA earlier this year. The panelists included:
  1. Karen Dalkie, Vice President, Development and Partnerships, Canadian Bureau for International Education, Canada.
  2. Sara Dart, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Ireland, Ireland.
  3. Prof. Kazuko Suematsu, PhD, Associate Executive Vice President, Deputy Director / Global Learning Centre, Institute for Excellence in Higher Education, Tohoku University, Japan.
  4. Uktam Salomov, Rector Fergana Polytechnic Institute, Uzbekistan.
  5. Orla Quinlan, President IEASA (2019-2020) Council IEASA 2012- 2024
The panelists each presented the latest trends in their respective countries. Having presented the “hot topics” from South Africa, Ms Quinlan invited Refilwe Moleyane, Central University of Technology (CUT), who was in attendance to add further comments. Discussions were opened to the floor.
Reflections on Affirmative Action in Student Access to Higher Education globally, AIEA 2024

Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University

The programme included a panel session titled "Affirmative Action: A Global Perspective”. Affirmative action seeks to promote equal opportunities for under-represented groups. Its effectiveness and potential consequences are debated globally, with different countries implementing it in various ways. The panel session aimed to offer a historical framework of affirmative action policies worldwide.

Mover and Shaker

Council member, Ms Orla Quinlan was featured in the Movers and Shakers section of The PIE news earlier in 2024 https://thepienews.com/movers/orla-quinlan/
Concern for International stakeholders at universities, as the end of the exemption period, 30th June, 2024 looms.

Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University

A meeting sharing concerns about the current backlog of university-related visa applications was held between a group of Vice Chancellors and the Director General in the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) in February 2024.

Subsequently, a working group, tasked with assisting the DHA in working through the backlog of university-related visa renewals was formed. The group consists of representatives from DHA, Universities South Africa (USAf) and four International Office practitioners, who are well-known to DHA. The IEASA members on the working group include Nombuso Mtshali; University KwaZulu Natal; Grant Leukes, University of Stellenbosch, Gita Patel, University of Witwatersrand and Orla Quinlan, Rhodes University, the only current IEASA Council member on the working group. The working group met in early April 2024 and subsequently, all universities were requested by DHA to submit a list of students, whose visa renewal applications were still outstanding.

Significant progress has been made in issuing outcomes, pertaining to the visa renewal applications that were on the prioritization list. Decisions on the applications made in 2024 are now happening almost within the eight period that was the norm, prior to COVID. However, backlog visas remain outstanding from 2022 and 2023 and this is of concern.

The Directives, which allowed universities and students to proceed with registration, based on producing the Visa Facilitation Services (VFS) slip, as evidence of the application, ends very soon on June 30th, 2024.
While the study visa renewals have been prioritised, there are several other types of visa applications, from the university communities, which are not yet progressing, including appeals, spousal visas, and post-doctoral fellow visas. Several applicants are already being approached by their banks, landlords and employers about their plans from July 1st, as without their visas or their exemptions, they will not be allowed to continue with their current arrangements.

When contacted, Mr Mbhele, Director of Corporate Accounts in DHA advised that we must wait for a new Minister before any exemption could be extended.


The 2024 edition of the IEASA Mentorship Programme kicked off on 23 May with an introductory session for mentees and mentors.
IEASA Mentorship Programme Introductory Session Attendees
Screenshot credit: Tohiera Bagus
IEASA Mentorship Programme Introductory Session Attendees

The purpose of the Mentorship Programme, which was piloted in 2022, is to help IEASA members develop supportive and mutually beneficial relationships with others working in the field of higher education internationalisation in South Africa. By providing a collaborative platform for networking and learning, IEASA aims to not only build the capacity of individual members but to strengthen a community of practice in the country’s higher education sector.

The eight mentees and six mentors participating in this year’s edition of the Programme are from diverse personal, professional and institutional backgrounds. The mentees are based at a variety of South African public higher education institutions, including Central University of Technology, Nelson Mandela University, Rhodes University, the University of the Free State and the University of Johannesburg, as well as the Human Resource Development Council of Botswana. They work with mentors who represent universities, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology and the University of the Free State, as well as Nuffic Southern Africa.

Over the next five months, mentees and mentors will hold bilateral mentoring sessions, and they will come together again as a group to share experiences and reflections at several networking sessions as well as a closing session to be held in November. Until then, we wish them every success for their mentorship journeys!


University of Edinburgh Guest Lecture

Dr Samia Chasi was invited by the Moray House School of Education and Sport at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to give a guest lecture on “Decolonising North South Partnerships” as a contribution to the Masters-level course titled “Higher Education in the Global Context” As part of this lecture, Dr Chasi had two engagements with the students of this course – online on 7 March and in person on 14 March.
University of Edinburgh Guest Lecture
Screenshot credit: Samia Chasi
Deep Dialogue

At the invitation of the British Council South Africa, Dr Samia Chasi attended a Deep Dialogues event held at Edinburgh Napier University from 13 to 15 March. The Dialogue was titled “Scalable and Sustainable Internationalisation and Transnational Education (TNE) – Locally Relevant and Globally Connected”. The size of UK TNE, as presented by Dr Suzanna Tomassi, Higher Education Specialist, Department for Business and Trade, can be illustrated as follows:
  • £25.6bn – value of education exports and TNE activities to the UK economy in 2020.
  • 76.3% – share of the total revenue coming from HE.
  • 558,085 – number of TNE students in 2021/22.
  • 9.3% – increase in the total number of UK TNE students since 2020/21.
  • 160 – number of UK universities engaged in TNE activities in 2021/22.
  • 230 – number of countries and territories hosting UK TNE in 2021/22.
  • Asia accounts for approx. 50% of all TNE student numbers.
The Dialogue offered rich perspectives from around the world on models of and experiences with UK TNE in partner countries including Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and the Ukraine. Hans de Wit, Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Fellow, Centre for International Higher Education (CIHE), Boston College, gave a keynote titled “Internationalisation of Higher Education: Challenges, Opportunities and Trends”. Should you be interested in receiving copies of the presentations, please send an email to samia@ieasa.studysa.org.
Deep Dialogue Participants
Foto credit: British Council
FAUBAI 2024 Conference

At the invitation of the Brazilian Association for International Education (FAUBAI, https://faubai.org.br/en/), Dr Samia Chasi attended the 2024 FAUBAI Conference, held in São Paulo, Brazil, from 20 to 24 April. The Conference, which was themed “Inviting for a new journey”, attracted more than 700 participants from 25 countries.

On 22 April, Dr Chasi delivered a keynote address titled “Reimagining Internationalisation from the Global South”, a recording of which is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_MlefS_Qqg. Some of the reflections she shared include the following:
  • Reimagining relates to the past, present and future of higher education internationalisation.
  • Reimagining requires us to think and do differently, from who and where we in the South. Reimagining challenges us to critically engage with the theory of internationalisation, as attempted by Dr Savo Heleta and Dr Samia Chasi in an article titled "Rethinking and redefining internationalisation of higher education in South Africa using a decolonial lens”.
  • Reimagining requires critical engagement with internationalisation practices, including student mobility partnerships, research collaborations, internationalisation of the curriculum and global citizenship education, to name a few.
  • Reimagining invites us to foster stronger South-South collaboration, which we can do at the levels of individuals, universities and internationalisation education associations.
2024 FAUBAI Conference Keynote
Photo credit: FAUBAI
In addition to the keynote, Dr Chasi was invited to be a speaker in the closing plenary titled “Global Dialogue”, held on 24 April. The session included the following other panellists: Dr Hilligje van 't Land, Secretary General, International Association of Universities (IAU); Cristina Montalvão Sarmento, Secretary-General of the Association of Portuguese-Speaking Universities and Waldenor Barross Moraes Filho, FAUBAI.

The panel addressed the following topics:
  • New drivers of higher education internationalisation from the perspective of the represented countries, regions and associations;
  • The role of multi-lingualism in this new landscape;
  • Reconciliation of Global North and Global South interests in building partnerships based on mutual understanding;
  • Future for virtual teaching and learning; and
  • Relevance of higher education institutions and their value to society.
2024 FAUBAI Conference Closing Plenary
Photo credit: FAUBAI
CPUT and DUT Webinars

Dr Samia Chasi and Dr Savo Heleta, an IEASA Council member, recently delivered two webinars exploring internationalisation and decolonisation of the curriculum. The first webinar, titled “Curriculum decolonisation and internationalisation: Challenges, possibilities and practical way(s) forward for teacher education”, was held on 4 April, hosted by the Global Institute for Teacher Education and Society at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The second webinar, titled “Challenges, possibilities and critical questions for curriculum decolonisation” was hosted on 30 May by the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at the Durban University of Technology. For both webinars Drs Chasi and Heleta drew on their co-authored article “Curriculum Decolonisation and Internationalisation: A Critical Perspective from South Africa” (2024), published in the Journal of International Students.
Invitation to DUT Webinar (slightly amended)
Foto credit: DUT
VLIR-UOS Assessment Commission

In accordance with the Framework Agreement for the assessment of project proposals signed between IEASA and the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS, https://www.vliruos.be/en/home/1) in 2023, Dr Samia Chasi continues to serve as an assessor and member of the VLIR-UOS Educational Programmes Commission, which forms part of IEASA’s consultancy work portfolio. Between February and May, her assignment included the assessment of applications received in response to the International Training Programme (ITP) Call 2024. To find out more about ITP projects, please go to https://www.vliruos.be/en/call_types/project_funding/international_training_programmes_(itp)/2415.
WUN-GAG Workshop

On 20 May, Dr Samia Chasi represented IEASA at a workshop hosted by the Global Africa Group (GAG) of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN, https://wun.ac.uk) on the Future Africa Campus of the University of Pretoria. The deliberations focused on the Africa Charter for Transformative Research Collaborations, of which IEASA is a signatory, specifically on ways in which the principles of the Charter can be put into practice. To learn more about the Africa Charter, go to https://parc.bristol.ac.uk/africa-charter/.
WUN-GAG Workshop Participants
Foto credit: Samia Chasi


Dr Lavern Samuels, IEASA President 2023-2024, has been honoured with the BMI GlobalEd | Times Higher Education Lifetime Achievement Award. He received this prestigious award at a reception during the 2024 NAFSA Conference, in recognition of his work and the impact he continues to have on the international higher education sector.
Dr Samia Chasi was recently appointed as a member of the inaugural Advisory Board of COIL Connect. COIL Connect is an initiative of the COIL Virtual Exchange Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation authorised in the State of New York. It aims to promote and support the international growth of collaborative online international learning (COIL) and virtual exchange (VE) at the institutional level. Current South African members of COIL Connect are the Central University of Technology, Durban University of Technology, University of Johannesburg, University of Limpopo and the University of the Free State. To find out more about membership and the services on offer, go to https://coilconnect.org.


IEASA held a successful webinar with Studyportals. The webinar focused on data insights to guide international student recruitment. Click on the link to access the recording of the webinar: https://studyportals.wistia.com/medias/djmu1a13gd

Studyportals will also be offering a workshop at the 26th IEASA Annual Conference 2024, titled, “Data-driven Strategies to Grow International Student Recruitment in South Africa.” TO FIND OUT MORE AND REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP, CLICK ON THE LINK: HTTPS://IEASA-CONFERENCE.STUDYSA.ORG/WORKSHOP_CATEGORYQ/WORKSHOP/
IEASA Members attended the World Technology Universities Network (WTUN) information event held on Wednesday, 22 May 2024. The World Technology Universities Network is a global network of technology focussed universities. Their diverse membership is united by a commitment to the inclusive advancement of sustainable scientific and technology teaching and research; each demonstrating a commitment to truly equitable innovation for the benefit of people and place.


Thuso Resources, an information hub for early career academics, now transcends South African borders

The recent data analysis for Thuso Resources has revealed that the platform, initially intended for emerging academics within South African institutions, is attracting users from other countries. These include Botswana, Canada, Germany, India and the United States of America. Thuso (meaning help) Resources was developed in response to a need for a national ‘toolbox’ of valuable resources for early career researchers and scholars. As such, and in the interest of working collaboratively to build strengths, South African universities have partnered to share instruments, resources, and training offerings on an open-access online platform. However, realising that this “national toolbox” has not only drawn the attention of academics within South Africa, perhaps this may be an opportune moment to partner with international higher education counterparts to source and curate beneficial knowledge to help the budding cohort navigate academia.



News from the Central University of Technology

CUT Hosts Global Higher Education Experts for Public Lecture on Global Challenges in Higher Education

CUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Pamela Dube hosted renowned higher education experts in a series of discussions at the Bloemfontein Campus to stimulate conversations on current topics in the sector. The two experts, Prof Mahoney, a global Leader in Education, Performance Psychology, and Innovation, and Dr Helena Lim, a higher Education Thought Leader and academic and Institutional Data Researcher, co-presented a public lecture on the Global Challenges in higher education.

CUT forging strategic partnerships on international front

The university has been actively forming strategic partnerships with international universities in various academic and research fields. Recently, a university delegation participated in the Innovation and Sustainability Forum in Sweden on 13-17 May 2024, where our researchers and academics addressed numerous satellite events. They showcased their work through workshops and session presentations, reaffirming the university’s active and robust engagement. Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Pamela Dube played a pivotal role in the SASUF Leadership Forum, chairing strategic sessions to redefine the vision for SASUF 2025 – 2030. Prof. Ngowi also led discussions on how CUT can further contribute to scientific advancements within the SASUF network.

CUT Showcases its academic prowess at SASUF Research and Innovation Week

The CUT delegates contributed significantly to the prestigious South Africa Sweden University Forum (SASUF) Research and Innovation Week, which took place from 13 to 17 May 2024 in Sweden. Vice-Chancellor and Principal Prof. Pamela Dube led the delegation, alongside key academic and research figures from the university.

U.S Ambassador visits CUT to forge new collaborations

CUT’s engagement with United States (U.S.) embassy is on a positive trail, with a focus on research initiatives at both the faculty and research centre levels. On 24 April 2024, the U.S. delegation visited CUT to explore potential future areas of collaboration. During their visit, they engaged with the CUT executive team, toured the university’s centres, and witnessed some of the innovative projects underway.

CUT and Kenyan universities explore academic partnership opportunities

CUT’s engagement with United States (U.S.) embassy is on a positive trail, with a focus on research initiatives at both the faculty and research centre levels. On 24 April 2024, the U.S. delegation visited CUT to explore potential future areas of collaboration. During their visit, they engaged with the CUT executive team, toured the university’s centres, and witnessed some of the innovative projects underway.


News from Nelson Mandela University

Africa week: a moment to celebrate, reflect and connect.

Nelson Mandela University’s International Office (MIO) collaboratively organised and hosted various week-long activities to acknowledge, recognise and celebrate Africa’s rich cultural heritage and diversity. These events included a symposium, seminar, a silent protest to raise awareness of the war in the Democratic Republic in Congo (DRC) and Africa Day Arts Festival on May 24, filled arts and crafts, traditional food, traditional dances, traditional attire exhibitions, music and entertainment. This was a build up to Africa Day, 25 May that is celebrated annually. Africa Day is about the commemoration of the founding of African Union (formerly Organisation of African Unity founded on 25 May 1963 as well as the continent’s successes and aspirations for the present and the future. This year’s theme is ‘Education Fit for the 21st Century’.


News from Rhodes University

Rhodes University elections experts
Rhodes University, established in 1904, has a rich history that reflects its evolving role in South African society. In its early years, the institution maintained a strict policy of political neutrality, restricting staff and students from engaging in political activities. This stance shaped the university’s culture and approach to political discourse, emphasising unbiased, comprehensive analysis to foster informed decision-making.

Rhodes University Africa Month celebrations

Friday 31 May, the last day of Africa Month coincided with the 120th birthday of Rhodes University. Activities in May to celebrate Africa month included public lectures, seminars, panel discussions, a conference, a colloquium, a book launch, interactive activities with students, a photo shoot celebrating cultural diversity, education campaigns, a postgraduate funding fair; all demonstrating Rhodes University’s continuing commitment to a vibrant intellectual life on campus.

Thuso Resources, an information hub for early career academics, now transcends South African borders

The recent data analysis for Thuso Resources has revealed that the platform, initially intended for emerging academics within South African institutions, is attracting users from other countries. These include Botswana, Canada, Germany, India and the United States of America.


News from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

Africa Day Celebrations at SMU

Dr Carlien Jooste, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University

The month of May is traditionally called Africa Month across most African countries. In this month, higher education institutions and other civic entities commemorate Africa Day in one way or another. Most of the time, Africa Day is commemorated through song and dance, as well as the honouring and sharing of language, culture, and traditions.


News from University of South Africa

Unisa co-hosts 2024 Global Sustainable Development Congress in Thailand

A few days ago, Unisa celebrated great news when the 2025 edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings listed Unisa as one of the top universities in South Africa, further assuring and cementing Unisa’s stature as a globally sustainable and competitive university. The good news has not stopped Unisa’s management, academics, and staff members in their quest to improve further and position the university as a global player and leader in the higher education space.

Prof LenkaBula unapologetic about leading and shaping Africa's sustainable futures

Persuaded by the need for further enhancing the internationalisation drive and the place for Unisa in the work of sustainability, resourcing and global impact, the Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Unisa, Prof Puleng LenkaBula, is leading a twenty-one member delegation of the university's epistemic communities from the academic, administrative and professional staff to an annual congress of the Times Higher Education (THE) scheduled for 10 to 13 June 2024 in Bangkok, Thailand.


News from the University of the Free State

Dr Juliet Kamwendo champions gender-inclusive climate action in Africa. Her expertise at the recently held AFR100 workshop highlighted vital steps towards sustainable and equitable development.
Institutional Activies
Virtual and Physical Exchanges:

Dr Kamwendo Lecturer and Programme Director for Gender Studies in the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies at the University of the Free State has recently served as a gender expert at the African Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa's Development (AUDA-NEPAD) AFR100 workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from 25 to 29 March 2024. This initiative aimed to restore forests and degraded land across Africa by 2030, with a focus on gender equality.

Kagiso Ngake, the Coordinator for International Partnerships, Collaborative Degrees and Outgoing Mobility in the Office for International Affairs (OIA) at the University of the Free State (UFS), has been selected to participate in the 2024 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

Ngake, set to begin his fellowship in June 2024, expresses enthusiasm for this remarkable opportunity and eagerly anticipates personal interactions with fellow participants. The fellowship involves interactions with representatives from organizations with vested interests in Africa..

Kagiso Ngake, Coordinator for International Partnerships, Collaborative Degrees and Outgoing Mobility in the Office for International Affairs (OIA) at the University of the Free State (UFS).

The Female Voices in the Third Space project team alongside attendees from various institutions.

COIL Projects

Empowering female voices in collaborative online international learning

On 18 March 2024, the inaugural international conference for the British Academy/Leverhulme-funded project, Female Voices in the Third Space: Researching Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in South-North Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL), convened at the Coventry Conference Centre, held in hybrid mode. This gathering drew 70 participants worldwide, representing diverse regions including Brazil, South Africa, China, Vietnam, and several European countries. Experts spanning various disciplines, including students, academics, COIL consultants and educational developers. Additionally, many delegates congregated in Coventry to engage in workshops held from 19 to 20 March for the successful Erasmus+ funded COIL project, iKudu.
The conference also provided each consortium university with the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their strengths and achievements in the project.

Future of COIL discussed at iKudu closing conference

The Office for International Affairs at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently hosted the iKudu closing conference, celebrating the past five years of achievements of the iKudu project, as well as the start of the future iKudu network. A highlight of this conference was the symbolic journey through the different stages of the project.

Participants engaged in short, to-the-point presentations titled ‘Where did it begin?’, ‘Becoming COILers through COILing’, ‘I am because we are’, ‘How to internationalise the curriculum?’, ‘What does COIL look like?’, ‘Spreading the word’, ‘Listening to students, ‘Putting the IoC and COIL together’, and ‘Making the project work’. Chevon Slambee, responsible for Strategic Projects and Virtual Engagement and the iKudu Project Manager in the Office for International Affairs, also shared insights with delegates at the gala event. Reflecting on the symbolism of the kudu, she highlighted its spiralling massive horns as a representation of strength and power, likening it to the project's ability to navigate challenges. Slambee celebrated the project's resilience and surpassed goals, achieving 57 COIL projects.

Internationalisation At Home

Africa Day Commemoration

The University of the Free State (UFS) recently hosted a compelling event at its Bloemfontein Campus in celebration of Africa Day. Under the theme “World Citizenship and African Higher Education: Preparing Students for a Connected World”. The gathering, organised by the Office for International Affairs, brought together distinguished speakers and scholars to explore the significance of Africa Day and the pivotal role of African institutions of higher learning in shaping a global mindset. Many topics that were discussed ranged from Addressing inequality and colonial legacies, Decolonising academic discourse and promoting inclusivity, Promoting social justice through higher education, and moving towards equity and renewal.

The conference also provided each consortium university with the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their strengths and achievements in the project.
Innovative partnerships & Joint Degrees

Art lecturer Johandi du Plessis-Kleynhans secures NYC scholarship, shakes up installation-art wxorld

Johandi du Plessis-Kleynhans is becoming a pioneer of installation art as she is off to study in New York City. This opportunity presented to her was attributed to her being a recipient of the prestigious Ampersand Fellowship and Residency to study in New York City. Johandi du Plessis-Kleynhans, artist, researcher and junior lecturer at the University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Fine Arts will be joining during the course of this year.

The conference also provided each consortium university with the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their strengths and achievements in the project.
Community of Practise

The Engaged Scholarship Office at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently hosted the Community Engagement Festival, a week-long event focused on sustainability, entrepreneurship, and social justice for students. The festival, which forms part of the office’s broader Community Engagement project, showcased various activities and initiatives aimed at educating participants about these critical topics. The Community Engagement project has grown significantly over the past year, expanding from six members to a community of 200 individuals. Successful projects include a worm farming initiative for income generation, which teaches students how to cultivate and sell worms for composting.
The UFS Community Engagement Festival showcased sustainability, entrepreneurship, and social justice initiatives as part of efforts to empower students.

News from University of KwaZulu-Natal

God and Ancestors in Catholicism

Inspired by a deep sense of purpose and guided by the Holy Spirit, UKZN’s oldest graduate at the 2024 Autumn Graduation ceremonies at 74, Parish Priest Pierre Goldie’s academic journey culminated in an investigation into the evolving perception of sacred power among Black, urban, isiXhosa-speaking Catholics within the Catholic Archdiocese of Cape Town.

Disability is Not a Barrier

Growing up with a disability or in a difficult environment should not be a barrier for people to achieve their dreams, says wheelchair-bound Ms Zinhle Khumalo who graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management (HRM) with distinction.

Khumalo was previously awarded her Bachelor of Social Sciences summa cum laude.

At the age of five, she was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder that caused her health to deteriorate and resulted in the permanent use of a wheelchair. She hopes her achievement will be an inspiration to all those living with a disability who want to achieve their dreams.

Master’s in Administration for Former UKZN Chancellor

From graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBChB) from the erstwhile University of Natal in 1982, to serving UKZN as the second Chancellor from 2009 to 2017, graduating again at the age of 68 is no mean feat for Dr Zweli Mkhize who was awarded a Master of Administration at a Graduation ceremony in May.

Service Delivery at the Provincial Sphere of Government: A Case Study of Operation Sukuma Sakhe (OSS) in KwaZulu-Natal was the title of Mkhize’s study under the supervision of UKZN public governance specialist Professor Purshottama Reddy.

200 Young South Africans Award Winner Passionate about Lion Conservation

A 2022 winner of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans award and project manager at the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), UKZN doctoral graduate Dr Samantha Nicholson, heads up the IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group’s African Lion Database – a conservation project that collects and analyses key data on the species to inform conservation-related decision-making. IUCN SSC is the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Special Survival Commission.

By creating a repository of reliable information, the database aims to bolster the capacity of governments and organisations to assess the impacts of their interventions.

Trail-Blazer Investigates Impact of Climate Change on Hydraulic Structures

When Ms Katelyn Johnson registered for a BSc degree in Civil Engineering at UKZN way back in 2009 she was the first and only Coloured woman to do so. Fast forward to today, and she has now just become the first Coloured South African female to graduate with a PhD in Civil Engineering at the University. Having worked as a civil engineer for four years with some experience in flood management, Dr Johnson completed her MSc in Civil Engineering part-time before starting postgraduate studies through the Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR) in the School of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences.



If planning your weekly schedule feels like a game of Tetris, that’s understandable. Between the constant stream of new information coming at your brain, getting out for some social connection and finding a moment to eat the occasional meal out, time is hard to come by.

But time is money, so the saying goes, and right now, you are investing in your future success – a goal that is far more achievable with that qualification under your belt, right?

That’s a good start, but what if you could intensify another essential ingredient in your recipe for success with a dedicated partner who cares about safeguarding your health while boosting your wellness?

At CompCare, we have first-hand experience in the domino effect of healthcare choices made today and the outcomes for your wellbeing tomorrow. And somehow, tomorrow keeps getting closer, with rising rates of chronic illness and cancer amongst increasingly younger individuals, not to mention the toll of stress and other mental health conditions.

Don’t worry; we’re not here to bring you down – just the opposite! Our revamped student option, Umbono, builds you up for a stronger healthcare future with market-leading wellness benefits from newly added men’s and women’s health screenings and oral contraceptives to basic health checks and your annual flu vaccine. Naturally, this also includes unlimited telephonic counselling sessions, with an option for referral to one-on- one sessions with a qualified specialist when needed.

In addition to thinking ahead about your health, CompCare’s Umbono is also here for rainy days with superb day-to-day benefits from basic dentistry, optometry, casualty visits and physiotherapy. And because we care more, we offer unlimited cover for GP visits, acute medication, and basic radiology and pathology on the CompCare network.

Add to this total peace of mind with the in-hospital and chronic cover you can count on, and you’ve got the complete package – thoughtfully designed and ready to slot in and support your ‘Big Plan for the Future’.

Finally, while we understand that time is money, we also know that money takes time, which is why we offer the most affordable student option on the market, starting at just R520 per month. That’s affordable cover that you simply cannot afford to do without.

So, forget having your cake and eating it too, cake is overrated ( jokes) – and let’s focus on having your best life and living it well with CompCare by your side, every step of the way.
More health for more students for less

While we remain strongly focused on servicing international students, we are also increasingly growing our presence in the local SA student market. We are confident that by the end of 2024, we will cover more than 30 000 students, and remain the leading provider of affordable and credible healthcare cover in the country.

The Ingwe Option is the ideal solution for parents and sponsors to continue paying affordable contributions with excellent benefits for beneficiaries that have turned 21.

Service excellence, value and innovative solutions are the cornerstones of the worldclass healthcare cover that we offer. Our flexible solutions provide students with healthcare cover that suits their unique needs and affordability.

We are particularly proud of our partnership with Standard Bank, where over 600 interns, who joined during the challenging times of COVID-19, continue to benefit from the Ingwe Option. These interns serve as brand ambassadors, endorsing the quality and reliability of our solutions.

With the Scheme’s healthy financial position, Momentum Medical Scheme will continue to be the leading and preferred healthcare provider to many students and stakeholders.
In a market where some of our competitors are implementing mid-term contribution increases and benefit reductions, Momentum Medical Scheme’s solvency level remains well above the statutory requirement. Our members can rest assured that the Scheme remains in a position to continue offering affordable and reliable healthcare cover going forward.
National Health Insurance (NHI) and what the future holds

Momentum Medical Scheme wholeheartedly supports a sustainable system of Universal Healthcare Coverage in South Africa. While we expect the full implementation of NHI to be several years away, the medical aid industry will continue with business as usual, contributing to the finalization and implementation of an NHI model that benefits all South Africans.

One of the areas that requires clarification would be whether NHI would extend healthcare cover to international students, or whether the current study visa requirements of having medical scheme cover through a registered South African medical scheme, for the full duration of studies, would still apply.

We will keep you updated with developments in this regard.
Newsletter Deadlines for 2024:

September issue – due Wednesday, 4 September 2024
December issue – due Wednesday, 13 November 2024
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