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African academic diaspora and the revitalisation of African universities

George Mutalemwa


This article seeks to contribute to existing, albeit limited, knowledge on the engagement of the African academics in Germany in African universities in research, teaching and public service. Revitalisation of African universities appears to be the raison d’être of internationalisation. Inasmuch as revitalisation denotes development in its conceptualisation, it seems appropriate that a theory of development informs the current analysis. Building on the people’sorganisations development theory (PODT), a university revitalisation theory (URT) explains the centre stage which African universities occupy in the academic diaspora-Africa equation. The qualitative approach informs the analysis particularly through interviews in answering the research question, namely how Germany-educated African academics engage in the revitalisation of the African universities. The work employs Alan Bryman’s steps in analysing data. This analysis indicates a modest engagement of African academic diaspora in revitalising African universities. The discussion redounds to URT construction, which is the main goal of this article. It culminates in articulating a methodological framework followed by practical and policy recommendations. Theory construction in this empirical study is informed by Strauss and Corbin’s Grounded Theory (GT). The recommendations include the strengthening of the relationship between African academics, students, African universities and international universities, the establishment of an African academic diaspora association and the employment of a larger quantitative sample.
Keywords: University revitalisation, internationalisation, theory construction, academic diaspora, development

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eISSN: 2591-6955
print ISSN: 2507-7783