International competitiveness and community development with specific reference to research on international collaboration through co-operative academic programmes

  • MLE Mapesela
  • H Alt
  • K Strydom


The tension between internationalisation and community development (regional responsiveness) is illustrated by explaining research on interinstitutional collaboration in co-operative programmes in South Africa. A multimethod approach, in which an extensive literature review was complemented by both quantitative and qualitative methods, was employed. The theoretical analysis was deemed imperative to provide a point of reference for those institutions with a tendency to venture into international collaborations that are not regionally and locally responsive. The article addresses this issue by exploring various notions of the phenomenon; preconditions for engaging in collaborative programmes; and forces compelling collaboration internationally. The subject is brought closer to home by highlighting important milestones in the development of national policy regarding co-operative academic collaboration in the regional context. In the empirical investigation a brief overview of very important issues related to co-operative academic programmes, as well as challenges around forging collaborations are extrapolated.

(South African Journal of Higher Education: 2003 17 (3): 209-216)

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eISSN: 1011-3487