Finnish Professors’ Experiences of Decolonisation and Internationalisation in South African Universities
This paper examines the experiences of Finnish professors of education, who hold visiting positions in South African universities. As an international education utopia, Finland has developed strong Edu-business and education export around the world ‐ these visiting positions in South Africa being a direct outcome of these strategies. Using a critical form of discourse analysis, the authors scrutinize three visiting professors’ utterances about their experiences of South African higher education. During their interviews the political and economic dispositifs of internationalisation, of which their positions are symbolic, function through evoking idealised and exceptionalist representations about Finland. The participants also hint at the need for tolerance and respect towards the South African other, which reveal themselves through the reproduction of colonial discourses and images. The paper thus calls for further investigation into such forms of neo-colonialism in an African country that calls for rethinking Africanisation, decolonising of knowledge and internationalisation of higher education. It also problematises the under-researched and ambiguous position of Western scholars in these complex processes.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2019
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