Internationalization Experiences of Ethiopian Higher Education in the Pandemic Era.


  • Alemu Yekunoamlak



Internationalization, Higher Education, Intercultural Education Department of Educational Psychology, Addis Ababa University,


Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) are undergoing institutional reforms including curriculum revisions, university-industry linkages, twinning programs, joint research, etc. in an attempt to cope with fast-changing global and local situations. The three missions of HEIs incorporate teaching learning, research, and community service. Some HEIs are in the ivory tower detached from real-life situations and far from addressing existing and emerging problems of society. This shows that the third wing of HEIs, i.e., community service has been given less attention. In Ethiopia, there are expansions at all educational levels. However, the education system needs to travel a long distance in order to improve the quality. Inequality of education is observed between urban–rural (nomadic areas) and boys – girls. The pandemic also posed limitations on face-to-face learning. Moreover, HEIs focus on knowledge with inadequate consideration for value and skill development. By way of addressing these issues, the paper aims at exploring practices, gaps, and emerging trends in the internationalization of Ethiopian higher education. In order to achieve these objectives, different methods including desk review, theoretical sketch, and reflections from practice coupled with institutional examples were employed. Based on the above desk review, research results, and institutional examples, internationalization of higher education in Ethiopia can be labeled at the infant stage with heavy reliance on Western approaches and considered weak in resources and networks. In order to counter this, HEIs in Ethiopia need to make use of the current virtual and blended learning environment so as to initiate flexible platforms without neglecting indigenous and lifelong practices. Hence, parallel to promoting the internationalization of higher education, the de-internationalization HEIs also has to be exercised so as to scale up homegrown strategies.