The Perceived Benefits of International Partnerships in Africa: A Case Study of Two Public Universities in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo

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In recent years, international partnerships have been viewed increasingly as having the potential to help African academic institutions develop the human capacity needed to contribute to African development. Although the rationales for establishing partnerships are often clear, a question that has been largely unaddressed in empirical research is: What benefits do African institutions and stakeholders derive from partnerships? The present study attempts to examine this question by analysing the perceptions of a random sample of 468 university administrators, academic staff, and postgraduate students at two large public universities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Results show that international partnerships resulted in three institutional benefits (institutional capacity, academic effectiveness, and internationalisation) and four personal benefits (academic, cultural, economic, and strategic). The study found both similarities and differences in the extent to which institutions benefitted from partnerships. Moreover, the characteristics of partnership activities were related, in some cases, to the 'personal' benefits that African stakeholders derived from participating in these activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-62
Number of pages22
JournalHigher Education Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016



  • African higher education
  • cross-border partnerships
  • international cooperation
  • international partnerships
  • partnerships benefits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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