Dr Samia Chasi works with International Education Association of South Africa as a Strategic Advisor. She is a practitioner-scholar in internationalisation of higher education, with 20 years of experience in this field through positions in international offices of German and South African universities, an agency of the European Commission as well as representations of the German Academic Exchange Service, Nuffic and the British Council in South Africa. In 2019, Dr Chasi was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, on the topic of North-South partnership in education.
Decolonisation has become a buzzword in higher education. One of its common calls is to put a more human face to education. With this in mind, I reflect in this piece on decolonisation in relation to North-South partnerships, with consideration of my own life and work.
In South Africa, decolonisation has been much discussed in recent years, particularly in the wake of #RhodesMustFall and other student protest movements. Despite debate and engagement in academic circles and public spaces alike, there does not seem to be a common definition of decolonisation but rather an understanding that it means different things to different people and that there are different pathways to it. So what is decolonisation, really?