Internationalisation perspectives of Kenyan universities: A consideration of stakeholders’ understanding and motivations, and the implications for the provision of quality academic programmes

Jafred Muyaka, Violet Khalayi Wawire, Ishmael Irungu Munene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


University administrators, academic staff and students are key agents of internationalisation of higher education, particularly at the institutional level. The growing volume of literature on internationalisation has looked at the role that these stakeholders play. However, few studies in Kenya have examined these stakeholders’ conception of the internationalisation process. The current study explored Kenyan universities’ understanding of the process of internationalisation and how their perceptions influenced the provision of quality academic programmes. The focus was on the conception of the process and the rationales pushing universities in Kenya to internationalise. The targets were the university administrators, academics and students in two public and two private universities in Kenya. The study used institutional theory as a theoretical framework in examining the implications of stakeholders’ understanding of the internationalisation process on the provision of quality academic programmes. The study noted a failure on the part of universities in Kenya to utilise internationalisation as a tool for improving the quality of their education. There was a lack of shared understanding of the process among the stakeholders. In both public and private universities, academic rationales were identified as the main reason for supporting the internationalisation process. The lack of a comprehensive and shared understanding of the internationalisation process among the institutional stakeholders in Kenyan universities had compromised their capacity to utilise the process to advance the quality of their academic programmes. The study recommends investment in training on internationalisation to ensure that there is clarity on what constitutes the process, its rationale and its underlying values within the unique context of Kenyan universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalResearch in Comparative and International Education
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • academic rationale
  • academic staff
  • Internationalisation
  • quality academic programmes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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