Transforming Curricula Through Internationalisation and Virtual Exchanges


The Faculty of Business and Economics and more specifically the programme Commerciële Economie are part of the iKudu project: Transforming Curricula Through Internationalisation and Virtual Exchanges in which we cooperate with 5 South African university partners and 4 partners within Europe.

In November 2019, scholars and practitioners from these ten higher education institutions celebrated the launch of the iKudu project. This project, co-funded by Erasmus+ Capacity Building programme, focuses on capacity development for curriculum transformation through internationalisation and development of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) virtual exchange. For the project we choose as name and logo the Kudu (iKudu in isiZulu ) a species of antilope showing social cohesiveness, yet also an individualistic survival response.

A new model for inclusive Higher Education

The project intends to connect large numbers of students utilising digital technology, thereby allowing students to gain international exposure irrespective of locality, socio-economic background, gender or disability status.

It extends an international opportunity to a much broader pool of students at universities and can thus be considered an innovative and sustainable way to implement internationalisation of the home curriculum, by infusing an international dimension into the formal and informal curriculum of students whilst remaining in their domestic learning environment.

The intention of the iKudu project is to furthermore integrate African indigenous knowledge and draw on classroom diversity to contextualise it, but also to decolonise the curriculum.

Internationalised and transformed curricula, which integrate COIL as an articulation of virtual exchange, are thus a new model for inclusive Higher Education (HE) teaching and learning that allows all students from a diversity of backgrounds to develop the graduate attributes required for success and employability in a globalised world while validating one’s own and each other’s distinctiveness.

Research group

In the research group of the project we also map attitudes towards internationalisation at home and how each of the consortium member institutions is currently engaging with internationalisation. We do this through the Appreciative Inquiry method.

This is not to compare or rank the universities, but rather to explore what works across the consortium, with a view to offering insight into different forms of practices across all ten institutions. This is a particularly powerful tool for the decolonised approach, as it is not a deficit model – we do not focus on what cannot be done or what is not achievable; instead, we look towards discovering, dreaming, and designing for a truly transformational destiny (see footnote 1).

Within FBE we have completed more than 10 different iKudu COIL projects so far, involving and training lecturers from our full time as well as part time programmes. They work together interdisciplinary and virtually with their colleagues and students in South Africa on societal questions. Business students with Health students, Law students with Marketing students and many more combinations.

We are proud of the project and would like to invite other lecturers and researchers to join us in our findings.

AUAS contacts

Eva Haug – e.m.haug@hva.nl
Educational Advisor IoC and COIL, lecturer Intercultural Competence
Faculty of Business and Economics

Bernard Smeenk – b.d.smeenk@hva.nl
International Relations Manager and Project Manager
International Centre – Faculty of Business and Economics

Our project partners include:

South Africa: University of the Free State, Central University of Technology (both in Bloemfontein SA), Durban University of Technology, University of Limpopo, University of Venda.

Europe: University of Antwerp, Coventry University, University of Siena, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Advisor of the project: Jon Rubin founder of COIL (State University New York)

1 - iKudu Blog – Shaping a Transformative Internationalisation Research Agenda in an Online Environment By Dr Alun DeWinter, Research Centre Global Learning: Education and Attainment, Coventry University and Prof Lynette Jacobs, Head of Research: South Campus for Open Distance Learning, University of the Free State

Published by  Faculty of Business and Economics 28 May 2021

Project Info

Start date 01 Nov 2019