Dr Nico Jooste

Founding Member and Director of the African Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation

Dr Nico Jooste is the Founding Member and Director of the African Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation. He has had a diverse higher education career before he formally entered the Higher Education Internationalisation field (in 2000), bringing with him Senior University Management Experience and the experience as a Senior Higher Education Lecturer. Dr Jooste firmly believes that Internationalisation is part of the Institutional Academic project (and not just an administrative activity), and that fundamental research about the practice of internationalisation and the development of the field as an academic discipline should be integrated and practiced throughout the institution and higher education systems.

In all his achievements these believes were always the guiding principle. For instance, at the micro-level he convinced his previous institution to recognise Internationalisation as part of the Academic Governance model of the University and as such it became part of the University Academic Senate, and the position of the Head of Internationalisation being awarded dual title, that of an Administrative Professional as well as that of a Senior Academic leader.

He was the Senior Director of the Office for International Education at Nelson Mandela University (South Africa) from 2000 till 2018 when he retired from the public sector to focus solely on AfriC. He was responsible for the development of the office as a self-funding entity. During his time in office, international student numbers grew from 130 in 2000 to 1500 in 2018. Comprehensive Internationalisation was implemented during this period as a strategic imperative of the University. In 2012, the Office was awarded the Excellence in Internationalisation Award by the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). Dr Jooste is involved in the re-thinking of higher education internationalisation globally and as such helped arrange the Global Dialogue on the Future of Higher Education Internationalisation, held in January 2014 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was appointed by the Department of Higher Education and Training to head the advisory committee responsible for the drafting of the South African National Policy for Higher Education Internationalisation. The draft policy was published in June 2017 and would be come national policy during the 2019 calendar year.

He is the former President of the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA). From June 1998 to June 2000, he was the Executive Director of the Eastern Cape Higher Education Association. He was the Deputy Registrar Academic from January 1993 and acting Registrar of the University of Fort Hare from January 1995 to December 1996. Dr Jooste was also a lecturer and senior lecturer in the Department of History and Economic History at the University of Fort Hare from February 1982 to February 1992. His areas of specialisation are the Internationalisation of Higher Education in Developing Countries, the Eastern Cape history and international relations of South Africa during the Cold War. He has published widely on South African history as well as on Higher Education management and Higher Education Internationalisation. He has further presented numerous papers at local and international conferences on both topics, and been the keynote speaker at various international higher education conferences. He is a member of a variety of Global International Education Organisations and was identified by the AIEA as one of the 27 global international education provocateurs in May 2014.