Neo-nationalism in higher education: case of South Africa

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35 Scopus citations


Given the rise of regional hubs, emerging economies are experiencing international student growth as higher education providers in their respective regions. This study examined the neo-national experiences of international students in South Africa. Neo-nationalism refers to a new nationalism based national order in the new global economy. The findings of this study provide evidence that one’s region and country of origin matter in one’s international educational experience. Extending neo-racism research, neo-nationalism is critical framework in identifying one’s national origin as a potential explanation for challenges experienced by some international students. Students within Africa perceived more discrimination than those from outside the continent and students of the largest migratory group, Zimbabwe, felt the most mistreated due to their nationality. The findings have implications on better understanding and supporting international students in South Africa and abroad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-886
Number of pages18
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2017


  • international students
  • internationalization
  • neo-nationalism
  • neo-racism
  • regional hubs
  • xenophobia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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