Internationalization of higher education and the global citizenship of graduate students at Makerere University.
Globalization has created an evident need for global citizens – people with attributes of crosscultural and global perspectives to underpin their personal and professional lives in a globally connected and competitive world. Internationalization of higher education (IoHE) has been identified as a pathway to achieve such a desired graduate. Nonetheless, the extent to which IoHE impacts on the global citizenship (GC) of graduate students in the context of the Global South appears to be unclear. To address such an issue, this study explored the effect of IoHE on the GC of graduate students at Makerere University in Uganda. Specifically, the study sought the views of graduate students on the internationalization of academic staff, curriculum, and the student community and how these affected their GC. Premised on the transformative value of higher education, this study was anchored on Mezirow’s theory of transformative learning and undertaken within the pragmatic research paradigm using the sequential explanatory study design. Multiple methods including survey, focused interviews, and document checks were used to gather data from a sample of 180 graduate students. The quantitative data were analyzed using appropriate descriptive and inferential statistics, while the qualitative ones were transcribed and analyzed by use of the thematic content analysis technique. The study findings showed, among others, that the IoHE in terms of academic staff (R = 0.236; R2=0.056; p = 0.001), the curriculum (R = 0.250; R2 = 0.062; p = 0.001), and student community (R = 0.202; R2 = 0.041; p = 0.007), all had statistically significant positive effects on the GC of graduate students. These findings reinforced the earlier belief that the more internationalized a university is, the more likely its graduate students would become global citizens; thus, significant efforts need to be made to internationalize these, and other aspects of university operations. Indeed, this work presents to university management aspects of IoHE that greatly impinge on the GC of graduate students. No earlier works had similar results in the context of the global South where IoHE has not yet taken root.