The IMPALA project is an Erasmus + Key Action 2: Capacity Building in Higher Education programme, funded by the European Commission. Its aim is to set up a network of European and South African universities and educational organizations to respond to the needs in the South African higher education community.
It aspires to develop clear and viable internationalization strategies within the South African partner universities to bring them up to par and give them a much needed head start for future international cooperation initiatives.
The project seeks to bring the South African partner universities to a more advanced level in terms of management and strategies of internationalization through the training of staff and the strengthening of structures and policies.
The IMPALA project is composed of 9 full partners: 5 European higher education organisations (University of Antwerp, University of Bologna, University of Graz, Utrecht Network, Academic Cooperation Association – ACA) and 4 South-African universities (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Limpopo, University of Fort Hare, University of Venda).
The University of Antwerp acts as project coordinator. The IMPALA project also includes one associated partner, the International Education Association of South Africa (IEASA).
The objectives stated will be accomplished through 5 working groups working on 4 different subject areas: Staff Training, Policy Development and Implementation, Academic Issues and Mobility and further divided into 5 specific themes: 1/ Strategies and Site Visits, 2/ Short Term Programmes (incl. Summer Schools) 3/ Internationalization of the Curriculum 4/ Project Writing and Management 5/ Mobility Toolkit. A large group of South African university staff (academics, university management, administrators) will be trained, attend workshops and participate in site visits.
Internationalization university strategies and management structures will be defined and implemented according to the needs and nature of the partner university. Each of the 5 topics mentioned will be covered by the 5 working groups. The project will produce an online Toolbox for Academics and Administrators on internationalization in all its aspects based on the outcomes and achievements of the project.
The ultimate goal of the IMPALA project is to translate the policies and strategies into action, and to lay the foundation of a solid partnership of a European network of universities and a South African network of universities that will engage in consortium-to-consortium cooperation initiatives.