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 organisations to respond to the needs in the South African higher education community. It aspires to develop clear and viable internationalisation 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 internationalisation 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, whereas Cape Peninsula University of Technology takes the role of joint 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. A large group of South African university staff (academics, university management, administrators) will be trained, attend workshops and participate in site visits. Internationalisation university strategies and management structures will be defined and implemented according to the needs and nature of the partner university. Quality assurance in higher education including the establishment of joint programmes and credit recognition in the European and South African context will be studied and compiled. Barriers to mobility will be identified, tips and tricks to overcome these barriers will be formulated. The project will produce a ‘Toolbox for Academics and Administrators’ on internationalisation 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.