Promoting the well-being of higher education: Re-engineering of transnational nursing education

  • V. Naidoo Durban University of Technology
  • M.N. Sibiya Durban University of Technology


Internationalization of nursing education has become a priority of academic institutions’ strategic plans and visions allowing for greater autonomy and inter-connectedness of the nursing profession.  South African universities have, in recent years, engaged in international partnerships, influencing the delivery and facilitation of transnational nursing education (TNE) or cross-border nursing education, involving the steady increase of international student enrolment, particularly from other African nations. Whilst, much has been written about international partnerships relevant to other forms of higher education, minimal research has been done and reported on for cross-border nursing education and partnerships. This provided the rationale for this study to examine and explore TNE challenges by using actual participant examples and experiences. Using a qualitative, multiple case-study approach to sample local, national and international nursing education institutions, academic leaders and nurse graduates, the study attempted to identify challenges and best operating practices in TNE implementation and facilitation. The study aimed to highlight regulatory, administrative and quality assurance factors that challenged TNE’s successful delivery and findings revealed that these programmes are still challenged alluding to it being a ‘for profit’ arrangement. The study, further concluded that, for international students to adapt academically and socially and be in a position to fulfil the requirements of their respective academic programmes, a culturally and socially inclusive teaching and learning environment needed to be provided. This will ensure that the standard of the programme remained consistently high and globally competitive increasing the credibility of the educational institution and the country’s higher education system.

Author Biographies

V. Naidoo, Durban University of Technology

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences-Nursing, Durban University of Technology, Durban

M.N. Sibiya, Durban University of Technology
Executive Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, Durban University of Technology, Durban


Adamiak, J.P and Sauls, R.D. 2017. Influencing mathematics students’ academic success through online intervention: a case study. South African Journal of Higher Education 31(3):230-248. (accessed 15 March 2018).

Adam, S. 2001. Transnational Education Project Report and Recommendations, University of Westminster.

Albertyn, R and Frick, l. 2016. A collaborative higher education initiative for leadership development: lessons for knowledge sharing. South African Journal of Higher Education 30(5):11-27. (accessed 20 March 2018).

Armstrong, S and Rispel .2015. Social accountability and nursing education in South Africa. Global Health Action Special Issue: Transforming Nursing in South Africa.8: 5-13. (accessed 26 May 2018).

Baumann, A. and Blythe, J. 2008. Globalization of higher education in nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing 13 (2): 4-5.

Bednarz, H., Schim, S. and Doorenbos, A. 2010.Cultural diversity in nursing education: Perils, Pitfalls, and Pearls. Journal of Nursing Education 49(5):253-260.

Burnett, S.A. 2008. The impact of globalization on higher education institutions in Ontario, Doctor of Business Administration (Higher Education Management). University of Bath. United Kingdom.

Collins, S and Hewer I.2014.The impact of the Bologna process on nursing higher education in Europe: A review .International Journal of Nursing Studies 51:150-156. (accessed 26 May 2018).

Chetro-Szivos, J. 2010. Cross-border tertiary education: Challenges and opportunities for intercultural understanding. Journal of Intercultural Management 2(1): 5-22.

Dominguez- Whitehead, Y and Sing, N. 2015. International students in the South African higher education system: A review of pressing challenges. South African Journal of Higher Education 29(4):77-95. (accessed 20 March 2018).

Edmonds, M.L.2010. The Lived Experience of Nursing Students Who Study Abroad: A Qualitative Inquiry. Journal of Studies in International Education 14(5). (accessed 26 May 2018).

Fearnside, R and Chung, K. 2017. Cross-border quality assurance: case study of

Hong Kong and Macao. Higher Education Evaluation and Development 11(2):81.

Havukainen, P and Ikonen, T. 2013. Transatlantic dual degree program in nursing. Laurea Publications 16. [Accessed online 24 February 2016].

Knight, J. 2004. Internationalization Remodelled: rationales, strategies and approaches. Journal of Studies in International Education 8 (1): 21.

Knight, J. 2006. Cross-Border Education: programs and providers on the move. Canadian Bureau for International education 10:1-28.

Lafond, C and Van Hulle Vincent, C. 2012. A critique of the National League for Nursing/Jeffries simulation framework. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 69: (2).

Lee, Y.H., Chiang, T. and Liu, C.T. 2017. Residents’ educational attainment and preventive care utilization in China. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 38(1)41-51. (accessed on 25 February 2018).

Mishra, S. 2010. Quality assurance in higher education: An introduction. Doctor of Education, National Assessment and Accreditation Council of India. India.

Nguyen, T. 2012. Internal quality assurance in Vietnam's higher education: The influence by international projects, evaluation and assessment. Master of Science in Education Science and Technology. University of Twente.

Parker, V. and McMillan, M. 2007. Challenges facing internationalization of nursing practice, nurse education and nursing workforce in Australia. Contemporary Nurse, Nurse Recruitment and Retention (2)24: 28-136.

Polit, D.F. and Beck, C.T. 2012. Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Ralarala, M.K, M.K., Pineteh, E. A and Mchiza, Z. 2016. A case study on the language and socio-cultural challenges experienced by international students studying at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. South African Journal of Higher Education 30(4):231-253. (accessed 15 March 2018).

Rumbley, L.E, Altbach, P.G and Reisberg, L. 2012. Internationalization within the higher education context. The Sage Handbook of International Higher Education. Thousand Oaks, Sage. London.

Shaffer, A.F and Dutka, J.T. 2013. Global mobility for internationally educated nurses: Challenges and regulatory implications. Journal of Nursing Regulation 4 (3):11-16.

Sooryamurthy R.2013. Scientific collaboration in South Africa. South African Journal of Science. 109(5/6):1.

van Niekerk, M.P and Schmidt, L. 2016. The ecology of distance learning: bridging the gap between university and student. South African Journal of Higher Education 30(5):196-214. (accessed 9 March 2018).

Villanueva, N.N. 2012. Assuring quality in Belizean higher education: A collective case study of institutional perspectives and practices. Doctor of Philosophy. University of Nebraska.

Wilson, M. 2002. Transnational nursing programs: Models, advantages and challenges, Nursing Education Today 22 (5):417-426.

World Health Organization (WHO). 2013. Transforming and scaling up health professional education and training. Policy brief on accreditation of institutions for health professional education. WHO, Geneva. (accessed on 31 March 2016).

Yeravdekar, V.R and Tiwari, G. 2014. Internationalization of higher education in India: How primed is the country to take on education hubs? Procedia-Social and Behavioural Sciences 157:172.

Zeleza, P.T. 2012. Internationalization in higher education: Opportunities and challenges for the knowledge project in the Global South. Vice-Chancellors Leadership Dialogue. Loyola Marymount University. Los Ange. California.

How to Cite
Naidoo, V., and M.N. Sibiya. 2018. “Promoting the Well-Being of Higher Education: Re-Engineering of Transnational Nursing Education”. South African Journal of Higher Education 32 (6), 351-69.