Original Research

International research collaboration between South Africa and rest of the world: An analysis of 2012–2021 trends

Savo Heleta, Divinia Jithoo
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 8 | a246 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v8i0.246 | © 2023 Savo Heleta, Divinia Jithoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 November 2022 | Published: 06 April 2023

About the author(s)

Savo Heleta, International Education and Partnerships Directorate, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa
Divinia Jithoo, International Education and Partnerships Directorate, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa

Abstract

South African higher education policies have since 1997 called for the expansion of research collaboration with the African continent and Global South. In this article, the authors’ analysed South Africa’s international research collaboration trends and patterns during the 2012–2021 period. Focusing on co-authored scholarly publications, the authors’ analysed bibliometric data from Scopus, highlighting the countries South African public universities have collaborated and produced knowledge with, and the parts of the world they have neglected in the past decade. The findings highlight the growth of South Africa’s international research collaboration and the expansion of the number of countries universities collaborate with. While the past decade has seen a growth in research collaboration with Brazil, Russia, India, China and Nigeria, South African universities continue to be largely Eurocentric and prioritise collaboration with the Global North while sidelining research collaboration with the African continent and Global South.

Contribution: The findings presented in this article contribute to an understanding of South Africa’s international research collaboration footprint during 2012–2021 and highlight which parts of the world should be prioritised by universities in the expansion of research collaboration in the future.


Keywords

international research collaboration; academic publishing; co-authorship; internationalisation; South Africa

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

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