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24 January 2022 | Story Nonsindiso Qwabe | Photo Supplied
Dr Bekithemba Dube at Appalachian State University.

A visit to the Appalachian State University in North Carolina has led to significant contribution towards international intellectual diversity, including broadening understanding of the world, and new conversations around global scholarship. Following the visit of Dr Bekithemba Dube, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education on the Qwaqwa Campus, to the university as part of the staff exchange programme, the UFS will strengthen its partnership with the Appalachian State University through the production of globally relevant graduates and knowledge. This move, according to Dr Dube, is aimed at advancing the agenda of decoloniality studies on a global scale.

This will include doctoral students from the Appalachian State University spending a semester on the Qwaqwa Campus from 2023. Furthermore, an exciting book project titled ‘Curriculum beyond Borders’ is also in the pipeline, and Dr Dube will himself be a regular visitor to the Reich College of Education, teaching on African education and decoloniality studies.
Dr Dube, who left for North Carolina in August 2021, said his time at the Appalachian State University was very fruitful. He was also the keynote speaker at the university’s doctoral symposium, where he talked about ‘Decoloniality: A Quest for Identity in Knowledge Production’ – from a Global South perspective.

“It was my first time travelling for this type of engagement; it’s been a once in a lifetime experience for me, and I would not be able to substitute it with anything. Students raised the need to learn more about African education, which is something that was not there before.”

He will be teaching undergraduate, master’s, and PhD students in North Carolina from 2022 onwards.

“Being at the university gave me the opportunity to interact with international scholars and showcase African scholarship as an ideal to reinvent a better world beyond Eurocentric modernity. As Africans, we need to announce our presence in scholarship with boldness and courage to reformulate an Africa capable of solving world problems. African scholarship is just as good and can compete in the global space,” Dr Dube said.

Prof Jesse Lutabingwa, Associate Vice-Chancellor for International Education and Development at the Appalachian State University, said Dr Dube’s presence at AppState helped to deepen the institutional relationship between the two universities.  “I am so pleased with the work that Beki did while at AppState, and how he has engaged his colleagues at the UFS. He was a model for the kind of engagement I would like to see in our international visiting scholars from our global partners when they are at AppState. He was not greedy but worked hard to spread the wealth and share opportunities. I can confidently say that both the UFS and AppState are seeing the return on the investment we made in Beki.”

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