Developing Research Partnerships in Emerging Nations
Bridging the “North-South” Divide
This article, which was built upon research linked to the development of sustainable study abroad programs in emerging nations, focuses on key challenges to true partnerships between universities in the “North” and “South.” The article begins with an analysis of challenges frequently experienced by universities from the “North” and “South” when attempting to develop an equitable partnership based on joint grants and/or research projects. It also includes a discussion of struggles experienced by faculty (also known as “academic staff ”) at both universities who desire a more equitable relationship that will enhance the missions of both institutions. Following this theoretical analysis, the study focused on one particular partnership between two universities from the “North” and the “South” (The University of Central Florida, USA, and the University of Botswana), during study abroad programs spanning five years and funded by the U.S. State Department (2012-2015) and the Fulbright-Hays Groups Project Abroad (2011). An analysis of this partnership is particularly relevant as it focuses on the initial steps, dialogues, perspectives and actions of both institutions as they worked through a host of preconceived notions on neocolonialism and the challenges of successfully operating by another’s “rules of engagement” within a dynamic geopolitical platform.