Examining the Receptivity of Foreign Guests: A Study of Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) Students in Higher Educational Institutions in Accra, Ghana
Date of Submission
Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)
Dr. Brandon D. Lundy
Dr. Akanmu Adebayo
Dr. Paul N. McDaniel
With an increasingly global demand for higher education, countries are competing for international students. Popular destinations like the United States are facing a decreasing number of international student enrollments due to restrictive policies that are perceived as unwelcoming to foreign guests. Regional hubs are emerging as alternative destinations for international students. Ghana, today considered one of West Africa’s most stable democracies and an important destination country in the region, receives many foreign guests including economic migrants, students, tourists, and refugees. Ghana is also emerging as a regional hub for educational migrants. How are these foreign guests received, integrated, and ultimately trained as global citizens? More specifically, this research asks, how are ECOWAS students in higher educational institutions welcomed within Accra, Ghana? This study relies on data from 47 semi-structured interviews with foreign students and Ghanaians and direct observations sessions at public and private universities. The study examines the receptivity of foreign guests by stakeholders in Ghana, focusing on tertiary-level student migrants from throughout the West African region. Findings indicate that the educational setting generally has a positive receptivity climate as supported by the data. The positive receptivity climate is intentional with associated government and institutional policies and practices. Francophone students experience less positive reception than Anglophone students do as a result of language barriers. Receptivity of foreign guests may be one significant way for developing countries to achieve sustainable growth and positive development outcomes. As such, this research develops a new migration model that enhances receptivity through education. Policy implications include the strengthening of regional ties and migration channels related to education circulation and the ongoing promotion and development of human capital and a human economy. An example of the development of human capital is the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI) based at the University of Ghana, Legon, which since its inception in 2007, has trained fifty-two multinational postgraduates who are working toward lessening food insecurity in the sub-region.