Transnational Diaspora Engagements in HIgher Education:

A Case of Ethiopian-born Academics in the US

  • Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis


The literature on diaspora engagement in higher education focuses on broad
environmental, policy, and institutional issues as critical determinants of
the scope and efficiency of engagement. Using data from interviews with 16
Ethiopian diaspora academics in the United States, this article undertakes
a micro-examination of factors in their personal spaces and immediate
environment that influence such engagement. Using a phenomenological
approach, it examines how professional, personal, familial and other
individual attributes shape the trajectories of diaspora engagement. It
demonstrates how nuances in personal and micro-environmental factors
shape motivation for, and sustenance of, engagement, while they maintain
a complex and interdependent relationship. The article concludes by
highlighting the importance of a holistic approach to the study of diaspora
engagement in higher education that pays attention to personal and microenvironmental
factors as well as institutional, legal, and political issues.

Key words: Ethiopia, Ethiopian diaspora, diaspora engagement, higher
education, transnational engagement

How to Cite
Woldegiyorgis, A. A. (2021). Transnational Diaspora Engagements in HIgher Education:. International Journal of African Higher Education, 8(2), 43-64. Retrieved from