Conference Papers

Neocolonial Tensions and Conflicts on Identity of Indigenous Students Attending International Schools in Nigeria

This paper examines the conflicting narratives of identity of indigenous students attending international schools in Nigeria and argues that international schools promote neo-colonialism, causing indigenous students to consider themselves as something more superior to more traditional Nigerian people in terms of culture and intellect.
Neo-colonialism takes the form of neo-liberal globalisation as a tool for propagating and maintaining western imperialism in developing countries. International education is seen as agency for the promotion of this form of globalisation. The goal of providing education with international mindedness is commonly stated in the mission statements of international schools. However, they are faced with the dilemma of meeting the stated aims of internationalism and globalist demands in their practice at the same time. These demands entail the transmission of a globally dominant western culture through the use of the curricula, ICT and pedagogies. Furthermore, the schools are managed through organisational structures that reflect the culture and values of their originating countries and affiliations. The local culture is relegated to institutional marginalization in the form of the superficial inclusion in the formal curriculum and annual celebrations of national cultures.
Findings from questionnaires, vignettes and interviews from 5 international schools in Nigeria showed that student identity conflicts are underpinned by an ideology struggle between individualism promoted by the international schools and communitarianism which is the ideology of their indigenous community. The paper concludes by suggesting that neo- colonial structures, which are embedded in international education, devalue the local culture and contribute to the identity conflicts experienced by indigenous students.
Author: Nkechi Emenike, Doctoral Researcher, University of Hull, United Kingdom

Chuks, N. (2014) 'Neocolonial Tensions and Conflicts on Identity of Indigenous Students Attending International Schools in Nigeria', paper presented to The 10th Annual Conference of the British Education Studies Association (BESA), 26–27 June, viewed 13 August 2020, <>

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