Immigrant Academics; Ethos of Reception; Resilience; Professional Identity; Wandering Scholar


Utilising the research methodology of narrative inquiry, this study set out to explore how Nigerian immigrant academics counteracted an unwelcoming ethos of reception at a South African university. Data capture comprised a mix of semi-structured interviews, observations, field notes and a researcher journal. Data was analysed utilising qualitative content analysis. Findings reveal that the resiliency process of Nigerian immigrant academics was triggered by ecological sources within the context of the academe and surfaced in the form of resilient qualities. Nigerian immigrant academics drew on specific internal assets and external resources to circumvent the effects of various stressors as well as social and institutional barriers to reconstruct their professional identities and become academically successful. The religious creed of Nigerian immigrant academics seemed to provide a mainstay and guiding force in their lives.