‘This conference makes me enjoy my work even more’

Internationalisation offers a broader perspective on the world

Overwhelming, successful, and inspirational. That is what three colleagues at Inholland have to say about the EAIE, the international conference for higher education. More than 6700 participants from over 100 different countries came to the Ray for the Rotterdam edition of this conference, to meet one another and to talk about internationalisation. “This conference makes me enjoy my work even more.”

The EAIE is the perfect occasion to strengthen existing connections with partner institutions and to form new ones. “I think the EAIE in Rotterdam was enriching and a great success. It’s a fuller experience, because there’s the conference, the Partner Day ánd the Campus Experience. All in all, this caters for even more quality time with international colleagues”, says Wendy Raaphorst, teacher of Cultural Tourism and International Coordinator at Inholland.

During many of the conversations she had, it became evident that Inholland is a forerunner when it comes to the development of new forms of education. “It’s nice to know that we are ahead of the troops, but this also comes with its own set of challenges. We might not be so compatible with some of the partners in our network, because our educational systems are too different.”

Dedicated to internationalisation

Just like Wendy, Minke van Schelven of the International Office in Haarlem has been attending the EAIE for a few years now. “It gives me such a boost to see that people from all over the world and from different cultures are just as passionate about and dedicated to internationalisation as me.”

She visited several workshops, like the one about student selection. “It’s good to know that other institutions face the same challenges as Inholland; do you just select those with high scores, or do you look for their motivation? One institute had a practical tip for us; to have the students make a motivation video. I think this is a helpful tool to lower the threshold.”


New ideas

Astrid de Jong teaches Marketing and is the International Coordinator at Inholland in Alkmaar. She said the EAIE was ‘overwhelming and inspirational’. “Internationalisation is a wonderful phenomenon. It offers young people a broader perspective on the world. It has that effect on me too. Just by being at the EAIE, new ideas spontaneously come up to me.” During the conference, Astrid visited the stands of Brazil and Indonesia to see if she could get new partners from outside of Europe to join her COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning). She learned new things from them. “I heard of a BIP (Blendend Intensive Programme) on European law. This is interesting for my colleagues in the Business Studies department, since most of our projects often focus on economics. I immediately referred these new contacts to my colleagues.”

Internationalisation should not be a coordinators thing only, says Astrid. “After the EAIE, it is my job to get both colleagues and students excited about it, and show them all the possibilities.”

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