In our international society, people in the Netherlands are increasingly having to look beyond the country's borders. In their professional lives in particular, they experience the effects of a global knowledge economy and global labour market. It is therefore evident that internationalisation should without question be part of the education process. The Education Council has prepared an internationalisation agenda.
15 September 2005
After 15 years of internationalisation, we can see increasing numbers of mobile students studying in a foreign country. Cooperation with European partners has improved. Yet it is not enough. The process can be improved and speeded up, both in terms of content and organisation. The Education Council has prepared an internationalisation agenda that includes ten themes (internationalise what?) and three recommendations (internationalise how?).
Introduce a quality mark
One recommendation is to introduce a quality mark for educational institutions that have internationalisation high on their list of priorities. At the same time, institutions without the quality mark can be stimulated to launch or improve activities in this area. In this way, students are given better insight into the attention that a given institution pays to developments in other countries or how keen they are about study abroad.
Set up internationalisation front offices
Each sector of education should also set up a virtual front office for internationalisation. The front office would answer questions that pupils, students and teachers have about exchange activities, linking with other institutions and funding. Educational institutions could organise this themselves, but they should also be able to refer people to a partner front office at intermediary organisations.
Set out an Internationalisation Policy
There is of course a role for government to play in stimulating internationalisation policy. In consultation with the field, for instance, the Minister could draft an Internationalisation Policy that sets out a vision. This could include details about international knowledge and skills in the curriculum, as well as end-to-end international learning pathways. But internationalisation as part of lifelong learning is also important. Furthermore, international competition in the recruitment of skilled and highly skilled workers is increasing. The profile of Dutch education in other countries needs to be raised to strengthen our competitive position.