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Shaping Internationalisation in The Hague: EAIE Partner Day

On 25 September, Leiden University Campus The Hague organised a partner day ahead of the European Association for International Education (EAIE) 2023 Conference in Rotterdam. The EAIE partner day took place both in Leiden and The Hague, to make international partners of Leiden University understand the concept of ‘one university in two cities.’

The group on a walking tour in The Hague

When representatives of French, British and Chilean universities arrived in The Hague, they were welcomed at the Wijnhaven building of Leiden University. While enjoying a warm coffee from the cafeteria, they listened to a word of welcome by Prof.mr. Annetje Ottow (President of Leiden University’s Executive Board) and Prof.dr. Koen Caminada (Vice-Dean at the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs). The partner universities’ representatives then turned their attention and questions to Laura Kamsma from FGGA, Eline Joor from Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, and Anna van der Jagt from the Faculty of Humanities. The three of them, all involved with internationalisation and exchange programs at Leiden University, explained the inner workings of Campus The Hague and what incoming exchange students can expect from each faculty.

Impact in The Hague

The partners were then invited to follow a workshop about Leiden University’s impact in The Hague. Mandy Koenraads began the workshop by explaining her job as coordinator of the Thesis Hub Den Haag South-West, an educational platform which allows master's students from Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam, to conduct research across different disciplines. Her introduction was also an opportunity for the partners to learn the story of a special pencil case they received in their goodie bag.

Prof. Judi Mesman also showed an example of the impact of Leiden University in The Hague by discussing her participatory action research project in an underserved elementary school. This led to a discussion on how universities can contribute and make an impact in the community, without being seen as a ‘know-it-all'. Dr. Valentina Carraro provided a different perspective by discussing the impact The Hague, as international city of Peace and Justice, makes on the university, and how we can profit from being surrounded by international organizations and governmental bodies. She talked about the interfaculty, interdisciplinary program of Global Transformations and Governance Challenges.

Experience the hybrid classrooms

The second workshop offered to the visiting partners revolved around innovation and inclusion, with Praneet Khandal (Education officer at the FGGA Future Learning Office) and Sander Breeuwer (Policy Officer at the SOZ International Relations Department). The workshop allowed the partner universities’ representatives to directly experience the tools of hybrid classrooms of Leiden University Campus The Hague.

After catching a glimpse of how students live Campus Wijnhaven, the partners were invited to a walking tour of The Hague which explored both the other campuses of Leiden University as well as the history and contemporary relevance of the city. During the walk, the partners and the Leiden University representatives were able to share insights and ideas. As Laura Kamsma commented: ‘We had the time to really talk to each other, instead of a 30-minute meeting online or at a conference.’

‘Put a face on partners’

Julien d’Aguanno, International Affairs Manager from SciencesPo, emphasized the importance of this kind of side events to bigger EAIE conferences as they allow to ‘put a face on partners, actually discuss the inner parts of a partnership’ and ‘to see firsthand what students meet when they go to the partner and what they can expect when they come to this campus.’ Clare Crick, Global Opportunities Partnerships Manager at the University of Exeter, agreed with Julien and highlighted how ‘getting to know The Hague better helps me understand it better to feed it back to our students.’

To conclude the eventful EAIE partner day, the partner universities and Leiden university’s representatives travelled to Leiden for further networking opportunities prior to the beginning of the EAIE Rotterdam Conference.

Text: Charlie Fonda

The EAIE, which was founded in 1989, is a global network of international higher education professionals who collaborate to shape and demonstrate the impact of the field of internationalisation. The EAIE Conference of 2023 took place in Rotterdam from the 26th until the 29th of September.

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