Internationalisation in balance: Universities of the Netherlands announce their own measures
On 8 February, the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) published the measures that universities themselves are intending to take to manage the influx of international students and enhance the Dutch language skills of lecturers and students.
By taking these measures, the universities are taking the lead, ahead of the Internationalisation in Balance Act (WIB) introduced by demissionary Minister Dijkgraaf (Education, Culture and Science). They want to take responsibility themselves for a balanced approach to the bottlenecks that arise in particular areas regarding the accessibility and quality of education and student housing.
Leiden University is formulating measures
UNL: ‘We are taking serious steps to resolve the existing bottlenecks so that we can continue to enjoy the advantages afforded by internationalisation.’ You can read an overview of the measures in the press release. How the measures will be defined will be different for each university. In Leiden, representatives from the faculties and the Strategy and Academic Affairs department have been working together in recent months, developing different scenarios. The package of measures has now been drawn up and the University will formalise the details of these scenarios in discussion with the consultative bodies. The measures will be shared with staff and students in the coming period.
International students and staff are crucial for our academic community
Hester Bijl: ‘I know that the ongoing discussion about internationalisation is causing concerns among international students and staff. I therefore believe it is important to stress that you are a crucial part of our academic community in Leiden and The Hague. An international community is a key factor in shaping a stimulating study climate. Our diversity, with our language and cultural differences, sharpens the mind and enriches the development of language skills, knowledge and insights, in the same way as collaboration with our international partners. We will continue to safeguard these important values when setting out the measures that will apply within Leiden University.’