At the moment 1 in 8 students in the Netherlands comes from abroad. These international students make up a big part of the student population and therefore to me it’s interesting to see the reason behind internationalisation in higher education. What’s in it for the institutions for example? A research by the EAIE Barometer shows that the first reason behind internationalisation in higher education is to improve the overall quality of education and the second reason is to prepare students for a global world. To quote the EAIE Barometer: “Higher education institutions’ rationales for internationalisation appear to be solidly similar”. Read the entire outcome of the research here .
Lets take a closer look at these reasons. Because, to quote the EAIE Barometer: “These two reasons consistently form a cross-national unanimity with regard to the main focus for internationalisation.”. How does the overall quality of education improve through internationalisation? First of all, institutions find that internationalisation is of such importance that it can not be seen as a separate element of the educational process. This naturally leads to the second reason which is the need to prepare students for a global world. These two main reasons are inextricably intertwined in the educational system of Western European countries.
Now when I look at my own experience as a lecturer in higher education. I believe that international education is an incredibly valuable tool in the learning process of both lecturers and students. Yes, indeed, it is not just the students who personally grow from international experience. As a lecturer I have taught in counties all over the world, from Poland to Egypt and from to South Korea to Montenegro. On every one of these trips I had the opportunity to broaden my frame of reference in a way books can’t teach you. Not only does it allow lecturers or students to personally grow, it also helps people to find their way in today’s global economy. There is nearly no such thing anymore for a company as to serve a purely local function. No matter what your line of business is, there will be global aspects involved. What better way to learn how to embrace this and learn how to reach its full potential than to start as early as possible, by educating young people in the way they deserve to create the future they want.