The Dutch government has published a letter to parliament with its new vision on internationalisation in HE and VET. An important aim is to redress the current imbalance between outbound and inbound mobility; there are less Dutch students studying abroad than there are foreign students studying in The Netherlands. As stated by Dr Jet Bussemaker, Minister for Education, Culture and Science: “This means that we are putting our students at a disadvantage and that we fail to recognise the importance of international knowledge and skills. For this reason I intend to stimulate the acquisition of intercultural and international skills and present these as the norm over the next few years. Every student ought to gain such skills during the course of his or her studies, and one way of doing so is to study abroad.” The mobility window – a fixed period in the curriculum of a study programme during which the students can study abroad without incurring any delay in their studies – is seen as the ideal way to facilitate outbound mobility. The aim is “to achieve a situation in which virtually all study programmes include a mobility window”. At the same time, Dutch students who (for whatever reason) will remain in The Netherlands during their studies should be able to acquire international and intercultural skills in international classrooms. Therefore, and even more so because “attracting and retaining talented international students is of huge importance to the Dutch knowledge economy”, continued efforts should be undertaken to attract international students to The Netherlands. A new scholarship programme for attracting international talents is announced and to retain these talents after their graduation the Make it in the Netherlands! action plan will be rolled-out.
Other internationalisation policies that are relevant for the Dutch accreditation system are aimed at “facilitating transnational education and eliminating obstacles to joint and double degrees”. The latter goal is in line with NVAO’s and ECA’s initiatives on mutual recognition of accreditation of joint programmes http://ecahe.eu/home/services/joint-programmes/ . Moreover, the current ban for Dutch institutions to provide full programmes abroad will be lifted, and NVAO accreditation of these programmes abroad will be made possible
Dutch government vision on the international dimension of higher education and VET