Conference Internationalization: next steps in successfully integrating international students


On Friday, November 17th the Association of Universities (VSNU) and the Dutch Student Union (LSVb)  hosted a conference on internationalisation.

In recent years, more and more international students have found their way to Dutch universities. We welcome the diverse perspectives and the ambitious study culture they bring with them. With this conference we intended to discuss how to make further use of this diversity in our programs. Furthermore, we addressed the challenges we face toward a successful integration of international students, both in and outside the classroom. In breakout sessions we discussed issues in education, the academic community and student housing. You can find the photo's here.

From 12.30            Walk-in
13.00 – 13.30        Start programme: plenary opening by Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken (University of Groningen)
13.30 – 14.30        First round of breakout sessions
14.30 – 15.00        Break
15.00 – 16.00        Second round of breakout sessions
16.00 – 16.30        Plenary wrap-up with presidents Pieter Duisenberg (VSNU) and Tariq Sewbaransingh (LSVb)
16.30 – 17.30        Drinks and networking


Breakout sessions:
Round 1:

A)    Education: taking the international classroom to the next level
With introductions by: (English workshop)

  • Herco Fonteijn, Associate Professor, Maastricht University
  • Wendy Maat, Head of International Mobility, Vrije Universiteit
  • Robin Kayser, Head International Office Social Sciences, Radboud University
  • Kevin Haines, Academic Coordinator of the EQUiiP Erasmus+ project, University of Groningen

B)    Academic community: internationalizing participation & representation
With introductions by: (English workshop)

  • René Karens, Coordinator for administrative affairs and former Chairman of the University Council, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Ghislaine Voogd, Coordinator at Landelijk Overleg Fracties, an organization that supports students in representative bodies at universities

C)    Huisvesting: huisvesting van internationale studenten door woningcorporaties: trends, ervaringen en uitdagingen. (Dutch workshop)
Met introducties van:

  • Gijsbert Mul en Frans van der Zon, DUWO
  • Roeland Kreeft, Adviseur Strategie, Stichting Studenten Huisvesting (SSH)
  • Harald Evers, districtsmanager Woonbedrijf/Vestide Eindhoven

Round 2:

A)    Education: Language as a means for cultural exchange
With introductions by: (English workshop)

  • Sylvia van Weerden, Radboud and Wageningen in’to Languages
  • Katja Hunfeld, TCP Language Center Twente
  • Erasmus Culture & Language Sharing, a student-lead initiative that facilitates students to exchange, learn and share different languages and cultures  

B)    Academic community: opening up student communities and associations
With introductions by: (English workshop)

  • Jodien Houwers, project manager of Groningen Together, an initiative to create a fully inclusive student life in collaboration with student and study organisations.
  • Bob de Jonge, policy officer RadboudUMC
  • Annejet Lont, president Section of Psychology Students of the Dutch Association of Psychologists (SPS-NIP)

C)    Housing: “How can all stakeholders work together to solve housing problems?”
With introductions by: (English workshop)

  • Frans Snijders, director International Office, Vrije Universiteit
  • Fayka van Opijnen, vice-president Vidius Student Union Utrecht
  • The Class of 2020, a European platform aimed to improve student housing markets
  • Lisa Busink on The Housing Hotline, an initiative by LSVb and ESN to support international students with housing issues