Internationalisation Challenged – Rethinking Global Higher Education

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Master or PhD
This course is closed and you can't apply anymore. Please check our other courses.

Please note that this course is closed for new application. But, please contact the course director by email for special requests / late applications (see contact information below). 

The changing world order is affecting higher education. Universities are urged to think about the nature of their international partnerships and the academic values they stand to defend. And most importantly about how they prepare their students for this 21st century world. International higher education has always been inherently associated with internationalism, fostering mutual understanding and (global) peace. Universities have virtually all engaged in internationalisation, some even embraced global mission statements. Internationalisation has become an important dimension of higher education indeed,  but is it up to the challenges ahead?

Topics to be discussed include key challenges for global higher education:

  • Closing the knowledge gap: what is needed to enhance understanding between the West and emerging regions and profiling countries like China? How do region-centric approaches or nationalistic lenses work out in the disciplines that mostly shape the human mind? 
  • How can higher education respond to the changing geo-politics; how to sustain the global common good, shared values, and open science? 
  • Rethink Internationalization: how to move internationalisation beyond the "Western industry / import model"? What can be learned from internationalisation practices across the various disciplines?   
  • Engaged students: How to support students in finding nuance, overcoming value judgements, approaching big questions and ethical issues  from different perspectives? How can HE help them to develop intellectual humility and understanding of the validity of other people’s perspectives? Develop empathy?
  • Regulatory and normative aspects of governance; how can European and international law support higher education collaboration? How can it be sustained under conditions of increasing security risks, without jeopardizing institutional autonomy, academic freedom, and human rights?

This course will build on the international project on the New Silk Road’s implications for higher education cooperation between China and Europe, with various of the top-scholars involved in the project among the lecturers.  

Workshops will be performed by young scholars from Europe, Asia, and the USA. 

This is a hybrid course, combining online and on-site participation (provided Covid measures allow the latter). 

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)
Course director
Prof. dr. Marijk van der Wende


Course committee:

Invited lecturers:  

Workshop organizers:

  • See daily program 

Target audience

This course is essential for graduate students and scholars from China, Europe, and beyond, to enhance their understanding of the major shifts underway in global higher education and to provide a basis for building joint perspectives on future directions for internationalisation.

Level: Graduate students (advanced / research masters and PhD), young researchers (postdocs), and professionals interested in a global perspective on higher education.

Aim of the course

This course aims to explore how changing geo-politics are affecting international academic cooperation and how higher education contributes to generating knowledge essential to educate new generations for a global future. Participants will be stimulated to engage themselves to actively contribute to these questions and challenges.   

Study load

Attending two daily sessions with additional readings or assignments to prepare. 


Course fee:
Student fee:
Student fee
Fee covers
Course + course materials
Housing fee:
Housing cost
Housing provider:
Utrecht Summer School
Extra information about the fee

Full or partial fee waivers are available for students currently enrolled in a university. Applications need to be supported by an authorized financial statement proving insufficient (family) means and a reference letter from the student's supervisor. 

Additional information

Please note that while we are hopeful about welcoming you on campus, the actual Covid situation will be guiding the conditions for onsite participation. Please add your preference for on-site or online participation in the comment section of your application. When we have received your application we will keep you informed.


Extra application information

Applicants are encouraged to describe their motivation for the course on the basis of research they are undertaking, or planning to undertake, in the context of their graduate programme (research master of PhD), post-doctoral research, or professional activity.

If you are a student please add this in the 'student comment section'. 

For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

Motivation Letter

More information

Prof. dr. Marijk van der Wende | E:


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
01 June 2021