Internationalisation Challenged – Rethinking Global Higher Education

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Master or PhD

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 wish 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 higher education:

  • How can higher education's international agenda and the global open science system be protected against geopolitical tensions?
  • How to configure collaboration in the new geo-politics of HE? How to move internationalisation beyond the dichotomy of a western industry model and a version “with Chinese characteristics”?
  • How to overcome lack of knowledge about other regions (e.g. China) and how to avoid national(istic) lenses from both ends? How to overcome issues in the methodology of the disciplines that mostly shape the human mind? 
  • How can differences in internationalisation between disciplines (STEM and SSH) be understood? Are effective practices and values really shared?
  • How capable are 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?
  • How can normative and regulative pillars in EU and international law be brought together to support higher education collaboration? How can international collaboration 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.  

This is a hybrid course. You can join both on-site as well as online.

Course director
Prof. dr. Marijk van der Wende


Course director: Prof. dr. Marijk van der Wende

Course Co-director: Jelena Gledic, MA

Target audience

This course is essential for 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) and young researchers interested in a global perspective on higher education.

Aim of the course

This course aims to explore how changing geo-politics are affecting academic cooperation and how higher education contributes to generating knowledge and educating future generations for a global future.


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

Applications for full or partial feewaivers are only available for students currently enrolled in a university, supported by an authorized financial statement proving insufficient (family) means and a reference letter from the student's supervisor.


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 May 2021