Understanding Internationalisation: Higher Education in a Changing Global Context

Course code
Student fee
Course fee (excl. housing)
Course Level
Master or PhD
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The changing global context is affecting higher education and urging universities to rethink internationalization. While missions and challenges may be global, views may diverge across countries, regions, and beyond traditional West-East / North-South frames. What views are actually driving the various communities internal to the university and those of our external partners and stakeholders? How are these views being shaped and what are the implications for collaboration?


Themes to be discussed include:

Europe in the World: the EU in action 

  • What role does the EU play in HE: past, present and future. Key values and drivers (e.g. open science) and their prospects: from “open to the world” to “strategic autonomy”.
  • How can European and international regulation and (soft) 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? How can the EU’s competences conundrum be solved?

Understanding Internationalization: external and internal dimensions

  • How to avoid internationalization getting caught into ideological debate and political polarization? Or falling in the elite commodity or cosmopolitan life style trap, supported by the Western industry - import model? How to go back to the basics of academic work, university mission and values? Without losing sight of sustainable goals: shared values and the global common good

Engaged students: developing empathy for global engagement

  • Global challenges require global engagement; to tackle pandemics, climate change, and overcome the consequence of military conflict. How to stimulate students to engage in these big questions, in finding global solutions, while supporting them to overcome value judgements, find nuance in 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? 

Workshops will be performed on: 

  • How can higher education respond to the changing geo-politics? An International Relations perspective on the EU-China-US context for HE. In collaboration with CHERN  (The China in Europe Research Network)
  • How universities respond to global / regional / national / local trends in defining their strategy and which dilemma’s they face in doing so. Comparison of exemplary cases.
  • A new model to understand internationalization both from within the university, i.e. the nature and culture of disciplines and professions, and externally, from the perspective of human capital needs and the structure of labour markets, will be piloted and explored with the participants in relation to their own experiences, practices, and institutions.    
  • The linkages between internationalization in HE and secondary education. How does previous education shape the experiences of students in global settings? Can certain curricula help them gain more from internationalization? Which knowledges and skills should be attained beforehand and which are best honed through HE? And what is the role of local languages and cultures?
  • New EU regulations for Dual Use knowledge exports and against foreign infringement: implications for universities.

This is a hybrid course, combining online and on-site participation (guided by Covid measures). 

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


Course committee:

Lecturers include:

  • Dr Lavinia Kortese, Utrecht University
  • Dr. Agota Ravesz, Technical University Berlin
  • Dr. Daniel Kontowski, Amsterdam University College
  • Mr. Bart van der Laar, Utrecht University 
  • Mr. Jurgen Rienks, Neth-er Brussels.
  • Peter Weijland, Technical Universtiy Delft,
  • Dr. Qiao Con-Rui, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Target audience

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 is essential for graduate students, scholars and practitioners from Europe and beyond, aimed to enhance their understanding of internationalization in the changing global context.

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

Limited number of (full / 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 indicate your preference for on-site or online participation in the comment section of your application. If you prefer to participate onsite, please apply as early as possible, as university housing is limited. 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: m.c.vanderwende@uu.nl


Application deadline: 
Registration deadline
15 June 2022