Internationalisation of Higher Education

Dutch society is becoming increasingly international: our country does business in all corners of the world, we are signatories to many international treaties and agreements, and many of us choose to work abroad – while people from overseas end up finding jobs in our economy. This makes internationalisation all the more important for our education system, and specifically our higher education institutions. Those who want to achieve success in our competitive international society will need to start developing a more international outlook and adapt their actions and attitude accordingly. This, in a nutshell, is the research focus of the Department of Internationalisation of Higher Education.

Our objective is to improve our knowledge of how higher education institutions can prepare students for this international role.


Understandably, this process involves more than simply adding an international component to our existing courses or offering students the opportunity to do all or part of their programme abroad. We believe that internationalisation should be integrated into all parts of the curriculum and feel that our students should be aware of how people in other parts of the world work and do business, and should learn to speak new languages and interact with people from other cultures. The role of our university of applied sciences is to foster an environment in which our students learn to adopt this international outlook and develop this sense of awareness. This will enable you as a future employee to take maximum advantage of the positive effects of internationalisation.

If you are interested in the internationalisation of higher education, you may want to look into the opportunity of becoming involved in our research – we regularly invite students to assist with our projects.

Advisory Board

We are supported in our research projects by a number of internationalisation experts, who are all members of the Internationalisation Advisory Board. These members have acquired knowledge of and experience in a variety of disciplines and hail from all corners of the world: they are seasoned professionals with a clear vision of how the internationalisation of education should come about.

Research Group

The Department’s Research Group is headed by Dr Robert J. Coelen, while the other members include many members of staff of NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences and other educational institutions. The research they conduct on behalf of the Department of Internationalisation of Higher Education tends to be part of their regular everyday work. The members contribute to the Group on an occasional basis, depending on their research needs, and they also serve as liaisons between the Department and students interested in participating in our research projects.


NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences
Research group Innovation in Higher Education
Postbus 1298

Rengerslaan 8-10
NL-8900 CG Leeuwarden, the Netherlands

Professor of Applied Sciences Dr R.J. Coelen
T: +31 (0)58 244 19 52

Office Manager ESR/Academisation Office: Ms Sonja Schuil
T: +31 (0)6 19281329