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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Other dimensions of internationalisation in higher education


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.5Other dimensions of internationalisation in higher education

Last update: 27 November 2023

European, Global and Intercultural Dimension in Curriculum Development

The government sets the framework for education within which institutions must operate. The board of the institution is ultimately responsible for the elaboration of education. The education and examination regulations define the choices regarding the curriculum and examinations.

It is not prescribed in higher education to cover the topics of Europe and the European Union, but depending on the importance of the program, these topics may be addressed, and the basic principle is that international aspects of the discipline are addressed in each subject area.


Partnerships and Networks

Educational networks for internationalisation

Higher education schools can turn to the following networks for guidance on international cooperation:

- Hogescholenoverleg Internationale Betrekkingen (HIB): The Hogescholenoverleg Internationale Betrekkingen (HIB) is a network of internationalization staff from Dutch higher education institutions. Its members exchange information, knowledge and experiences. The secretariat rests with the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences.

- Cospa: Cospa is a network of internship coordinators and employees abroad of Dutch and some Flemish institutions of higher education. The secretariat is run by Nuffic.

- Neth-ER: The Netherlands house for Education and Research (Neth-ER) aims to increase the influence of Dutch educational and research institutions in Europe and to represent Dutch education in Brussels. Neth-ER also offers internships for students from colleges and universities.

The European dimension is reflected in higher education in the exchange of students (and teachers). This involves a relatively small portion of the student population. See the Facts and Figures page on Nuffic for the most up-to-date data on E+ mobility of students and education staff. 

Many students stay in the Netherlands for their education. Higher education institutions not only focus on mobility, but also include curricular content, language of instruction and teacher training and orientation in their internationalization policies ('international classrooms,' programs with an English-language study component (or other modern foreign language), international online education, subject modules such as 'intercultural communication and/or competencies,' joint and double degree programs, transnational education, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Another form of internationalization is interregional cooperation. This involves several European institutions that are geographically close to each other. With internationalization at home (IaH) and interionationalization at home in MBO, students develop international skills and intercultural competencies without having to go abroad. You achieve this by weaving and adding international and intercultural elements into both your students' study program and the activities they undertake alongside their studies.


French-Dutch cooperation

Since January 1, 2014, Nuffic has continued some of the activities of the French-Dutch Academy (FNA) under the name French-Dutch Cooperation (FR-NL). As a result, the FNA no longer exists. 

The purpose of the FR-NL cooperation is to improve cooperation between knowledge institutions in the Netherlands and France. The NFN does this together with its French counterpart, the Réseau Franco-Néerlandais (RFN). Together they organize, among other things, the activities listed below.

French-Dutch meeting days

The French-Dutch meeting days are intended for teachers, researchers, administrators, policy makers and students. They take place every year, alternately in France and the Netherlands. In recent years, the following topics have been discussed:

  • Promotion without borders
  • Higher education and business
  • Joint PhDs
  • Degree rating
  • The Bologna process
  • Intellectual property
  • Free-movers

Jeunes Talents

On the initiative of Nuffic/OCW and the French embassy, the FR-NL cooperation organizes the Jeunes Talents meeting every two years. Young talents (up to 36 years old) from politics, media, business and science come together for an interactive and solution-oriented program around a European theme. Based on this, recommendations are made to both governments.


The bilateral network is also involved in the implementation of a number of scholarship programs. The Programme Management & Monitoring department manages the Van Gogh programme.

The RFN also manages the Eole scholarship program. This is intended for study stays and internships of French master students and doctoral students in the Netherlands.

Information and advice

The bilateral network also provides general information and advice on higher education and research in both countries. The NFN provides information on the Dutch side, the RFN provides information on the French side.


Flemish-Dutch cooperation

An example of Flemish-Dutch cooperation is the action program GENT (Entire European Dutch Language Area). In October 2003, the sixth education cooperation agreement with Flanders (GENT-6) was concluded to further strengthen cooperation for all education sectors. The GENT-6 agreement focuses on:

  • Policy exchange in all areas where both ministries consider it important;
  • Further follow-up of mutual and international mobility;
  • Joint preparation of positions in EU and OECD multilateral bodies where possible;
  • Establishment of joint institutions and sharing of facilities.

Furthermore, annual meetings are organized for Flemish and Dutch higher education to exchange experiences on the practice of internationalization. The organization is in the hands of the Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University, in cooperation with Nuffic and Flanders Knowledge Area .

During these meetings reference is made to the quality criteria for internationalization of the NVAO. These are based on five standards (vision, learning outcomes, teaching and learning, staff, and students) and provide a coherent and convenient framework for internationalization at higher education institutions. Institutions can choose, by meeting the standards, to qualify for the NVAO quality mark for internationalization.


Fullbright center

The Fulbright Program is a worldwide bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and the partner country (in this case, the Netherlands) and takes place in 155 countries.

Scholarships awarded under the program are intended for students who wish to study in the US at a fine university at the graduate level. The program also provides financial support for beginning an American PhD program or for support in dissertation research in the US. Scholarships for scholars are for teaching.


German - Dutch cooperation

The Germany Institute Amsterdam (DIA) is the national knowledge center on contemporary Germany and in the European context at the interface of education, science and society. DIA and sister organization DAAD initiate and stimulate Dutch-German networks and exchanges.

Many Dutch and German universities and knowledge institutions cooperate frequently and intensively. Dutch higher education is very popular with German students. The European Graduate School of Neuroscience (EURON) is an example where an international partnership between 11 universities in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands has been established.

The Netherlands and Germany work well together in the border region, especially through the Cross-Border Cooperation (GROS) program. The goal of this program is to remove bottlenecks for citizens and businesses in areas such as labor, education and healthcare. On both sides of the Dutch-German border, 5 EU regions are active.