Internationalisation is preparing students to live, learn and work in the internationally connected and interculturally diverse society, including study- and labour market.
Since a few years the Practoraat Internationalisering promotes this point of view on internationalisation at ROC van Twente, our institute for upper secondary vocational education. When possible, we share our point of view with a wider audience in the Netherlands. Many people we talk with, often comment that their perspective on internationalisation changed. From a narrow perspective – internationalisation as doing an internship abroad – to a broader perspective. But what do our fellow European colleagues thinkabout this definition?
There is no better way to peer review your perspective on internationalisation than discussing this in an international group. In March ‘22 we were invited to give an interactive workshop during the international innovation conference Innovet (an initiative of Movetia) at Horizon College in Heerhugowaard. There were colleagues – mainly managers and directors — from all over Europe; Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Albania, Spain and the project leaders from Switzerland.
In the first part, we shared our perspective on internationalisation by first inviting the participants to give their opinion on several statements. In this way, we discussed whether it is possible to do internationalisation activities in your own classroom and if so, is this still called internationalisation.
During the second part we informed the participants about our practoraat. Babet Hoeberigs rightly explained there is no English synonym (yet). Our mission is to introduce and implement internationalisation into the whole curriculum. Hence, speaking of internationalisation for every student. We work by using the following four questions: 1) What do your students need to learn? 2) How can you value or assess this? 3) How can we teach this? 4) What are the necessary conditions?
In the last part of the workshop we addressed the question whether they considered our work innovative. Main conclusion: Yes, the way practoraten work is innovative for European VET education. We heard some participants say that the labour market “dictates” the content of the educational programmes/ the curriculum. This was one of the reasons the participants thought a practoraat has an added value, by collaborating closely with the labour market to innovate education.
In May there will be a teacher academie. A similar exchange but this time for teachers. Teachers/ lecturers of the participating institutes will then visit Heerhugowaard and Horizon College to exchange their ideas. The Practoraat Internationalisering is proud to announce that we are invited to share and discuss our view on internationalisation. This time also focussing more on the competences teachers might need to facilitate different types of internationalisation activities. I will keep you posted.