aurora network logo

Cheap-and-easy internationalisation: guest lecturers

VU International News and Reviews No. 19 December 9 2013

December 2013

Thought on internationalisation

Kees Kouwenaar

Few forms of internationalisation at university are more easy to accomplish – yet far-reaching in their impact – than an international colleague who stops by in Amsterdam to give a guest lecture to graduate or senior undergraduate students.

This is a very easy and cheap way to provide some international experience to the majority of VU students who will not participate in study abroad schemes themselves: Internationalisation at Home. When lecturers are invited from the pool of direct colleagues and partners in joint research activities, the peer researchers will not fail to grab the opportunity to discuss present and future research cooperation. International guest lecturers in our lecture halls may well be more effective in inciting students to go abroad themselves than folders or pitch talks by international office staff. Conversely, VU academics giving guest lectures to the students of their research partners, may well be more effective in master’s recruitment then many a fair or agent could be.

Why don’t VU Faculty boards make it a habit that degree programme reports also include information on the number and nature of international guest lectures that have been delivered. To facilitate international guest lectures, programme coordinators would do wise to identify one – or a few – timeslots in the programme, designated for an international guest lecturer.

Back to newsletters