Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Why are the Netherlands and Belgium Interesting (for HE Professionals)?


This study tour is looking at these two Higher Education systems, but why are they of interest to HE professionals.

Read on below....

Interesting Facts about Belgium


Belgium is a federal monarchy comprising three regions: Flanders (Dutch speaking), Wallonia (French speaking), and a German speaking region. 
 
Belgium is a founder member of the European Union (EU) and hosts the headquarters of both the European Commission and NATO in Brussels.  Several hundred international institutions and corporations make Belgium a major European player.


 
The university system in Belgium is fairly vast with a significant number of foreign students studying international courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Higher education (hoger onderwijs / enseignement sup√©rieure) in Belgium is provided by universities, university colleges (hogescholen / hautes √©coles) and government-recognised institutions, although only universities can award PhDs. The governance of the universities falls to the Flemish and French-speaking regions. However, many courses are taught in English. 

 Interesting Facts about the Netherlands



The Netherlands has the highest population density (493 inhabitants per square km - water excluded) of any European country with over 1 million inhabitants. Worldwide, only Bangladesh and Taiwan, among major countries, have a higher density of population.

The 'Netherlands' means "Low Countries" in Dutch. About half of its surface area is less than 1 metre above sea level. Its highest point is 321 metres (1,053 ft) above sea level.

Amsterdam is the official capital of The Netherlands by constitution since the 19th century. The Hague (Den Haag) is the seat of government and first capital since 1584.



The higher education in the Netherlands is known for its high quality and its international study environment. With more than 2,100 international study programmes and courses, it has the largest offer of English-taught programmes in continental Europe.

Dutch higher education has a binary system, which means that students can choose between two types of education: research-oriented education, offered by research universities or higher professional education, offered by universities of applied sciences.


Tour Themes


Two quite distinctive cultures, one language and neighbours. The Netherlands and the Flemish region of Belgium provide an interesting study of cooperation and diversity in higher education. Both systems have also internationalised and offer many courses in English as well as Dutch, and face similar challenges to the UK in terms of being European, post-industrial economies.

The study tour will seek to gain an understanding of the organisation and make-up of the two higher education systems, focusing on three broad themes:

  1. Internationalisation
  2. The impact of research and changes in research funding
  3. Managing Student Employability


We will be writing about each of these themes over the coming weeks. As always, we look forward to sharing our findings with you all.

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