Internationalization is an essential step if the Netherlands is to continue to develop as a knowledge economy and boost its innovative strength and competitiveness. If we wish to remain in the vanguard of knowledge transfer, development and application, we have no choice but to play an active role in global knowledge networks. This places certain demands on the way in which we – the Netherlands and its knowledge institutions – design our infrastructure, organize our institutions and invest in human capital. Internationalization is not an isolated activity or an end in itself. Rather, it is part and parcel of teaching and research, helping to strengthen their quality. Our vision is to express this more forcefully through a number of shared aspirations.
Knowledge institutions are taking up the challenge to establish the Netherlands as a global brand in order to ensure a place in the top five knowledge economies. This will require even more of a focus on a common profile: Nederland kennisland (Netherlands, knowledge economy), the place to be when it comes to acquiring, developing and passing on knowledge. Naturally, this has implications for the international activities of Dutch higher education and research institutions. These endeavours have given rise to various aspirations that the research universities and universities of applied sciences are keen to take up, in line with broader government policy wherever possible. This memorandum sets out the challenges and options facing us. The options based on this memorandum will lead to further diversification of institutional profiles. The collective knowledge institutions view internationalization as a social mandate, one that is specifically carried out to achieve the aspirations outlined below.
This memorandum sets out which international developments have implications for achieving the institutions’ aspirations and which targeted actions they themselves can take in light of their own profiles.