Bachelor International Business – The Hague University of Applied Sciences

The Hague, Netherlands

Reviewed by NVAO

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The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Executive summary

This report contains an assessment of the quality of internationalisation of the bachelor’s programme International Business (IB) at De Haagse Hogeschool (The Hague University of Applied Sciences, further: THUAS). The audit was performed by an international panel, convened by AeQui and validated by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), during a visit to The Hague on 29 and 30 January 2020. The panel’s findings, considerations and conclusions are based on a self-evaluation report, on additional materials illustrating the programme’s performance on internationalisation and on a series of discussions with different internal and external programme stakeholders.

According to the panel, the IB THUAS programme fulfils all criteria and all standards of the CeQuInt evaluation framework and this up to a level that always surpasses the generic quality that can be reasonably expected from an international perspective.

The IB programme at THUAS aims “to provide curious and internationally-oriented students with the means to reach their potential as responsible business professionals and global citizens”. Formulated in close consultation with all stakeholders, there is a common understanding among students, staff, alumni and professional field about the international character of ‘their’ IB programme and about the features that set IB THUAS apart from other similar programmes in the Netherlands: international students and staff, internationalised curriculum, global citizenship, inclusiveness, global partner network. The panel thinks highly of the interrelatedness between the mission of the programme and the core values of the university. The internationalisation goals are well chosen according to the panel, are strongly tailored to the IB curriculum and have a firm impact on the quality of teaching and learning, both directly and indirectly. These goals come with verifiable objectives that monitor the scope / content of the internationalisation goals and measure the progress on each goal.

The commonly agreed set of programme learning outcomes at national level constitutes a strong framework which allows IB THUAS to integrate its own focus areas and unique selling points (among other things its international orientation and character ). The panel thinks highly of the formulated graduate outcomes and their operationalisation in the curriculum. The structure of the new IB programme in terms of learning outcomes, module learning goals and assessment is developed strongly on paper. The panel is confident that, due to the extensive preparation and the good quality learning environment, the new programme will deliver on its international and intercultural ambitions.

Students are offered good quality teaching and learning that fits perfectly with the type of education the faculty and the university want to offer to the IB students in The Hague. The curriculum, the educational principles, the teaching methods and the learning environment are all aligned, reflect the core values of the university and ensure that students can acquire the envisaged international and intercultural learning outcomes.

The geographically and culturally diverse composition of the staff body reflects perfectly the vision and ambitions of the programme. The staff quality is high and so is their disciplinary, professional, didactic, international, intercultural and language expertise. The opportunities for staff professionalisation are numerous and appropriate, and will be further developed in line with the objectives of the programme’s internationalisation goals. Having met very motivated and enthusiastic teachers on site, the panel fully understands that students are highly satisfied with the knowledge, skills and availability of the staff who contribute to a safe and welcoming learning environment.

The composition of the student body is truly international and interculturally diverse. The curriculum allows students to acquire extensive international and intercultural competences both at home and abroad. Students can use a variety of services which are of good quality and befit the international and intercultural dimension of the programme. According to the panel, mentoring constitutes a good example of how the core values of a programme and a university can be implemented in a proper way.

The panel has assessed the quality of internationalisation of the new IB programme. Throughout the visit, it has come to appreciate not only the recent efforts to internationalise the IB curriculum, but also the intrinsic DNA of the international business education programmes at THUAS in the past. This means according to the panel that also IBMS students have been and continue to be exposed to a highly international and intercultural learning environment where extensive attention is paid to international business awareness, intercultural competence, collaborative pedagogies, cultural diversity in the classroom and inclusive assessment.

In addition to all positive comments and appreciations, the panel sees room for improvement in three areas. It advises the IB THUAS programme to:

  • make ethical and social responsibility/sustainability an important pillar of the programme’s international and intercultural competences;
  • ensure that the content of the internship allows students to acquire the learning outcomes on intercultural proficiency;
  • consider offering also fast-track three-year programme students a compulsory experience abroad through the internship;
  • design a testing format that establishes whether students have acquired the graduate outcome intercultural awareness at end level.

In sum, the panel considers that the bachelor’s programme International Business at The Hague University of Applied Sciences fulfils each of the five standards of the CeQuInt assessment framework. Its overall judgement on the programme’s quality of internationalisation is positive.