Representatives of foreign partner universities and of different UT organizations provided information to students, who are considering spending some of their study time elsewhere than in the Netherlands. Students could get information about studying or doing an internship in countries such as Australia, Canada, Sweden, Spain, Russia, China, Poland or Czech Republic – just to name a few.
Plans for bigger internationalization
The information market was officially opened by Victor van der Chijs, the President of the Executive Board of the University of Twente. In his speech, he talked about the university´s plan for bigger internationalization. ‘We strongly encourage UT students to study abroad for a while. This way, they can represent our university all over the world’, said Van der Chijs. ‘We are working on getting even more international partner universities and I believe than in a couple of years every bachelor student will spend some time abroad.’
Henk Zijm International Award
The event was also a great opportunity to honor organizations and individuals that actively contribute to a better international environment at UT. Such associations or students are nominated for the Henk Zijm International award, which has existed since 2009. It was named after Professor Henk Zijm, who was Rector Magnificus of the UT from 2005 until 2009 and strongly focused on internationalization of the university.
Henk Zijm himself was present at the event and made a speech during which he stressed the importance of international cooperation. ‘International networks are tremendously important in today´s globalized world, but they cannot sustain unless we really get to know cultures and people that form them’, said Zijm.
Professor Zijm also announced the winner of the award, which is, however, a prize given from students to students. This year´s nominees were two organizations – IrNUT (Iranian Network of the University of Twente) and AIESEC Twente – and two UT students, namely Peter Binipom Mpuan from Ghana and Ajay Kumar from India. All these candidates received a certificate for their efforts, but there could be only one overall winner. The Henk Zijm Award for 2014 was given to Ajay Kumar, the former president of UniTe.
It is safe to say that the whole event was a great success, as the interior of Bastille was literally filled with a large number of students that were eager to get as much information as possible. The partner universities can hopefully soon expect many exchange students, who will serve as the UT ambassadors all over the globe.