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Internationals give Stenden University a high score

10 January 2008, 09:35

Stenden University achieved an excellent score in an international poll among 29 universities and colleges geared to attracting many English-speaking foreign students. 

Stenden University achieved an excellent score in an international poll among 29 universities and colleges geared to attracting many English-speaking foreign students. In the poll, organized by the English market research agency I-graduate, the two hundred internationals studying at Stenden University gave the professional university a final score of 80%.

The results are the first of a global benchmarking covering mainly universities and colleges from Great Britain, the United States and Australia.

The emphasis is on English-language academic education. In the Netherlands, aside from Stenden University, Leiden University participated in the international benchmarking poll. According to Stenden University's international marketing coordinator, Fotine Zijlstra, Stenden University is apparently able to successfully compete with the most renowned universities in England, such as Cambridge and Brunel.

"This achievement is quite important to us since we highly emphasize internationalization. Apparently, we are on the right track." The multicultural character of the educational programs even resulted in a second place in the poll.

Also the open, "relaxed" atmosphere and the stimulation of friendly contacts among students are much appreciated by the international students. Our motto: "A home far away from home" is not only based on beautiful advertising: it is experienced as such by the foreign students," observes Zijlstra. In her opinion, this clearly and undeniably demonstrates Stenden University's international positioning.

Stenden University is home to approximately nine hundred internationals, of which 22 % participated in the poll that assessed 40 aspects of the professional university. The lowest score was given to housing and the opportunities of finding a simple job to do simultaneously with one's studies. Zijlstra: "The complaints about housing have been known to us for a while. Stenden University is working hard to find solutions for this on the short term but particularly on the long term." Moreover, the professional university wants to better prepare students for their stay in Friesland and it wants to intensify the coaching.

The International Hospitality Management School already operates a buddy system in which a second-year student is linked to an international student in order to coach him or her in the system for a year. "It is much appreciated. So we hope to broaden that approach in the coming year."

The international benchmarking occurs in three phases of inquiry. The second phase started early June. Sixty universities and colleges are participating in it, worldwide. "Of course we want to maintain our high score if at all possible," says Zijlstra. Stenden University is quite pleased about the fact that the majority of the internationals will wholeheartedly recommend Stenden University in their native country.

Students are particularly excited about gathering work experience in the educational programs in conjunction with a sound preparation for their prospective work field. "Now we know our strong and weak points. Such information is quite valuable to us. Now, it is stated in black and white that we have a high international score even though we are one of the smaller professional universities", concludes Zijlstra.

Why else international students choose Stenden? Find out on the university's website!

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