At the end of May, a delegation from Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences will travel to Canada for an education mission. The visit coincides with a trade mission and a state visit to Canada by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. The President of the Board of the University, Prof. Sibrand Poppema, Dr Jeanette den Toonder (Centre for Canadian Studies) and Anita Veltmaat (Office for International Relations) will represent the University of Groningen on the mission.
The Netherlands traditionally has close ties with Canada. A significant proportion of the allied troops who liberated the Netherlands came from Canada, and large numbers of Dutch people emigrated to the land of the Maple Leaf after the Second World War. Partly as a result of this, more than a million Canadians have Dutch ancestors, which makes it even more surprising that so few Canadian students choose to study in the Netherlands. The education mission aims to change this situation and strengthen the ties between Canadian and Dutch institutes of higher education.
‘The University of Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands with a Centre for Canadian Studies. Our Centre was founded in 1988. We have always been interested in exchanges with students from Canadian universities, researchers studying Canada and Canadian partners. Although we already have good connections with Canadian research universities, we expect that this mission will generate even more contacts and new opportunities,’ says Poppema.
During the mission, the various universities and universities of applied sciences will join forces to promote Study in Holland. The main focus, set out in the Joint International Vision formulated by the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) and the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, is on the wide range of English-taught degree programmes on offer in the Netherlands (21,000 course units in total – the Netherlands leads the field among non-English speaking countries) and the high quality of Dutch higher education and research. In addition to the general points, the individual institutes will provide practical examples to demonstrate their ties with Canada. The mission will last from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 May 2015, and will take the delegates to Ottawa, Waterloo and Toronto.
Follow the progress of the visit before, during and after the higher education mission via the Twitter hashtag: #MissieCanada
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