International Business Administration (IBA) is getting the predicate ‘excellent’ in the area of internationalization. That has been decided by the Dutch-Flamish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO) recently.  

Since 2010, studies can request a test for extraordinary aspects at the education judge, among others for internationalization. In that year, the internationalisation of IBA was judged to be ‘good’. Now it is the first education in The Netherlands which gets the mark ‘excellent’. The NVAO is particularly happy with the diversity in students and faculty, the small scale of education, and the international and intercultural learning goals of the curriculum.

The right path

Adri Meijdam, Executive Director of the bachelor in International Business Administration at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), is happy with the rating of the NVAO. “This means that we have chosen the right path”, says Meijdam. “We have chosen for an integrated approach of internationalization. The NVAO rewards this now.” Because international rankings of bachelor programs are only slowly starting to matter, Meijdam ascribes great value to the accreditation. “For MBA’s, for example, there are important international rankings, but for  bachelor education they aren’t really there. In this way we can still demonstrate the quality of IBA.”

The secret of internationalization

What is the secret of ‘excellent’ internationalization? The diversity of students plays a large part, according to Meijdam. “An important condition is the international character of the student population. We have set a limit on the number of Dutch students and try to preclude large numbers of students from the same country. But that will not get you there. One of the pitfalls of internationalization is thinking that you are an international education if your students come from different countries.” Also the quality of the English education, the diversity of staff and subjects with a clear international orientation are indispensable. And, so relates Meijdam, there must be enough room for students to go abroad for a period of time. “It is important that you can motivate Dutch students to do so. Perhaps there is room for improvement there.” TF