29 September, 2011

Hosting a delegation from Aruba

A unique phenomenon in our School of Social Work: two international visiting delegations in one and the same week ! As our internationalisation strategies are really paying off at the moment, we were happy to receive two different delegations from two different continents, both interested in cooperation. Not only did we have visitors from Turkey on Tuesday (see my earlier blog post), but this week we were also visited by a delegation from the University of Aruba, who had come to Rotterdam at the invitation of our (former) managing director of the School of Social Work, Rob Elgershuizen.
Most unfortunately, however, on departure, the delegation fell apart due to a serious hitch at Aruba airport. Although this was felt as a drawback, the faculty dean Paula Kibbelaar succeeded admirably in making the most of her visit in Rotterdam on her own. We got well acquainted with the setting, perspectives and history of the University of Aruba, the Faculty of Arts & Science and the bachelor degree programme in Social Work and Development.

Before arrival we had been approached with an extensive list of factual and probing questions to which the talks during the visit would hopefully provide answers. On the final day we could establish that we had come a long way over the past few days and that a lot of progress had been made in familiarising ourselves with each other's organisations, contexts, themes and issues. This had indeed been the objectives of the visit from the start.
Both parties agreed that a win win situation was something we should strive for. And so it was decided that each partner was to draw up their own list of interesting and viable opportunities to cooperate on, in consultation with their own departments and staff. As the common ground and many parallels have been identified during the final meeting, each party will make up their own mind and exchange the lists in the near future. A further meeting will then follow soon to enhance and consolidate this process in order to have some firm plans before the end of the year.

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