Recently, ambitions have been expressed by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (ECS), VH and VSNU to enhance both incoming and outgoing student mobility. In this context, the present research highlights the role of foreign missions, by addressing the main research question:
“To what extent are foreign missions expected to enhance student mobility between the Netherlands and Canada and China?”
The first chapters cover an analysis of the historical evolution of student mobility, an overview of the various policy goals on this matter by the Ministry of ECS, VH and VSNU and a brief note on the upcoming missions to Canada and from China. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the various aspects involved, the sixth chapter comprises a SWOT analysis which draws on interviews with a wide range of actors. Findings highlight several strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) of foreign missions in enhancing student mobility. Key amongst these are the respective facts that the attendance of high-level officials opens up considerable possibilities in the subject-countries; the problematic lack of data on past foreign missions, meaning there is no systematic documentation on foreign missions; the increased willingness on both the side of Canada and China to cooperate with Dutch educational institutions; and internal competition between Dutch universities. Based on these, as well as as other research results, several recommendations are formulated, that can be distinguished between those that apply directly to foreign missions, and those that more generally apply to student mobility. Most importantly, it is held that the Ministry should record all data concerning both incoming and outgoing missions - including attendees, programme and intended effects - that research should be conducted on the needs and wants of domestic, as well as foreign educational institutions and that the organization of missions should be improved.