The Dutch Higher Education Award expresses appreciation for what educational teams have achieved and confidence in what they will achieve in the coming years. The awarded grant helps educational teams to finance (new) projects for the renewal and/or improvement of higher education. All nominated teams have a chance to win a cash prize of €1.2 million, €800,000, or €500,000. A total of € 5 million can be distributed. Half of this is for the teams from higher education and the other half for teams from scientific education.

'The committee considers it a very valuable project, a rather unique combination of interdisciplinary research, education and the development of global citizenship.'

UCR’s Going Glocal Program transforms students into global citizens. This interdisciplinary social science program, built around a sequence of three courses, connects UCR and its students with local communities in Africa, Latin America, and Asia in order to explore global issues in local contexts, at home and abroad, through cultural exchange, dialogue, sharing, practice, research, and action.

The program builds upon two guiding principles. First, we understand ‘global citizenship’ as a related set of attitudes, knowledge, and skills that equip students to recognize the ways individuals, locales, regions, and countries connect to wider global processes; and to act with that recognition and the social responsibility that comes with it, in working towards global justice. Second, Going Glocal furthers our belief that deep interdisciplinary learning transpires most effectively when ‘book knowledge’ (theory), practice (experience) and action dialectically interact. Thus, the program begins with reading and discussing in the classroom; then moves to localized settings in the Global South where students engage ‘real life’ through dialogue, exchange, and practice; and then concludes with a period of reflection and social action at home. Theory > Practice > Action: inspiring, encouraging, and equipping young people to create a better world for all.

After a semester-long interdisciplinary preparatory course on campus (Spring term), students participate in a global citizenship field course (Summer term) in either Namibia, Mexico, or Singapore (to be added next year). There, students work together with local youth, social activists, and community organizations, and take part in activities that promote cross-cultural exchange, dialogue, and understanding. Upon their return, UCR students develop and implement community outreach projects within their own local contexts of Zeeland. Program output also includes school curricula and research on global citizenship education.

During the preparatory courses, students study numerous topics: globalization, development, tradition/modernity, social movements, and de/post-coloniality. These broader frames are augmented by an area studies focus, with attention to the history, geography, politics, economics, and culture of the specific locale. During the summer courses, students visit communities in their respective countries. They work on projects together with local youth, volunteer in schools and community organizations, learn from local activists, and undertake research. Finally, the above learning is synthesized in the form of action. Previously, our students have returned home and undertaken projects that enabled them to act on their learning. They produced civic competencies curricula for secondary schools, taught in local primary schools, helped develop a radicalization prevention program, assisted refugees in the integration process, and, through UCR’s Social Impact Lab, proposed innovative solutions to global challenges.