6.6 International community

Tilburg University is proud of its diverse and international community. The increasing diversity within the University and the intensive contacts with partner universities around the world contribute to the quality of our teaching and research.

Actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Students who were prevented from going abroad or coming to Tilburg University on physical exchange due to COVID-19 restrictions were offered online alternatives. Increasing numbers of students are making use of this option. In this sense, the crisis accelerated innovation in new mobility options that emphasize sustainability and inclusiveness.

Isa (photograph on the right) did go abroad. Read her story

Erasmus Charter for Higher Education and European Policy Statement (ECHE)

Tilburg University is pleased with the renewed designation of the ECHE for the period 2021–2027. This Charter is a prerequisite for participation in the Erasmus+ program, which focuses on student and staff mobility and international cooperation. The University will continue to work on the implementation of quality criteria, including the automatic recognition of academic work completed during exchanges, non-discrimination, transparency, and support for students and staff participating in Erasmus+ projects. We pay particular attention to inclusion, social engagement, sustainability, and digitalization in our European cooperation activities. In November 2021, the National Agency for Erasmus+ visited Tilburg University for a system inspection. This provides the Agency with insight into the quality of our procedures and processes in the implementation of the program. The Agency arrived at a positive assessment.

International collaboration contracts

By the end of 2021, more than 85% of all contract negotiations with our European partners for the new Erasmus+ program for 2021–2027 program had been completed. The digital signature of contracts through Erasmus Without Papers was also initiated in 2021.


Since 2020, Tilburg University has participated in the European University ENGAGE.EU (for additional details, see Section 5.1 Valuable (and Values-based) Partnerships). The ambition to equip European citizens with the skills and competences they need to take on major societal challenges contributes to the international community to which Tilburg University aspires.

Internationalization strategies of the Schools

Within the framework of the institution, each School provides its own interpretation of the content of internationalization. In 2021, the process of formulating new Strategic Plan for the Schools was accompanied by the formulation of the Strategic Plan for the institution. Internationalization is an integral part within the Strategic Plans of all Schools within the domains of education, research, impact and service.

Intercultural Awareness training

A pilot project of the Intercultural Awareness Module (IAM) for outgoing exchange students was continued, based on previous positive evaluations. Work is currently underway on a shorter online version that outgoing exchange students will be required to complete and that could potentially be offered to the broader student population as a tool for Internationalization at Home. Intercultural Competence for Support Staff trainings were attended by 300 employees of the supporting service departments. By developing the competencies of staff and students in this area, we are improving the inclusiveness of our campus community.

Daniel (photograph on the left) came to the Netherlands in 2021. Read his story

Student accommodations

The coronavirus pandemic generated additional uncertainty last summer, particularly for international students. Will digital instruction be provided? Am I allowed to travel? Will accommodations be available? The 2021/2022 academic year began with in-person instruction. There is an increasing shortage of student accommodations. Although Tilburg University has entered into a covenant that has generated from which positive steps have emerged, the housing shortage remains a reality for many students, and we are far from resolving the situation. For this reason, we unfortunately had to decide to strongly advise international students not to travel to Tilburg at the start of the academic year until after they had arranged for their own accommodations. Far from ideal, this approach further underscores the severity of this issue. Additional emergency accommodations are provided for the initial period after arrival, and the percentage of students still searching is continuously monitored through surveys. To prevent a recurrence, the goal is to organize up to 500 additional housing units by August 2022. Student accommodations will continue to hold our attention in the coming years.