When TMA students study abroad for a semester in Japan, our lecturers usually say goodbye & welcome them back after six months. Lecturers are typically not involved in the education at the foreign university. Students usually end up in an international class, consisting of mostly international students. They usually have very limited contact with Japanese students. Also, the Japanese educational system does not use project based working, like we do in Rotterdam, and sending students out on small internships with local SME's is also uncommon. The goal of the VIBE project is to change this.
In Japan, students will form project groups together with Japanese students. They will work on a project together, and this project entails doing market research for a local Japanese SME's. This is a big innovation for Japanese education: project based working for real companies is totally new for all. Also, faculty exchange will take place every semester. Dutch lecturers will teach project based working to Japanese students and Japanese faculty will teach guest lectures to Dutch students. Japanese and Dutch lecturers also hold meetings to discuss and compare their educational methods.
The intercultural competence of the students is increased by having to work in multicultural classrooms (Japanese, Dutch and other students). They will also gain first hand knowledge of performing market research for real Japanese companies. Both lecturers from Tokyo and from Rotterdam will be able to learn from each others teaching methods and improve their curriculum. The Hogeschool Rotterdam will 'export' its project based working to Japan, resulting in a new and innovative exchange programme which gives the students a unique study & work experience in Japan.