The development of international competences by IBMS AlumniAn examination of the match between education and professional needs Erik Kostelijk, Robert Coelen, Hans de Wit (editors) With a contribution of Jos Beelen and Nannette Ripmeester


An increasing number of degree programmes in Research Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) have an international focus. However, we know little about the effect of these programmes on the employment and employability of their graduates, whilst the demand for globally competent professionals is large.

This project sets out to investigate the extent to which the BBA International Business and Management (IBMS) curriculum prepares students for the international professional field. It addresses this major issue by attempting to answer three specific questions:

– What was the contribution of international student activities of the BBA IBMS curriculum to the development of relevant competences?
– To what extent did the BBA IBMS programmes provide students with the competences necessary to function in the international professional field?
– What was the employability of BBA IBMS graduates?

The people able to best address these questions are the alumni of these programmes. In this study we interviewed alumni who graduated between 2008 and 2014 from six IBMS programmes at UAS. Their qualification to be able to address these questions stemmed from their participation in an international programme, often supplemented by a study and/or work placement abroad, and their experience of the early career requirements of the professional field.

The study provides interesting and relevant outcomes for the IBMS curriculum and can serve as a pilot for a broader study on the BBA IBMS as well as for other programmes with an international focus.