8 April 2019 • Marco van der Land and Gert Jan Geling
IVK lecturers teach a workshop on Curaçao
In February, Marco van der Land and Gert Jan Geling, lecturers of the Applied Safety & Security Studies degree programme (IVK), gave a workshop at the University of Curaçao Dr. Moises da Costa Gomez. This exchange was a result of an ongoing effort to develop international partnerships between THUAS and other educational institutions around the world.
In February this year we flew to Curaçao to teach a workshop for security professionals. We taught a subject that included concepts of integral safety, trust and legitimacy and community policing. Most of the students had a police background but there were also a number of participants from other security sectors. Although many had significant career experience, they were mostly practice-based, so they welcomed some theoretical knowledge.
A lot of things are quite different on Curaçao compared to here. Not only because of the cultural differences, but also because it is a relatively small island. The feeling that everyone knows everyone, very short communication lines and even cultural awareness create challenges that all play an important role in security and require a different approach from what we would use in the Netherlands. As lecturers we have to adapt the way we transfer our knowledge and how we teach the students to apply this.
The students were able to apply the knowledge we shared to their own professional field, which generated some very interesting professional products. As a result the workshop was not only interesting and educational for the participants but also for the lecturers, who returned to the Netherlands with more knowledge about the context of Curaçao itself and the influences from the surrounding region.
Both sides agreed that this had been a very educational and fruitful exchange that certainly merits more. Internationalisation is a focal point for THUAS and partnerships with educational institutions elsewhere in the world play an important role here. It is also a win-win situation for the THUAS lecturers who participate in these exchanges. THUAS both takes advantage of the cooperation and the knowledge and skills that its lecturers acquire elsewhere in the world, while the lecturers not only gain valuable skills and knowledge, but also enjoy a unique experience.