This is an Erasmus+ International Credit Mobility project of the Faculty of Social and Behavoriural Sciences with Macquarie University in Australia.
Leiden University coordinator:
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, project coordinator: Anke Klein
- Macquarie University, Sydney
Type of mobility:
- Staff and student exchange
Given the current scale of internationalisation in society and in the scientific world, offering students an international study climate is becoming increasingly important. The next step for Leiden University’s Department of Psychology, in better preparing our PhD students to become excellent independent researchers in a global environment, will be through the development of joint PhD programmes. This Erasmus Mobility project builds on the existing successful collaboration between Macquarie University and Leiden University. The Centre for Emotional Health (CEH), which is part of the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University, is one of the world’s largest, scientifically most respected institutions, known for the excellence of its research and training on the understanding, treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression and other emotional health disorders.
The main goal of the current Erasmus Mobility project is to further professionalise, expand, and maximise our partnership. More specifically, the current project aims to develop a joint PhD programme, and to expand the collaboration by making agreements for a structural exchange programme. The project also aims to build greater understanding of the psychological mechanisms underpinning child and adolescent anxiety and depression.
Over the last 12 years, the CEH and the Department of Psychology at Leiden University have collaborated on a variety of educational and research projects and research papers, and exchanged staff and students. The main goal of the current mobility project is to further professionalise, expand, and maximise the existing successful partnership. More specifically, the current project aims to:
1) develop a joint PhD programme that makes it possible for Dutch and Australian PhD students to spend part of their training at Leiden University and part at Macquarie University;
2) expand the collaboration by concluding agreements between both universities and institutes to offer an exchange programme to bachelor’s and master’s students on a structural basis;
3) build greater understanding of the psychological mechanisms underpinning child and adolescent anxiety and depression and use this knowledge to a) develop innovative and efficacious treatment for young people with anxiety and/or depression and b) to advance our educational and training programmes.
As international experience is essential for academic development, intercultural awareness, and the strengthening of communication skills, it is crucial to offer our PhD students the best international orientation possible. The next step in better preparing our students to become excellent independent researchers in a global environment is through the development of joint PhD programmes. A joint PhD programme is an international programme where students spend time at universities in two different countries and are jointly supervised by academics in each of the two institutions. It is an excellent way to establish deep, continuing relations with international research universities, and, as a result, will increase the visibility and the attractiveness of our programmes for national and international students.
Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, has offered a joint PhD programme since 1999, with more than 370 joint PhD students from more than 150 universities from over 35 countries graduating since the start of the programme. Within the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University, the Centre for Emotional Health (CEH, since 2006; founded by Professor Ron Rapee) is an internationally respected centre of research excellence dedicated to the understanding, treatment and prevention of anxiety, depression and related emotional health disorders. Over the past three years, the Centre has produced 390 publications, received $3M in new research funding, delivered over 60 public talks, and hosted 35 international visitors. The Centre also hosts a public treatment clinic and engages in regular training for current and future therapists.
It is the clear intention of Leiden University and the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to create a more diversified student body, to strengthen the international character of both the University and the Faculty and to internationalise the learning experience for our students. This proposed mobility project forms part of the broader activities of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences and the Institute of Psychology and promotes their aim of becoming an international world leader. The institute of Psychology offers English-taught, internationally oriented, highly evaluated, educational programmes. The department of Developmental and Educational Psychology and its associated LUBEC ‘Stress and Anxiety in Youth’ expertise centre aim to become the first choice for education and training in and treatment of childhood anxiety in the Netherlands.
Macquarie University’s research strategy places internationalisation as one of its four core objectives. This objective comprises several specific targets that align perfectly with the current proposal. These targets include increases in the number of formal partnerships with international collaborators; increases in scientific outputs (such as publications) with excellent international researchers; and an increased number of Higher Degree Research students who are co-supervised by international academics. In addition, collaborating with Leiden University and the department of Psychology will generate important new knowledge for the CEH as the research group at Leiden University is internationally recognised for its expertise on social anxiety and its understanding of the underlying mechanisms of change. This knowledge will increase treatment efficacy for anxiety, and help to increase the level and international character or the educational and research programmes of the CEH.