Dr. Ankie Hoefnagels appointed as professor Global Minds

"Our alumni treat all guests, regardless of origin and position, in a respectful and hospitable manner, and are very capable of empathizing with the guest and switching naturally into their behavioural repertoire."

The Board of Governors of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences has appointed Dr. Ankie Hoefnagels as professor Global Minds with effect from 1 September 2020. The new research centre Global Minds focuses on research into the development of competences needed to function optimally in an international environment. The lectorate's home base is Hotel Management School Maastricht, which is part of Zuyd. 

Dr. Ankie Hoefnagels

Research into international competences deepened and broadened

Since 2008, Hoefnagels has built up a track record within the International Relationship Management research centre with research into (the development of) international competencies, the development of educational tools in this field and the building of a national and international knowledge network. Since 2015, this has been done within the research programme Global Minds, which focuses on the effects of international educational activities − at-home and abroad − on the development of international competencies among students and young professionals. The research is based on data from the Global Mind Monitor developed by the research group and the blog platform Curious People. As professor, Hoefnagels and her team will now have the task of deepening and broadening this research and further expanding the network. In doing so, the research group wants to involve both education and the professional field and add value to the discussion about the internationalisation of the study programme and the development of the international competencies of students and professionals. 

International competences essential in a globalising world

"Ever since I did an internship in hotels in London and New York in the early 1990s, and then went on to supervise trainees myself, I noticed how important it is that you, as a professional, can read between the - cultural - rules," says Hoefnagels. "I saw how good our graduate hotel managers usually are at it. They treat all guests, regardless of origin and position, in a respectful and hospitable manner, and are very capable of empathizing with the guest and switching naturally into their behavioural repertoire. Moreover, they don't let themselves be knocked out of the field when things turn out differently than expected. And of course this often happens when you have guests from all over the world in your house. I wanted to 'capture' these insights and incorporate them into our education, but also translate them into other professional contexts. The current COVID-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency of a global mindset. Knowledge is needed to support current and future professionals in this. We want to develop this knowledge in cooperation with professional practice and translate it into attractive educational concepts".  


Ankie Hoefnagels is looking forward to "giving shape to this, together with a team of passionate teacher-researchers". Together with the professorship of Mark Pluymaekers, in which research is conducted into the application of artificial intelligence in business communication, the professorship Global Minds will form the multidisciplinary research group International Relationship Management as of 1 September 2020. Both the research group Global Minds and the research group International Relationship Management expressly seek cooperation with companies and institutions in the region and beyond. Cooperation is also sought with other research groups and academies within Zuyd, such as International Business, European Studies and OTC, as well as with domains such as healthcare and welfare, and education.

About Ankie Hoefnagels

Ankie Hoefnagels studied English and Literature Studies at Utrecht University. She has been associated with Zuyd and her predecessors since 1991. From 2004 to 2008, Hoefnagels was a researcher at the then Directorate of Tourism and Culture. Together with Ton van Egmond (then NHTV, now Breda University of Applied Sciences) she published the study book 'Boundless: Intercultural Communication in the World of Tourism and Hospitality' in 2010. Since 2008, Hoefnagels has been conducting research into the development of intercultural competences as senior lecturer at the International Relationship Management lectorate. In 2014, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. José Bloemer and Dr. Mark Pluymaekers, she obtained her PhD at the Business School of Radboud University Nijmegen with a dissertation on the effects of intercultural competences in the hotel industry: 'A global mind, a joy forever'. She has also been research director at the Hotel Management School Maastricht since 2017. Ankie is a member of CHRIE (Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education) and SIETAR-Europa (Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research), where she is part of the organisation of the biennial conference.

Hoefnagels, A., & van Egmond, A. N. F. (2010). Boundless: intercultural communication in the world of tourism and hospitality. Tour book.
Hoefnagels, A. H. J. M. (2014). A global mind, a joy forever: The role of intercultural competences in intercultural service encounters in the hotel sector (Doctoral dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen).

Photographer: Lodewijk van der Grinten


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