Global Minds @ Work

A global mind is a joy forever

Global competence as a force for change

If it is the essence of hospitality to provide and care for other people, then it is essential for hospitality professionals to develop the ability to understand, empathise and interact with other people. This requires an awareness of and sensitivity to cultural diversity. This ability is not only key in hospitality, it is also crucial to face many of today’s global business and societal challenges.

Within this research centre we develop knowledge and tools, we engage people in lived experiences, to broaden their minds. So that they better understand and appreciate the perspectives and worldviews of others, engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different backgrounds. So that they can include and apply these perspectives into their business decisions. We help people develop their global competence as a force for change and an equitable society.

Student stands in front of the smart board in the classroom and gives presentation to his fellow students at the hotel school maastricht.

It is our mission as research center Global Minds at Work to facilitate the development of the global competence of young professionals, the ‘capacity to examine local, global and intercultural issues, to understand and appreciate the perspectives and world views of others, to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different cultures, and to act for collective well-being and sustainable development’ (OECD, 2018).

This will not only boost their employability, but also encourage them to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable society. We do this by means of applied research, knowledge dissemination and evidence – based development of curricula, teaching methods, teacher training and actively collaborating with industry stakeholders.

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In order to prepare (young) professionals for an internationalised labour market in an era of complex technological, social and environmental transitions, it is imperative that they are effective in (EU) regional, international and intercultural professional contexts. This requires global competence. 

The hospitality sector offers an ideal experimentation space for global competence development. Hospitality and global competence are natural allies. For in its essence, hospitality means treating people in the way they would like to be treated. At Hotel Management School Maastricht, global competence is integrated in the formal and informal part of the curriculum. It meets all the conditions to develop into a safe experimentation space that prepares young hospitality professionals to become globally competent, responsible and engaged hospitality professionals.

Our research center is called ‘Global Minds at Work’ for a reason. Not only do we focus on the expertise and environment of the professional, we are also beyond writing long policy texts and abstract conceptual studies. We would like to roll up our sleeves and put our shoulders to the wheel, as engineers of the spaceship called the international curriculum and involve the professional domain in providing us with input on the needs, trends and priorities to educate the astronauts of the future. How we can optimize our international curriculum? What works and what doesn’t? How can we promote innovative pedagogies? How can we facilitate the continuous professional development of teachers to guide the development of global competence? Global competence research is inherently multidisciplinary. It draws from a wide range of academic disciplines, such as applied linguistics, educational sciences, social sciences, anthropology, business economics and organisational studies. Likewise it operates from different research paradigms.

The research center Global Minds at Work wants to contribute to the development of young professionals’ global competence by means of 1) innovative, interdisciplinary, applied research and education, 2) by translating (valorising) this into real-world applications in education and professional domains and 3) by engaging a wide variety of stakeholders from different disciplines.

Global Minds in Education

We address how the international learning environment in higher education can be optimised. We investigate the success and failure factors of the international classroom, and test the effectiveness of global minds educational activities in order to make them evidence-based. Part of this research also addresses the critical role of the teacher in enhancing the students’ global competence.

Global Minds on the Workfloor

We address the role and operationalisation of global competence in different professional domains. In order to optimise the education of global minds and their employability in a global playing field, it is important to investigate its manifestation in customer and work relations as well and even to see where and how it impacts the success of individuals and companies.

Dr. Ankie Hoefnagels

+31 6 413 17 991 secretary

Current projects

Global Minds @ Work contributes to the education in different ways. We have developed tools such as the Global Mind Monitor, and the Curious People blog platform which are now used in the curricula of different programmes at Zuyd University. We also offer staff training and where possible, we involve students in our research projects.

More about our involvement in education


The publications of our research centre are divided in different categories:

  • Journals
  • Book (chapters)
  • Conference papers and presentations
  • Media
List of publications

Professor Ankie Hoefnagels

Ankie Hoefnagels was born and raised in Heerlen, the Netherlands. She studied English and Literary Studies (Master of Arts, Utrecht University) and Management Studies (PhD, Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University).
Ankie is research director at Hotel Management School Maastricht, where she is part of the management team. Ankie is professionally affiliated with SIETAR, ICC Global, EuroChrie and THE-ICE.

Meet the professor


Inaugural speech

On 17 September 2021 Dr. Ankie Hoefnagels was installed as professor of the research centre Global Minds @ Work. The title of her inaugural speech is: ‘The astronaut and the empathy wall: it takes a school to raise a global mind'. 

Read the inaugural speech


Research team

The research centre is a continuation of the Global Mind Programme at research centre International Relationship Management led by Lector Mark Pluymaekers, with whom we continue to collaborate and with whom we share resources.

The team of research centre Global Minds @ Work consists of 8 members led by professor Ankie Hoefnagels.

Meet the team members