09 Dec 2020

Robert Coelen: Reflections on Resilience



Episode number eight of the EAIE podcast series features personal and professional perspectives on surviving–and thriving–during a year of extraordinary challenges. Guest Robert Coelen, who spent 23 days in a coma in the spring of 2020 while battling coronavirus-related health complications, speaks from deep personal experience about the meaning of resilience and offers insights into how the field of international education can gain from our collective experience of unprecedented disruption and our shared aspirations for recovery. 

Reaching the final month of 2020 offers a timely and important opportunity to reflect on what we as individuals and professionals in the field of international education have weathered over the course of this extremely challenging year. The COVID-19 pandemic has dominated most aspects of our lives for the last ten months, and as we consider all that has been lost or disrupted, we also have an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned and what comes next. Resilience is the theme of this conversation with Robert Coelen, whose 25 years of professional and academic experience in international education, as well as his personal experience as a COVID-19 survivor, are brought to bear on considerations of what it means to face adversity and imagine a better, brighter future. For those of you with a special interest in this topic, 'Resilience in uncertain times’ is also the theme of the Winter 2020 issue of EAIE’s member magazine, Forum.

About Robert Coelen

Robert Coelen is Professor of Internationalisation of Higher Education at NHL Stenden University in the Netherlands and Director of the Centre for Internationalisation of Education at the University of Groningen. He also holds Visiting Professor positions at Tongji University and at East China Normal University. Previously, he served as Vice-President International at Leiden University, and Senior Executive on Internationalisation at The University of Queensland and James Cook University in Australia.

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