Erasmus Policy Statement

As Somt University of Physiotherapy, it is of importance to create opportunities for individuals, as students and staff, but also for the university to excel, grow and innovate to the full potential. This can only be done by joining international initiatives and alliances, to collaborate with partners and learn from them while we can share our knowledge and expertise with others. 

Only meeting new people young and old, with fresh new ideas or established knowledge and expertise, we can be challenged and together we can learn, share experience and grow to our full potential. This can only be reached if everybody is treated equally and there is no discrimination based on sex, race, colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language, religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a national minority, property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation. Somt University fully under scribes these principles according to the European Chartered Higher Education.

To give information on how Somt University of Physiotherapy is striving for possibilities for students, staff, partnerships and alliances in internationalization we will describe three key activities

Key activity 1

Mobility Students

Somt University of Physiotherapy is convinced that students will grow in competencies but also spiritually when meeting different people with a different culture as background. To create this opportunity of growth to their full potential, Somt encourages students to take some time during their study, to live and work abroad, in a completely different environment and healthcare system. Somt is really convinced this is an enrichment for later life.
Therefore, Somt University of Physiotherapy strives for an apprenticeship abroad for all students, who feel challenged by this international program. Within the third year of the Bachelor program, students can follow a 3 months apprentice-ship abroad. As it is now students have followed their wish and explored living and working in different countries and locations as

  • York, St John’s University Hospital England
  • Zurich, Private clinic for physiotherapy Switzerland
  • Paris, Hopital Foch, Suresnes, France
  • Moshi, KCMC hospital Tanzania

We challenge the students themselves to explore other international locations for a possible apprenticeship in Physiotherapy. If a contact person is established by the students, contact will be made by the international officer. Possibilities will be explored and above all if the quality of mentorship is present, safety is warranted and a grow in competencies can be reached. The international officer will either visit the location or establishes a good contact online with the mentor and explore all above mentioned issues.

Living conditions as well as costs for housing and living will be clear in advance.

We also welcome students, volunteers and staff to come and visit Somt University. We are aware that our community will prosper by an open community where young people coming from abroad will bring new ideas and can be inspiring for Somt staff and students.

To make it possible to visit Somt for a longer duration Somt University Physiotherapy together with the local government of Amersfoort is building student flats near Somt for all our international visitors. See living in Amersfoort, the Netherlands

For our international students we can offer some programs related to specialization in the physiotherapy profession as:

  • Manual Therapy
  • Sports Physiotherapy (Currently in Dutch)
  • Men & Womens’ health care (Currently in Dutch or German)
  • Geriatric Physiotherapy (Currently in Dutch)
  • Musculoskeletal Ultra sound diagnostic
  • Advance clinical practitionership (infiltration) In collaboration with St. John’s University York England

It is possible to apply for a grant to be supported in an international apprenticeship or as a volunteer. See: europa.eu/programmes/erasmus-plus

Another grant possibility is the Erasmus fund via the European Solidarity corps.
At this moment we have an institutional liaison with St. John’s University Physiotherapy education in York England as well as MUHAS University in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.
At this moment Somt University has applied to become a registered European Chartered Higher Education. As soon as Somt University of Physiotherapy is acknowledged Somt can be a part of the solidarity corps and can create more possibilities to for students to develop their potential to the fullest.
See for more information europa.eu/youth/solidarity

If you have any additional questions, you can reach our international study-advisor via: E.Barnhoorn@somtuniversity.nl

Mobility staff

Somt University of Physiotherapy is convinced that besides students also the staff will grow to its full potential when meeting different people with a different culture as background and in a different cultural setting. Furthermore, the staff can learn from developments within Physiotherapy care and education in other countries and can benefit from collaboration with other universities to strengthen each other knowledge and profession.

At this moment exchange of staff is taking place with three other universities. With all of these three universities a memorandum of understanding has been signed.

  1. The VUB, Brussels, Belgium. There is an exchange of staff both ways. While Somt University benefits from the advance knowledge and skills of the functional anatomist of the free University of Brussels Prof. A. Scafoglieri, the VUB benefits from the advance knowledge in building a modern educational international program, by Prof. E. van Trijffel. This strong collaboration between these institutes has led to a strengthening in both education as research. An example is the collaboration with Prof. Bautmans on the research project in “intrinsic capacity and functional decline” as one of the major research topics of Somt research.
  2. St John’s University in York, England has developed an educational program for Advanced Clinical Practitioner ship within Physiotherapy. Due to the development of musculoskeletal health in the NHS health care in England their advanced knowledge on this topic is of a major input and wealth of information for Somt University of Physiotherapy. Somt University of Physiotherapy offered an Associate Professorship to Prof. J. Thompson as lecturer in this educational module at Somt University of Physiotherapy. In the future Somt University of Physiotherapy is working on a joined research program on advanced health care with St John’s University, York and the VU University in Amsterdam.
  3. Mumbili University Hospital Dar es Salaam (MUHAS university) in Tanzania is currently developing a university-based Physiotherapy program. Somt university offered their assistance by means of external reviewing of the program by Prof. A. Pool-Goudzwaard and offering an exchange in staff especially on university trained MSc and PhD’s who can teach clinical reasoning and evidence based physiotherapy. The last two years Somt University supported some members of the Staff (5 tutors) to travel and stay in Tanzania for 2 weeks time to give courses on women’s health care and low back pain. (Mrs B. Hylkema (MSc), Mrs L. Westerik (MSc), Mr. M. Stenneberg (MSc), Mr R. Wingbermuhle (Phd Student MSc) and Prof. A.Pool-Goudzwaard.

For future development Somt University of Physiotherapy is working on exchange of staff and students with other partners as

  • University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
  • Universidade de Lisboa, Lissabon Portugal

Key activity 2

Partnerships & Alliances

The mission of Somt University is to increase quality of physiotherapy care by innovation and to educate physiotherapist for excellence in their profession installing a life-long learning. In line with this mission Somt is striving for a development for Physiotherapy care with strategic partnerships, (knowledge) alliances through capacity building.

Both national and international strategic partnerships and alliances are either present or instigated with two higher aims

  1. To strive for advance clinical practitionership position within physiotherapy care in the Netherlands by advanced education and training skills on clinical reasoning , diagnostics (X-Ray, CT scan Blood lab and MRI) and pharmacology (medication prescription. Partners are
    1. Partners are St John’s University in York ACP
    2. VU Amsterdam research Extended scope
      Alliances are made with the NVES NVMT and NVFS supporting the study.
      Potential interested partners for knowledge alliances are Philips, Johnson & johnson, Microsoft.
  2. To strive for an extensive education to deepen the knowledge of BSc physiotherapy students on medicine related topics as to make the study equivalent to medicine, by means of strategic partnerships and capacity building
    1. AMC Amsterdam Immunology,
    2. LUMC Medical genetics
    3. VUMC- stofwisseling
    4. Anatomy – VUB Brussels
  3. 3. To strive for an education technology in Physiotherapy and Technology, again by means of strategic partnerships, (knowledge) alliances through capacity building.
    1. Tampere University
    2. York
    3. VUB brussels
    4. TU delft
    5. TU Enschede
    6. VU Amsterdam
    7. TU Eindhoven
  4. Alliances are formed in early stages with Philips and Johnson & Johnson & Microsoft.

Key activity 3

Somt tries to increase the participation of young people in democratic life especially in developing knowledge in the field of education , training and youth.

Our primary goal for our long term strategy is to develop education together with our partner, MUHAS University in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Through this partnership opportunities are present for our own staff and students to share and learn from health care systems, policy and culture in a different country as Tanzania but also discuss the value of access to education, health care and equal status for men and women. The same holds for students and staff joining us in education and research in the Netherlands. By means of volunteer work, meetings also via social media we try to maintain in contact with each other.