Dr. Lowe's Corner: Connecting with Alumni, International Education Leaders in New York

I recently had the opportunity to attend the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of International Education (AAIE) in New York City. Unlike some of our regional conferences, this one provides a venue for sharing among international schools from around the globe. More than 500 leaders from these schools spent several days discussing topics related to innovation for the future in education and the ever-increasing importance of well-being and equity in our schools. Our conversations and connections were challenging and inspiring, especially considering the evolving balance among the need to learn content and skills alongside social and teamwork needs in a world increasingly relying on remote and individualized channels in both schooling and work.

I had the chance to meet with partners beyond schools for the benefit of our students as well. This year I met with senior representatives from the US College Board to discuss our building out of STEM pathways and recognition for students seeking to attend European universities. 

Long seen as among the most rigorous courses for students in the US seeking to attend challenging university programs, College Board Advanced Placement (AP) courses are increasingly recognized by universities in the Netherlands and other European countries for university qualifications for entry. This is true of the technical programs that make up a growing number of majors declared by our graduating classes. As the only school in the Netherlands offering AP courses, we are well-positioned to partner with the College Board to increase visibility and opportunities for our graduates. It is exciting work.

In addition to all the future-casting and exploration of new ideas at this conference, there was a consistent undertone of concern for the mounting conflicts in the world today, coupled with the lingering well-being and social effects of COVID. At the same time, the optimism with which school leaders are determined to make a difference in these circumstances was encouraging.

Further encouraging was an alumni event we hosted in New York. Alumni from as far back as 1974 and as recent as 2017 gathered together to share their journeys and experiences at ASH and beyond. It was gratifying to hear how they are working to make the world a better place in their families, careers, and their civic involvement. It was a pleasant evening full of remembrances and lively stories about the impact the school had on them, including many who can still hold a conversation in Dutch! Our global network is indeed a special one.

From connecting with leaders in international education to gathering with alumni, the time spent in New York sparked necessary, meaningful conversations about the future of education and affirmed the work that our entire American School of The Hague community is doing to ensure that we can provide the best possible education to our students, today and tomorrow.