Maastricht University's Knowledge Centre for International Staff (KCIS) has won the Expat Service Provider Award 2011. The Expat Awards were handed out for the second time this year to the expat, the expat employer and the expat service provider who received a positive distinction within the international community in the Netherlands.
The KCIS supports foreign UM employees when they come to the Netherlands. They offer help with the municipal registration procedures and ensure that employees build up a relationship with the region. The centre received the award because the jury felt that they did not just focus on what was happening within the UM, but also within the region. To do so, they look for possible co-operation with organisations such as Regiobranding and Limburg Development and Investment Company LIOF.
“We are extremely happy,” says KCIS manager Veronique Eurlings. “Apparently, a lot of people feel that we did well.” The International Service Desk of the Maastricht city council put KCIS forward as a candidate in December. The jury chose five nominees from 26 entries. To gain votes, candidates had to promote themselves with a short film on the website.
“We not only received double the number of votes as the other nominees in our category, but also the highest number of votes of all nominees in all categories,” says an enthusiastic Eurlings. “A second place was not even awarded in our category because we had won so obviously.” She had kind of expected the victory. “I knew that many local organisations had spoken to their networks to vote for us, but of course you never know what the competition will do.”
The fact that they won the award will be celebrated at the first Meet and Greet Maastricht, a monthly informal drink for foreign members of staff, on 28 April. “We already had a get-together, people were very enthusiastic about it,” says Eurlings. “It turns out that they still have trouble meeting each other.” The idea is that the drinks will take place every last Thursday of the month.