Equality the norm at Wittenborg

Equality the Norm at Wittenborg, says Chair Peter Birdsall"Equality and internationalisation is the norm, not the exception at Wittenborg," the university's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, said at its 30th anniversary gala this weekend.

Birdsall thanked the university's multi-cultural staff who are as diverse as its international student body and said their drive and dedication is what moves the institution forward.

"A higher education institute such as ours - with a focus on management - is not made through prestigious scientific advances or competing with the country’s best and most acclaimed universities. It is made by people. Normal people studying, learning and working together in an exciting and diverse environment, embracing internationalisation, equality and an ethical way of being, not as the exception but as the norm. We can excel in this way."

Equality the Norm at Wittenborg, says Chair Peter BirdsallBirdsall recounted some of the highlights of Wittenborg’s early years. “The seeds of our internationalisation were sown in the 1990s in Deventer, and coupled with the entrepreneurship of higher education, led to the exciting but sometimes bumpy ride that many of us providing English-taught higher education degrees have faced.”

“We learnt that a good student experience was one of the most important aspects of study abroad, notwithstanding the study programme, and we were determined to try and provide this in every way we could.

"I am so pleased that a number of the first graduates of 2005 are here today, Michael having travelled here from Shanghai and Alex from Hong Kong, where they both enjoy good lives and hold good jobs.

Equality the Norm at Wittenborg, says Chair Peter BirdsallIn 2010, Wittenborg moved from Deventer to Apeldoorn, forming a close relationship with the municipality of the city over the years. Today it has locations in Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and Vienna and this year have been recognised as one of the top small universities in the Netherlands and definitely one of the most international in the country.”

Birdsall's full speech can be read here.

WUP 16/11/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Education a Big Export for Holland according to NVAO Director

Education a Big Export for Holland according to NVAO DirectorHigher education is one of the Netherlands’s major exports, but it has to import young talent and that is why educators like Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences are so important.

This is according to Paul Zevenbergen, an executive board member of the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization NVAO, who was the guest speaker at Wittenborg’s 30th anniversary gala last Friday.

“The Netherlands is well-known for exporting cheese and flowers, but we have something else, something very powerful to export: higher education. And exporting higher education means importing young talent. This is what makes (the work) that educators like Wittenborg do, so important.”

Zevenbergen said the Netherlands is making good progress in achieving its higher education goals, however there is still a long way to go in terms of international orientation although business education is performing well in this regard. “Education should become more student-centred and not have the one-size-fits-all-classrooms approach.”

Zevenbergen congratulated Wittenborg on being ranked as one of the top 4 higher education institutions in International Business Administration (IBA) and on 30 years of making a meaningful contribution to higher education in the Netherlands. “Also congratulations on expanding your activities to Vienna and Amsterdam. This is a confident sign that Wittenborg is doing well and is ready for at least another 30 years!”

Zevenbergen spoke about the “magic of education” and asked guests at the gala to think about how education has changed their lives.

“Education enables us to find our way in life and to help others to do the same. It emancipates in terms of providing opportunities to everyone, broadens our perspective and we learn to think for ourselves. It makes us curious. As Einstein said: ‘I have no special talents, I am only passionately curious.’

“Education also connects people and here at Wittenborg many international connections are made. Connection is what we need most nowadays. Tensions seem to build up. Gaps seem to widen and deepen. But time and time again, when connections are created, tension become detente, gaps are bridged and escalation de-escalates.

“Connection requires mutual understanding, respect, caring for our world and society we live in. Even business boils down to making good deals and good deals are about connecting and delivering mutual benefits. Unless you are in business of exploiting people and Wittenborg certainly does not teach you that,” Zevenbergen told students.

WUP 15/11/2017

by Anesca Smith

©Wittenborg University Press

Wittenborg Adds Value to Dutch Education System says Head of Nuffic, Freddy Weima

Wittenborg Adds Value to Dutch Education System says Head of Nuffic, Freddy Weima'Wittenborg proves that private universities and internationalisation play a very important role in the Dutch higher education system', the director-general of Nuffic, Freddy Weima believes.

Weima was a guest speaker at Wittenborg's 30th anniversary celebration at the Apeldoorn City Hall on Friday. Nuffic is the Dutch agency for the promotion of internationalisation in higher education.

Weima, in congratulating Wittenborg said that international experience adds an invaluable dimension to a student’s training. “International cooperation can really help international relations and peace processes. I think we have to meet the world to understand the world.

Wittenborg Adds Value to Dutch Education System says Head of Nuffic, Freddy Weima"You look at internationalization these days and I think we are doing quite well. For instance, this year for the first time in history the Netherlands welcomed over a 100 000 students – many of them here (at Wittenborg) by the way! The Netherlands is still the non-English speaking country with the most English study programmes.

"Given these realities, I think it is very important that we have institutes like Wittenborg. Wittenborg proves that private universities can also be very important to the Dutch higher education system and internationalisation.

Wittenborg Adds Value to Dutch Education System says Head of Nuffic, Freddy Weima"I am pleased to say that Wittenborg and Nuffic has a very good relationship. For instance, Wittenborg is an enthusiastic participant in our Study in Holland campaign and a welcome guest at the pavilion of the biggest European Fair on internationalization EAIE and an active participant in the Orange Tulip Scholarship. Many more reasons to congratulate Wittenborg again. But I am not only looking backward at those 30 years, but also looking forward to the years to come and cooperating with Wittenborg in the years to come. 'Study in Holland', 'Make it in the Netherlands' and 'Stay in touch, with the Dutch!'."

This week is the Week of the International Student in the Netherlands.

WUP 15/11/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Wittenborg University 30th Anniversary Gala! An event to remember!

Wittenborg University 30th Anniversary Gala! An event to remember!
 
Wittenborg celebrated its 30th anniversary in style - a gala evening of speeches, entertainment, music and good company! Want to see more pictures? - go to our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wittenborg.university.eu/ 
 

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WUP 11/11/2017

 

by James Wittenborg

©Wittenborg University Press

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Private Dutch Universities Finally in the National Register of Degrees

Diplomaregister - Important step towards more transparency will bring benefits to Wittenborg and its students.Important step towards more transparency will bring benefits to Wittenborg and its students.

On October 3, 2017, the Netherlands Parliament's First Chamber approved the connection of private higher education to 'BRON' (the Basic Register of Education) and the admission of diplomas & degrees of private universities and universities of applied sciences in the diploma register.

DUO, the Education Operations Service of the ministry of educationThrough this amendment of the current legislation, private research universities and universities of applied sciences, such as Wittenborg, enjoy the same benefits of transparency as their publicly funded counterparts.  This ruling allows students in private higher education to obtain a confirmation of their degree from the DUO, the Education Operations Service of the ministry of education.

'NRTO has long argued that private institutions should be connected to 'BRON' so that it is clear how many students are studying in private higher education. This increases transparency, and now that all students in private education can easily find their degrees in the diploma register, it's certainly a step forward," said Ria van 't Klooster (director NRTO, branch organisation representing Private Higher Education in the Netherlands).

NRTO, branch organisation representing Private Higher Education in the Netherlands

According to Santosh Aryal, Wittenborg's Student Registrar, 'Having them included in BRON will greatly benefit our students, of course. However, it will make it easier for Wittenborg to profile itself, for instance making its basic student records directly available to government will enable us to be included in internationalisation ranking data, showing that we are the most international and diverse institute'.

Wittenborg has recently been ranked in the top of the Netherland's business programmes, ranked 4th top institute in the small university category, and 2nd overall in the business administration bachelor's programmes.

BRON
'BRON' stands for 'Basisregister Onderwijs' or literally, Basic Register of Education. In BRON, the enrollments and diplomas of students are recorded, leading to data on retention rates, diversity, internationalisation.

Diploma Registry
In the diploma registry, anyone who has obtained a (government-accredited) degree or diploma can download an excerpt of the obtained diplomas and degrees. This extract is a PDF document that is officially certified. This certification  guarantees that the document originates from DUO. The digital excerpt has the same value as a certified copy of a student's degree/diploma and can be used in an official capacity to show what a student has achieved.

WUP 5/10/2017

Source: http://www.nrto.nl/news/privaat-onderwijs-eindelijk-in-diplomaregister/

by James Wittenborg

©Wittenborg University Press

‘What goes around comes around’

‘What goes around comes around’ 

According to the Oxford dictionary, it is a saying that means ‘the consequences of one's actions will have to be dealt with eventually.’

This week, a remarkable week for Wittenborg, also saw a milestone for myself. Whilst Wittenborg celebrates its 30th anniversary, almost 15 years ago to the day, Maggie and I started our journey with this wonderful institute, after having left the pioneering days of fledgling internationalisation at Saxion.Saxion Wishes Wittenborg University happy birthday

From 1995 to 2002 I had been at the forefront of developing international programmes at what became Saxion Universities of Applied Science, and when we left in the autumn of 2003, it was with the normal animosity that is sparked by rivalry. That was 15 years ago, and of course we carried on pioneering at Wittenborg until 2010, when we moved our university to Apeldoorn - but thats another story.

Today Wittenborg and Saxion share aGraduation Pabo Saxion 2018 higher education campus in Apeldoorn and there is a common goal - to maintain, improve and excel in higher education in the region.

This week started with the release of the ‘Study Choice Guide’ 2018 (Keuzegids), in which Saxion was ranked 4th in its group of large universities of applied sciences, and Wittenborg was ranked 4th in its category of ‘small’ universities of applied sciences.  Overall Saxion scored 60.5 and Wittenborg 83.5. Saxion has 56 different programmes, Wittenborg 1 broad bachelor with 10 programmes …. although its nice, you can see the ‘apples versus pears’ conundrum.

However, what was great was this - we ended last week celebrating the real anniversary of Wittenborg (21 September 1987), and started this week with a wonderful bunch of flowers, to congratulate us, from our neighbours, Saxion Hospitality Business School. 

On Tuesday, the circle was complete, when I attended my daughters graduation ceremony, at Saxion Deventer, where she was awarded a bachelor’s in Education (PABO). apart from being a very proud moment for a very proud Dad, and a wonderful occasion for all, I did have a feeling of ‘what goes around, comes around’.

Happy 30th Birthday Wittenborg!

Happy 30th Birthday Wittenborg

 

Happy 30th Birthday Wittenborg

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Wittenborg's "Whisky Burn" Writer All Set to Embark Upon the Sequel.

Wittenborg's "Whisky Burn" Writer All Set to Embark Upon the Sequel.As a sequel to his well-received travelogue/guide to the distilleries of Scotland, “Whisky Burn”, published by Wittenborg University Press, Ben Birdsall is set to embark upon the ‘sequel’ – the distilleries of Ireland.

Where are you going this time?
Mid July, I am taking a clockwise, more or less coastal route from Dublin to Dublin, passing through some of the most important cities, like Cork, Limerick, Galway, Belfast, (are there any others?) and back to Dublin again. 1,600km, I think, which should take about three weeks.

How are you travelling?
The only way to travel – by Vespa! I’m shipping my trusty 1979 50cc to Dublin on a pallet, then flying in and collecting it the day I start the trip.  I often get asked why I don’t just hire a car, well, the answer to that is it wouldn’t be the same.  I’ve been making Vespa trips like this for years now, in Italy, Switzerland, last time in Scotland, and now Ireland, so it has become a sort of tradition. Also, I paint landscapes along the way and the Vespa suits me in two ways for that – I can park up pretty much anywhere, and it goes so slowly (max. 42 kmph) that I don’t miss anything.  I always bring along a tent, so accommodation is never a problem.

How successful has the first book been?

Wittenborg's Partner Institute, University of Brighton, Awarded Silver in TEF Awards

Wittenborg's Partner Institute, Brighton University, Awarded Silver in TEF AwardsWittenborg’s main partner-institute, the University of Brighton in the UK, has been awarded a silver rating for the quality of its teaching in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The TEF is a government-backed assessment of undergraduate teaching quality across all higher education institutions in England and also includes some institutions in Scotland and Wales.

Wittenborg – which is partially British-owned – started its official collaboration with Brighton in 2011 when it announced plans to offer three Master of Science programmes in partnership with Brighton. These are the MSc in International Hospitality Management, International Event Management and International Tourism Management which were offered from September 2012.

Today it also offers an MSc in Sport Business Management in conjunction with Brighton. Students will therefor earn a double degree upon graduation – a Dutch and British degree. Modules are taught by lecturers from both institutions and students annually make a weeklong trip in the Spring to visit the Brighton campus.

Wittenborg and Brighton also offer a joint Bachelor in Hospitality Management (BHM) and a Bachelor in Entrepreneurial Business Administration (EBA). For both students will earn a double degree upon completion of their studies.

Dutch Universities a Step Closer to Offering Full Degrees Abroad

Dutch universities are one step closer to offering full degree programmes abroad after the Transnational Education Bill was approved in the Dutch Senate (Eerste Kamer). It sailed through the House of Representatives in February this year.

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences is one of the institutes planning to open its first transnational campus – in Vienna, Austria – later this year.

The idea behind the proposed legislation is to promote internationalism in higher education. Outgoing minister of higher education, Jet Bussemaker, promised senators that the bill would be subject to evaluation every five years to see if its intentions are still on the right track.

The Socialist Party (SP) and Geert Wilders’ PVV registered their objections against the draft law. SP fears commercial gain is the motivation behind its proposal and, together with Groen Links, seeks more clarity on its necessity and wider value.

Dutch Universities a Step Closer to Offering Full Degrees AbroadThe detail and general conditions of the proposed legislation is expected to be published after the summer. It will address the question of what institutions will do with the profits gleaned from programmes offered abroad. It will also touch on matters such as quality, anticipated financial risks, academic freedom in countries where freedom of speech is limited (or where there is no full access to internet data), as well as the wisdom of offering degrees in countries with questionable track records of human rights.

Dutch research universities currently offer more than 240 international joint and double-degree programmes, according to a research paper by Dr Rosa Becker, a senior researcher at the Netherlands Organisation for Internationalisation of Education (EP-Nuffic), published by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Universities of applied sciences, like Wittenborg, offer an estimated eight double-degree programmes with at least one foreign partner.

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'Debbie' - Internationalisation more than just an international classroom or study abroad.

Any international university, or college, must have strong support systems for its international students coming to study abroad, or local students going for a period of study or work placement in another country.

But it doesn’t just end there – international institutions often provide deep support and assistance to their international visitors, just as they are the main base for their local students going out to study or work in a foreign land.
 
Since her passing, Wittenborg launched a 'Debbie Scholarship Fund', that supports OTS, Holland Scholarship and other awards. The university has awarded more than a quarter of a million euro in scholarships and study aid to international students from developing countries.International students often need in depth information and help in all sorts of areas, from housing, to filling in official forms, from opening a bank account to applying for a visa, from medical insurance to health and dental care.
 
Sometimes, but very rarely, help is required in an ultimate health care decision, as was the case of Wittenborg’s Chinese student Debbie Kuang (1979-2012).
 
Yesterday, Wittenborg’s Maggie Feng, Peter Birdsall and former business lecturer Henry Muusz, whose family helped care for her, visited Debbie’s grave at the cemetery in Epe, which they maintain.

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Wittenborg pays a visit to Beijing Dongcheng Vocational University

Wittenborg pays a visit to Beijing Dongcheng Vocational UniversityBeijing Dongcheng Vocational University, based in the Dongcheng district of China's capital city is predominantly focused on adult learning and also hosts the local Community College as well as the local branch of the Beijing Open University.

With a population of over 1 million, Dongcheng district covers the eastern half of Beijing's urban core, the 'Old City' (around 40 km2).

Wittenborg University directors Peter Birdsall and Maggie Feng (CEO) were given a tour of the facilities of its main campus building, before having a discussion on possible collaboration with the institutes President, Professor Zhang Yannong, and Associate Professor Jin Yan.

 

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Wittenborg pays visit to Neso China

Wittenborg pays visit to Neso ChinaOn Tuesday Wittenborg University (of Applied Sciences) directors Peter Birdsall and Maggie Feng paid a visit to the Netherlands Education Support Office (Neso) China at its headquarters in Beijing. They met Neso director Charles Hoedt and his team to discuss the promotion of Dutch higher education in China, and specifically the special promotion of universities of applied sciences, a system of professional higher education which is almost unique to many of the germanic countries of Europe.

Wittenborg learned that Neso China works hard to promote the Netherlands as a study destination, in what is an ever increasingly competitive market for a highly knowledgeable student body looking for their studies abroad. According to Maggie Feng, "gone are the days when institutes can travel to China and expect agents to send them 'batches of students'. Chinese students are much better equipped with language skills and knowledge of their possible study destinations than ever before, and organisations like Neso in Beijing help institutes better position themselves in a difficult market."

After the meeting, Wittenborg's Chair, Peter Birdsall said 'We were very impressed by the data shown at Neso, and Charles and his team are doing a great job at promoting Dutch higher education across China. What is clear is that the market will get tougher in the future, especially with China itself providing more higher quality graduate degrees and having its own very clear internationalisation agenda.'

Peter Birdsall and maggie Feng pay visit to Neso ChinaWittenborg currently has around 8% of all Chinese students studying at a University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands, however many of its students are final year and post graduate degree students, entering the university from other programmes, and therefore not directly recruited in China.

The university has strong links with China, as it's CEO, Maggie Feng is from Beijing where she grew up and attended Beijing University of Technology, before coming to the Netherlands as an exchange student, in 1999.

WUP 26/4/2017

 

by J.P Wedgewood

©Wittenborg University Press

 

Wittenborg Now Member of Prestigious AACSB Club

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has taken the first step towards gaining accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) – an American professional organization focused on advancing business education.

Holland Draws Record Number of International Students

Holland Draws Record Number of International StudentsMore than 112,000 international students studied in the Netherlands during the 2016-17 academic year – the highest number ever recorded in the country’s history.

Wittenborg Clinches Deal with 5 Institutes of Higher Education during Successful Trade Mission to China

Wittenborg Clinches Deal with 5 Institutes of Higher Education during Successful Trade Mission to ChinaIn a recent trade mission to China, Wittenborg

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The Dutch Applauded for Voting "Sensibly" - Now Comes the Hard Bargaining to Form a Coalition Government

Mark Rutte wins Dutch Election 2017 - All hail the Dutch! The Netherlands woke up as the darling of Europe this morning after yesterday’s election results showed a clear win for the centre-right VVD party, thereby defeating Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam and anti-EU PVV, which has been leading the polls for most of the year.All hail the Dutch! The Netherlands woke up as the darling of Europe this morning after yesterday’s election results showed a clear win for the centre-right VVD party, thereby defeating Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam and anti-EU PVV, which has been leading the polls for most of the year.

“Far-right populism has failed its first test in Europe,” CNN reported in reference to the coming elections in France and Germany later this year, summing up the sentiments of most of the world’s mainstream media. Many feared that Holland would go the same way as Britain voting pro-Brexit last year and the Americans electing Donald Trump as president. 

About 81% of the country voted – the biggest turnout in 3 decades. The VVD won 33 seats, trailed by the PVV (20), the CDA (19), D66 (19) and Groenlinks (14) – they were the big winners of the day. Many of Wittenborg’s staff and students who were eligible to vote made sure they showed up at the voting stations. Wittenborg's facility officer, Karel van der Zande, said it is a privilege to vote in freedom and the turnout was remarkable. "We have conservatives, progressives and some populists, but the new government has to look out for the interest of everyone in the Netherlands. I do have some concern that the new government might be too much on the right."

“Sense and sobriety triumphed,” said Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, in reaction to the results. "Wittenborg's management is relieved that the Netherlands has rejected the anti-immigration and anti-Europe views of Geert Wilders and that the international future of the country and Wittenborg looks positive and ready to develop."

"Extremist" Government will be Detrimental to Higher Education, Warns Wittenborg Chair, Peter Birdsall as Dutch Prepare to Vote on Wednesday

"Extremist" Government will be Detrimental to Higher Education, Warns Wittenborg Chair, Peter Birdsall as Dutch Prepare to Vote on WednesdayWhen the Dutch go to vote on Wednesday, 15 March, the management of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will be following the outcome of the election carefully: As an international, private institute of higher education, its operations are very much tied to the political tide in the Netherlands.

"If a far-right government was to be elected in the Netherlands, that would have a negative effect on its immigration and education policy," says Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall. "It would be detrimental to international student intake and our development as an international institute."

There is currently a lot of, what Birdsall calls “scaremongering” going on, but he is comforted by the idea that the Dutch political system is such that “no extremist idiot” can take power.

Wittenborg Top Student is from Africa

This semester Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences’ top Bachelor student is from Eritrea, a country in the Horn of Africa.Wittenborg Top Student is from Africa

Despite some personal setbacks, Asfaha Fanuel managed to pass with honours.  He obtained his degree diploma on Friday at Wittenborg’s 2017 Winter Graduation Ceremony. He did an IBA in Economics & Management.

According to Fanuel, he chose to study in the Netherlands because it has many of the best English-taught universities in Europe. “The cost of studies is also fairly cheaper than in many other European countries. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good education in a beautiful environment with friendly people. I stayed in Apeldoorn and found it to be a clean and peaceful city.”

Dutch Election 2017: Everything you Need to Know

Dutch minister for education, Jet Bussemaker from the PvDA with Wittenborg chair, Peter Birdsall.

This semester Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences’ top Bachelor student is from Eritrea, a country in the Horn of Africa.

Despite some personal setbacks, Asfaha Fanuel managed to pass with honours.  He obtained his degree diploma on Friday at Wittenborg’s 2017 Winter Graduation Ceremony. He did an IBA in Economics & Management.

According to Fanuel, he chose to study in the Netherlands because it has many of the best English-taught universities in Europe. “The cost of studies is also fairly cheaper than in many other European countries. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good education in a beautiful environment with friendly people. I stayed in Apeldoorn and found it to be a clean and peaceful city.”

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