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Updated: 4 hours 48 min ago

Wittenborg Students Visit 3 Hotels in One Day

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 09:01

What differentiates one hotel room from the next in a time when authenticity is everything?

"It’s all about creating a unique experience", Wittenborg’s hospitality students heard when they recently visited the Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy in Amsterdam, which boasts rooms ranging from 1-star budget to 5-star luxury rooms.

The general manager at the Lloyd, Piet Boogert, challenged students not to follow convention if they are planning a career in hospitality. “Think free and really think about what hospitality means. How do you include everyone? How do you create experiences?”

Students visited 3 hotels in one day in Amsterdam as part of a company visit. In the morning the group split up with some of them, visiting the 4-star Movenpick Hotel, while the rest went to the ClinkNoord hostel.

The latter is an unconventional hostel with facilities in Amsterdam and London. There students learned about the variation in strategy the hostel has to employ in order to attract guests in both cities, including differences in approach and management style. The group was accompanied by Wittenborg’s work placement officer, Adrianne Jonquiere-Breure.

One of the students, Varsha KC, said: “This helpful journey brought us a lot of experience and opportunities to get an internship. Movenpick focuses on business travellers and cruise ships to bring prospective guests. The hotel offers fascinating views and a convenient location next to the Amsterdam port. At the Lloyd Hotel every single room has a unique interior, which means you can get a new experience every time you visit the hotel.”

WUP 23/4/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Wittenborg StudentsAmsterdam

Wittenborg Shines in Campaign to Promote Apeldoorn City

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 09:16

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences features prominently in a new marketing campaign by the Apeldoorn Gemeente in promoting the city as a great place to study, to do business and to relax.

If you walk or cycle past the city hall in Market Square these days, you will see a 3-storey high poster featuring Wittenborg students and one of its Apeldoorn campus locations. It proudly exclaims the fact that Wittenborg has had a student body of 98 different nationalities the past three years. It is flanked by 3 other posters highlighting what else the city has to offer. Furthermore, it can be seen in several other promotion materials around the city.

Since Wittenborg moved from Deventer to Apeldoorn in 2010, it has maintained excellent relations with both the local government and the Gelderland province, as well as political parties and businesses in the region. Just recently Wittenborg's CEO, Maggie Feng, went on a trade mission to China with, among other delegates, Apeldoorn city councillor, Alderman Johan Kruithof, and Michiel Scheffer, D66 member of Gelderland’s provincial executive. Kruithof regularly speaks at Wittenborg graduation ceremonies.

For the past two years, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has been the fastest growing institute of higher education in the Stedendriehoek region where it is located, encompassing 7 municipalities and home to more than 413,000 people. The region has more than 28,000 businesses.

Feng said in an interview she believes one of the reasons behind Wittenborg's success is being in tune with development in the region, and also the establishing of strong links plays a key role. "Our programmes in tourism and hospitality correspond well with tourism in the Veluwe, our technical training with robotics and the manufacturing industry, and our sport and health programmes with the care sector."

WUP 20/4/2017 by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: ApeldoornGemeente ApeldoornApeldoorn Promotie

Rwandese Student Trailblazing His Way to Two Degrees at Wittenborg

Mon, 04/17/2017 - 06:56

Rwandese student, Alexis Musita, is going where no other Wittenborg student has gone before - to do two IBA specialisations almost simultaneously.

Alexis plans to graduate with a Bachelor IBA in Logistics & International Trade as well as in Economics & Management. This means he not only had to do more modules than the average Bachelor's student, but also two internships and two graduation assignments (GAs).

“I think it will definitely add value to my work prospects when I look for a job. I had the time so I thought: Why not? Education is very important in my family.”

Alexis came to Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in October 2014 from his home in Kigali, Rwanda. “I chose Wittenborg because of the multiple entry dates, and the Netherlands because it provides quality degree programmes in English.”

After finishing most of his modules for one programme, he wrote to the exam board in 2016 to ask permission to do another programme, receiving approval 3 months later. He did both of his internships at Wittenborg, working a total of 8 months as education office assistant with added responsibilities for the second internship, which is close to being completed. “I learned so much working for an international organization like Wittenborg and was able to apply some of the modules I learned in class, like Management, Leadership and the Organisation.”

His first graduation assignment will look at the impact of foreign direct investment in Rwanda in terms of unemployment in the travel and tourism sector. For the second graduation assignment he will do a Business Plan.

While studying at Wittenborg, he is staying in Apeldoorn and finds it a good, quiet city with not too many distractions - if you are as focused on your studies as he is. His advice to prospective students is to “manage your time well, motivate yourself and work hard.”

After his studies he will look for a job in the Netherlands, but plans to go back to Rwanda eventually. Doing a Master degree and his PhD is definitely on the cards.

WUP 17/4/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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Wittenborg Concerned about the Promotion of Holland's Binary Education System in China

Sat, 04/15/2017 - 10:23

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has expressed concern about a possible bias against the promotion of Dutch universities of applied sciences in China.

For the second year in a row, Wittenborg has not received any incoming students from China through the Orange Tulip Scholarship (OTS), managed by the Netherlands Education Support Offices (Neso) in different countries. This is in stark contrast with other Neso-countries like Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and Korea from which it did receive OTS applications.

Dutch higher education has a binary system, which means that you can choose between two types of education: research-orientated education offered by research universities, and higher professional education offered by universities of applied sciences such as Wittenborg.

Nesos are run under the auspices of Nuffic - the Dutch agency for internationalisation in higher education. Wittenborg has contacted Nuffic for comment.

Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, has said he will be traveling to Beijing in two weeks and plans to discuss the matter with Neso China during his visit.

Just two weeks ago Wittenborg’s CEO, Maggie Feng, was part of a trade mission to China where she made cooperation agreements with at least 5 institutes of higher education, including Shanghai University of Sport, one of the top sport institutes in China.

By way of explaining the lack of applications from China, the OTS Programme Coordinator of Neso China, Yusi Chen, has said the Chinese market places a lot of emphasis on rankings, so only certain research universities are “relevant”.

She also went on to thank Wittenborg for sponsoring the Neso China OTS programme.

WUP 15/04/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: OTS ScholarshipOTSNesoNufficTransnational Higher Education

Wittenborg's New Brochures "Show its Diversity"

Thu, 04/13/2017 - 09:29

Thanks to a great team of collaborators, Wittenborg’s brand new brochures are finally here!

They have already been showcased in Moscow at the recent ICEF Education Fair, and in China during Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng’s trade mission trip.

Wittenborg’s senior communication officer, Sinem Gulsen, said: “It’s been a while since the last brochure in booklet style. We were using leaflets, but agreed that it is time for a change. We wanted a new feel and look: airy, bright and showing Wittenborg’s diversity and international learning environment.”

Gulsen thanked students and staff who gamely took part in the photography session to modernize the brochure. “We had a professional photoshoot day with photographer Renée Krijgsman and asked students and staff to ‘model’ for us. We had a lot of fun and we are happy with the look of the new brochure.”

There were also other contributors. “The first meeting was with our designer, Mariëlle Leussink from Studio Paf, back in November last year. We have been working with Mariëlle for years now and she immediately understood what we had in mind. We made a plan and came up with a deadline. Thanks to the quick service provided by the print company Totdrukwerk, we had our new brochures ready on time.

WUP 13/4/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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Wittenborg Now Member of Prestigious AACSB Club

Mon, 04/10/2017 - 16:34

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.

Wittenborg has recently been granted membership to AACSB and will start with the long accreditation process later this year. According to Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, this process can take up to 3 – 7 years. Only a select group of business schools eventually achieve this. “It definitely increases the quality of your institution,” says Birdsall.

Unlike other accreditation agencies the AACSB is not a national body. “It has some collaboration agreements with the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO), which means for certain aspects of the process we might not have to go into quite the same depth,” Birdsall said.

Two years ago AACSB and NVAO signed a collaborative agreement enabling schools in the European region to earn initial accreditation with both organizations under a single, streamlined process. For schools in the Netherlands and Flanders this means administrators will experience greater ease in preparing for accreditation review without compromising on standards.

Wittenborg wishes to gain accreditation for its IBA and MBA programmes. Just a few days ago it completed the first of a series of quality audits of its Bachelor of Business Administration programmes scheduled for this year. In this respect it seeks double re-accreditation for its Bachelor programmes from both NVAO and the German-Austrian-Swiss Accreditation Agency, Foundation International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA).

The final report from the FIBAA panel is expected around 30 June 2017.

WUP 10/04/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: AACSBAccreditationNVAO

New Communication Officer Back at Wittenborg after Absence of 6 Years

Fri, 04/07/2017 - 18:42

Wittenborg’s senior communications officer, Sinem Gulsen, re-joined the company after an absence of 6 years. In an interview she discusses her work and describes her experience of being of Turkish descent in the Netherlands amid strained relations between the two countries.

What is your career background?
After my studies I started working as a recruitment coordinator for an employment agency. After a while I joined my husband’s translation company and did project-management, PR, communication and translations. In the meanwhile, I passed my exams at the Netherlands Association of Interpreters and Translators and became a certified Dutch-Turkish translator. I started working for Wittenborg in 2005 in its international office, doing management assistance, marketing and public relations. I left in 2010 but never felt ‘away’ from Wittenborg, always keeping in touch and feeling part of the team. I re-joined in 2016.

What does your job entail?
I edit and design marketing material but also supervise website content, write brochures and press releases. I also make sure outgoing communications in letters, etc., are consistent with Wittenborg’s identity. Furthermore, I am researching the efficient usage of internal communication tools like using appropriate software. The idea is to identify what is useful for Wittenborg staff and how people can get the most out of it.

You were born in the Netherlands, but are of Turkish descent. How does that inform your life here?
I was born and raised in the Netherlands, so I am Dutch with a Turkish bloodline. I am very familiar with both cultures. I can say I collected the best of both cultures and integrated that knowledge in my own world, which has evolved into my own identity.

Have you ever been discriminated against because of your Turkish background?
I have never felt discriminated against in any way and I have never felt like a foreigner, as I am not. I was born here and the Netherlands is and has always been my home. Even now, with the current tension, I have not experienced any negativity against me.

You are also a mother. How do you balance work and personal life?
With lots of love and laughter and managing your time well. I try my best.

What do you do in your free time?
Besides spending lots of time with my children, I like watching movies, reading, eating good food and long walks. Having a good chat with friends about life is also a favourite pastime.

What are your ambitions for yourself?
I just started an MBA programme at Wittenborg – I believe in life-long learning. There is always room for improvement – the sky is the limit!

Who do you admire?
In general, I like people who do not give up, remain grateful, stay positive and kind to the earth and its inhabitants.

WUP 7/4/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Staff at Wittenborg

Holland Draws Record Number of International Students

Tue, 04/04/2017 - 15:42

More 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. Of these, 72% (81,392) were enrolled for a full Bachelor or Master degree programme.

These figures are contained in the latest report on incoming student mobility from Nuffic, the Dutch agency for internationalisation in higher education. The 81,392 degree students came from 164 different nationalities – they mark both the highest total and the highest absolute annual growth in the number of students (6,163).

At Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, international students make up 89% of the student body.

International degree students are estimated to contribute €1,57 billion annually to the Dutch treasury. Also, they are generally thought to contribute to the Netherlands' knowledge economy through research, innovation and easier transnational cooperation.

The director of Nuffic, Freddy Weima, said that of course it is great when international students contribute to the Dutch treasury, but there are also other reasons why they are important. “International students contribute to the creation of an international classroom, which benefits all students. With the knowledge, experience and networks they bring along from their own countries they strengthen the quality of education in the Netherlands.” According to the report, non-EEA students tend to be quite a bit older, with more work experience than their counterparts from the EEA.

Germany remains the most important country of origin, making up around 27% of all international students in the Netherlands, followed by China (5.3%) and Italy (4.1%), which overtook Belgium now in 4th place with 3.6%. The strongest absolute growth in international enrolments is seen among students from Italy. Students from eastern and southern European countries are considered to be increasingly important.

Economy and Business studies are the most popular among international students studying at Universities of Applied Sciences with 15,500 enrolments – particularly International Business and Management Studies. Also popular is Engineering (over 5,500 enrolments), particularly Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

WUP 04/04/2017

by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: international students

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

Sat, 04/01/2017 - 14:29

In a recent trade mission to China, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences made agreements with no less than 5 institutes of higher education, and played a major facilitating role in opening more doors for cooperation between China and the Netherlands.

One of the big talking points was about establishing a train connection between Hubei province in China and the Gelderland province in Holland using the Betuwe route, a double-track freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany.

The weeklong trade mission focused on education and sport. Wittenborg was represented by its CEO, Maggie Feng. The trade mission consisted of Michiel Scheffer, D66 member of Gelderland’s provincial executive, Apeldoorn councillor Alderman Johan Kruithof and representatives from the Full Sports Group (FSG).

Scheffer met with Ting Daochi the deputy-governor of Hubei – a province of 60 million people – to discuss the railway project called One-Road-One-Belt China. A detailed plan will be ready by November. On the first day, the group went to Wuhan city in Hubei where they also opened a badminton centre from top Dutch badminton athletes Yao Jie and Erik Pang, who both have ties to FSG.

  • Wittenborg signed a memorandum of understanding with Wuhan Business University to develop a joint research programme, while students from there can also follow a double degree in business management, hospitality and sport management at Wittenborg.
  • At the Jiangsu Vocational Institute of Commerce in Nanjing city, Wittenborg also signed an agreement to develop a top-up programme, a summer school and agreed to develop an offer for students to attain their bachelor's degree at Wittenborg within a year and a half. Since Jiangsu has a Dragon Boat team it has been invited to take part in Apeldoorn’s annual dragon boat festival in 2018.
  • At the Olympic College of the Nanjing Sport Institute Wittenborg also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in education. They will also send a delegation to Apeldoorn in April.
  • At the Nantong Vocational University – which visited Wittenborg two weeks ago – Wittenborg signed a memorandum of cooperation which opens the way for students to do a bachelor's in Holland and possibly follow it up with a master's degree. Nantong has 18,000 students.
  • Wittenborg also signed a memorandum with Shanghai University of Sport, one of the top sport institutes in China, to give a small number of its students the opportunity to do a master's degree in Sport Business & Management in the Netherlands. The university sent a delegation to Apeldoorn in December last year where they also visited Wittenborg.

Shanghai University of Sport will also jointly develop a football programme with FSG. One of Holland’s famous football trainers, John de Wolf, will give football clinics at the university, and they might send two football teams to the Netherlands to learn about Dutch football technique.

WUP 1/4/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press


Related Content: ChinaWuhan Business UniversityJiangsu Vocational Institute of CommerceOlympic College of the Nanjing Sport InstituteNantong Vocational UniversityShanghai University of SportTransnational Higher Education

GRAND opening Vienna Campus 2017-09-01

Fri, 03/31/2017 - 09:37

Dear students, as you probably know Wittenborg will have a new campus in Vienna, https://campus.univie.ac.at/en/home/, starting next college year.
We like to have a grand official opening Friday 1 September 2017 in Vienna with as many students of Apeldoorn and Amsterdam as possible. So we plan to charter a small business jet on behalf of Wittenborg.

We like to fill the plane with as many students as allowed and possible to join us, leave at 7:30 from Teuge International Airport (near Apeldoorn),  http://teuge-airport.nl/luchthaven/international-airport-teuge/,  and landing at Vienna International Airport, to  be at the campus at 12:00, have the lunch and later the grand opening. There is spare time to spend and see the campus and the town centre of Vienna.

We will fly back at 20:00 from Vienna to Teuge International Airport way before midnight. Transfer from airport to campus is included however transfer from Apeldoorn to Teuge can be done by means of bicycle or municipal bus.

If you would like to join us for this special occasion, here is what you should do:
You must have a valid visa for Vienna and passport.
Registration will take place on April 1st. Spoorstraat building, at exactly 7:30 (am). Please take in mind first come, first served! We only have a limited number of seats available.

Join us please!! It is free of charge!

WUP 31/03/2017

by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Wittenborg ViennaViennaWittenborg Students

Transnational Education Pursued by Holland and UK Post-Brexit

Thu, 03/30/2017 - 18:59

After the UK officially started its departure from the EU on Wednesday, the country looks set to pursue its transnational education activities with renewed vigour.

This follows barely a month after the Dutch House of Representatives approved a bill which allows Dutch universities to offer full degree programmes abroad – alluding to the growing interest in Transnational Education (TNE) as a valuable commodity.

Higher education will play a central role in the UK’s strategy to boost its export industry post-Brexit, the country’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade, Mark Garnier, told the International Higher Education Forum in London last week.

“Leaving the EU does not mean we are turning our back on the world,” Garnier said in anticipation of yesterday’s triggering of Article 50, which started the process of Britain leaving the EU. The British prime minister, Theresa May, signed a letter to this effect on Wednesday, which was then delivered to the European Council president, Donald Tusk.

“Britain may be a small country, but our universities stand tall in the world,” said Garnier, who predicted that the number of TNE students looks set to grow in the developing world “providing huge export opportunities for our top universities”.

Meanwhile, in Holland, parliamentarians in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) approved the Transnational Education Bill shortly before the Dutch election on 15 March. The Bill will now go to the Senate where it is also expected to be approved and then finally passed by the new government later this year.

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences is one of the institutes planning to open its first transnational campus - in Vienna, Austria in September. Here it will offer its BBA and MBA programmes to Dutch and international students. Pending the passing of the bill, all students will be required to spend at least one year of their studies in the Netherlands. Thereafter, students will be able to complete the full degree programme in Vienna.

Source: University World News

WUP 30/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: UKBrexitTransnational Higher Education

Wittenborg Gains Austrian Recognition of its Programmes

Tue, 03/28/2017 - 22:31

Wittenborg has had its programmes recognised by the Austrian Accreditation authorities as Dutch degrees that can be offered in Austria.

Although the Netherlands and Austria have agreements to recognised each other's degrees, it is still important that Wittenborg is recognised in Austria as a degree awarding provider, and this process is now complete. The Netherlands and Austria both have higher education systems that are part of the European Higher Education Accreditation systems, for instance ENQA

Wittenborg opens its Vienna Campus in September, offering its BBA and MBA programmes there to students, from Apeldoorn and from around the world. The golden rule for the coming 18 months is that all students are required to study at least 1 year in the Netherlands. This will change when the Dutch government approves transnational campuses next year. From then, students in Vienna will be able to complete their whole programme in Vienna.

The Vienna campus however is primarily aimed at students who wish to study in at least two locations - two countries - with an additional possibility to follow a semester at Wittenborg's partner, the University of Brighton in the UK.

According to the Agency for Quality Assurance and Accreditation Austria:

'The Board of AQ Austria has decided in its meeting on 14/15 March 2017 the listing of the following degree programmes of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in the record (see § 27 para 6 HS-QSG)

  • Bachelor International Business Administration  Programmes
  • Entrepreneurial Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Notification: https://www.aq.ac.at/en/notification-of-foreign-degree-programmes/notification%20of%20foreign%20degree%20programmes.php

Related Content: Wittenborg ViennaNVAO AccrediationFIBAA AccrediationMBABBA

Wittenborg Gears Up for First Round of Quality Audits

Mon, 03/27/2017 - 15:56

The first round in a series of quality audits of Wittenborg University’s Bachelor of Business Administration programmes in 2017 will take place this week with a 3-day site visit from a quality assurance agency to Wittenborg’s Apeldoorn campus.

Wittenborg is looking towards double accreditation and re-accreditation for its bachelor programmes from both the Swiss-German Accreditation Agency, Foundation International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA), and the Netherlands Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO).

An accreditation panel will visit Wittenborg from Wednesday 29 March to Friday 31 March after weeks of preparation. On Monday, key staff members met off-campus in Apeldoorn for a final dress rehearsal of the process before making submissions to the panel.

Wittenborg’s chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, said the institute is looking forward to this important process. “We want to further improve the quality of our programmes as a result.” In 2011/12 the IBA programme was thoroughly reviewed as part of the FIBAA and NVAO accreditation and significant changes were introduced in both the curriculum and the testing system as a result.

After the summer, there will also be an accreditation process of the bachelor's programme in Entrepreneurial Business Administration (EBA) offered in Amsterdam and the bachelor's in Hospitality Management programmes. Later this year, Wittenborg will seek validation of a bachelor's and a master's degree in Education.

On Wednesday, Wittenborg’s CEO, Maggie Feng, will introduce the representatives of Wittenborg to the FIBAA team accompanied by Peter Odgers from the University of Brighton in the UK, Wittenborg's most important partner. There will also be a presentation of the structure, classification and goals of the study programmes at hand. Afterwards, there will be a panel interview with programme management, including Dr Rauf Abdul, Esther Gitonga-Bakker, Dr Regina Kecht, Annemarieke Lente and Lucy Omwoha. The main topics of discussion will be the goals and position of the programme in regards to the labour and educational market, support of students, examination frequency and organisation as well as teaching and learning methods. Finally on Wednesday the panel will interview staff responsible for internationalisation.

On Thursday there will be interviews with lecturers, current students as well as graduates. This will be followed with sessions with the administrative staff and representatives from Wittenborg Amsterdam, interviews with external stakeholders and the newly instated programme committee which comprise of staff and students.

Friday is set aside for panel deliberations and final feedback from the panel as well as a dialogue session about the further improvement of the study programme.

WUP 27/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: AccreditationFIBAA AccrediationNVAO Accrediation

Wittenborg Amsterdam: The Recipe Behind its Rapid Success

Fri, 03/24/2017 - 10:44

In September 2015, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences started to offer its IBA programme in Entrepreneurship & Small Business to Amsterdam, opening its first location outside Apeldoorn.

Now, 18 months later, student numbers at the Amsterdam location have grown and the programme has developed a unique identity – showcased in its blog The Amsterdam Entrepreneur.

How does one market a new study location in a competitive city like Amsterdam?

“We opened with only 7 students and today we have 40 students from 17 different nationalities,” says Timo Timmerman, the Campus Dean of Wittenborg Amsterdam. “We relied a lot on word-of-mouth – students sharing their experiences and telling their stories. I believe in the efficiency of human-to-human marketing. Besides, Amsterdam is a city of entrepreneurs,” Timmerman says.

In 2015, Amsterdam featured for the first time in the list of Top 20 of the world’s leading start-up cities. They were measured on their quality of talent, pool of venture capital resources, experience and mentorship provided by start-up founders, market reach of their companies, and the ultimate performance and exit value of their companies.

All entrepreneurs have a million ideas
Timmerman says he is proud and happy with the “international classroom” he and his team have created in such a short time. “The biggest problem we have is that, like all entrepreneurs, our students have a million different ideas. So our job is to teach them to focus on one idea at a time and do that one thing well. ”  The international classroom is a unique feature of Wittenborg, with over 70 nationalities studying in Apeldoorn.

Connecting Students With Real-Life Entrepreneurs
The Amsterdam location is also equipped with its own in-house, start-up incubator — ‘Incubator UP’ — where students are connected with real entrepreneurs and their companies working in the building. Students are thus encouraged to seek guidance from these “mentors”.

According to Timmerman, the Amsterdam location is working towards a goal of 150 students by 2019. “Ideally we would like a ratio in Amsterdam of about 40:60 of Dutch and international students.” Currently it has 25% female students but Timmerman would like to see the male-female ratio at 50:50. “Anything men can do, women can also do in terms of business.”
Overall  Wittenborg has a male to female ratio of 49% to 51% and currently 89% international students, making it the most diverse higher education institute in the Netherlands.
According to Wittenborg's Chair of the Executive Board, Peter Birdsall, "The Amsterdam campus was specifically set up to attract more Dutch students."

Timmerman also ascribes the success of Wittenborg in Amsterdam to good management decisions made in Apeldoorn. “In the past two years we have managed to become one team in two locations – Apeldoorn and Amsterdam. Soon, when the Vienna campus opens, it will be three locations. From the beginning management tackled the expansion in the right spirit.”

Fostering Community Spirit
In Amsterdam, the community spirit is certainly kept alive. Students and staff meet every Friday morning for “coffee-and-muffins” sessions which are accompanied by lively discussions and a lot of knowledge and culture sharing.

Timmerman has also introduced a so-called Dean’s List – recognising excellent students who have achieved a 7.5 each semester, thus adding to the value of their CVs. Students who manage to achieve a straight pass – without the need for retakes – are also rewarded with “extras” such as company visits, a smart reading course, or learning essential skills like story-telling, which can take you far in the business world.

* From 8 – 16 July Wittenborg Amsterdam will have a Summer Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in cooperation with two other Dutch institutions: Team Academy and InHolland University of Applied Sciences.

WUP 24/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: EntrepreneurshipYoung EntrepreneurWittenborg AmsterdamIBA

Wittenborg and China's Nantong University do Quick Exchange Visits - All in One Week

Tue, 03/21/2017 - 12:22

Senior staff of the Nantong Vocational University in China made a flying visit to Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences on Monday, as part of a 4-day trip to the Netherlands to explore cooperation possibilities between the two institutes in the field of education.

Meanwhile, Wittenborg CEO, Maggie Feng, will in turn visit Nantong on Wednesday while she is in China this week as part of a week-long trade mission along with delegates from the Gelderland Province, Apeldoorn Gemeente and the Full Sports Group (FSG).

Nantong, in the southern part of China, has about 18,000 students. It has 12 schools offering 58 majors and 90 professional programs including mechanical engineering, electronics and information engineering, chemical and biological engineering, civil engineering, textile and garments, management, applied humanities and tourism management, arts and design and foreign languages.

Four of its senior staff members were met by Wittenborg chair, Peter Birdsall, on Monday who gave them background on Wittenborg and a tour of its facilities.  The group consisted of Huang Yanfei (Vice-President of Nantong), Chen Xudong (Deputy Director of Academic Affairs), Cao Jian (Associate Dean, School of Automotive and Traffic Engineering) and Li Ping (Dean of School of Economics and Management). They were accompanied by an interpreter of China’s department of Foreign Affairs, Shi Chunyan.

The group later also met with Mark Sandmann, D66 council member of the Apeldoorn Gemeente and Jacob Brobbel, commercial manager of Holland Techniek.

Sandmann welcomed the visitors and gave them background information on the region saying:  “Apeldoorn is the 11th biggest city in the Netherlands in an area of more than 400,000 residents. Our city is centrally located in the Netherlands’ largest single woodlands area, the Veluwe. We have a lot less air pollution compared to Nantong! The area is known as the Cleantech Region because of the high number of clean technology companies in the area – many of them do business with China.”

Sandmann also said Wittenborg is growing and is now one of the most important institutes of higher education in the area. “Apeldoorn is home to many local and international companies due to its central location. I can assure you those companies are happy to meet international students. International students bring diversity into the city and also bring economic value to the community. Many shop owners in the city centre can confirm this.”

WUP 21/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: international studentsChinese studentenChina

Dutch Universities can Offer Full Degrees Abroad if Senate Approves Bill

Sun, 03/19/2017 - 09:12

After two years of heated political debate, Dutch universities might finally be able to offer full degree programmes abroad.

On their last day in parliament before the Dutch Election, the majority of political parties in the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) approved the Transnational Education Bill. Only Geert Wilders' PVV voted against it.  The Bill will now go to the Senate (Eerste Kamer) where it is also expected to be approved and then finally passed by the new government later 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.

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) and published by the Observatory on Borderless Higher Education. Universities of applied sciences, like Wittenborg, offer an estimated 8 double degree programmes with at least one foreign partner.

The detail and general conditions of the proposed legislation is expected to be published this summer, pending approval by the Senate. The Dutch minister of higher education, Jet Bussemaker, said there are big advantages to having international branch campuses. These include the exchange of students and lecturers, the possibility to strengthen international networks and showcase Dutch higher education. “Besides, it is happening everywhere. The question is, do we want a stake in it or let the opportunity pass. I don’t want the latter.”

Aside from allowing Dutch institutions of higher education to offer full degree programmes abroad, the bill will further encourage international joint programme development. Currently, students are required to follow at least a quarter of their degree programmes within the Netherlands.

However, it has not been smooth sailing. Political parties expressed some strong concerns on matters such as academic freedom in countries where freedom of speech is limited or where there is no full access to internet data. It was argued that Dutch institutions should not be offered there.

Among other things the new bill says Dutch institutions:
· Will be allowed to offer full Dutch degree programmes abroad
· Will not be allowed to spend any public funding on education delivered abroad
· Will be required to ask the Minister of Education for ex-ante permission to start offering a full Dutch degree programme abroad or to open an international branch campus
· May have permission to offer a Dutch degree programme abroad refused or withdrawn by the Minister of Education

Bussemaker indicated that Dutch institutions wanting to offer a degree programme abroad will need to prove that it adds value to the quality of Dutch higher education and strengthen the international positioning of Dutch education abroad. Institutions will also need to adhere to requirements on guaranteeing academic freedom.

Source: EP-Nuffic

WUP 18/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Dutch Higher EducationTransnational Higher Education

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

Thu, 03/16/2017 - 21:17

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."

Now that the results are in, what happens next?

The House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) has 150 seats. As predicted, none of the parties won an outright majority (76 seats), which means they will have to negotiate their way into a coalition government.

This means weeks, even months of discussing, deliberating and compromising before a cabinet is formed.

The previous minister of higher education, Jet Bussemaker, has indicated she is available again for the job. The problem is, however, that Bussemaker’s party, the PvDA, was one of the biggest losers of the election, with its support plummeting from 38 seats to a dismal 9 seats.

The results mean that four parties or more will be needed to form a coalition government in the Tweede Kamer. Political experts have speculated that the VVD might press for a centrist partnership with the CDA, D66 and CU, but that will give them a majority of only 1 seat – leaving the government vulnerable, DutchNews.nl have pointed out. 

WUP 16/3/2017

by Anesca Smith

©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Dutch ElectionDutch GovernmentInternationalisationEuropean Union

How Tolerant are the Dutch? We Asked International Students ahead of the Election

Tue, 03/14/2017 - 16:49

The question about immigrants is one of the key issues in Wednesday’s Dutch election. With that in mind, we asked international students from Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences just how welcome they feel in Holland, and about the level of tolerance they experience from Dutch society.

Romeissa Laib from Algeria is doing an IBA in Marketing & Communication. Before coming to Holland, she studied in Germany and lived in Canada. “I live in a building with other Dutch people in Apeldoorn and everyone is very friendly and helpful – they even offer to walk my dog! I find Holland a very welcoming country compared to Germany where people can be less friendly and really make you feel like an immigrant. In Holland they are happy to speak English. Not so in Germany.”

Haseeb Mirza, a MBA student from Pakistan, thinks most of the anti-Islam sentiments will quieten down once the election is over. “This is part-and-parcel of any election campaign. I am not concerned at all. The Netherlands’ history has proven that it is a tolerant, co-operative society where people mind their own business.” He currently lives in Amsterdam and said he has never experienced any discrimination.

Jun Li from China lives in Eindhoven and works in Amsterdam’s fashion industry. She is currently learning Dutch because she wants to communicate better with her colleagues. She has no qualms about staying on in Holland after her studies. “If someone is mean to me I will generally ask them to explain their reasons. I try to keep an open mind.” Jun Li is doing an IBA in Marketing and Communication. She came to Holland 4 years ago.

Alexis Musita from Rwanda says he has never experienced discrimination in the Netherlands. He came here in 2014 and is in the final phase of his IBA in Logistics & International Trade. “Dutch people are friendly, but because of the language it is not easy to get close to them.” He also lives in Apeldoorn and managed to make Dutch friends by joining a local church. Alexis plans either to look for a job in the Netherlands after his studies, or continue by doing a master's degree.

Dipesh Shrestha from Nepal finds the Dutch hard-working and polite. “They don’t have time for discrimination and racism! It also helps that most Dutch people are able and willing to speak English – even if you approach strangers on the street.” He came to Holland in September 2016 and is doing an IBA in Hospitality Management. “I have one Dutch friend and she said she’s going to vote Groenlinks.”


WUP 14/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Wittenborg StudentsDutch Electioninternational students

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

Sun, 03/12/2017 - 11:54

When 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.

He is of course referring to Geert Wilders, leader of the one-man PVV party which has taken the lead in many of the pre-election polls. A rare feat for someone who seldom makes public appearances but instead reigns over his supporters from the safety of social media platforms.

Birdsall sees Wilders' peroxide blonde hair as a symbol of the falsehoods he's spreading. "He does that to stand out, to make an impact. Not to show what a good debater he is on world issues. And that’s the frightening thing. Whenever politicians start walking around like popstars, that’s when you have to start worrying.

"Wilders is scaremongering the world, really, which is why he receives so much international press. Last time I looked at the PVV website, the headline screamed: 'Stop Islam'. I mean, there’s nothing rational about that. If I were to put something unthinkable, like  'Stop Jewism' or 'Keep Blacks Out' on my website I’d be (quite rightly) locked up in prison."

Birdsall, who has been living in the Netherlands for almost 30 years, appears to be as baffled as the world's media on how a far-right politician like Wilders could become so popular in the Netherlands – a country seen for many decades as one of Europe’s most liberal and tolerant.

"When I first came to the Netherlands it was a very liberal and open-minded society." Is that what attracted him? "Yes, of course. I mean, I came from Thatcher’s Britain. The liberal politics of the Netherlands is very attractive and it makes it a nice country to live in."

"Now people are voting on the basis of populism and not on the basis of rationalism. I think in every society there is an underlying populist vote."

According to Birdsall people don't seem to connect the dots between globalisation and open societies "Everyone has iPhones and Samsung Galaxies, but they don’t relate those iPhones to the other components of globalisation which means open societies."

Neither Birdsall - who has British and Swiss nationality - nor Wittenborg CEO, Maggie Feng, will be able to vote in the Dutch election. Nonetheless, they have strong views on the options available.

Birdsall says: "I hope for a government who will protect entrepreneurs and business people…"

In other words, the VVD?
"I think we had a good prime minister in Mark Rutte from the VVD and a very dynamic minister of higher education, Jet Bussemaker (PvDA) who has indicated she would be interested to continue in that role. She has been good for Dutch education and good for Wittenborg.

"The most important policy she pushed through at the end is one that will open the way for transnational education. Once it is passed by the First Chamber, it is going to have a significant impact on our opportunities to run Dutch higher education in other countries. Currently, with any programme you offer abroad, students have to spend 25% of their programme in the Netherlands. With the new proposed law, you will be able to offer the full programme abroad."

But what about the controversial loan system which was introduced under Bussemaker's watch. Was that a good thing?
"For us it’s great. It means Dutch students can borrow money to study at Wittenborg and it levels the playing field between European and non-European students. What's interesting is that this concept that everybody should pay for their education is a conservative policy, yet she's from the labour party. I’m a great believer that free education is poor education. If you don’t pay for your higher education you don’t appreciate its value, and the providers continually have to cut costs in order to make ends meet - which lowers the quality (of the education provided)."

Wouldn't that exclude huge sections of society?
Not if the electgovernment has a good loans policy . So you only pay back if you can afford to pay back. In countries where education is free, they have massive drop-out rates."

Where should the money that government saves be invested in?
I think it should be invested back into other parts of society or higher education itself. All education is generally underfunded. For instance, it can go to facilities or to fund lifelong learning initiatives."

Do Wittenborg's international students consider Apeldoorn a tolerant city?
"I think one of the reasons we might be so successful here is because Apeldoorn does seem to have a very tolerant attitude toward its international communities. I mean, we don’t get regular feedback on intolerance. That doesn’t take away the fact that certain groups of students do feel that they are looked upon as immigrants as it were. I think the majority of Apeldoorners have and will vote much more in the centre. As for the rest of the Netherlands, I hope good sense will prevail."

WUP 12/3/2017

Interview by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: Dutch ElectionDutch Higher Educationinternational studentsPeter Birdsall

Commission Guarding Interest of International Students Meets with Wittenborg Students and Staff

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 13:36

Members of the National Commission guarding the interests of international students in the Netherlands paid an informal visit to Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences on Wednesday morning. Almost 90% of Wittenborg's students are international.

Wittenborg is a signee of the Code of Conduct regulating these interests. The independent commission ensures compliance to the code which obliges signees to offer good, quality education to international students. Equally important, the code allows Wittenborg to apply for student visas and residence permits.

During Wednesday's visit, the commission was led by its chair, Joris van Bergen. He was accompanied by the secretary, Jolanda van den Bosch, and commissioner, Jan Albert Dop. They were welcomed by Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, and its manager of strategy and policy, Karen Penninga. The commissioners were given a tour of Wittenborg's Apeldoorn locations and they also enjoyed coffee and lunch with students and staff.

Penninga said it was a friendly visit requested by the commission to get to know students and staff who were encouraged to share their experiences at Wittenborg and in the Netherlands.

The code guarantees the quality of information sharing with international students, looks at the English linguistic abilities of incoming students, and the use of agents in students' home countries. The commission ensures institutions of higher education that have signed up adhere to the code, instigating investigations, following up on complaints and making recommendations. Its website is http://www.internationalstudy.nl

WUP 10/3/2017

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Related Content: international studentsInternational Classoomcode of conduct