Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' annual 2017 staff dinner, held at Restaurant "De Brugwachter" in Apeldoorn, was attended by around 95 members of staff and partners.
In a relaxed atmosphere, staff enjoyed good food and the traditional speech held by Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, in which he looked back at the highlights of 2016, before presenting the key events planned for 2017. The evening started with 30 seconds of silence for lecturer Ton Willems who passed away last week.
Birdsall informed the party that 2017 would see the new School of Education taking shape with the pending validation of a Bachelors' and a Masters' in Education jointly to be developed with the University of Brighton in the UK. The School of Education is expected to launch mid-2017 with classes starting in 2018. Meanwhile, there will also be quality audits of all Wittenborg's Bachelor programmes in 2017.
The key announcement for 2017 was the Celebration Gala that will be held to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the founding of Wittenborg. The Gala will be held at the Apeldoorn City Hall, on Friday 10th November 2017. More details are to follow.
In the run up to the event a special anniversary logo has been designed - actually four possible choices - and at the dinner staff were asked to vote on which logo they would like to see. The result will be published this week.
Another exciting event to look forward to in 2017 is the opening of Wittenborg's Vienna campus in Austria in September. It will be led by Dr Alexander Bauer, currently a senior lecturer based in Vienna.
Birdsall also introduced Wittenborg's new interim Academic Dean, Regina Kecht, and its new international sales director, Tim Birdsall.
In looking back at 2016 Birdsall said although it was a turbulent year in world politics, it was an excellent year of development and professionalization at Wittenborg. "We continued developing partnerships with Shanghai University, the online University of Fredericton in Canada as well as Moscow University.
"There is continued growth in recruitment and new programmes. We now boast 80 + different nationalities at Wittenborg and we made our first investment in student accommodation with a city campus, housing 35 students, in the pipeline."
Another highlight of 2016 was when Wittenborg was commended in parliament by the Dutch minister of higher education, Jet Bussemaker. The minister, in an update on her vision statement from 2014 about internationalisation in Dutch higher education for the period until 2025, singled out Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences as a good example of an institute with an unequivocal international character.
Birdsall ended with thanking staff for their contribution in the successes of 2016, including the Dean of Wittenborg Amsterdam, Timo Timmerman, for the excellent work done there.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press