Wittenborg Advisory Board Adds Three New Members
Dutch education expert Paul Zevenbergen is one of three new members to join Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' Advisory Board this year, bringing with him considerable experience in both the public and private higher education spheres. The two other new members are Rijn Platteel (chair) and Prof. Petra De Weerd-Nederhof. The next Advisory Board meeting will be in the spring where they will be formally introduced.
Zevenbergen is a former director of the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO), board member of the Coding College Amsterdam (CODAM) and serves as chairman of a commission advising the Ministry of Education on the training of teachers. He was the guest speaker at Wittenborg's 30th anniversary gala in 2017.
Zevenborgen said he came into contact with Wittenborg through his work at NVAO. "I regard Wittenborg as a fine institution and a very relevant one, providing high quality management education to international students so they can benefit from all the good facilities and quality education system we have in the Netherlands. Wittenborg is relevant in light of its contribution to the landscape of management education and as a private institution with affordable fees."
He brings to the table a broad experience in both private and public education, a vast network, as well as a valuable insight into Dutch education from the government's point of view.
Zevenbergen said he is optimistic about the state of affairs in Dutch higher education. "We really do have great universities and other institutions of higher education, and the way we got to this excellence gives me reason to be optimistic. Furthermore, the Netherlands has a stable society where business and business education can flourish with its wealth of talented people, capable of collaborating and reaching common solutions."
He acknowledges the inequalities that still exist in society, even in the Netherlands, but sees education as one of the ways to eradicate it. "The better educated we are, the better for society, and we must keep working on the problem and doing everything we can to improve the situation."
Asked about the lessons learned during the pandemic year which can be taken forward, Zevenbergen said: "We found ourselves in a situation we could never have imagined, yet we showed how fast we can improvise and how creative we are in adapting. On the technical side, providing a better mix of on-site and online education would be a good step forward."
One of the first things he plans to do once the pandemic has been brought under control, Zevenberg said, is: "Meeting people – that would be high on the list. Just being human and connecting face-to-face."
by Anesca Smith