The International Classroom of 1999 at Saxion meets the International Classroom of 2019 at Wittenborg
We are enjoying another wonderful international start to the academic year, with students from around the world joining locally based students in bachelor and master classes in Apeldoorn and in Amsterdam! It’s amazing to see that the international classroom is flourishing, and that the Netherlands is still attracting wonderful young people to help make it an even bigger success story, even 20 years after it all started.
Remembering The Class of 1999 - First International Classroom at Saxion-Ijselland
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first real ‘International Classroom’ at a business school in Deventer called the Deventer Business School, which in those days was part of Saxion-Ijselland. In 1999, I was a (young) head of internationalisation and we had around 140 final-year bachelor’s and master's students from around the world, from over 30 different countries. It was so exciting and vibrant.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of joining Wittenborg’s Maggie Feng and Adeyemi Banjo to greet some of the graduates from that first pioneering class of 1999 for a get-together with some former classmates, in Deventer, who travelled to meet up. It was amazing to reflect back on the international experience of ’99-2000, and to talk about former students, and teachers, about where they were now and what they are doing now - many of whom we are still in touch with - no Facebook or social media in those days, but that has certainly helped since! Everybody agreed that there should be a ‘25th anniversary’ celebration for the class of 1998, 1999 and 2000 somewhere around 2024!
The Wittenborg International Classroom of 2019
This week our new students have been arriving for introduction week, pushing the 'nationality count' at Wittenborg well over the 100 mark in 2019. Today our CEO, Maggie Feng was in Amsterdam, welcoming new students there from around the world, and telling them of her journey, on a day that marks the 20th anniversary of her arrival in the Netherlands as an international student. Inspiring and innovating - showing what a ‘study in Holland’ experience can mean for you, for your peers, and for the Netherlands!
On behalf of the whole executive board and every member of the team at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences we wish every student in the international classroom of 2019-2020 a most wonderful and fulfilling experience!
President of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press