New Faces and New Beginnings
For Block 1 of Wittenborg's 2022 academic year, the school is embracing more diversity with regards to scenery and student body. This year saw Wittenborg's Spoorstraat location undergo a facelift operation, an exit from the Aventus building and move into the Brinklaan building, in addition to an influx of more students from increasingly diverse locations.
At the Amsterdam campus, Support Office Administrator Xiaoli Wu expressed her excitement at the new Wittenborg students. "I'm always happy to see these new passionate faces and always have faith in them that they will excel in their studies here at Wittenborg, and make themselves and us proud with their best efforts and results!".
This introduction week, Wittenborg's Apeldoorn and Amsterdam campus welcome 107 students – 74 and 33 respectively – of over 20 nationalities. New students’ home countries include: Nigeria, Iran, India, China, Turkey, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Syria, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Russia, Rwanda, Ukraine, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Israel, South Africa, Thailand and Indonesia.
Wittenborg welcomes these new students to the Netherlands and wishes them the best of success on their academic journeys.
Maggie Feng's Words of Wisdom
The first session at Spoorstraat on the morning of August 24, saw Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng offer words of wisdom to the newest generation of Wittenborg students.
Feng also recommended students learn the Dutch language in order to make better connections throughout local society and to get the most out of their time at Wittenborg. "Even if your Dutch isn't so good, learn how to say that in Dutch! Just learning simple phrases such as, “Sorry, mijn Nederlands is niet zo goed,” can make all the difference. Dutch people are pretty friendly.”
“Above all else, look out for one another. This is your new family, and I am counting on all of you to take care of one another.”
Students were also invited to attend workshops held by Wittenborg lecturers on employment, basic life in the Netherlands, as well as talks from student representatives.
A Warm Welcome from Peter Birdsall
On Thursday, students at the Apeldoorn and Amsterdam campuses were invited to an afternoon introduction session. The lunch meeting was complete with tasty complimentary sandwiches and cold drinks to try and beat the 33-degree-celcius heat. After lunch, Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall delivered a welcome statement.
Birdsall explained how important the diversity and integrity of Wittenborg's student body is to the school's identity.
Furthermore, he informed those in attendance that they would be the first generation of Wittenborg students subject to an exit exam. This would also make them the first generation of students at a Dutch private business school to partake in such an assessment.
The exit exams will be interdisciplinary and will cover what has been learned during a student's time at Wittenborg. There is no pass requirement; but the letter-grade received on one's test will be present on academic transcripts for employers to see.
Birdsall explained that such an exam is an asset to a student as it will make them more competitive compared to graduates from other business schools. The exam will be in its experimental phase “for the next couple of years,” according to Birdsall.
Happy to Face the Challenge
Some students may feel anxiety upon hearing that they will be subject to increased testing. However, Wittenborg's newest students had confidence in their academic prowess. As such, students were overwhelmingly positive about the exit exams.
Sara Akgüç, a new student from Turkey, was very happy about the news. “I think it is a good thing. Now I will have something that will make me more competitive for employers.”
Akgüç's sentiments were shared by virtually all other students who were asked about the exam.
by Olivia Nelson