Happy New Year & looking ahead to the coming year
2023 starts pretty much as 2022 closed, and although a new year is filled with hope and expectations of a prosperous year, several continuing political and economic situations around the world will still be of concern to our staff and students. We sincerely hope that the year will see peace prevail. Looking forward to a new year of themes and project weeks and discussion debate, hard study and social events - at Wittenborg we will happily concentrate on all the many projects and developments that make our business school the wonderful place it is!
From the whole management team, we wish all of our students and staff, our friends and relations, a peaceful and healthy year ahead!
A few of the things to expect in 2023
Brand new student accommodation complex
Firstly, the new student housing studio complex at Ruyterstraat 5, which is adjacent to our existing student accommodation behind the Brinklaan campus building in Apeldoorn, will be officially opened in January and start accepting new students! These 75 super modern, brand new studio apartments, complete with own kitchen and bathroom facilities, will be let under ‘short-stay’ regulations (up to 6 months per apartment] to new students and existing students, whilst available.
In 2023, Wittenborg will continue its journey into AACSB accreditation, and we hope to involve as many students and staff in this process as possible, as we continue our development in this. “Employers want quality business graduates from quality business schools—graduates they know will perform on day one.” Go to AACSB’s website to find out more!
In ’23 we will also initiate the 4th cycle of NVAO and FIBAA programme accreditation for the BBA programmes, first accredited in 2006. With a panel expected to visit us in July, this will be a great opportunity to showcase the BBA, its pathways and diverse international character.
The European Sales Competition 2023
In May of this year, we will be hosting the European Sales Competition “We promise you an exciting 3-day programme that will include multiple competitions for all participating students. Students will be challenged on teamwork, cross-cultural assignments, flash courses and more. There will also be networking events for researchers, professors, coaches, buyers and industry professionals in parallel with student activities.”
Higher education politics in 2023 - internationalisation
The debate in the Dutch parliament on the effects of international students in the Dutch public higher education sector came to a head in December ‘22 with the Minister of Education, Dr Robbert Dijkgraaf sending an urgent letter to all public university boards, instructing them to stop all active recruitment of international students (EU and non-EU) with immediate effect.
The letter, with the heading ‘Stopzetting actieve werving internationale studenten’ (Termination of active recruitment of international students) asks the public research and applied sciences universities to stop all their international student recruitment activities, with some flexibility for healthcare and education, as well as some technical programmes.
In his letter, Dijkgraaf states that in February ’23 he will present a package of measures that will limit the public sector’s international recruitment. In line with EU regulations, member states are not allowed to refuse visas for qualified non-EU students, and also not to refuse entry into programmes by students from other member states, which means that the package of measures will need to make ‘StudyinNL’ less attractive. This could include proposals to limit programmes offered in English, making Dutch the main language used, or even forcing public universities to significantly increase their prices for international students.
Wittenborg not affected
Fortunately, being privately funded, and no burden on the Dutch public purse, Wittenborg remains a proudly independent business school and will continue uninterrupted offering its unique experience of internationalisation and diversity.
Previously, on 13 December ‘22, Wittenborg sent a letter with its concerns to the Minister of Education, Dr Robbert Dijkgraaf, outlining its own views on ‘Internationalisation’ and the recruitment of international students, as well as three other related topics regarding ‘Institutional Accreditation’, ‘DBA programmes’ and ‘Transnational Education’.
Regarding proposals to introduce institutional accreditation in the Netherlands (currently NVAO accreditation is carried out at programme level), Wittenborg has argued for a level playing field, with business schools such as we being treated the same regarding quality requirements as the enormous comprehensive public universities, whilst taking into account our independence of public funding. We see this as essential for international recognition. At the same time, we suggest that there could be a combined approach with AACSB accreditation (which is institutional), as there is at the moment with programme accreditation. We expect parliament to decide on going ahead with institutional accreditation (or ditching the proposals) this year.
At the same time, we have asked the minister to make a clarification on the DBA award in the Netherlands, which is currently unrecognised in the Act of Higher Education. Wittenborg does not offer a DBA at present, but we would like to develop one in the future.
Finally, Wittenborg plans to further its journey developing the ‘Munich Campus’ by continuing its application for ‘Transnational Education’ of TNE - a process started before the Covid pandemic. Currently all students following Wittenborg programmes in Munich are required to complete the last 25% at the Apeldoorn campus, and TNE would allow the full programme to be completed in Munich. We have asked the minister to clarify as to future plans for TNE and also the status of the so-called 75% ruling.
by Peter Birdsall, Wittenborg President