Wittenborg's Vision to Attract More HE Institutions to Apeldoorn Shaping Up
Ten years after Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences penned a discussion paper on the need to attract more institutions of higher education to Apeldoorn and establish the city as a globally recognised centre of knowledge, the University of Twente (UT) – a public technical university ranked in the world's Top 100 when it comes to engineering and technology – has announced it is opening a campus in Apeldoorn next year.
The discussion paper was penned by Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall. Back then, he argued for the creation of an "Apeldoorn University", allowing various institutions to develop higher education products in line with the needs of supply and demand. "There is a tremendous opportunity for Apeldoorn to promote itself as a centre of expertise and knowledge, both in the Netherlands and on the international stage, and attract students from across the country and the globe," Birdsall notes.
"The campus location would need to be central, close to the railway station and close to the city centre. Its optimal construction would be a complex of institutions linked by student accommodation and student facilities, including libraries, sports and recreation facilities, and that these were within walking distance of the education and learning centres, as well as local and national transport and the city centre itself.
"The area to the north of the railway station would be an excellent choice, and enable the inclusion of the ROC Aventus College on the other side of the railway, linked as it already is both physically to the station and educationally through the location of Wittenborg within its walls."
Wittenborg's own move from Deventer to Apeldoorn in 2010 is seen as a catalyst for attracting more institutions and described as "the start of a process which should enable already established institutions to grow and work together". Currently, it has two locations in Apeldoorn – the building it shares with Aventus as well as its main campus, Spoorstraat 23 on the north side of the railway centre, which it started occupying in 2015. Here it forms a cluster of higher education institutions together with the Saxion University of Applied Sciences and the Fotovakschool (University of Applied Sciences for photography).
UT announced last week that at the end of next year it plans to open a training centre in the former tax building – last year briefly housing the Apeldoorn city offices and barely 200 metres from Wittenborg's Spoorstraat location. Programmes offered here will focus on "security and digitalisation".
UT collaborates with Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and the Wageningen University and Research Centre under the umbrella of 4TU and is also a partner in the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU).
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press