Uptick in Number of Students Attending Orientation Week
While student numbers have taken a dive worldwide, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences saw a promising uptick in its second intake for the academic year with more new students attending Introduction Week activities this week than in September. Wittenborg has six entry dates per year.
New students came from Germany, Nigeria, Vietnam, Iran, Rwanda, Russia, the Netherlands, China, India, the US, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mozambique, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Libya, Ukraine and Indonesia. While many students attend the orientation activities in person, others followed online – whether they are in the Netherlands or outside the country, according to Wittenborg's Head of Operations, Lasantha de Silva.
Wittenborg continues to observe government regulations in trying to curb the spread of COVID-19 – including promoting the wearing of face masks, keeping social distancing, encouraging students and staff to wash their hands and limiting the number of students in classes.
While the COVID-19 situation remains uncertain, many countries – like those in Africa – have opened up international travel. De Silva said it is hard to determine students' thinking in weighing up whether they want to pause their studies despite the pandemic or not. "It could be that students are adapting to the situation and navigating life around the pandemic in a safe way – a shift in mindset perhaps."
The first intake was in September and De Silva said Wittenborg will soon review whether its adoption of the hybrid learning model – in-person teaching combined with online teaching – has proven effective.
About 45% of new students are Master's or Pre-Master's students and the rest either Bachelor's or Foundation Phase students.
Introduction Week started on Tuesday and was conducted over four days. All aspects of their forthcoming academic journey at Wittenborg were covered – from doing academic papers, research, ICT and online studies. They also got information on living in the Netherlands, registering themselves with the local authorities, looking for a part-time job or eventually working in the Netherlands after completing their studies, should they so wish. Non-EU students are granted a 12-month stay in the Netherlands after graduating in order to look for a job.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press