WUAS Updates Mission Statement

WUAS Updates Mission Statement

Focusing on societal impact

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has updated its Mission Statement in a process involving stakeholders to refine its regional focus and intentions. According to Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall, the changes to the Mission Statement are meant to emphasise Wittenborg's societal impact on the region. The updated Mission Statement is as follows:

“Contributing to society in Apeldoorn & the region by promoting excellence in teaching and learning of international business and management, as well as by creating the best environment for students and staff where internationalisation, diversity and ethics set the premises for successfully applied, research-informed, global learning."

In April of this year, the IAC (Initial Accreditation Committee) of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) approved WUAS’ iSER (initial Self-Evaluation Report), an important step for the school on its journey towards AACSB accreditation. The AACSB is an accreditation body promoting excellence within business education and is the world's largest business education alliance. With a progress report expected by the IAC from WUAS, one point to demonstrate continuous improvement has been pointed out for WUAS to refine and create a more intentional focus of the school and its mission, with clear reference to its regional impact that WUAS so well clarifies in its Strategic Plan and demonstrates through various initiatives and actions.  

The process involved various internal stakeholders of WUAS in the decision-making process, including its Management Team and Education Board. The members of these boards chose between seven different variants of the Mission Statement, selecting the statement which articulated WUAS’ impact on the region in the most effective manner. The word ‘region’ includes multiple additional levels to Apeldoorn, a very specific area and place on the map. The region can refer to the local area, the entire country of the Netherlands, north western Europe (including Wittenborg's study location in Munich), as well as Europe, from a global perspective.  
“Now our Mission statement highlights our impact on Apeldoorn and students, but also our strategic focus and intentions for the future: directly impacting the town of Apeldoorn, but also the changes the regions defined by WUAS,” says Kriszta Kaspers-Rostás, Wittenborg's Assurance of Learning Manager. “It is important that we communicate our intentions through the mission statement to all our stakeholders for transparent and successful collaborations for the school,” she notes.

Recognised impact

WUAS' impact on Apeldoorn and serviced regions has gained international recognition in the form of being recently nominated for the Business School Impact Award, part of the AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards 2022. WUAS has been nominated for this award because of its positive impact on Apeldoorn that is continuously realised through its presence as a private higher education institution, promoting internationalisation, diversity, employment and entrepreneurship within the region. WUAS’s impact is further enabled by the underlying partnership of the government-business-higher education ‘Triple Helix’, brought along by WUAS and embedded in the long-term strategy of the town.  
On how WUAS impacts Apeldoorn and the region the school can elaborate on the following specifications: 

  • Strategic initiative description: the external perspective to increase societal impact in Apeldoorn and its region is meant to be achieved by its internal perspective strategic initiative to shape its organisation based on its key values – internationalisation, diversity & ethics. The supporting operating initiatives that directly define the support for Apeldoorn and the region will be tactics that promote the Triple Helix concept, a carefully managed growth of students, faculty, facilities and student accommodation solutions, together with a continued maintenance and expansion of programmes in cooperation with the work field.
  • Impact of its international and diverse student body on Apeldoorn & the region: the yearly flow of 300-400 international students into the region, who find employment, internships or start their own small companies, attracting international staff to Apeldoorn (people who otherwise would not come), helping the Netherlands’ policies adapt surrounding international students and internationalisation strategies (membership at the NRTO and National Commission).
  • WUAS plans and support for student accommodation: in the years since 2010, the school has invested in various developments of student accommodations in the town of Apeldoorn, most recently in 2021 when it embarked on an expansion of a building of 75 new self-contained, single-room apartments next to its ‘Ruyterstraat’ complex, converted from a former office complex to a student residence in 2018. Furthermore, plans are underway with the municipality of Apeldoorn for WUAS to build 200 single room apartments for students in the coming 3 years.  
  • The Erasmus+ projects brought to the region: the school is being currently engaged in five (5) research projects funded by the Erasmus+ Programme (3 of these being coordinated by WUAS), as is one of its main objectives to participate in these projects is to further diversify the international dimension in Apeldoorn & the region, offering the most international higher education and enhancing the region as an international student destination that in turn becomes an additional binding factor for companies.


“For an enterprise to survive nowadays – be it a privately-owned university or a traditional business – it has to demonstrate its value to the world. It can't just collect money and dust. You must tell people how you are improving society with what you do and to what extent you are contributing to that society. In other words, you must be able to measure your impact”, stresses Birdsall.  

WUP 09/11/2022
by Olivia Nelson & Kriszta Kaspers
©WUAS Press