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Outgoing Wittenborg VP Academic Affairs Wants to Provide World with Good Education

by Wittenborg News -

Outgoing Wittenborg VP Academic Affairs Wants to Provide World with Good Education

Outgoing Wittenborg VP Academic Affairs Wants to Provide World with Good Education

Dr Ronald Tuninga wants universities to make a social impact

It was announced on 13 October that Dr Ronald Tuninga, a popular member of the Wittenborg family, is resigning as Vice-President of Academic Affairs at WUAS to start a new chapter in his professional career as Vice-President and Managing Director Europe, the Middle East and Africa of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This is the world's largest alliance for business education and accreditation, where he will oversee the membership of more than 500 business schools in the EMAE region. Long before he arrived at WUAS, Tuninga's life was filled with unexpected twists and adventures in international education, beginning when he moved to the USA to study. Or as he describes in an interview, 'I went there with only two suitcases; I lost one on arrival and came back with two containers of stuff and a family with two children.'

Tuninga joined Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in 2018, where he would assist the school with his knowledge on accreditation, especially Wittenborg's journey through the prestigious AACSB accreditation, in which the school has made significant progress. He saw how Wittenborg attracts many students from African countries, where he also taught. To date, around 20% of the school's academic talent is African. 'Wittenborg manages to make their students feel at home, which is why Wittenborg has such a large number of African students, especially compared to other universities in the Netherlands. There is also an availability of accommodation for international students, which is a problem for many foreign students studying in the Netherlands.' Tuninga highlights that Wittenborg's sense of community is also attractive to foreign students. 'Because the school is so small, it gives you a family feeling.'

Although he cherishes his time at Wittenborg, when the opportunity to work within AACSB came along, he knew he could not pass it up, even though it came as a surprise to him. 'It was more of a coincidence than a real career plan, which I didn't really have at the time,' he says. The reason he took the job is because it fits perfectly with his motivation for starting a PhD programme in Ghana: to give everyone in the world access to good education. 'I think it would have a great social impact if more African business schools joined the AACSB, because they could learn from European well-qualified business schools. But it's a two-way street: European business schools can also learn from business schools from other continents,' Tuninga explains. 'If you want to train people the right way, you also need to understand their environment and their cultural background.'

The importance of securing accreditations

In the Netherlands having state accredited programmes is a legal requirement, and each programme must go through NVAO accreditation on a cycle of 5-6 years. It is the university or business school's direct responsibility to manage the process and ensure accreditations for all its programmes are retained. Failure to do so would mean that degrees are invalid and could cause closure of a programme or even a university. Wittenborg chose long ago to maintain at least double accreditation for its BBA, MBA and MSc programmes. AACSB will be the first all-encompassing institutional accreditation the school has gone through.

According to Tuninga, 'You have to be very careful to get approval, especially if you are a school like Wittenborg that runs a transnational education programme. Wittenborg has done that in a very careful way.' In October, Wittenborg received news that the MBM/MSc programme is on track for FIBAA accreditation. 'At Wittenborg, several top and knowledgeable staff are working to secure and maintain accreditation.' Tuninga also sees that diligence and is, therefore, confident that Wittenborg will not face any issues.

Wittenborg thanks Ron Tuninga for his commitment and wishes him well in his position as Vice-President and Managing Director, Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the AACSB. He will always remain part of the Wittenborg family.

WUP 30/11/2022
by Niels Otterman
©WUAS Press


Cabinet Seeks to Reduce International Students – Wittenborg Responds

by Wittenborg News -

Cabinet Seeks to Reduce International Students – Wittenborg Responds


Internationalisation as a Wittenborg model

Earlier this month, the Dutch Cabinet expressed the intent to limit the number of incoming international students within Dutch higher education, as Dutch research universities find it difficult to cope with the high numbers of international students. The stated intention is to gain better control of the total immigration flow into the country.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte explained during the weekly press conference that the Cabinet has created a workforce to look into migration as a whole, including relationship/family migration, student migration, labour migration and not only focusing on migration as a result of the human right to asylum. This work force looks at the full picture of migration into the Netherlands and the effect of it on the labour and housing market and the level of migration that Dutch society can bear. The goal is to develop a broad vision of the Cabinet on the Netherlands with regards to long-term migration. During a debate on the new asylum law, various parties within the Dutch parliament have expressed that the intake of international students should also be looked at when making plans to reduce migration. This would include roping international student into cross municipality asylum debates.

Caroline van der Plas from the BoerBurgerBeweging was strongly in favour of reducing the intake of international students. She stated that 40% of all students at research universities are international students. According to an article in ScienceGuide, the number of all students enrolling in higher education in the Netherlands is stagnating at present without any policy intervention, and most international students come from within Europe (76%), with Germany already being the foremost provider of international students.

In a recent interview, the Dutch minister for Education, Culture and Science, Robbert Dijkgraaf claimed, ‘No university and certainly not as a nation, do we see [international students] as an economic model. So, we really want to see what the intrinsic benefits are.’ These comments do not appear to have been made in consultation with all higher learning institutions across the Netherlands. For an institution like Wittenborg, internationalisation – one of its key values – is the core of its economic model. Internationalisation at Wittenborg and throughout the Netherlands is, without a doubt, the most complimented aspect of the school and its locations on the part of students and staff members.

As partners to the Erasmus+ programme – which stimulates transnational cooperation within higher education – Wittenborg sees the further internationalisation of higher education as a net positive. Internationalisation of educational institutions through knowledge-sharing and a consistent flow of international students is conducive to the standardisation of education. It contributes to the assimilation of educational and, by extension, professional, scientific and public policy standards across the world, facilitating intercultural and international cooperation. Wittenborg views the arrival of international students as essential to realising this goal. That Dutch infrastructure is struggling to cope with the success of its educational institutions indicates a need to re-examine Dutch infrastructure to raise the quality of education and life for Dutch people. The answer is not to eliminate Dutch students’ competition. Nor is the answer to deprive them of opportunities to connect with those from foreign lands and gain intercultural competence, which only makes them more attractive candidates for jobs in a globalised world.

Internationalisation is the backbone of all modernised economies

Under the Netherlands’ current economic model, a consistent flow of immigrants is required to sustain the economy. In a modernised economy, as the rate of education rises, parenting becomes a 'calling' rather than an economic imperative to reproduce the coming generation of workers. This means people become less likely to have children in high numbers like previous Dutch generations. At the same time, as living standards increase, the population begins to age. This results in a dwindling pool of workers amidst rising social costs like healthcare for an aging native demographic, which is compounded by native residents – who are having fewer children – ageing out of the taxpaying obligation as they become pensioners. Fewer immigrants – especially labour and study migrants – under the current model thus equates to less social spending money, in addition to labour shortages (which are already affecting virtually every sector of the Netherlands), with the majority of resulting economic fallout coming down on the shoulders of the average Dutch person.
 

The costs for social spending will not be recovered by a simple reduction in population, as this will negatively impact the economy (which is projected to slow down), harming hard-working local Dutch businesses whom Wittenborg supports through projects such as LONKT. To cope with the shortage of labour and social spending money, it would be necessary to engage in austerity measures or risk a budget deficit, which Brussels is already warning the Netherlands about as a result of inefficient spending and structural neglect. A limit on the number of incoming migrants should be regarded as a warning of future actions to limit the amount of public money spent on improving Dutch people's quality of life, as less money will be available. This surely is not what Dutch people are thinking of when ham-fisted proposals are made to cap immigration in order to cope with an unsound infrastructure, which will continue to be unsound even if fewer migrants come to this country. What if, against all odds, the native Dutch population has a boom resulting in more strain on public spending and infrastructure? Who gets ‘voted off the island’ in that case?

Overpopulation is oversimplification

This is not to mention how the legal conflation between standard migrants and asylum seekers will affect the Netherlands’ international reputation. Immigration policy constitutes one of the most direct intersections of domestic and foreign policy, and as such can never be examined without considering broader consequences for Dutch-based multinationals and the Netherlands’ political reputation in the long term. First and foremost, international students must be discussed within the context of the general debate about education – not immigration – and the right to asylum should not be confused with other forms of migration. The Netherlands is party to various treaties and conventions guaranteeing the human right to asylum, meaning drafting new rules lumping asylum seekers in with other forms of migration could put domestic policy in direct contention with international law. Furthermore, European legal convention differentiates between migrants and asylum seekers; asylum seekers are those looking for international protection, while migrants are simply people moving from one place or region to another. There could be a myriad of political and economic consequences for conflating these definitions under Dutch domestic law.

Before crafting a policy that will harm the economy, damage the reputation of the Netherlands and force Dutch businesses to cope with even worse shortages of personnel, other solutions must be explored. For example, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science could demand that higher education institutions secure housing for incoming foreign students – as Wittenborg has been able to do unlike some other less international institutions. More investments should be made into projects like LONKT, which support local businesses to create more opportunities in less densely populated areas. Rewarding companies who allow employees to work remotely at least a few days per week could allow said employees to find housing outside more densely populated cities. Creating more schemes for international students to become lecturers and teachers would help fill the labour shortage in the education sector. Eliminating the cost-sharing standard would allow more Dutch students from low-income families to remain at home for longer, putting less stress on the pool of affordable housing and allowing them to gain more financial stability before leaving home.

Oversimplifying the problem by characterising the issue as overpopulation yields simplistic approaches to fixing the problem and will not generate the results sought by the Dutch population. A one-dimensional solution of limiting the pool of foreign talent before engaging in other structural measures would have negative results on the local economy and international relations, creating more headaches for Dutch people rather than resolving pressure on Dutch infrastructure.

WUP 27/11/2022
by Olivia Nelson
©WUAS Press


Long Live LONKT: Wittenborg-Backed Programme Reflects on Success

by Wittenborg News -

Long Live LONKT: Wittenborg-Backed Programme Reflects on Success

Long Live LONKT: Wittenborg-Backed Programme Reflects on Success

Accelerating local entrepreneurship

In 2020, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences became a member of LONKT, an Apeldoorn-based initiative to facilitate local entrepreneurship. LONKT was created when global logistical challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the need for a more localised approach to business and the economy. The partnership involved stakeholders such as large companies, SMEs and members of government, who came together to stimulate the economy in the region through various methods, including the launch of the LONKT B2B Matching Tool. This tool links businesses to local suppliers in the region, stimulating the local economy. Recently, stakeholders including Deputy Mayor of Apeldoorn Jeroen Joon and Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng held a conference regarding the success of the project so far, as well as its future trajectory.

‘We really got the ball going with the LONKT project,’ says Feng. ‘Now it’s up to Apeldoorn and Gelderland to keep on the momentum, keep growing and attracting investment and business,’ she states. ‘Our lovely Research Centre, which is still growing, put together a great report on all the good we did with this model. They did an amazing job.’

During the meeting, Wittenborg’s Senior Scientist, Nicolet Theunissen, reported results of research on local businesses carried out by Wittenborg’s growing Research Centre. Chairwoman of the Executive Board at Aventus Ellen Marks discussed the Future-Oriented Entrepreneurship & Leadership course, which utilises local education and business infrastructure. The meeting helped expose where LONKT can do the most to facilitate local business: by connecting them to one another.

Apeldoorn: a growing hotspot for business

LONKT’s partners see Apeldoorn, with its more than 10,000 businesses and self-employed people, as fertile ground for entrepreneurship. Wittenborg hopes the project will inspire local businesses to cooperate with one another to create a thriving region.

Wittenborg thanks its fellow partners to the LONKT project for their contributions:

Province of Gelderland, represented by Armagan Önder.

Municipality of Apeldoorn, represented by Deputy Major Jeroen Joon.

Apeldoorn Business Collective, represented by Gerben van der Wal, Trix Schipper-Hop, Frans Brugman, Marion Hijmensen, Bob Fennebeumer and Laurens van Piggelen.

Owens Corning Apeldoorn, represented by Twan Jansen.

ROC Aventus, represented by Freek Wortel and Matthias van den Brandhof.

VNO NCW Midden and SME Midden.

WUP 25/11/2022
by Olivia Nelson
©WUAS Press

Practical Advice: Working in the Netherlands

by Wittenborg News -

Knowledge is power

Practical Advice: Working in the Netherlands
Once you finish your studies (and sometimes alongside your studies) you should be ready to go out into the world as an empowered working person. If you aren't from the Netherlands, going out into the working world can be somewhat confusing, and it can sometimes be difficult to find the correct information. According to the 2022 Annual International Student Survey conducted by the Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (Dutch National Student Association), international students often feel as though they are not given enough clear information about Dutch laws and norms before they arrive. This deficit of information can leave many students feeling anxious and disempowered, which is not how students and future workers should feel. Therefore, it is imperative to read up and share information with your peers so that you can have a better grasp of the way of life in your new chosen country. This article will give you a basic overview of what you need to know about working in the Netherlands.

Legal requirements

If you are a citizen of the EU, you can begin working immediately without a residency permit. However, citizens of most countries outside this region are required to apply for either a zoekjaar (search year) visa or a work permit. If you are employed by a company, it needs to be a company that is a recognised IND sponsor who can secure your residence permit as a highly skilled migrant, which you will become after graduating from Wittenborg. You can find a list of recognised sponsors – which includes Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences – on this webpage.

If you work for a company, you may be offered one of three standard forms of contract: fixed-term, permanent and zero hour. A fixed-term contract lasts for a set period of time – usually six months to one year – and is most common. A zero-hour contract is less common but standard for student jobs or 'on-call' jobs where you may have irregular working hours. But you must be careful to make sure you will be earning enough to maintain your visa.

However, if you would like to start your own business or begin offering your own services, you will have to register as a zelfstandig persoon (self-employed person – ZZP). To do this, you have to demonstrate that you have enough work to support your stay in the Netherlands. You can find more information about becoming a ZZP-er here. Please note that you can't get a work permit for just any kind of job. There are strict income requirements for each kind of permit, which you can find here. It should be highlighted that highly skilled migrants are required to earn more than what is considered average for native Dutch people.

Scams and discrimination

In the Netherlands, like in other countries, there are various scams regarding employment. For example, a company may book you for more hours than you are legally allowed to work. Rather than compensating you for how long you worked or allowing you to take time off to make up for your overtime, it is not uncommon for shady companies to refuse to pay what you are owed. Additionally, your employer may try to pay you under the table to avoid paying taxes. It's best to avoid companies like this, because you may find out at the end that you aren't getting paid at all. If you have a dispute with your employer, or are unjustly fired, you can contact the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) for advice, or ask them to investigate the nature of your termination. Depending on your current residence permit or citizenship, you may also apply to the UWV for unemployment benefits following your termination. Note that benefits are not available to everyone depending on immigration situation. You can also ask for advice from certain labour unions and advocacy groups in the Netherlands without having to join them.

If you notice discrimination on the part of your employers or fellow colleagues, you may contact the Dutch Anti-Discrimination Bureau. According to Article 1 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands:

‘All persons in the Netherlands shall be treated equally in equal circumstances. Discrimination on the grounds of religion, belief, political opinion, race or sex or on any other grounds whatsoever shall not be permitted.'

Employers and colleagues are not allowed to discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality or other essential characteristics. Your workplace should be an environment where you feel comfortable and protected. If your employer fails to establish a workplace that is free from discrimination, contact your local Anti-Discrimination Bureau.

Dutch working culture

The type of working culture you will experience in the Netherlands can vary depending on region and sector. For example, in the Randstad, a region located in the central west of the Netherlands and home to Amsterdam, work culture is stereotyped as being similar to metropolitan areas in other countries: hierarchical, fast-paced and intense, with a lot of office politics and colleagues who are very blunt. In areas like Gelderland, a province located in the central east and home to Apeldoorn, stereotypical working culture is somewhat slower, people are considered friendlier and offices tend not to have such rigid hierarchy. Gelderland is less densely populated and has fewer big cities than the west of the country, meaning life moves a little more leisurely than in the Randstad, making it a good place for people who like a relaxing lifestyle. In turn, the Randstad is a fast-moving environment that is good for people who prefer a challenging pace, and is often compared to the stereotypical American working culture.

That being said, across the Netherlands there are a few standard themes with regard to work. Bosses are generally approachable, and you can usually approach them directly for different matters. It's not unusual to speak with the head of the company on a near-daily basis. Furthermore, your professional relationship with your colleagues is usually pretty open, so don't be too shocked to hear your co-worker pour their heart out to you or take a strong political stance once you get to know each other well. In many cultures, the lines between work and life are blurred, but not in most of the Netherlands. You often cannot catch an employee or employer outside working hours, especially over the weekend, if they grew up in the Netherlands. If you send an email on Friday after 17:00, you should expect the other person will only read it the following Monday. They can and will leave you on ‘read’ if you send them a message outside normal hours, or if they are on vacation. And why shouldn't they? Overwork is bad for one's well-being, so you should feel free to do the same as them, provided you remain professional about it.

Of course, not everyone is like this; you may notice certain colleagues will reply to your messages regardless of the time of day. However, it is generally understood that responding outside working hours is optional. You are not required to respond to messages outside working hours, unless you have an agreement regarding overtime, or it has been established that you need to be available at all times as part of your terms of employment.

WUP 23/11/2022
by Olivia Nelson
©WUAS Press


Report: Wittenborg Employees Have Healthy Habits, Good Working Atmosphere

by Wittenborg News -
Report: Wittenborg Employees Have Healthy Habits, Good Working Atmosphere

Health equals wealth

In August 2022, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences offered a preventative medical examination (preventatief medisch onderzoek – PMO) to employees in collaboration with the third-party occupational health and safety service, Perspectief. The aim of the PMO was to allow employees insight into their health, lifestyle and work ability. In turn, Wittenborg gained insight on employees’ general health situation, workability and potential risks or areas which require attention at an organisational level.

Employees who participated in the PMO were invited to complete an anonymous survey and answer questions about their mental and physical health. Additionally, all of them had individual appointments with a medical professional from Perspectief in which a series of individual medical examinations with various tests were conducted, with the individual's identity kept confidential. The participants all received personalised advice from Perspectief based on the results of their check-ups. In turn, Wittenborg received a report of the results on an organisation-level about the well-being, health and working capacity of Wittenborg’s employees in general.

Wittenborg places great emphasis on the mental well-being of its employees. Therefore, the school is pleased that participants in the PMO reported neither low work capacity nor a higher risk of burnout. In 2021, it was estimated that 1.2 million Dutch people experience burnout symptoms, making it the number one cause of sick leave, generating what may be preventable losses. As such, Wittenborg considers establishing a happy, healthy workplace as an essential part of its business model to avoid such losses, in addition to being a competitive employer for top-quality talent.

Report: Wittenborg Employees Have Healthy Habits, Good Working Atmosphere

An independent and dynamic workplace

This strategy has paid off in various ways. According to the report, at Wittenborg, most participants experience a positive work-life balance. A large majority say they maintain a healthy diet by eating enough fruit and vegetables, and most participants got a healthy amount of sleep. A slight minority of the participants – 47.7% – did not drink alcohol, which stands out in contrast from the rest of the population, where 8 in 10 Dutch people say they drink alcohol weekly. Only 5.3% of the Wittenborg staff claim to smoke, in comparison to 20.6% of the Dutch population. Although over 60% employees reported needing to get more exercise, the percentage of severely overweight employees within Wittenborg – 11.1% – is below the national average of 14.2% of the Dutch population. It should be noted Wittenborg's home base of Apeldoorn is the Netherland's third-healthiest city.

Employees at Wittenborg report they feel generally capable of performing their jobs both physically and mentally. Workplace relations between colleagues are perceived as pleasant and employees experience high variation and independence in their work, which Perspectief highlights are factors that prevent burnout. Employees describe Wittenborg as a nice employer with an enjoyable atmosphere. 

Wittenborg is very happy with the results of this report and will continuously work to improve upon its results to become an example of good workplace management to other institutions. We thank all the participants of this PMO for providing insight into the mental and physical well-being of its employees. The data from the PMO will be used to ensure a healthier working atmosphere at our campuses and study locations, in addition to promoting the good mental and physical health of our employees. The PMO is to be conducted every two years and all Wittenborg employees will be invited to participate again in 2024.

WUP 21/11/2022
by Niels Otterman & Olivia Nelson
©WUAS Press


Practical Advice: Public Transport in the Netherlands

by Wittenborg News -

Practical Advice: Public Transport in the Netherlands

https://www.wittenborg.eu/practical-advice-public-transport-netherlands.htm

Practical Advice: Public Transport in the Netherlands

A fairly simple system

From the minute you set foot in the Netherlands, you will have to start learning about how to navigate across the country. There are many options: walking, cycling, driving, taxi, boat and, of course, public transport. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) – which translates as Dutch Railways – the national train service provider, and one of the last state-owned travel enterprises in the country. NS trains reach most areas of the Netherlands. When it comes to trams, buses and trolleybuses, depending on the region, various private companies, such as Breng or Keolis, tend to dominate. Be sure to look at the prices and regions for each service before you make your choice.

Good things come at a price

It should be noted that getting around in the Netherlands is somewhat costly. In 2019, the Netherlands was estimated to have the highest public transport costs in the EU, at 35% above average across the union. These prices are set to rise in 2023 due to inflation, among other factors. This knowledge helps to contextualise why cycling from place to place has become a Dutch national pastime. There is no standard price-per kilometre on public transport; the price can vary from region to region and depends on the form of transport you are taking. For example, when booking a train ticket online via the NS Reisplanner, you might notice that travelling between two cities in one municipality costs a few more euros than between two cities in another province, despite being the same distance.  
 
However, these high prices are for a reason; the Dutch system is relatively simple to use, vehicles are generally well-maintained, and most parts of the country are reachable via bus or train. 'Intercity’ buses and trains will take you to major locations, while regional buses, trams and trolleybuses will take you to the smaller towns and villages across the Netherlands – sometimes to places most Dutch people don't even know exist.

Disruptions

Public transport is very reliable in the Netherlands, with most trains, trams and buses coming every 15 to 45 minutes. Occasionally, though, certain travel routes can be disrupted as a result of rail work, accidents, staff-shortages and inclement weather. As a rule, if you know that it will rain heavily, snow or become extremely cold, check that your ride is still scheduled at the expected time. If not, you may become stranded without a way to get home or a way to get to your chosen destination. Additionally, public transport can be interrupted due to strikes on the part of drivers and transportation workers. It's important to know that even when there is a strike, it is often planned that travellers can still make their way to where they are going, albeit via a different route or at a different time.

If trains are cancelled because of a strike, buses will usually still run, and if bus drivers are on strike, there will often still be buses, but they will be less frequent and, as a result, busier. Strikes are usually ‘rolling’, in that they will happen in different parts of the country at different times, rather than all at once. If a strike is planned, the website 9292.nl will usually announce it a few days in advance. Make sure you check the status of your planned bus ride via the NS Reisplanner before you make your way to the bus stop or station.

Tickets, discounts and travel cards

When you take public transport, there are a few payment options. Buying a ticket from a machine or purchasing a ticket from the driver is significantly more expensive than purchasing a ticket online, purchasing a travel card or buying a travel subscription. With regards to subscriptions, most are specific to the travel company, but you may apply them to your 'OV-chipkaart' the public transport chipcard, by making an account online. If you sign up for automatic debits – beware. The automatic payment system for the OV company is often inconsistent, sometimes leading to large amounts being withdrawn from your account at once. It is safer to top up your card manually.

There are various travel discounts for different groups in the Netherlands. These often depend on the type of transport you are taking. On NS, there is a 34% price-per-kilometre discount for over-65s as well as children aged 4-11 (who can also travel for free if you book a Kids Vrij ticket). Children aged 3 and under ride for free no matter what. During non-peak hours on NS, there is a 40% price discount for normal riders, which you have to manually apply on your travel card at a NS OV-chipkaart machine. NS also has very attractive discounts, including freebies for students or recent graduates, which you can find here.

While each transportation company has its own travel card system, the OV-chipkaart system covers all companies in the Netherlands. It is best to get an OV-chipkaart rather than another card, as the OV card will work for each kind of bus or train, giving you more flexibility. It is worth noting that you have to purchase a personalised OV card to access most of the deals for each travel company. Additionally, you will be able to move between different forms of transportation without having to buy another ticket – essential if there is a strike or disruption and you have to take a different route than normal.

How to catch the bus

When the bus is coming, make sure you stand up, look alert and interested, and stick out your hand or travel card to wave down the driver. They will generally put on their indicator to acknowledge that they have seen you, but make sure to keep your hand out until you see them slowing down and driving your way. Not doing this might result in the driver passing you by, meaning you either have to wait for the next bus – which can take between 15 to 40 minutes depending on the line – or find another way to reach your destination. You have to remember that the driver is on a tight schedule and may be looking to make up for lost time, so they will likely not slow down for a bus stop if nobody is there, nobody at the bus stop waves them down, or if nobody inside the bus has pressed the ‘stop’ button to let the driver know they wish to exit. However, once you start taking the same route often enough, the driver will often remember you and might even begin stopping automatically when they see you.

If you live in certain areas such as Amsterdam, it is worth noting that when a driver arrives at a stop, they will usually stop a few metres away to let off other passengers, and then drive up to you so that you may board.

Etiquette on public transport

Once you get on the bus or train, the etiquette is largely the same as in other countries, although rural areas are more polite, while in bigger cities, people tend to have a more ‘bare-bones’ approach to politeness towards others. There are a few rules that apply to the whole of the Netherlands, however. For example, you should wear headphones if you are listening to or watching something on your phone. If you are travelling with a friend, feel free to have a conversation, but not so loudly that you disturb others. When you take the train, be careful if you sit in a cabin marked ‘stiltecoupe’, the silent section where you should avoid speaking at all or other passengers may complain. It is polite to give up your seat for elderly, disabled or pregnant people, or those with small children, especially if you are in a seat marked with a wheelchair sign.

If you are on a bus that is getting full and you have a bag or rucksack on the seat next to you, expect people to ask you, 'Mag ik zit hier?' (translation: Can I sit here?) as a polite way to ask you to move your bag or otherwise make room for them. Please note: telling them, ‘nee,’ (translation: no) is not really an option, but in turn, you can expect others to make room for you when the roles are reversed and you are the one asking for a seat. Furthermore, it is normal in the Netherlands for people to take their animals on public transport. Don't be surprised if there is suddenly a large golden retriever climbing onto the bus. However, animals here are mostly well-trained and will most likely not bother you.

Make sure you pay attention so that you don't miss your stop. A train will stop automatically at each station on its specific route, while on a bus or tram, you have to press the blue or red button on the poles or next to the seats which say ‘stop’ so that the bus driver knows you want to get off. When you leave the bus, it is polite to wave to the driver (who can see you in their mirror) and say thank you or goodbye before you go. When exiting the train or tram, you don't have to say goodbye to the conductor unless you happen to pass them by while leaving, which is rare, depending on where you sit.
 

WUP 18/11/2022
by Olivia Nelson
©WUAS Press


(Edited by Denis Schuh - original submission Friday, 18 November 2022, 12:59 PM)

Decolonising Curriculum Knowledge Lecturer's Insight to Changing World Views

by Wittenborg News -

Decolonising Curriculum Knowledge Lecturer's Insight to Changing World Views

https://www.wittenborg.eu/decolonising-curriculum-knowledge-lecturers-insight-changing-world-views.htm
Decolonising Curriculum: Knowledge Lecturer's Insight to Changing World Views

How expanding our scope of knowledge can change our way of lecturing

Wittenborg lecturer Bert Meeuwsen, is a well-known name within the business sector. For that reason, he was asked to write a chapter for the new book, Decolonising Curriculum Knowledge. In his chapter, “Universe, Pluriverse and a Blue Ocean: Reflective Analogies and Philosophical Considerations for Decolonising Education”, Meeuwsen describes how curriculum knowledge should be decolonised. Knowledge first available from indigenous peoples lost through colonisation and the imposition of Western, Eurocentric education and thinking can broaden our curriculum by adding it back to our frame of reference.  

By combining this knowledge – derived from decolonising the current curriculum of business administration – an entirely new market is created operating around a different view of business principles. In his writings, Meeuwsen points to the Blue Ocean strategy, taken from the work of W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. The Blue Ocean business strategy is a way to discover new possibilities and opportunities within an inventive environment where there is little competition. Meeuwsen writes that by decolonising our curriculum, new opportunities emerge through the newly acquired knowledge. "To give just one example, many academic texts are written very factually, and are dryly passed onto the reader. I divided my chapter into little stories. Storytelling is an educational intervention that we are familiar with in education, but in some cultures much more than other cultures history is passed on through stories.” He continues, “I used the story as an example of looking at a text in a different way, dealing with a text in a different way quite creatively.”

Decolonising Curriculum: Knowledge Lecturer's Insight to Changing World Views

Business anthropology

Meeuwsen became a lecturer at Wittenborg in 2016 after being asked to teach Cross Cultural Education and Consultancy. Before this, he had already had a long and successful career, with a wealth of experience that provided much insight into intercultural communication. With regard to his past career, Meeuwsen notes, "I noticed that conflicts regularly arose within intercultural working environments.” For example, he says, “When I still worked for a Swedish company about 30 years ago, there was a cross-cultural communication conflict between my employer and a Korean pharmacist.” He explains that in Swedish culture, people use more overt niceties to facilitate interactions. To contrast, in South Korean culture, it is considered more polite to keep communications as short and to the point as possible when the other person is a stranger. “I intervened as a mediator and explained to both parties that the communicative misunderstanding between the two parties was influenced by a difference of culture. And then the penny dropped for both of them," he says.

During this experience, Meeuwsen learned that business administration is a much broader field than just numbers and bullet points. It is also a field of work that involves social communication and considering the other person's insights. "In this case, I was a business anthropologist to bring two organisations together through two contacts that have to work intensively with each other in order to increase effectiveness commercially. That was the ultimate goal in the end. Was I doing marketing? Yes, but in a completely different field of work."

This understanding of other insights and looking through the eyes of the other person is crucial to his work at Wittenborg, where over 100 different nationalities work and learn together. In his time at Wittenborg, he saw the school go through many developments in this regard. "Over three years ago, Wittenborg introduced the three core values – Internationalisation, Ethics and Diversity – and linked that to contributing to creating a better world. Wittenborg's emphasis is on respecting and learning from everyone's world views and looking to each other's cultures to discover what connects us,” he explains.

"Wittenborg is like a family, and that sense of family ensures that faculty are open to teaching students something and vice versa students are eager to learn. Looking out for each other is elemental here and it must be, because otherwise you are just a number."

The launch for the book, Decolonising Curriculum Knowledge, will take place online on 18 November 14:00.


Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg

by Wittenborg News -

Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg

https://www.wittenborg.eu/better-yourself-better-our-world-celebrating-35-years-wittenborg.htm

Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg

Three and a half decades of internationalisation, diversity and ethics

On Friday, 11 November, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences held a gala to celebrate its 35th anniversary as a higher education institution. The 35th Anniversary Gala gave thanks for all the hard work put into creating what is now the most international business school in the Netherlands, in addition to recognising the success of this ever-expanding academic gem for the world of business education. Festivities were held at the Orpheus theatre in Apeldoorn, whose dedicated staff made sure the event went off without a hitch. The theatre was decorated with a red carpet for guests, and historic Wittenborg advertisements were on view throughout the venue. The main portion of the gala was hosted by young Wittenborg student Alexandra Kukhtina, and Marlon Birdsall, son of Wittenborg's President Peter Birdsall and CEO Maggie Feng.

The extensive guest list included Wittenborg partners, stakeholders, staff, students and long-time friends of the institution. Special guests included Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Apeldoorn Mr Jeroen Joon, Head of the Department of Housing, Care and Welfare Mr Eddy Adusei, as well as Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Netherlands, Her Excellency Mrs Aruni Ranaraja. Wittenborg thanks these esteemed guests for taking the time to join in on the night's fun and show support on behalf of the municipalities of Apeldoorn and Amsterdam and the Sri Lankan community.

Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg

Remembering the fallen

One key speaker for the night was Patrick Birdsall, father of Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall. In his address – taking place on Remembrance Day – the elder Birdsall read the poem ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon to commemorate the lives lost during conflict. Birdsall wore his charity red poppy for the occasion, and poppies were handed out to guests during the evening. His address served as a juxtaposition between the happy evening taking place in Apeldoorn and the solemn reality of solders and war-stricken peoples across the world. The elder Birdsall was able to offer a sobering reminder of the past and present without dampening the mood of the evening – a testament to his talent and skill as an educator and performer.

Also in attendance were speakers Timothy S. Mescon and Pauline Verjeijen-Dop. Mescon is a decorated professional in the field of education and outgoing Executive Vice President and Chief Officer, Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the AACSB, who is handing over his role to outgoing Wittenborg Vice President Ronald Tuninga in December. Verheijen-Dop is Legal Director at PepsiCo for North-West Europe and daughter of late Wittenborg family member Jan Albert Dop (1945-2021), who played an integral role in shaping the success of Wittenborg as an international educational institution. Mescon and Verheijen-Dop's heartfelt speeches motivated all who heard their carefully chosen words on success, careers and remaining down to earth regardless of where one's life journey leads.

Following the speeches, Wittenborg family members Fjorentina Muco, Kriszta Kaspers-Rostas, Daniel O’Connell, Dadi Chen and Peter Birdsall performed two comic sketches – one tale of misadventure in love, and one tale of misadventure in bank robbery – classic British humour that served as comic relief for the evening.

Peter Birdsall and Maggie Feng delivered a joint address on their own journey with Wittenborg. In particular, Feng's portion of the address highlighted that there are implicit advantages to being different – or even just dressing differently – in a highly homogenous environment. “Don't be afraid to stand out. You are a flower – everyone else who wants to blend in is just a leaf,” she said. With specific attention to women, she advocated remaining firm in one's self-regard and to “know your worth. Don't ever accept the lower standards of other people.”

Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg

Entertainers of the night

The gala was privileged to have talented entertainers who kept the atmosphere lively throughout the event. Russel Abelwhite, a classically trained opera singer, sang as guests entered into the seating area. Meanwhile, caricaturist and magician, René van Hooren drew quick sketches for guests throughout the night. Doetmaes Irish Men's choir sang a round of classic ballads to welcome guests back into the party hall, and Soul Qualified, an Old & New Soul band performed nostalgic songs from decades past. In between Soul Qualified's sets, Oké Sène, an African drum group, got guests dancing to intense drum beats with multiple encores.

Each performer added something special to the evening. “This is really a massive success,” said Peter Birdsall during Soul Qualified's first set. “Things couldn't go better.” Wittenborg gives hearty thanks to the staff at Orpheus for all their hard work and professionalism throughout the night, and for the support given by student volunteers, interns and members of staff. Wittenborg extends its thanks to all Wittenborg family members who made this event possible.

We look forward to the many years of growth, success and internationalism ahead of us in Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and in the world of academia and business.

WUP 14/11/2022
by Olivia Nelson
©WUAS Press

Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg
Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg
Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg
Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg
Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg
Better Yourself, Better Our World: Celebrating 35 Years of Wittenborg

ICEF Berlin 2022 – Internationalisation & Diversity

by Wittenborg News -

ICEF Berlin 2022 – Internationalisation & Diversity

https://www.wittenborg.eu/icef-berlin-2022-internationalisation-diversity.htm
ICEF Berlin 2022 – Internationalisation & Diversity

Global Gathering of Education Industry Professionals

From 30 October to 1 November 2022, Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall and Wittenborg Corporate Relations Manager Iryna Bernatska attended ICEF Berlin 2022, the flagship event of the International Consultants for Education and Fairs, which took place in hybrid format, both virtually and physically at the Intercontinental Hotel, Berlin, Germany.  

ICEF Berlin is the largest and most comprehensive global B2B networking event in the international education industry. This year marked its 27th edition with 2,427 industry professionals representing 1,665 organisations from 114 countries participating.

ICEF Berlin 2022 – Internationalisation & Diversity

Thousands of professionals from educational institutions, businesses providing industry-relevant services, cultural exchange and work & travel companies and high-quality student recruitment agencies visit Berlin every year to build and maintain professional partnerships and expand their networks. As in previous years, Wittenborg had the opportunity to re-connect with current partners whilst establishing new business relationships through one-to-one meetings and during numerous informal networking opportunities.

ICEF Berlin 2022 – Internationalisation & Diversity

Bernatska stated that she and Birdsall conducted more than 65 face-to-face meetings with agents from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Romania, India, Pakistan, Ghana, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey, Georgia, UAE, the UK and Ukraine. In total, 23,479 meetings were held both in-person as well as virtually during this event. ''We met our current agents and also built new connections. The interest in studying in the Netherlands is across all nationalities'', Bernatska commented.

Peter Birdsall added, "Alongside the usual presentations and updates we made with new and also current agents, there were also often discussions about the current global situation, with a lack of representatives from China and other South Asian countries showing us that the pandemic is over for some and not for others. Also, the war in Ukraine was a sensitive personal topic, not only for our friends from Ukraine, but also the few Russian agents who made it to the workshop. All in all, ICEF once again showed that it represented the enormous diversity and internationalisation in education around the world that is essential for society in these times."

WUP 10/11/2022
By Selina White
©WUAS Press


WUAS Updates Mission Statement

by Wittenborg News -

WUAS Updates Mission Statement

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wuas-updates-mission-statement.htm

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.  
 
“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."

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


(Edited by Denis Schuh - original submission Wednesday, 9 November 2022, 10:38 AM)

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