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"Like a Dream": Insights from the Annual Wittenborg BBQ

by Wittenborg News -

"Like a Dream": Insights from the Annual Wittenborg BBQ

https://www.wittenborg.eu/dream-insights-annual-wittenborg-bbq.htm
"Like a Dream": Insights from the Annual Wittenborg BBQ

Annual Wittenborg BBQ

What better way is there to start the new academic year than with a BBQ? About 80 students, staff members and teachers gathered on 7 October at NETT Drinks & Soulfood in Apeldoorn to enjoy their time talking, eating, drinking and socialising during one of the first in-person get-togethers since the start of the pandemic.

Students and staff gathered next to the BBQ station, enjoying the heat of the fire while getting to know each other in an informal and friendly environment. Some new students got the chance to meet their classmates and instructors in person for the first time since their arrival.

"Like a Dream"

“Gathering with friends seemed like a dream", said Sarah, an MBM student from Iran. "I was counting down the days to the event. Meeting classmates, friends, teachers and staff members in such a warm environment is joyful, and for international students it is like being with your family.” Sarah was also enthusiastic about the food, with plenty of options on offer for both meat lovers and vegetarians.

Dipank, an IBA student from India, said the event was very friendly and he enjoyed reuniting with old friends.

A Fond Goodbye

During the event, Wittenborg also said goodbye to its long-term faculty member and valued colleague Dr Teun Wolters, Professor of Applied Sciences, who has been teaching at Wittenborg for 10 years. As a professor who is retiring, Dr Wolters will now officially become Emeritus Professor of Applied Sciences. The occasion was used to remember his development, impact and achievements at Wittenborg in a speech by Wittenborg’s President and Chair of the Executive, Peter Birdsall. As an Emeritus Professor of Applied Sciences, Dr Wolters will stay connected with the institute by serving as an external marker and participating in projects in the future.

For Ahlam, an MBM student from Morocco, the honouring of Dr Teun Wolters was “the highlight of this event".

Looking Ahead

As more and more students come back to campus, Wittenborg expects events like this to attract even more attendees in the future. Wittenborg encourages as many students as possible to participate because events like this are not only fun, but also help to prepare students for their professional lives by expanding networking skills and the ability to navigate diverse environments.

WUP 15/10/2021
by Bahar Asl and Marius Zürcher
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg Lecturer Dr Fesefeldt Fighting for Justice as Prosecutor in Germany

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Lecturer Dr Fesefeldt Fighting for Justice as Prosecutor in Germany


Wittenborg Lecturer Dr Fesefeldt Fighting for Justice as Prosecutor in Germany

Wittenborg Lecturer Dr Fesefeldt Fighting for Justice as Prosecutor at the Generalbundesanwaltschaft  (Federal Prosecutor's Office)

Wittenborg is proud to offer its students classes taught by lecturers with a lot of professional experience and interesting careers. A splendid example is senior lecturer Dr Eike Fesefeldt. Dr Fesefeldt has worked as a judge in the District Court of Stuttgart, Germany, as public persecutor in Stuttgart, and as a trial lawyer at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Netherlands. He has also taught at notable German universities such as the University of Hamburg and the University of Hohenheim.

Last month, Dr Fesefeldt started working at the Office of the Public Prosecutor General at the Federal Court of Justice (in German often referred to as Generalbundesanwaltschaft) in Karlsruhe, Germany. The Generalbundesanwaltschaft represents the federal government at the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) and has primary jurisdiction in offences that fall under the Code of Crimes against International Law (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch) and cases of crimes against the state.

To provide our readers with more information, we sent a couple of questions to Dr Fesefeldt, which he graciously answered.

What is your position at the Generalbundesanwaltschaft and what does it entail?

Dr Fesefeldt: I work as a prosecutor for the Generalbundesanwaltschaft. This office has several legal tasks. I am working in the section that prosecutes offences under international criminal law. In addition to prosecuting the perpetrators, this also includes securing evidence and questioning victims. We are particularly involved in investigations in connection with the Syrian civil war (crimes committed by the Syrian government as well as crimes committed by the so-called Islamic State and other groups). We are also investigating crimes that were committed in many other countries.

What does a typical workday look like?

Dr Fesefeldt: My typical workday does not look so different from the workday of other lawyers. My primary task is to investigate international criminal offences. In practice, the police carry out these investigations. Once the investigation has been concluded, the prosecutor can either close the proceedings against the accused or file a public complaint. I communicate a lot with several police officers and coordinate the investigations. I also have to appear in court and communicate with other lawyers and the judges. The Generalbundesanwaltschaft only appears before the State High Courts [the high courts of Germany’s member states] and the German Federal Court of Justice.

What do you like most about working there?

Dr Fesefeldt: I enjoy working as a public prosecutor. Previously, I worked in such a position at the Prosecutors Office of Stuttgart and for the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The position gives me the chance to be creative. Instinct and negotiation skills are also required. Appearing in court or investigating actively makes the work as a public prosecutor very varied.

How do you think your experiences in this job can contribute to your classes at WUAS?  

Dr Fesefeldt: I am a 100% lawyer and love my profession. In addition, my job includes many international issues. I hope that through my daily practice as a lawyer, I can clearly explain the sometimes difficult legal issues in the courses that I teach.

Congratulations from the #WittenborgFamily

As readers can see, not only is Dr Fesefeldt an expert in the field of law, but he is also dedicated to fighting for justice around the world (#SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions). The #WittenborgFamily is proud to count Dr Fesefeldt as a member and congratulates him on his new position.  

WUP 13/10/2021
by Marius Zürcher
©WUAS Press

Tags
#SDG16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

#Ethics


EAIE: Traditional Universities "Nothing to Fear" from MOOCs Despite Being Pushed Online by Pandemic

by Wittenborg News -

EAIE: Traditional Universities "Nothing to Fear" from MOOCs Despite Being Pushed Online by Pandemic

https://www.wittenborg.eu/eaie-traditional-universities-nothing-fear-moocs-despite-being-pushed-online-pandemic.htm

EAIE: Traditional Universities "Nothing to Fear" from MOOCs Despite Being Pushed Online by Pandemic

No Radical Shifts Expected in Traditional Education after Pandemic

Traditional public and private university degree programmes will still be the preferred mode of learning for students in the foreseeable future, despite being pushed online by the pandemic and suddenly finding themselves on an equal footing with massive open online courses (MOOC).
This seemed to be the consensus among participants at the recently held 2021 EAIE Community Exchange Virtual Conference and Exhibition, which was also attended by Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences.

COVID-19 and the consequent lockdown forced schools, colleges and universities to stop all regular face-to-face educational interactions between teachers and students. They had to move literally overnight to the online-only learning/teaching model. Though countries have now started to ease lockdowns, online excursions have given plenty to think about.

From next week, Wittenborg expects its classrooms to be open again, running at full capacity and with no social distancing. Wittenborg President and Chair of the Executive Board Peter Birdsall said one of the main questions the institution will face is how to discourage traditional, frontal teaching in favour of more engaging classes, while integrating some of the advanced digital tools it has developed the past 18 months.

Birdsall took part in a panel discussion on balancing educational experiences, student expectations and tuition fees alongside Prof. Robert Buttery, Head of International Relations at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland.

Buttery said although traditional 3- and 4-year degree programmes have had a bit of a bumpy ride the past 18 months – not only due to the highly disruptive pandemic, but also ongoing changes in government – he does not believe there will be a radical shift in the standard model for undergraduates in the next five years. “MOOCs and micro-credentials have been around for years but have had limited success in directly influencing the degree programme market, certainly as far as the European market is concerned.

“As long as universities continue to provide employers with well-prepared, all-round graduates as well as serve their local communities, they will remain on solid ground. I also believe we will see the re-birth of a more holistic approach to higher education. Except for highly technical jobs, employers are looking to recruit graduates with a wide range of interpersonal and intercultural skills. Students I think would be hard pushed to acquire these skills and competencies from MOOCs and micro-credentials unless they are expertly guided and monitored by experienced, independent advisors.”

Birdsall agreed, saying: “What motivates students to leave schools and continue their education is the insurance that they are going to be introduced to people – to peers, to mentors, to companies, to work experience and social experiences. In other words, all the things that facilitate teenagers moving into young adulthood. International students will always be motivated to study abroad. They have the same ambitions as national students, but they go one step further: they embrace total immersion in an experiential environment. I don’t think anything online will replace what we as a business school offer students and what most universities in the Netherlands offer as well – that experience with each other.”

Tuition Fees

On tuition fees, Buttery said although undergraduate and graduate programmes continue being subsidised, it does not mean that budgets are not under “continual scrutiny” and often being cut.

“The issue with subsidies is that it can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand a straightjacket which limits recruitment, revenue generation and innovation, but on the plus side it is good for students. Universities of applied sciences in Europe have adapted a long time ago by seeking third-party funding, sponsors and other means of support to counterbalance public funding shortfalls. Whatever funding model you work with, public or private, as institutions we will always be accountable to deliver quality education and offer good value for money.”

Birdsall said he thinks the fee-structure will remain roughly the same in the Netherlands where public universities are heavily funded by the government. “Private institutions like us will have to look very carefully at making sure we offer students what they expect, which is a good experience and value for money.”

Cheap Education vs Quality

Birdsall added that “cheap higher education is not possible. It often turns out to be a poor experience with high dropout rates and I’m afraid to say this mostly occurs with online degrees. The modern approach to quality education is through national and international accreditation processes and a focus on the value of the education – meaning there is always fundamental baseline expenses for a school. This does not entail that very expensive means very good. There has to be a balance between funding and expectation of students. So if you promote experiential learning, employability, training and career opportunities, then you have to meet those expectations. And you have to ensure that students understand the fee structure, making it transparent and setting expectations accordingly.”

WUP 11/10/2021
By Anesca Smith
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-annual-bbq-hit-students-staff.htm

Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff

Celebrating the Coming of Autumn/Winter with a Sizzling Bash

Wittenborg hosted its annual barbeque for all its students and staff at NETT in Apeldoorn on Friday, 7 October, from 17:00-20:00. More than 75 students and staff turned up for the event.

The sweet, delicious, smoky aromas rising from the grill and the sizzling sound of sauce-smeared drumsticks and burgers filled the air. It was a night of fun, mouth-watering food galore, social interaction and relaxation for the students and staff of Wittenborg. Such events embrace Wittenborg's culture and values, providing different avenues that bring together diverse, international students and staff to socialise and interact.
What better way to celebrate the coming of autumn/winter than with a barbeque?

WUP 8/10/2021
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©WUAS Press

Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff
Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff
Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff
Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff
Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff
Wittenborg Annual BBQ a Hit with Students & Staff

2022 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Kick-Off Event

by Wittenborg News -

2022 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Kick-Off Event


2022 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Kick-Off Event

2022 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship Kick-Off Event in Omnisport

From 23 September to 15 October, 2022, the Netherlands and Poland will be hosting the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship. It is the first time this major sporting event comes to the Netherlands. Apeldoorn is one of the three Dutch cities in which games will take place, which are expected to draw a combined 200,000 spectators. Apeldoorn will host two quarter-finals and one semi-final.

The FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship, in which the women's national teams of countries from around the world compete every four years, is the most prestigious tournament in women's volleyball. It can be seen as volleyball’s equivalent of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

On 27 September, a kick-off event for 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship took place in Omnisport, the state-of-the-art velodrome and multisport indoor arena in Apeldoorn, which will also host the games. It was an opportunity for local entrepreneurs, foundations, and clubs to not only receive information about the event, but also to network.

Omnisport, which opened in 2008, previously hosted events such as the 2015 Women's European Volleyball Championship, the time-trial stage of the 2016 Giro d'Italia and the 2018 UCI Track Cycling World Championships. It is also the home of SV Dynamo, an EV Champions League-level volleyball team.

A Chance to Get Involved

Wittenborg's own Getjan Lammers attended the kick-off event. He highlights the many opportunities that residents of Apeldoorn – including Wittenborg students – will have for getting involved in the tournament itself and the many related events that will be hosted before and during the tournament. As Getjan puts it: “Tourism & Event Management students can prepare themselves!”

WUP 7/10/2021
by Marius Zürcher
©WUAS Press


International Students Left in Cold for Lack of European Corona Pass

by Wittenborg News -

International Students Left in Cold for Lack of European Corona Pass

https://www.wittenborg.eu/international-students-left-cold-lack-european-corona-pass.htm

International Students Left in Cold for Lack of European Corona Pass

Non-EU Students Must Travel to Utrecht to Register Vaccinations from Abroad For Now

International students who had their COVID-19 vaccinations outside the EU or Switzerland and suddenly find themselves unable to gain entry to certain places for lack of a standardised European QR code are not completely stranded - they can still apply for the code after making an appointment in Utrecht.

Since 25 September it is mandatory in the Netherlands to have a corona pass or Corona Check App for those who want to visit cafes, clubs, restaurants, theatres or attend a sports event. The app generates a QR code which shows whether the user has been fully vaccinated, has recently had coronavirus, or has had a negative test within the past 24 hours. The person checking the code with a scanner will see a green tick or a red cross.

This week the student union, LSVb, raised the alarm that many international students were left out in the cold. The app only works with QR codes standardised in Europe. Students vaccinated elsewhere who want to apply for a European code can do so by making an appointment in Utrecht.

A quick survey among Wittenborg's non-EU students revealed that 38% of them have experienced problems in the past few days for lack of a European QR code.

A spokesperson for the Dutch ministry of health told Nu.nl they are working on a solution to the problem. For now students who have been vaccinated can make an appointment to register for the code by calling 030 800 2899. The location, which is close to Utrecht Central Station, will be provided in their appointment confirmation document.

Students should take the following documents with them to their appointment:
    • Proof of ID which has to correspond with the details on their proof of vaccination and/or:
    • Proof of BSN number
    • Proof of vaccination from the country where it was done

Requirements for proof of vaccination and a list of approved vaccines can be found here.

WUP 5/10/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press

Intercollegiate Debate on Child Labour in West African Cocoa Industry

by Wittenborg News -

Intercollegiate Debate on Child Labour in West African Cocoa Industry

https://www.wittenborg.eu/intercollegiate-debate-child-labour-west-african-cocoa-industry.htm

Intercollegiate Debate on Child Labour in West African Cocoa Industry

Debate Touches on Problems, Opportunities & Ethical Dilemmas

On 29 September, Wittenborg students from the EBA (Entrepreneurial Business Administration) and MBA (Master of Business Administration) programmes participated in an intercollegiate debate with American students from the Institute for the International Education of Students Study Abroad programme in Amsterdam. The central topic was child labour in the West African cocoa industry, but the debate also touched on sustainability, transparency in the supply chain and corporate social responsibility.

The participating students formed teams representing the different stakeholder positions (business enterprise, farmer, NGO and consumer) to discuss the problems, opportunities and ethical dilemmas. The students reconvened for a rousing debate in which each team described its community’s role in addressing the problems of child labour in the supply chain and its vision for the future. Wittenborg lecturer Amy Abdou organised the event on behalf of Wittenborg and moderated the debate. Students from both programmes were supplied with background articles and documentaries in preparation for the debate.

Intercollegiate Debate on Child Labour in West African Cocoa Industry

The Dutch company Tony’s Chocoloney was used as a case study and it also served as a good example for the team representing the social enterprises. The team argued that SMEs are poised to set up external monitoring infrastructures and partner with corporations to help them directly tackle the worst forms of child labour. They also called for collaborations with NGOs and private foundations to establish health clinics so that children who are currently working on the plantations have access to emergency medical care. 

The team representing Mars Inc. had to defend a difficult position, but Wittenborg students were well prepared, having studied the case in the courses Family Business and Management Leadership and the Organisation. Mars is one of the only privately owned companies at the heart of the discussion around the eradication of child labour because they signed the Harkin Engel Protocol in 2001 and were recently named in a lawsuit in the U.S. involving eight formerly enslaved child labourers. The Mars team, assisted by Wittenborg lecturer Andreas Ooijer, argued that Mars is not able to trace their supply directly to the farmers, which makes the problem difficult to address. Mars deals with contractors in the countries where cocoa is grown, and the price is set by the Ivorian and Ghanaian governments. They also acknowledge that they must do more to combat forced child labour and deforestation and have started working with farmers in these countries to help make their agricultural practices more sustainable.

Intercollegiate Debate on Child Labour in West African Cocoa Industry

The NGOs argued that their role in addressing child labour is to educate the farmers and help them forge partnerships with more powerful allies while using social media to inform the public. They introduced the idea of an app that would allow consumers to search for ethically sourced brands. The consumers argued that they must be made more aware of how their demand for cheap products drives certain inhumane labour practices, as seen in the fast fashion and smart phone industries. The consumers also argued for foreign direct investment to help local cocoa cooperatives transition to having their own refineries and production plants. As a large percentage of citizens in both the Ivory Coast and Ghana work in the agriculture industry, the farmers discussed nationalising the farms and restoring respect to the position of the farmer in society.

According to the World Bank, approximately 60% of the cocoa farmers in the Ivory Coast live below the poverty line. The farmers chose to focus on subcontractors and corrupt politicians as barriers to the eradication of child labour and argued that corporations should deal with local leaders and farmers directly to enhance the chance of successfully addressing the problem. Partnerships and foreign direct investment in infrastructure will allow for more sustainable and efficient practices for both parties. Wittenborg is committed to addressing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The debate was not just about addressing systemic problems in the supply chain but also an opportunity to discuss the next steps in transforming an archaic industry with a colonial legacy into a sustainable and humane enterprise. The contribution of Wittenborg students from developing countries is invaluable in these types of discussions because they often have first-hand knowledge of how the extraction of raw materials can benefit corporations disproportionately. The biannual debate also provides all Wittenborg students with the chance to develop their presentation skills and network with other international students studying social entrepreneurship and leadership in the Netherlands.

WUP 4/10/2021
by Amy Abdou and Hanna Abdelwahab
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg's 1st Project Week for 2021-2022: City Marketing of Apeldoorn

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg's 1st Project Week for 2021-2022: City Marketing of Apeldoorn

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborgs-1st-project-week-2021-2022-city-marketing-apeldoorn.htm

Wittenborg's 1st Project Week for 2021-2022: City Marketing of Apeldoorn

Marketing Apeldoorn to the International World

If we mention the word ‘Netherlands’ or ‘Holland’ to any foreigners, the first city that comes to their minds is ‘Amsterdam’ or ‘Rotterdam’ as these cities are widely known all around the world. Apeldoorn is basically unknown to many people as it does not have the same international vibe as Amsterdam, Rotterdam or The Hague. That is why Wittenborg’s 1st Project Week of the new Academic Year 2021-2022 starts off with the task for the students to do some ‘City Marketing’ of Apeldoorn. It was a week packed with activities including kick-off session, elevator pitching of their ideas, discussions, creation of websites, presentation and finally compilation of their reports.

City marketing, sometimes called city branding, is the term used to promote a city in order to make the city more appealing and to attract more tourists, businesses and organisations to come to the city and set up base, for business or residential purposes. The main aim is to make it known nationally and internationally and to stimulate the local economy as well as for job creation. In this Project Week, all bachelor Phase 1 and 2 students were grouped into 4s or 5s, led by student mentors, and had to come up with a Marketing Plan and website to promote the city of Apeldoorn to any of the focus groups, namely potential students, potential residents, professionals, companies, multinationals or tourists.

Wittenborg's 1st Project Week for 2021-2022: City Marketing of Apeldoorn

Why Apeldoorn?

Apeldoorn is a city in the province of Gelderland, and the largest city in the Veluwe, which is the finest area of scenic beauty in the Netherlands. It has a splendid landscape where Paleis Het Loo (Het Loo Palace), the favourite country seat of the Dutch Royal family, De Hoge Veluwe National Park, and the second largest collection of Van Gogh’s artworks assembled by Helene Kröller-Müller can be found.

When asked why there is a need to city market Apeldoorn, Project Week Leader Lucy Omwoha commented, "There are a lot of reasons why we need to city market Apeldoorn. City marketing is a tool used to enhance economic and socio-cultural development. First of all this city has much potential that needs to be communicated to everyone out there. The perception of Apeldoorn not being vibrant must be changed to avoid many young adults moving out of the city once they graduate, in search of more attractive grounds for their careers and family life. They are more attracted to bigger and more cosmopolitan cities like The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam or Utrecht. Because of this, many businesses close due to lack of young professionals and business entrepreneurs.” Omwoha added that the main aim of this project is to strengthen the Apeldoorn brand for loyal residents, as a tribute to them, and for tourists and business investors.

Gementee Apeldoorn (Apeldoorn Municipality) is also actively promoting Apeldoorn, as shown in the 'Werken voor de toekomst!' or 'Working for the future!' poster. The message they sent encompasses everything from work, study, family to tourism and sustainability (translation: Enterprising City, Comfortable family city, Touristy top landscape, Durability, Inclusion - Social Policy and Citizen Participation and Revitalisation).

Wittenborg's 1st Project Week for 2021-2022: City Marketing of Apeldoorn

According to Omwoha, Apeldoorn is aspiring to be a sustainable city. In December 2020, Keolis introduced its fleet of all-electric, zero-emission buses in the provinces of Gelderland serving four medium-size cities, including Apeldoorn. This move is forecast to cut around 16,000 tonnes of CO2 from the country’s environmental footprint per year. In addition, the municipalities of Apeldoorn has partnered with six other municipalities to form a Cleantech Region in an effort to move towards a clean, sustainable economy and society. With more of such efforts underway, promoting Apeldoorn is vital in order to make such vision a reality.

One group comprising Phase 1 students Luke Lightfoot, Atena, Tran Do and Zilan Abdollahi said that there is a need to focus the city marketing to the young adults and their families rather than tourists. According to the group, depending too much on visitors is not wise as they spend relatively little in Apeldoorn, have a relatively large ecological footprint and contribute little to sustainability. The group deduced that the migration of young adults and their families out of the city is because of lack of entertainment or lack of better job opportunities. Hence, there is a need to create more entertainment centres at reasonable prices and to invite more multinationals or large companies to set up bases in Apeldoorn.

Wittenborg's 1st Project Week for 2021-2022: City Marketing of Apeldoorn

Another group made up of Phase 2/3 students, Kia Ces Yvonne Contado, Linh Dang (Victoria), Phuc Tam Nguyen, Blessing Dibie and Heba Sabra decided that the target group for the city marketing of Apeldoorn should the expatriates, i.e. international students, businessmen and professionals. To do that, they believe making Apeldoorn more intercultural and diverse would be necessary so as to enable the easy integration of foreigners with local citizens. This group opined that to attract foreigners or international students to stay in Apeldoorn more information should be provided to them in the English language about living, studying, working and entertainment in the Netherlands, focusing on Apeldoorn especially. They also hope that the website they had created can be an essential bridge to connect foreigners with the local people, who are more experienced and accustomed to life in Apeldoorn.  

It was a very educational and illuminating Project Week, according to Project Week’s Coordinator Samantha Birdsall. She said, “Besides all the lessons and skills that are given and practised during this project week - making a website, doing research, working as a team and presenting - students really get to know their study environment. It is one of the main reasons to kick off the academic year with a project week that hits so close to their (temporary) home." Commenting on the return to live lessons, Birdsall added, "It has been amazing to have real live discussions, feedback moments and presentations again. I have missed this interaction for the past 20 months, as my last live Project Week was in December 2019!"

WUP 2/10/2021
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©WUAS Press

Related Content

University Leaders from Across Europe Reflect on Lessons Learned from Pandemic

by Wittenborg News -

University Leaders from Across Europe Reflect on Lessons Learned from Pandemic

https://www.wittenborg.eu/university-leaders-across-europe-reflect-lessons-learned-pandemic.htm

University Leaders from Across Europe Reflect on Lessons Learned from Pandemic

Wittenborg Vice-President Part of Panel Discussion on Education Strategies for Future

A select group of university leaders from across Europe, including Wittenborg's Vice-President of Academic Affairs Professor Dr Ron Tuninga, took part in an online panel discussion this week on how lessons learned from the pandemic period is informing their education strategies for the future. The pros and cons of hybrid learning in particular was a big discussion point.

The discussion was hosted by British weekly Times Higher Education (THE) as part of their Student Success Forum event. The session was titled "Leaders Panel: Education Strategies for the Year Ahead".

Tuninga said one of the interesting things for students was that Wittenborg was able to invite more business leaders as guest speakers online. "Everyone is now more comfortable with Zoom and while in the past it took time to travel to the campus and deliver a lecture, they are now more willing to do an hour online without the travelling, and this allows for a more diverse group of practitioners from industry.

"Coming back from the pandemic, and the introduction of online learning, students now expect a much more active engagement experience and are allowed to watch or re-watch the lecture in their own time. This allows not just for more interesting group work, but also the ability to bring students from multiple campuses like we have at Wittenborg together. And I think there is even further opportunity to bring students from different universities together."

University Leaders from Across Europe Reflect on Lessons Learned from Pandemic

Wellness Centre for Students

As far as supporting students outside the classroom goes, Delphine Manceau, Dean of NEOMA Business School in France, said that four years ago they created a wellness centre, which included medical and financial aid, and this became very important for students over the past two years. "For instance, students who lost their jobs during the pandemic and needed financial help could come here, and it also played an important role in making connections with other students and staff where they could share meals and arrange activities like concerts. I think the centre is something that should really remain."

Dr Aune Valk, Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs at the University of Tartu in Estonia, said they noticed that the two groups suffering the most during the pandemic were first-year students and international students, and they also experienced the most dropouts from these two groups. Social science students also had it easier than natural science students, "who felt they lost something" in terms of their studies.

Prof. Dr Catherine Léglu, Vice-Rector of Academic Affairs at the University of Luxembourg, said as a tri-lingual institution they learned that language support was very important as well as supporting applied sciences students. "One group we tended to overlook was those students who need access to archives and libraries. Thank goodness for digitisation campaigns, but they were still at a considerable disadvantage."

Tuninga said about 90% of Wittenborg students come from outside the Netherlands. "An interesting new side effect was that usually students from outside the Netherlands would need a visa and that might not come in time, or during the pandemic some students had to go into quarantine. This would often mean they would miss a week or two of classes. Online classes helped them not to fall behind. To me it's not about hybrid learning - it's about learning and what we have to do in different situations to make sure students still get the best possible learning experience."

Prof. Dr Sarah Springman, Rector of ETH Zurich in Switzerland, said with hybrid classes they found having an assistant helping the lecturer by managing the online chat and filtering questions really valuable.

WUP 30/9/2021
by Anesca Smith
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg's UN SDGs Flag Hoisted

by Wittenborg News -
Wittenborg's UN SDGs Flag Hoisted

Wittenborg Committed to Supporting UN SDGs

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences hoisted the UN SDGs flag at its Spoorstraat Campus in Apeldoorn on 24 September to show its full commitment towards supporting this UN vision. Wittenborg believes that higher education institutions should contribute to local communities and businesses as well as to the national and global arena. The aim of a university of applied sciences is not only to educate youngsters to prepare them for the working world, but also to prepare them for life in general. By partaking in activities that affect the global community, Wittenborg will equip students with a well-rounded education and with a sense of global awareness that can help in their future lives.

Wittenborg's UN SDGs Flag Hoisted

Awareness Key to Improvement

Wittenborg has pledged to be more involved in supporting the UN by encouraging its lecturers, through inventive and interesting activities, to infuse in their lessons one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It is envisioned that this will help create more awareness in students of what the 17 SDGs are, and how these SDGs impact their lives now and in the future. In his book ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Mastering the Inner Game of Wealth’, T. Harv Eker wrote “The first element of change is awareness. You can’t change something unless you know it exists.” Being aware of what is happening around the world is pertinent as it is the key towards understanding global challenges and what needs to be changed for the betterment of our lives.

In his welcoming note to students for the new academic year 2021-2022, President of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences Peter Birdsall said that Wittenborg expects its students to graduate having learned about and developed an understanding of the SDGs, and possibly having considered how and why they will contribute to making impact in specific areas in their lives. He added that in this new academic year, Wittenborg, as a business school, will define which SDGs it aims to use in the coming years, to make regional, national or even international societal impact.

Triple Bottom Line Ensures an Equitable and Sustainable World

The development of the SDGs stemmed from the realisation that businesses are more concerned with increasing profits than improving society. They have not played their parts in ensuring an equitable and sustainable world. Issues such as pollution, exploitation of labour, thinning of the ozone layer, dumping of waste and chemicals in rivers and seas crop up because businesses choose profits over people and the planet. Thus the term ‘triple bottom line’ (TBL) was coined to encourage businesses to not only think about profit but also people and the planet and make them commit to corporate social responsibility.

Wittenborg's UN SDGs Flag Hoisted

Awareness of Underprivileged and Fragile Planet

As a business school, Wittenborg finds it incumbent upon itself to convey this important TBL message to its students and future graduates. The teaching of the UN 17 SDGs will raise awareness of the underprivileged and our fragile planet. There are still many people who live below the poverty line, who are suffering from hunger, who do not have good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation or decent work.

It is time that businesses and institutions create partnerships to try to eliminate or reduce gender and other inequalities and start developing affordable clean energy, innovative infrastructure, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, and be more concerned with climate change, life below water and life on land. With more awareness, it is aspired that future graduates will help in achieving the SDGs and making the world a better place to live in, now and in the future.

WUP 28/9/2021
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©WUAS Press


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