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Wittenborg's New Students Virtual 'Meet & Greet'

by Wittenborg News -

Meet & Greet session an important activity for Wittenborg

Meet & Greet session an important activity for Wittenborg

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborgs-new-students-virtual-meet-greet.htm

Wittenborg staff and new students were engaged in a virtual ‘Meet & Greet’ session via Teams on Wednesday, 13th May, 2020, for almost 2 hours, from 10:20 a.m. till just before 12:00 p.m. About 20 staff members and more than 30 new students from different parts of the world were present throughout the session.

The ‘Meet & Greet’ session is an activity which Wittenborg finds pertinent before classes begin, as students need to feel welcome right from the start of their courses. It is a critical benchmark for many students to sense the sentiments and mood of the culture of the institution they are joining. Furthermore, students who see that if their institutions bother to ‘meet and greet’, it also means that they also care about them personally, and this personal interest boosts their enthusiasm right from the start.
Students who participated were those from the Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and Munich campuses and they come from nearby countries like Albania and Germany and faraway places like Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam and Iraq. This session is not just to introduce new students to staff, but also a chance for the new students to meet other students enrolled in the course, so they know they are not alone. This is a good chance to match names to faces and find out about their interests and expectations.

"Good morning, good afternoon and good evening to you all, from wherever you are in the world." Dr Rauf Abdul, Head of School of Business.

The session, led by Student Registrar Florian Oosterberg and hosted by Communications & Events Coordinator Nadia Zaman, as well as student representative Aleksandre Meparidze, was cheerful and optimistic with a tinge of humour from staff members as well as students.
Nadia Zaman started the ball rolling by requesting each staff member present to introduce themselves and they did it cheerfully, welcoming all the students and wishing them all the best in their studies. Head of School of Business Dr Rauf Abdul’s greeting of “Good morning, good afternoon and good evening” to the students reminded us of the different time zones the students are in. He also wrote in the chat, “It’s great to see an amazing and diverse group of students joining Wittenborg this block. Wish you all a wonderful experience and success. Looking forward to see you in my classes.”

Aleksandre then took over the spotlight, gave a few words of encouragement and then asked each individual student to introduce themselves and state one interesting thing about themselves.
It was heartening to know that this batch of students is made up of many creative, artistic and talented individuals, like Abdur Rahman Sayeed from Bangladesh who can play the piano, and Farnoosh Dabirimogahed from Iran who is a teacher and a painter. She is actually in the midst of doing some paintings to be sold for charity. Sharing Farnoosh’s love for art is Komal Lalwani from India who is more into craftwork. Swet Patel and Manas Taneja are the sportive types and love cricket and/or volleyball, while Prutha Solanki and Sreedhar Janagoam, both from India, love reading books. Peter Kafatia, an engineer from Malawi, who will be studying at Wittenborg Munich, loves aviation, aerospace and fast cars, while Ibukun Babafemi from Nigeria has a plethora of interesting hobbies. Parham Rahimi from Iran even joined the virtual chat from the airport, all masked up. Prof. Dadi Chen was, as all the staff were, exhilarated and commented, “We have musicians, artists, photographers, and sports fans. What a talented group!”

Meet & Greet session an important activity for Wittenborg

Kejsi Hoxha, from Albania asked the question “Was it easy to adapt to your new lifestyle?” and who better person to provide the answer than our own CEO, Maggie Feng. Feng shared her ‘nostalgic’ experiences and said that when she first arrived at Schiphol’s airport in the Netherlands in 1999, her luggage was lost.  She took almost 6 years to get used to the Dutch environment and system and even though she travels back to China 4-5 times a year, she often has flashes of thoughts reminiscent of her days in China and how much she misses the noise, the sound, the smell and the food of Beijing. She said that the best way to avoid missing your country is to try and change your mindset and accept the good things and opportunities that the Netherlands has to offer. Aleksandre added that making new friends, focusing on their studies and participating in social events can help them to adapt to the culture of the Netherlands. Kavinga Ranaweera, another student representative, affirmed that it is not difficult to adapt as people around are very understanding and there is always encouragement from friends.

Meet & Greet session an important activity for Wittenborg

The finale of the session was when students posted selfies of themselves with their national flags, with Manas Taneja claiming the prize for being the first to post. Mabelle Olympia from Germany improvised her lack of printer and showed her flag on her laptop screen, while Mohit took a photo of himself holding a white paper and then digitally coloured the paper to turn it into the flag of India. Qais, despite being more into digital art, took the liberty to paint his national flag with his bare fingers. And letting us have a glimpse of her artistic talent, Farnoosh, of course, being the painter, painted one for us to admire. Professor Arie Barendregt suggested having a webpage on the Wittenborg site dedicated to all the new students, a contact point for both students, faculty and staff. It will be a page with faces and names and nationalities of all students who have just joined Wittenborg’s close-knit family.

"It is actually nice that we are connecting with each other." Kejsi Hoxha from Albania.

Some students voiced their enthusiasm to meet the staff and teachers in person and many were delighted with the session, as Kejsi Hoxha wrote in the chat, “It is actually nice that we are connecting with each other”. It was really a splendid session with many candid comments and remarks from students, verbal and written, saying how nice it was to meet everybody and how they hope to see everyone soon. The session ended with Sophia and Nadia reminding students to join Wittenborg’s social media platforms and sign up for the Virtual Group Workout as well as the Virtual Lunch on Fridays.

WUP 24/5/2020
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©Wittenborg University Press

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Wittenborg Spruces up Its Online Classrooms with Virtual Guest Lectures

by Wittenborg News -

 

 
 
Virtual Guest Lectures Replacing Physical Presence

Virtual Guest Lectures Replacing Physical Presence

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-spruces-its-online-classrooms-virtual-guest-lectures.htm

Inviting guest speakers into a classroom is a classic teaching strategy at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences. Wittenborg believes that bringing guest lectures into the classroom offers students access to other perspectives, adds variety to the normal routine, and establishes that learning is a collaborative initiative.

That is why, instead of cancelling its pre-arranged guest lectures, Wittenborg has switched its mode from the physical to virtual presence of guest lecturers. In the months of April and May, four committed and professional guest speakers contributed their expertise by submitting their digital personalised presentations, in alignment with Wittenborg's Guest Lecturing Guidance, with the assistance of the guest lectures coordinator Fjorentina Muco.

Mirella Eickhof

Our four industry experts come from various backgrounds and specialisations. Mirella Eickhof is an assessment psychologist, a “jobtimist”, mental coach, performance improver, wave accreditation trainer and career counsellor at Way2Talent. An entrepreneur herself, she is also the author of 3 books and a teacher at Saxion University of Applied Sciences. She gave a presentation about “Jobtimism” to our MBA students.

Col. H.A.B.C. Meeuwsen

Col. H.A.B.C. Meeuwsen, MSc, is the Director of NATO Command & Control Centre of Excellence. Leveraging on his personal experiences within national and international theatres of operation, he spoke about Organisation Management to students from all specialisations.

Lisa Bakir is a PhD candidate at the University of Twente and has a strong affinity for (B2B) marketing and strategy. Her seminar entitled “Servitization”, addresses the importance of services and service strategies for the manufacturing industry.

Lisa Bakir is a PhD candidate at the University of Twente and has a strong affinity for (B2B) marketing and strategy. Her seminar entitled “Servitization”, addresses the importance of services and service strategies for the manufacturing industry. 

Udo Neufeglise

Last but not least is Udo Neufeglise. Mr Neufeglise is the Global Account Director at DSV Panalpina and he conducted a Sales Pitch Webinar for Wittenborg’s HBA students. Holding a Master in Strategic Account Development and having 30 years of experience in the transportation and logistics industry, plus two decades of vast experience in the sales arena, he took his young audience through the good, the bad and how to reach the perfect sales pitch.

Thank You

The expansion of learning experiences for students is the impetus for Wittenborg’s integration of guest lectures as it provides students with an opportunity to experience vicariously real knowledge at the level of an expert. These encounters not only bring invaluable knowledge to students but make them realise that the knowledge they are learning is not just book stuff but can be manifested in the real world.

Wittenborg would like to extend its deepest appreciation and a great ‘thank you’ to these lecturers for their invaluable contribution towards educating students despite their other commitments during these trying times. Wittenborg hopes that the cultivation of such partnerships with the four lecturers and other industry experts will come to fruition in many years to come.

WUP 22/05/2020
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©Wittenborg University Press

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(Edited - original submission Friday, 22 May 2020, 2:13 PM)

COVID-19 forces one student's business to close, but giving up is not part of his plan

by Wittenborg News -

COVID-19 forces one student's business to close, but giving up is not part of his plan

COVID-19 forces one student's business to close, but giving up is not part of his plan

https://www.wittenborg.eu/covid-19-forces-one-students-business-close-giving-not-part-his-plan.htm

Christian Y. Perwira (Ian) started his Marketing & Communications studies at Wittenborg in the summer of 2017. One year later, he and his sister opened a food stand in Deventer. Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck and his food stand was forced to close. After a couple of weeks, Ian made a decision to set in motion a delivery option out of his kitchen at home. He refreshed, mixed, matched and launched a new delivery menu and sent it out to his customers.

A few weeks have passed since then, and Ian admits that it has not been easy. Even though orders come in on a daily basis, it doesn’t compare to what he used to receive from the food stand. It is fair to say that in the midst of this economic uncertainty, his customers prefer to reduce their spending on a few things, and ordering food is one of them.

COVID-19 forces one student's business to close, but giving up is not part of his plan

COVID-19 forces one student's business to close, but giving up is not part of his plan

Before COVID-19 hit the Netherlands, Ian planned to upgrade his business and have a place of his own where his customers could dine. Ian told us the most difficult part is that you have to be able to do everything yourself and master time-management. However, he does not intend to give up the fight and will do everything in his power to move it forwards again. “Resilience and agility is key and COVID-19 is not going to stop me”, he said.

Studying itself is challenging enough, but Ian has been running a business all at the same time. Wittenborg is proud to have many students with this never-give-up quality, and Ian is one of them. Should you need extra energy to keep the fight going, Ian’s sate, noodles and Asian light bites will sort you out!

https://kitchenqueendeventer.wixsite.com/kitchen-queen

WUP 20/5/2020
by Sylvia Effendi
©Wittenborg University Press


Theodoor Breevoort keeps himself occupied playing guitar

by Wittenborg News -
Theodoor Breevoort

https://www.wittenborg.eu/theodoor-breevoort-keeps-himself-occupied-playing-guitar.htm

What helps you to stay positive?

The frequent contact with my colleagues in the daily 10:00 online coffee table and the energy and creativity of all staff members to make the most of it.

How are you spending your free time during quarantine?

Keeping in touch with friends and family online, playing guitar, watching Netflix, walking our dog, haha.

Keeping in touch with friends and family online, playing guitar, watching Netflix, walking our dog, haha.

To my regret I can't perform the sports activities I like, but I do get to play the guitar!

What are some changes you have had to make to your home life to accommodate working from home?

None, I already had a private study room.

What do you like most about online learning/teaching?

Not having to travel.

What do you like least about online learning/teaching?

I miss the interaction and the possibility to tailor my teaching to individual students' needs.

What is something you now realise that you took for granted before the COVID-19 pandemic?

Face-to-face interaction with family, friends, colleagues, customers and students.

WUP 19/5/2020
by Olivia Kawuma
©Wittenborg University Press

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Corona Diaries: "I Now Eat More and Exercise Less"

by Wittenborg News -

Corona Diaries: "I Now Eat More and Exercise Less"

Wittenborg's Sadaf Sakhi Tells us How the Corona Pandemic Changed her Life (and Diet)

https://www.wittenborg.eu/corona-diaries-i-now-eat-more-and-exercise-less.htm

Today we speak to Sadaf Sakhi, Wittenborg's student registry administrator, as part of our new series where staff and students share little bits of information on how they are adjusting to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. As anyone who has ever crossed paths with Sadaf will attest, she is one of the most positive and cheerful people at Wittenborg with a wicked sense of humour.

Hello Sadaf, can you tell us more about yourself?

I am originally from Afghanistan, but I have been living in the Netherlands since I was 3 years old.

What helps you to stay positive?

What always helps me to stay positive is of course hope. The hope that eventually everything will be alright. Everything has a beginning and an end. Always ask yourself: "Can it get worse than this?" If the answer is "yes" you are good. However hard it can be, always try to see the good sides of things instead of just the bad sides."

What are some of the changes you had to make to accommodate the new reality?

Working from home and isolating myself at home. Only going out when necessary.

How are you spending your free time in self-isolation?

I spend time with family, bake and cook more, read and clean around the house more - although I hate doing it! I also watch movies, listen to music, eat more and exercise less, unfortunately.

Have you developed any new hobbies?

No plans for new hobbies (yet). However, for some existing hobbies, like reading, I now have more time for them. Here is where looking on the bright side of things comes in.

What is something you now realise that you took for granted before the COVID-19 pandemic?

Spending more time outside of the house.

WUP 17/5/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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NVAO to Discuss Accreditation Application with Wittenborg on 9 June

by Wittenborg News -

NVAO

Implementing Fast-Track Procedure for Current Accreditation Applications

https://www.wittenborg.eu/nvao-discuss-accreditation-application-wittenborg-9-june.htm

A panel from the Dutch accreditation and quality assurance body NVAO will hold discussions with Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences on 9 June after postponing all its site visits in light of the coronavirus COVID-19 in March. 

Wittenborg is applying for Transnational Education (TNE) approval for the full delivery of its programmes in Munich, Germany at the New European College (NEC) and seeking re-accreditation for its Master of Business Administration (MBA) as well as Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programmes.  

NVAO has now created a fast-track procedure for current TNE accreditations, which involves the possibility that in-person visits might be replaced by digital discussions. This follows an announcement by the Dutch government that it will ease COVID-19 restrictions from the second week in May. NVAO said in a letter it has decided to make certain adjustments to its current procedures to allow for the assessments without compromising on the quality assurances it provides to new education programmes. "The coronavirus brought procedures at several institutions to a standstill and we view this as an undesirable situation given the legislative demands the procedures are subjected to."

It stressed that the adjustments are temporary and still in line with European Standards and Guidelines.  

Wittenborg formed a partnership with NEC to deliver Wittenborg's bachelor's and master's programmes at their location in Munich. Student numbers there are eventually expected to grow to around 150. The terms of the delivery are set out in a Memorandum of Cooperation between the two institutions.

Wittenborg gained re-accreditation of its MBA from the German ‘Foundation of International Business Administration Accreditation’ (FIBAA) in 2019.

WUP 16/05/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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Hospitality Sector Positive about Hiring Staff in Near Future

by Wittenborg News -

Hospitality Sector Positive about Hiring Staff in Near Future

Less than Half Satisfied with Support from Governments to Hospitality Organisations

https://www.wittenborg.eu/hospitality-sector-positive-about-hiring-staff-near-future.htm

More than 75% of hospitality organisations believe they will start hiring staff again over the next 12 months, a quick survey by Hosco, the world's leading hospitality network, has revealed. This is good news for hospitality students at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences for whom an internship in the sector is part of the curriculum, often leading to a job after their studies.

In the Netherlands, restaurants, bars, hotels and airlines have been some of the hardest hit businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The survey by Hosco, done in the third week of April, confirms the consequences for job seekers. A graph shows that 90% of respondents said that their hiring plans were affected to a "great or extreme extent".

Hospitality studies, both bachelor's and master's, are some of the most popular programmes among prospective students at Wittenborg. In the last few weeks international alumni have, however, struggled to find or keep their jobs due to COVID-19, which was declared a pandemic on 12 March by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and have started a petition for the Dutch government to extend the 12-month orientation year (zoekjaar) afforded to graduates. This action has been supported by Wittenborg who also appealed to both the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Higher Education.

These are some of the main findings of the Hosco survey:

  • On the one hand, 76% of respondents plan or expect to start hiring again over the next 12 months. On the other hand, 24% believe that their hiring plans will reactivate a year from now in the second quarter of 2021.
  • Employers are divided about recovering the size of the team they had before COVID-19. 52% expect to reach a normal headcount within the next 12 months, while 48% indicate that it will take them 12 to 24 months.
  • The main priority for employers, by far, is financial management (28%), followed by the health and safety of their staff (22%), and workforce engagement (14%). However, this is followed very closely by the importance employers give to upskilling and reskilling their employees (12%).
  • 44% of respondents are "somewhat to very satisfied" with the support their government has offered to the hospitality industry. In contrast, 25% are "somewhat to very dissatisfied" with the level of support given, and 13% declared that there has been no support whatsoever.

WUP 15/05/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

The importance of staying connected during these precarious times

by Wittenborg News -

Staff staying connected at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences

Staff staying connected at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences

https://www.wittenborg.eu/importance-staying-connected-during-these-precarious-times.htm

Following Jack Ma’s example of daily communication with his staff during the 2003 SARS lockdown in China, Dadi Chen, senior lecturer at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences (WUAS) proposed an online daily meeting for staff during the Education Board meeting in preparation for online teaching during the COVID-19 crisis. The proposal was gladly accepted by colleagues and thus the Online Coffee Table began. Every morning at 10 a.m., at least 30 members of WUAS staff from Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and Munich campuses gather online through Microsoft Teams.

According to Maggie Feng, Wittenborg CEO, this daily meeting is intended to check in with staff to ensure that everyone is coping well given the current situation. She considers the Online Coffee Table one of the positives from the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has brought staff much closer digitally than could have been achieved physically. Echoing this sentiment is WUAS lecturer, Bruno Salvetti, who sees this daily session as a tool that maintains our sense of community in these challenging times where we need to maintain our relationships latent in an environment of isolation. For lecturer Theodoor Breevoort, who was already in contact with most colleagues through other mediums before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the ability to see each other on screen and bond through chit-chat is welcome during these times.

The Online Coffee Table provides an opportunity for lecturers to discuss work-related problems as well as personal issues. For Dadi Chen, one interesting by-product of discussing personal issues is the innovative way that staff celebrate birthdays and share how they are staying busy during this time. The Online Coffee Table also creates the opportunity to know each other better and support each other at this difficult time while taking a break from routine work, which senior lecturer Doron Zilbershtein especially values. 

Staying at home, while preferable for some, is quite a difficult adjustment for others. It is important to remain in touch with your friends and family so that you can encourage and uplift one another just like WUAS staff.

WUP 14/05/2020
by Olivia Kawuma
©Wittenborg University Press

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Wittenborg Staff


Dutch Ministers to Answer Questions on International Graduates' Petition

by Wittenborg News -
Dutch Ministers to Answer Questions on International Graduates' Petition

Dutch Ministers to Answer Questions on International Graduates' Petition

https://www.wittenborg.eu/dutch-ministers-answer-questions-international-graduates-petition.htm

The plight of hundreds of international graduates in the Netherlands who petitioned the government to extend the 12-month orientation year (zoekjaar), afforded to international graduates allowing them to look for a job, has reached the Dutch parliament. D66 MP Jan Patternotte has addressed written questions to three ministers, which they have to respond to later this week. The matter has also been highlighted on an EU website in a news brief.

A number of Wittenborg graduates are among those who have either lost their jobs because of COVID-19 in the Netherlands or cannot find employment since the virus hit the Netherlands in March. One of them, Varsha Punj, has since co-founded a Facebook group, drawing more than 750 members up to now, as well as starting a petition to the Dutch Senate which has been signed by more than 1,800 people. Their case has been covered by several media outlets.

In the meantime, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has also sent a letter to different ministries to plead the case of the graduates. In response, a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice, said he has forwarded it to Education as the matter "falls in their policy area".

Patternotte's questions were addressed to the Ministries of Justice and Security, Education and Social Affairs. One question asks whether they are willing to freeze the orientation year period for international students as part of the economic support mechanisms and if not, why not? It also asks whether the government is willing to support highly skilled migrants in terms of finding employment during the corona crisis. "Do you share D66's point of view that highly skilled workers, prospective international students and alumni as well as other international talent who currently find themselves in the Netherlands, need security during the corona crisis? How are the EU member states dealing with this question?"

One of the members of the group, who studied at Maastricht University, received a letter from the institution saying it has brought the matter to the attention of the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU), who have discussed it with the various ministries and the Dutch immigration authority, the IND. "Currently the position of the Ministry of Justice and Security is that there will be no extension of the current search year visa. Instead, there will be an intensified communication campaign to inform students that will graduate about the possibilities and limits regarding the one-year search visa."

PhD graduate Yuven Muniandy, who started the petition, said on the EU website article: "The main goal is to promote foreign investment and cultivate diversity in the Dutch job market. If you don’t get any job in the year, you go back, but with the coronavirus situation, companies and institutions have frozen recruitment: no-one is hiring."

WUP 13/05/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press


Corona Diaries: "Being with my family in Miami helps me to stay positive"

by Wittenborg News -

Corona Diaries: "Being with my family in Miami helps me to stay positive"

Wittenborg's student, Marc Smoorenburg, shares with us how the COVID-19 crisis has made him realise the importance of human connections and classroom teaching.

https://www.wittenborg.eu/corona-diaries-being-my-family-miami-helps-me-stay-positive.htm

As part of our new series where staff and students share little bits of information on how they are adjusting to life during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have Marc Ryan Smoorenburg sharing his story from Miami, Florida.

Hello Marc, can you tell us more about yourself?

I am a first-year student, following an HBA programme in Sports Business Management.  I'm 18 years old and I love football.  It is my passion😊.

Why did you decide to go home during this crisis?

I decided to go back home because I felt that school was going to be online for the rest of the year and I wanted to see my family again. I left the Netherlands on April 6th.

What helps you to stay positive?

What helps me most to stay positive is being with my family in Miami.

What are some of the changes you had to make to accommodate the new reality?

Because I went back to Miami, Florida, to be with my family, I have to adjust to the different time zone, which is 6 hours behind Dutch time, and be present for the online lessons.

What do you like most about online learning?

What I like most about online learning is the easy access, availability and flow of information.

What do you like least about online learning?

What I like least about online learning is the lack of human connection that is most present in a classroom setting.

How are you spending your free time in self-isolation?

I am mostly spending my free time either studying and working on my school work or spending time with my parents and brother.

Have you developed any new hobbies?

I am doing workout from home 5-6 days a week. Since I have no access to a gym, I am following a workout plan from Nike on my phone.

What is something you now realise that you had taken for granted before the COVID-19 pandemic?

I took for granted the privilege of being in a classroom and having human connections with the teacher as well as other students.

Do you have any plans for the summer?

I don't really have many plans for the summer because of the current situation, so I would say, I'll definitely spend time with my family.

WUP 11/5/2020
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©Wittenborg University Press


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