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Starts Today!: The 2022 National Student Survey (NSE)

by Wittenborg News -

NSE 2022

The next edition of the NSE - the National Student Survey (Nationale Studenten Enquête) -starts tomorrow (17 January) and will run until 13 March.

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The National Student Survey, or NSE, is a nationwide survey researching students’ satisfaction with the higher education course they pursue in the Netherlands. Nearly all students in Dutch higher education are invited to participate every year. The survey is conducted by Studiekeuze123, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Education.

Students are asked to fill out a questionnaire on various aspects of their course programme, including its content, the skills they acquire, how well they are prepared for a career, the lecturers, the information and materials provided, the study facilities offered, testing and assessment, their programme schedule, study load and academic guidance and counselling.

As Peter Birdsall, Wittenborg President & Chair of the Executive Board says:

"The National Student Survey is an integral part of the quality system of higher education in the Netherlands, however it is also a control mechanism used by the government to check the student's perception of the quality of Dutch state accredited degree programmes. With a lack of national ranking systems for higher education in the Netherlands The NSE is often used by external parties (and schools) to rank institutions."

By taking part in the NSE, students can play a part in improving the academic experience for current as well as future students of their institutions of higher education. Students will receive the link for the survey via their student accounts. All data is collected anonymously.

Wittenborg highly encourages its students to participate. Participating students can win prizes, provided by both NSE (filling in the survey automatically enrols one in the contest) and Wittenborg (see instructions in the picture).


Volunteer Project Run by WUAS Lecturer Helps Children of Immigrant Families Improve their English

by Wittenborg News -

Volunteer Project Run by WUAS Lecturer Helps Children of Immigrant Families Improve their English

Volunteer Project Run by WUAS Lecturer Helps Children of Immigrant Families Improve their English

With the goal of helping children of immigrant families improve their English and better adapt to the Dutch educational system, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences senior lecturer Amy Abdou is conducting a project in partnership with Buurt Talent Ontwikkeling (BTO), a homework support programme based in Amsterdam Zuidoost. Through the initiative, two Wittenborg MBA students and two Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam students participate in weekly one-hour sessions with 20 children between 10 and 12 years old.  

The activities include word games, charades and discussions on different topics related to the children’s lives. Recently, the project received the donation of 50 English-language children’s books, after Abdou published a post on her LinkedIn profile asking for contributions. The books were given to the kids as Christmas gifts and, in the near future, the material will be used for reading activities.  

Previously, Wittenborg had organised activities such as science & technology workshops and entrepreneurship masterclasses for children at BTO. Apart from helping the kids develop important skills, the overall programme is also related to research that is being done by Wittenborg on innovation in after-school programmes run by social entrepreneurs.  

The English-language workshops take place every Friday, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The project is open to new volunteers, and people who are interested in joining can send an email to amy.abdou@wittenborg.eu.  

Abdou explained that the children who participate in the project do so voluntarily, stressing that because they come from immigrant families, many speak four or five languages and some already have good English skills. “These kids are really smart and the idea is to prepare them to use the language at a higher level, because after they finish primary school, they will be learning in both Dutch and English. In addition, the project is also helpful for the kids whose first language is not Dutch, because they get the chance to practise with peers who are fluent in it. We are trying to make them see that they are special, by giving them the confidence to speak up and also work on their social skills.” 

She added that another benefit of the project is that the children have the opportunity to talk to adults who come from other countries, which considerably widens their horizons.

Volunteer Project Run by WUAS Lecturer Helps Children of Immigrant Families Improve their English

Tina Moghimzadeh, an Iranian MBA student specialising in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, said that she decided to join the project as a volunteer because she wanted to connect with different communities and people. Moghimzadeh mentioned that she had previously done volunteer work in Iran, for an arts & culture non-profit organisation. “I really like volunteer work and I find it very inspiring, because by sharing what I know I feel like I am making a difference. On top of that, I wanted to work with children because they are always happy and positive, which gives me good energy and makes me have a fun time as well.” 

According to her, one of the nicest aspects of the project is that it provides multiple opportunities for cultural exchange. “The kids are really curious about Iran and India which is where my friend, who is also a volunteer, comes from. They ask us many questions and also get the chance to talk about their backgrounds, cultures and traditions. We recently had a session in which everyone had to bring a typical dish related to their background and they were really excited about it.

WUP 14/1/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Robbert Dijkgraaf is Netherlands’ New Minister of Education, Culture and Science

by Wittenborg News -

Robbert Dijkgraaf is Netherlands’ New Minister of Education, Culture and Science


Robbert Dijkgraaf is Netherlands’ New Minister of Education, Culture and Science

Dijkgraaf Has International Career as Scientist and Professor

Well known Dutch Professor, Dr Robbert Dijkgraaf has become the Netherlands’ new Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and was inaugurated on 10 January. He will serve in Mark Rutte’s fourth government. Dijkgraaf, who is a member of the D66 party, is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Amsterdam and former director of Princeton University’s Institute for Advanced Study. Previously, he was president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Born in Ridderkerk in 1960, Dijkgraaf obtained his doctorate in Physics from Utrecht University in 1989, under the supervision of Nobel laureate Gerard 't Hooft. His research focuses on the interface between mathematics and particle physics. Among other honours, Dijkgraaf received the Spinoza Prize (2003), the highest scientific award in the Netherlands, and is a Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion. He is also interested in painting, which he studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, in Amsterdam, between 1983 and 1984.

Throughout his career, Dijkgraaf has conducted many activities with the goal of promoting science to broader audiences. Apart from his frequent appearances on television, he writes a monthly newspaper column for NRC Handelsblad and has published several books, also being the founder of the science education website Proefjes.nl. Dijkgraaf’s published works include The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge, a book co-authored with Abraham Flexner that discusses the essential role of basic research and original thinking in innovation and societal progress.

Wittenborg wishes the best of luck to new minister Robbert Dijkgraaf and hopes his term to be marked by important advances in education in the Netherlands.

WUP 12/1/2022
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg Graduate Represents Sudan at the Africa Cup of Nations

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Graduate Represents Sudan at the Africa Cup of Nations

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-graduate-represents-sudan-africa-cup-nations.htm

Wittenborg Graduate Represents Sudan at the Africa Cup of Nations

Amro Abbas Plays as Defender for Sudanese National Team

The new year has started on a high note for Amro Abbas, who is about to obtain an HBA degree in Sport Business Management from Wittenborg. Before attending his graduation ceremony in February, Abbas will be playing for the Sudanese national football team at the Africa Cup of Nations, which will take place in Cameroon between 9 January and 6 February. The Sudanese team will be based in Yaoundé, and its first match will be against Guinea-Bissau, on 11 January. The group also includes the teams of Egypt and Nigeria, which have participated in former editions of the FIFA World Cup.

Last year, Abbas, who is currently 23 years old and plays as defender (right-back), had represented Sudan for the first time at the Qatar 2022 World Cup Qualifiers. He mentions that receiving the call to join the Sudanese national team again was an unexpected event to him, adding that he is excited and motivated to participate in the Africa Cup of Nations, the continent’s biggest football tournament. “Although the team did not do well at the World Cup Qualifiers, we have a completely new squad, and most of the current players are really young, between 20 and 26 years old. Besides, our country is going through a rough time right now, so we hope to make the Sudanese people feel happy and proud by performing well in the tournament,” Abbas says.

Having been born in Sudan, he spent most of his life in the United Arab Emirates, where he started playing football at seven years old, for Al-Ain FC. Abbas also played in the under-17 Sudanese football league and, after moving to Apeldoorn in 2017 to pursue his studies at Wittenborg, he joined DVS’33 Ermelo. In the Netherlands, Abbas was spotted by a Sudanese scout who invited him to represent the country at the World Cup Qualifiers.

Wittenborg Graduate Represents Sudan at the Africa Cup of Nations

In his view, playing football is a way to connect with other people and express oneself on the field. “What I love the most about football is that it is a team sport. Things are difficult when you move to a new country alone and you have your studies and four or five training sessions a week, but when you play football, you forget about all the stress and problems.”

Abbas is planning to pursue a professional career as a football player, and he has received offers from Belgian, Emirati and Sudanese teams. He points out that completing his degree at Wittenborg was important to him because, after he stops playing, he would still like to go on working in the field of sport.

Asked about the teams which he supports, Abbas says that he is a fan of Barcelona and Liverpool, pointing out that he will be really excited to play against Mohamed Salah, when Sudan faces Egypt on 19 January. He mentions that some of his idols are Ronaldinho, Zinédine Zidane, Lionel Messi and Dani Alves.

More updates on Amro Abbas’ career can be found on his Facebook and Instagram profiles.

WUP 9/1/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Fruitful Sharing of Knowledge Across Geographical Boundaries in IQAinAR Virtual Meeting

by Wittenborg News -

Fruitful Sharing of Knowledge Across Geographical Boundaries in IQAinAR Virtual Meeting

Fruitful Sharing of Knowledge Across Geographical Boundaries in IQAinAR Virtual Meeting

The Significance of Internal Quality Assurance in Higher Educational Institutions

Internal Quality Assurance (IQA) within higher educational institutions (HEIs) has been a most significant topic in recent years as stakeholders expect graduates to be sufficiently equipped to meet job requirements in this modern, technology-ridden world. This presupposes that sufficient IQA mechanisms need to be designed and implemented by HEIs, whether in developed, developing or under-developed countries.

The Erasmus+ IQAinAR Project centres around the aim of enhancing the IQA of Education in teaching, learning and assessment in HEIs of Azerbaijan and Russia. The project, which was officially launched in February this year, is in its 10-month stage and things are going along as planned despite the pandemic. During a virtual meeting on 14 December, three EU project partners, UCAM (Fundacion Universitaria San Antonio) from Spain, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences from the Netherlands and IUBH (International University of Applied Sciences Bad Honnef) from Germany presented their institutions’ IQA systems and strategies as well as policy documents which are already in place. The main objective of the sharing session is to familiarise the consortium members with the institutional practices of the EU project partners and their success factors in IQA. The session, which was planned to be a physical ‘Study Visit to UCAM’, the Spanish counterpart of the project, had to be carried out virtually instead due to the current pandemic situation.

The sharing of the EU partners’ IQA Systems and Processes was part of the Work Package 2 (WP2) of the project. The goal of WP2 is to develop IQA indicators designed in WP1 by taking into account the specificities of each HEI and the national background in teaching, learning, assessment and research. It is basically to enable consortium partners to learn new methodologies for the improvement of their own IQA models, tools for self-analysis and models to help them imagine how to refine existing processes. As a result of this learning, and with the intention to improve the common educational space and harmonise it in compliance with the Bologna agreement, the consortium will develop an international IQAS with a focus on student mobility and internalisation of education, thereby helping the Russian and Azerbaijani HEI partners to improve student mobility programmes, make them transparent and remove the existing obstacles in this area.

Fruitful Sharing of Knowledge Across Geographical Boundaries in IQAinAR Virtual Meeting

Sharing of IQA Processes at UCAM, Wittenborg and IU

UCAM representative, Almudena Vicente Buendia, presented her institution's IQA system design and implementation, which has to be in line with the regulation set by ANECA, the National Agency for Quality Assessment and Accreditation of Spain. Following that, Dr Rauf Abdul, Head of School of Business, presented Wittenborg’s IQA system, which includes an explanation of Wittenborg’s strategic initiatives, quality flow, its evaluation cycle as well as its programme development processes. Assurance of Learning Manager Kriszta Kaspers presented the Assurance of Learning process map and how IQA is monitored and evaluated at Wittenborg. IU representative Thorsten Schomann then took over the floor and presented ways on how to implement IQA system in individual institutions.

It was a fruitful session for all involved as the knowledge gained from the various presentations can help the consortium to further improve their own IQA systems and move towards a culture of continuous improvements in the quality of education and teaching and learning. In its true meaning, knowledge is not a static process and learning must be continuous, even in established institutions. To quote K. Patricia Cross, “Learning is not so much an additive process, with new learning simply piling up on top of existing knowledge, as it is an active, dynamic process in which the connections are constantly changing and the structure reformatted.”

WUP 7/1/2022
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©WUAS Press

Recent Wittenborg Graduate Lands Job at International Company

by Wittenborg News -

Recent Wittenborg Graduate Lands Job at International Company

Recent Wittenborg Graduate Lands Job at International Company

Kavindya Samarakoon Is Ingenico's New Dispute Manager

Having just completed a BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) in Marketing Communication & Information (MCI) at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, Kavindya Samarakoon from Sri Lanka has already managed to land a job in the Netherlands.

According to Samarakoon, who has been hired as a dispute manager for international e-payments company Ingenico, the fact that she studied at Wittenborg stood out in the eyes of recruiters due to Wittenborg’s focus on diversity and internationalisation.

“Global companies really value professionals who have experienced diverse environments, where they learn how to accept and respect other cultures and work with people of different backgrounds. One of the reasons why I chose to study at Wittenborg was the possibility to interact with so many different nationalities,” she says.

Samarakoon also highlights how important Wittenborg’s practical approach to education has been for her professional development, stressing her one-year internship at the institution’s Communications Department. “This experience taught me a lot about social media and marketing, and also helped me develop important management and administrative skills. Besides, it gave me really useful insights when I was doing my graduation assignment, which is about the influence of social media marketing on restaurant branding in Sri Lanka.”

When it comes to the challenges she had to face during the programme, Samarakoon mentions the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was a difficult time, because I had to study from home for one and a half years, and I missed interacting with my classmates and lecturers. Besides, even the exam systems had to be changed, and we had to adapt to that.”

She advises students to be proactive and participative, because this will be beneficial for their careers. “It is always good to engage with the lecturers, because they might help you in the future. Also, try to interact with the other students as much as you can, because they come from different cultures and can share different experiences and perspectives, which will help you broaden your horizons.”

Finally, when asked about her dreams, Samarakoon says that she would like to be an internationally recognised business professional. “Meanwhile, I will go on studying and becoming more qualified. My first goal is to do a master’s in finance, but I will pursue other programmes after that, because education is really important in life.”

WUP 5/1/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


WUAS Associate Professor Shares Travel Stories on Blog and YouTube channel

by Wittenborg News -

WUAS Associate Professor Shares Travel Stories on Blog and YouTube channel

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wuas-associate-professor-shares-travel-stories-blog-and-youtube-channel.htm
WUAS Associate Professor Shares Travel Stories on Blog and YouTube Channel

Having visited 48 countries, Wittenborg associate professor Vanessa Menezes combines her passion for travelling with her blogging and video-making skills. Menezes, who is Brazilian and teaches various subjects in the fields of tourism and hospitality, has her own blog and YouTube channel, both named “Vanessa’s Diaries”, where she shares travel stories and tips in Portuguese.

From a very young age, Menezes became interested in travelling and, during her childhood and teenage years, she also kept journals. In 2005, after a visit to Balneário Camboriú, a resort city in Southern Brazil, she started her blog, focusing on her experiences as a tourist, with the goal of keeping her memories and impressions. Initially centred on her trips within Brazil, the website gradually expanded to include other countries and regions of the world as Menezes’ studies and career became more international. Throughout the years, as the blog developed, its audience grew and, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were occasions in which the page would get more than 11,000 monthly hits.

More recently, in 2018, Menezes started her YouTube channel, encouraged by her nephew and niece, who are now 11 years old. “One of the reasons I created my channel was because I have a close relationship with my brother’s children, who live in Brazil, and all of their heroes are YouTubers. The kids are very happy to have a YouTuber aunt, and always want to know everything about my trips,” she says.

Menezes adds that, because her niece and nephew are tech-savvy, they gave her many tips on how to edit videos, and she also learned from watching and reading online tutorials. “In the beginning it was difficult, and it took me a while to figure out how to edit videos, but eventually I got there, and I always celebrate when I learn a new trick. All my videos are made with cell phones, and I often have the help of travel companions to make them.”

WUAS Associate Professor Shares Travel Stories on Blog and YouTube Channel

After showing some of her videos to her former Brazilian tourism students, as in-class examples and information sources about tourist attractions, she realised that people reacted more enthusiastically to this medium than to the blog. Since then, Menezes has been focusing more on her YouTube channel. “Digital media are wonderful tools to connect with other people. In my videos, I show things from my own perspective and often share information about not-so-well-known attractions and destinations from different countries. The audience is very responsive, and many people have posted comments saying that they have found information and learned more about other places through my channel.”

Asked about her most unique travel experiences, Menezes highlights the occasions in which she has been to countries where few people speak English. “These are challenging trips, because you have to be really creative to communicate with the locals. In situations like these, I have used mimics and drawings to ask for information, but things do not always work and sometimes you end up taking the wrong train or missing the bus stop where you want to get off. But I really like exploring new places, and sometimes this is the only way to do so.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Menezes has not had the opportunity to travel much and, as a consequence, her blog and YouTube channel have not been updated so frequently. “But when travelling gets safer again, I plan to restart with these activities. Because my content is so personal, I have always created it in my mother tongue, Portuguese, but perhaps I will try my hand at making some videos in English, which would be a new thing for me,” she says.

WUP 3/1/2022
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences wishes you a happy and successful 2022!

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences wishes you a happy and successful 2022!

As we draw to the end of a long and fruitful year, with a pandemic shaping every step of the way, it’s that time to relax and reflect on all the good things that have taken place this year; the successes, the hard work, the collegiality, the friendship, the diversity, the internationalisation, the teamwork, the respect and the trust.

Thank You!

On behalf of the Executive, we wish all our students, alumni, faculty & staff, friends and relations of Wittenborg a very happy, peaceful and enjoyable New Year celebration, and a healthy, productive and successful 2022!


Wittenborg Says Goodbye to International Partnership Manager Lena Vandenbosch

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Says Goodbye to International Partnership Manager Lena Vandenbosch

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-says-goodbye-international-partnership-manager-lena-vandenbosch.htm

Wittenborg Says Goodbye to International Partnership Manager Lena Vandenbosch

Lena, who will Be Pursuing a New Venture, will Be Missed by Wittenborg Colleagues

After five years of fruitful collaboration, the Wittenborg family says goodbye and wishes the best for International Partnership Manager Lena Vandenbosch, who will be pursuing a new venture in the consumer goods industry from now on. Lena, who was born in the Netherlands but has also lived in Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Spain, obtained a master’s degree in International Business from the University of Maastricht and also completed an MBA degree at IE Business School, Madrid. Prior to joining Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, in January 2017, she already had a long track record in the fields of sales & marketing and higher education.

At Wittenborg, Lena was initially a Sales & Marketing Officer before becoming the institution’s International Partnership Manager. In this role, she supported the recruitment of international students through a network of representatives from all over the world. Besides that, she was an active member of the Events team and collaborated with the Marketing team in the creation of promotional materials and content for the website.

According to Lena, one of the most rewarding aspects of her job was when she would receive the first student application from a new representative, which would then turn out to be the first of many to follow. “It was also wonderful to see how these applicants actually became our students and to watch how their journeys at Wittenborg unfolded. Another aspect I really enjoyed was the various business trips I had the opportunity to go on, which made it possible to network with professionals from the industry,” she adds.

In her view, the most challenging time at WUAS was when the pandemic started and the whole team had to fully migrate to an online working environment. “But with the team being so tightly knit, those challenges were overcome together and we quickly found new ways to effectively work as a team,” she stresses.

Lena says that Wittenborg has grown considerably since the time when she joined it. She highlights that, within the Admissions & Registry Department, the student recruitment journey has become more transparent, professional and streamlined, and also points out that the number of students recruited through the network of representatives has expanded significantly and become more diverse.

Wittenborg Says Goodbye to International Partnership Manager Lena Vandenbosch

Admissions Administrator Mykhailo Huba describes Lena as a reliable and life-loving colleague, mentioning that one of her best characteristics is the fact that she can be at the heart of any conversation or meeting. “I believe that this is one of the major reasons why she was good at this job, since her position implied a lot of meetings and conversations with agents and student representatives all over the world. I worked closely with Lena as an admissions intern and later administrator, and she was very helpful and provided me with valuable guidance. She is a very trustworthy colleague, and I will surely miss her.”

Student Registrar Florian Oosterberg said that she loved the fact Lena did not shy away from a discussion and would ask the hard, critical questions. “With a good dose of humour and a critical eye, she greatly contributed to improving our education consultant system and network, paving the way for future developments.”

Asked about what she will miss the most from Wittenborg, Lena says that it will definitely be her colleagues, mentioning that she loved working in such a diverse and multicultural environment. “The team’s continuous support, accepting nature and shared sense of humour made Wittenborg a great place to work. I would like to thank the whole staff for the memorable past five years, it has been an enriching experience and I have loved getting to know you all. I will really miss the daily laughs and I am grateful for all your support, and wish you all the best of luck for the future. Stay in touch!”

WUP 30/12/2021
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press


Students Find Creative Way to Have Christmas Party in Times of Corona Measures

by Wittenborg News -

Students Find Creative Way to Have Christmas Party in Times of Corona Measures

https://www.wittenborg.eu/students-find-creative-way-have-christmas-party-times-corona-measures.htm
Students Find Creative Way to Have Christmas Party in Times of Corona Measures

A group of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences students found a creative and fun way to have a Christmas party, despite the COVID-19 measures currently in place in the Netherlands. After Wittenborg's traditional Christmas celebration for staff and students had to be cancelled, students Luuk Ornstein and Isaac Pattison had the idea of organising an online quiz competition on the same date the event was planned to happen, 16 December.

To promote the “Kahoot quiz party”, Ornstein and Pattison were helped by Support Office & External Relations Coordinators Xiaoli Wu and Sophia Faraji, who sent out an invitation by email to all of Wittenborg’s students. In total, the activity had 21 participants, who played individually against each other. The quiz featured 49 trivia questions on a number of subjects including Wittenborg-related topics, Dutch history and geography, general knowledge and entrepreneurship.

After one and a half hour of fun and laughs, the competition ended and the three winners were known. The champion was Lilly Seijffert, who won a 50-Euro Bol.com gift card, while Ural Erselçuk, who was second, received a 35-Euro Bol.com gift card and Kirill Solntsev, who got the third place, was awarded a 15-Euro Tony’s Chocolonely’s box of chocolates.

Dutch student Luuk Ornstein, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurial Business Administration (EBA), said that the inspiration for the quiz came from other online activities he had organised previously as a member of Wittenborg Amsterdam party and events committee. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been organising events that comply with the COVID-19 measures. I personally love pub and trivia quizzes, so I thought it would be a fun way for students to bond. After the event, I got a lot of messages from participants saying that it was a success and that they would love to do more things like this.”

Ornstein adds that, because he will soon be finishing his studies, he will no longer be a member of the party and events committee, but he hopes that Wittenborg will go on organising student activities of this type.

Wittenborg Support Office & External Relations Coordinator Xiaoli Wu said that she was very happy with the outcome of the event. “It was a great activity and we had a lot of fun. The event ended up giving students the chance of being together and feeling the warmth of the Wittenborg family during this difficult and at the same time Christmassy time,” she added.

WUP 30/12/2021
by Ulisses Sawczuk
©WUAS Press

 


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