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Wittenborg Admissions Team Joins First ICEF Africa Conference - with Great Success

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Admissions Team Joins First ICEF Africa Conference - with Great Success


Wittenborg Admissions Team Joins First ICEF Africa Conference - with Great Success

More Students from Africa Expected to Study in the Netherlands

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' admissions team has attended its first ICEF Africa conference online with education recruitment agents on the continent expecting more and more inquiries from students on studying in the Netherlands. Especially students from Nigeria are looking for alternatives to some of the English-speaking study destinations.

"This was the first time we joined ICEF Africa and it was definitely a successful event for us," said Lena Vandenbosch, Wittenborg's International Partnership Manager. The 3-day event saw the Wittenborg team attending 68 meetings in total. Countries represented were Algeria, Benin,  Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  

Vandenbosch said: "We had the opportunity to catch up with various agents that we are already working with, but most of the meetings were with agents we have not spoken to before. Surprisingly, most agents, even very established ones, have not yet recruited students to the Netherlands. Many agents explicitly mentioned that they are receiving more and more inquiries on studying in the Netherlands. Especially students from Nigeria are looking for alternatives to some of the English speaking study destinations."

Wittenborg Admissions Team Joins First ICEF Africa Conference - with Great Success

Mykhailo Huba, also part of the admissions team, said Nigeria is a country with many young people. "It has more than 315 languages of which three are dominant languages, as well as English. Lagos is one of the most dense populated cities in the world as well, and the biggest city in Nigeria. It used to be a capital, but now it is a metropolitan city with accent on naval commerce, much like New York City."

Huba said he learned a lot about the different African countries from the conference. For instance that Nigerians are very optimistic people with hard working students. "They also like good food, since Nigerian cuisine is diverse. They have nice beaches in Nigeria - same as in the DRC. In the capital of the DRC, Kinshasha, they love European fashion and culture as well as music and travel."  

Sophia Faraji, Wittenborg's Support Office Coordinator, said the agents that she spoke to from Egypt and Nigeria were pleasantly surprised by what Wittenborg has to offer. "For instance, the fact that we offer 6 intake opportunities per year and the support provided in terms of visa applications was all new to them. They said they can't wait to start working with us."

WUP 20/6/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press

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Wittenborg CEO: "I Never Had Any Doubt about Taking COVID-19 Vaccine"

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg CEO: "I Never Had Any Doubt about Taking COVID-19 Vaccine"

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-ceo-i-never-had-any-doubt-about-taking-covid-19-vaccine.htm
Wittenborg CEO: "I Never Had Any Doubt about Taking COVID-19 Vaccine"

Wittenborg Staff Tell of Positive and Well-Organised Experience with Vaccination

Now that the Dutch COVID-19 vaccination programme is in full swing, we asked a couple of staff members who got the jab already - including Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng - what the experience was like, why it was important for them to do it and the level of service received.  

Feng said she never had any doubts that she would take the vaccine once it became available as she has confidence in science and the way that the vaccine was developed, the rigorous standards it was held to and the fundamental research behind it. "The vaccine is the only way out of the current height of the pandemic and protecting others," Feng said.

Under normal circumstances, vaccines take years to develop, but scientists used prior knowledge to develop safe and effective vaccines in just under a year by simultaneously starting all the necessary steps - including animal testing, two phases of human clinical trials and manufacturing.

Wittenborg CEO: "I Never Had Any Doubt about Taking COVID-19 Vaccine"

Feng also said the Netherlands was lucky in having its medical experts appear regularly in the media and on talk shows to counter scepticism about the vaccine. "Sometimes scientists do not have the skill to communicate their knowledge, but I feel we were lucky to have people that spoke with confidence and from the heart in a very relatable manner."

Feng had her vaccination in the south of Amsterdam where Wittenborg's Amsterdam campus is also located and said the jab itself was a breeze. "There was a real feeling of community - that we are all in this together - on the day I was there. People were waving and smiling - as much as you can smile through a mask - and it was very well organised."

Wittenborg Head of School of Business Dr Rauf Abdul said the vaccination centre provided clear information and everything was excellently arranged. "There were staff members around to control the traffic of people - useful during rush hours. On the confirmation letter there was a note that your registration card cannot be used as an official proof of vaccination."

Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall said he was amazed at how organised and efficient the Dutch Public Health Service (GGD) was in administering the vaccination. "On the other hand, I suppose it took them 9 million jabs to practise with before I got there."

Wittenborg Project Week teacher Samantha Birdsall said she had both her vaccinations in May already as she belongs to a risk group. "It was so well organised and there was hardly any delay."

WUP 18/6/2021
by Anesca Smith
©WUAS Press

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Hot Jobs in the Netherlands in 2021

by Wittenborg News -

Challenging Situations Require Changes

Challenging Situations Require Changes

Living in a fast-changing world, where technological development modifies drastically traditional business practices, has disrupted the labour markets on a global scale. Both employers and employees have had to change their mentalities about jobs, dynamising different job positions and aptitudes that emerged due to workforce and workplace changes, such as those caused by the current pandemic.  
   
We are all tired of hearing “the pandemic this or that...”, “Covid19 here and there…”, but the truth is that Covid19 has caused a paradigm shift in how people work and how business gets done. As people are more adapted to studying or working remotely, and more sensitive about their health, more new job positions that did not exist before have emerged. Furthermore, several professional and interpersonal skills have become more important than others.

The most in-demand jobs in the Netherlands

According to a LinkedIn’s article, which discusses the jobs with highest demand nowadays in the Netherlands, the following are the top 5 business-related jobs. Take note!

  1. Customer Services (Teleperformance): due to several lockdowns and restrictions, companies are required to strengthen their customer services on an online basis. For this reason, several job positions related to customer services and experience have become highly demanded. Big cities such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam have become top hiring locations for these types of jobs.
  2. E-commerce: Online shopping has never been more important! Since the pandemic began, small, basic, day-to-day activities, such as doing groceries, were covered with online payment and home delivery options. Online retail had such an exponential growth that jobs in logistics, e-marketing specialists, sales coordinators among others, had a pivotal increase in demand. The cities where these jobs are trending are Rotterdam, Eindhoven, or Tilburg, key cities for trading and warehousing.
  3. Operations:  On-time and fast delivery have become the most important component in customer service. Companies like IKEA, DHL or Jumbo have increased job positions in operations management and logistics, and over 60% of new employees hired in 2020 for these positions held a business degree background.
  4. Creative freelancers: It was only until the pandemic that many companies realised how important improving their online marketing presence was. Since 2020, the demand for skills in videography, digital art, photography, music among others, has grown tremendously. Over 5,000 open jobs for creative freelancers are posted on LinkedIn.
  5. Professional and personal coaches: There is nothing better than to share your knowledge with others! According to LinkedIn (2020), job openings in professional coaching have become highly demanded. Over 63% of these roles were occupied by women.

Why Wittenborg students should care

At Wittenborg, it is a requirement for bachelor's students to undergo Work Placement/Internship. Moreover, after graduating students have the possibility to find a full-time job in the Netherlands. In order to prepare for this, it would be a good idea to research the job market and be aware of new jobs or skills that are trending in the country. Only then will you be able to better prepare your CV or focus more on certain skills that you may need to strengthen. Furthermore, all of these top 5 in-demand jobs plus the others mentioned in the article are closely related to Wittenborg’s study programmes! That being said, as a future or present Wittenborg graduate, be sure that there is a job possibility waiting for you in the Dutch labour market! Prepare your CV and get out there for the job-hunt!

WUP 16/6/2021
by Laura Serrano
©WUAS Press

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Meet Wittenborg's New(ish) Student Housing Assistant

by Wittenborg News -

Meet Wittenborg's New(ish) Student Housing Assistant

https://www.wittenborg.eu/meet-wittenborgs-newish-student-housing-assistant.htm

Meet Wittenborg's New(ish) Student Housing Assistant

International Background Advantage for Keeping Peace in Mixed Student Accommodation

When Maria Acosta started as the new student housing assistant at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences back in November 2020, it was just as the second COVID-19 wave hit the Netherlands and many international students were back to online studying from their student rooms. As someone who has lived in many countries, equipped with a good understanding of what it means to be an international, Acosta was able to help students make their living conditions as pleasant as possible while they rode out the storm.

Testament to this are the many letters students have written praising her skills as housing assistant. One reads: "Maria is patient and someone who easily gains others' trust. She relates easily to students from a range of different backgrounds. She also makes sure that students understand and follow the rules as well as the health and safety requirements relating to Wittenborg accommodation."

Another says: "She handles every situation very calmly and is punctual, always with a smile and makes sure to interact with students, no matter how busy she is."

Wittenborg has nine apartments scattered around Apeldoorn, where the two main campuses are located. This is aside from the student dorm, Ruyterstraat, which has 30 rooms says Acosta.

After fleeing the Uruguayan war in the 60s and briefly living in Argentina, Acosta and her family were granted asylum in the Netherlands and she came here as a 7-year old. After growing up in the Netherlands, she also lived as an adult in Singapore, India and China, and has a background in social work. She speaks Spanish, English, Dutch and "a little Mandarin".

This international background is definitely an advantage on the job. "I think it is useful because it has taught me a lot about people. I embrace all cultures and religions and understand that different people have different cultural backgrounds and that has to be navigated with so many internationals living and studying together."

When the job came up last year, she says she did not think twice before accepting it. "I was very enthusiastic and also had to grow in the job. For instance, I am not a handyman, but I have since learned to do a few odd jobs like painting when the need arises."

She thinks the student groups who arrived at the height of the pandemic must have had the hardest time. "They are the bravest because they had to adjust to a new country while in lockdown where there was not a lot of room to go out and explore or meet up with fellow students at school. They had to deal with culture shock and maybe loneliness."

She also thinks that the student volunteers, who came forward to meet new students at the airport and make them feel at home on arrival, are heroes.

Her advice to new students is to be open to new experiences. "Holland is great, but it can also be very  challenging. I can imagine that if you come here fresh out of high school or if you have never had the same kind of freedoms before, you can also drown in that new-found liberty."

WUP 14/6/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press


Do you Have a Vaccination Appointment Yet? A Helpful Guide to International Students and Staff

by Wittenborg News -

Do you Have a Vaccination Appointment Yet? A Helpful Guide to International Students and Staff

Do you Have a Vaccination Appointment Yet? A Helpful Guide to International Students and Staff

People in their 30's Able to Make Vaccination Appointment This Week

This week people in their 30's were able to make an appointment to get the vaccination - which makes for a large chunk of the staff at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences and even some students. (Note: link not available outside of Netherlands). Very soon all those above the age of 18 will be invited and vulnerable teenagers 12 upwards will also be included.

The country is speeding towards its goal of getting everyone who wants to get vaccinated the jab before mid-July - this includes international students and staff at Wittenorg. Initially the government was aiming for end of June, but some delays in delivering the vaccination necessitated an adjustment.

People who want to make an appointment will need to answer a few easy questions relating to their current health and will also need to log on to their DigiD account - so keep that information handy. Once registered, you will also get a confirmation by email and SMS followed by a letter, which includes a form on your current health which you have to fill out and take with on the day you get vaccinated as well as identification documents and confirmation email, letter or SMS.

Those who are still in  the queue can check the RIVM website for information on when it is their turn and which vaccination they are likely to receive - it is updated on a daily basis. You can also follow the RIVM or the minister of health, Hugo de Jonge, on Twitter to see when it's your turn.

WUP 12/6/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press

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Wittenborg's Raymond Rothengatter Making Impact on Society with Diversity at Workplace

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg's Raymond Rothengatter Making Impact on Society with Diversity at Workplace

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborgs-raymond-rothengatter-making-impact-society-diversity-workplace.htm

Wittenborg's Raymond Rothengatter Making Impact on Society with Diversity at Workplace

Successful Trial in How Employees with Mental Health Issues can be Incorporated Leads to Government Funding

When you suffer from a mental illness, finding (and keeping) a job can be an uphill struggle. Luckily for these type of job seekers there are employers like Wittenborg's Raymond Rothengatter. Rothengatter's ICT company, RayFlexCom, took part in a trial to determine how job seekers with mental health issues can be integrated at companies. His company showed that, with a little tweaking, it can be done successfully. In fact, so much so that the government is now sponsoring 2,300 of these vacancies over the coming period.

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has been working with RayFlexCom for a few years, outsourcing some of its ICT needs to the company. Wittenborg's President, Peter Birdsall, said the institution is proud to work with an organisation that supports diversity in the workplace and is making an impact on society.

Rayflex's participation in the trial made national news in the Dutch media recently. It interviewed an employee at the Deventer-based company, one David, who suffers from bouts of depression and ADHD.

Assisted by a job coach, David said he sometimes still experiences a dip in his mental health, but that the coach helps him to identify what is needed to fulfil his professional obligations. In the same way, the coach also takes into account what the employer needs for the arrangement to work.

Rothengatter said so far it is going well and David has been employed for about two years at Rayflex. "Of course, there are ups and downs but in general he is doing well. All of us here know what the situation is and when there are days he needs to put on the brakes, we take that into account."

The news clip can be viewed

.

WUP 10/6/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg's Live Q&A for Prospective Students

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg's Live Q&A for Prospective Students

Live Q&A with Multicultural Audience

Wittenborg Admissions Team started the month of June with a Live Q&A session where prospective students had the chance to make enquiries about academic life and study programmes. People from several countries around the world, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Iran, Sri Lanka and Romania among others, joined the session led by Mykhailo Huba, Wittenborg's Admissions Administrator.

Wittenborg's Live Q&A for Prospective Students

Special interest in the new-launched post-master's programme

A general enquiry for potential applicants was the multiple-intake system, which characterises Wittenborg, as well as the application process for the study programmes. Although each programme may have some different requirements, the general application rules are a valid high-school diploma or a previous higher-education diploma (or subjects/grades transcripts), and a certificate of English language proficiency level equivalent to minimum IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL iBT 80 (for undergraduate programmes) and IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL iBT 90 (for postgraduate programmes). Likewise, prospective students wanted to know more about the different types of programmes available. Wittenborg offers over 20 bachelor's specialisations and over 15 postgraduate programmes and one post-master's programme.  

Moreover, several participants wanted more information about the recently launched Post-Master's programme, which is expected to start in summer 2021. This reflects that Wittenborg has reached a wide variety of audiences around the world, and not just high-school leavers.

Wittenborg's Live Q&A for Prospective Students

Visa process & Covid-19 vaccination in the Netherlands

Another topic during the session was the visa process, which Mykhailo explained varies with nationality and country of residence. For instance, if an applicant resides in a country different from their home country, they have to consult the local authorities of their host country whether it is possible to apply for a visa at the Dutch Embassy there, or if they have to travel to their home country to follow the process.

Last but not least, the participants of this Live Q&A were especially intrigued by the vaccination process in the Netherlands and how it would affect them if they were to study at Wittenborg: Should they get vaccinated before travelling, or would they be granted entry without vaccination? All these doubts were clarified by Mykhailo, and for further information about vaccination, this article can come in handy.

Wittenborg's Live Q&A for Prospective Students

Why not join a live Q&A session?

More live Q&A sessions will be held througout the year 2021, and due to the high rate of interest among participants, we encourage prospective applicants to refer to our Events Calendar so as not to miss out upcoming sessions. You can also join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter where the events are announced and any questions can be left in the comments area, which our Wittenborg staff will take care to answer during the next Q&A session.

WUP 8/6/2021
by Laura Serrano
©WUAS Press


Dutch Parliament to Debate Reduction in Fees for Students at Private Institutions of HE

by Wittenborg News -

Dutch Parliament to Debate Reduction in Fees for Students at Private Institutions of HE


Dutch Parliament to Debate Reduction in Fees for Students at Private Institutions of HE

Department of Education Backtracks after Wrongfully Informing Students of Fee Discount

The Dutch department of education (DUO) had to make a hasty backtrack after accidentally informing students at private institutions of higher education that they are entitled to a reduced study fee in the coming academic year as part of the government's response to COVID-19 and its effect on education in the Netherlands the past year. Students at public institutions are entitled to the discount.

However, the NRTO (Dutch Council for Private Universities and Institutions for Education and Training) is one of the bodies currently lobbying for this gesture of goodwill to be extended to students at private institutions like Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences. Parliament will debate the matter this coming Monday in the House of Representatives. Wittenborg is also sending out a letter this week in support of the proposal.

The Dutch government recently announced a couple of Covid-19 compensation measures. EU students will get a 50% discount on their normal tuition fees, while those outside the EU and EER who usually pay institutional fees, will get a discount of  € 1,084 with the condition that they are enrolled in a "publicly funded programme”.

Meanwhile, the revised message from DUO clarifies that discounts given do not apply to students studying at privately funded institutes and that the right to receive a “tuition fee loan” has not changed but is still for the full amount of tuition fee (only applicable to Dutch and EU students).

Another support measure for students at publicly funded institutions is that those who have fallen behind with their studies because of the impact of COVID-19 are entitled to a one-off compensation amount to cover the costs of a longer period of study. Those at universities or universities of applied sciences will also get 12 months extra on their travel product with the maximum being 7 years.

WUP 6/6/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press


Wittenborg Students Warming-up to In-Class Sessions

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Students Warming-up to In-Class Sessions

https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-students-warming-class-sessions.htm

Wittenborg Students Warming-up to In-Class Sessions

Spike in Number of In-Class Attendance

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended almost every facet of education all around the world. It has not just caused a move from classrooms to virtual environments, but it has brought along challenges in instruction, delivery and assessment methods, attendance and most importantly, human interactions. After more than a year of campus closing, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences reverted to its hybrid-teaching two weeks ago, permitting students to attend classes physically. However, unlike last year, where physical attendance was thin, lecturers have noticed a spike in the number of in-class attendance and participation.

For one bachelor's class, what started with one or two students out of a total of forty registered students in the first week, has reached eleven in the second week. This was quite a surprise to Fjorentina Muco, the Intercultural Business Communication lecturer. She asked, "What motivates students to come to class now?" She believed that it is the dynamics of the module in combination with the fun class activities that she has lined up for her students. "I think they have had enough of talking to virtual faces on screens. They now want to be the protagonists of the fun activities in class," added Muco.

Wittenborg Students Warming-up to In-Class Sessions

Great interactive sessions

The same goes for the International Management class, a master's class, attended by Xavier Talla and lectured by Dr Arie Barendregt. Talla, who is from Cameroon, has been attending online classes since he came to the Netherlands on 17th May. He was glad to be in class and finally meet his new friends and lecturer in person. He said that on day 2, eight students turned up, which was a surprise. “It was a great session and good experience with lots of interactions,” commented Talla on the class. When asked why he prefers physical classes, he said, "I prefer physical class because it gives me opportunities for face-to-face interaction with classmates and especially the teachers. We can make use of the coffee/lunch breaks to have more informal conversation or discussions."

Wittenborg Students Warming-up to In-Class Sessions

Happy with Wittenborg's online materials and 'world class' lecturers

For Talla, the online learning during the pandemic has given him a great opportunity to experience the wealth of online materials provided by Wittenborg. He is also very impressed with the 'world-class' lecturers who have taught him so far. He embraced the fact that these lecturers are not just teachers, but are experienced experts in their own fields. He especially loves the lessons by Dr Gilbert Silvius, an active researcher, writer and experienced project management and information management expert, as well as Dr Arie Barendregt, an active business-to-business sales and marketing expert in Europe and the US. "The lecturers made us imagine ourselves in the shoes of a general manager and then asked us really tough but relevant questions which managers usually face in their day-to-day dealings."

Remote learning may be here to stay, but studies have shown that majority of students and teachers still prefer face-to-face learning environments. After all, humans are social beings and we are hard-wired to connect, socialize and collaborate. It is this social behaviour that has been a significant part of our adaptive nature, allowing us to innovate, create, adapt and do things which we wouldn't be able to do on our own.

WUP 4/6/2021
by Hanna Abdelwahab
© WUAS Press

Netherlands Likely to Say Goodbye to Masks and Social Distancing by September

by Wittenborg News -

Netherlands Likely to Say Goodbye to Masks and Social Distancing by September


Netherlands Likely to Say Goodbye to Masks and Social Distancing by September

Everyone to Be Fully Vaccinated in 3 Months - Minister

The Dutch government is confident that, when the new academic year starts in September, current safety measures around COVID-19, such as wearing a mask and keeping a distance of 1.5m will be a thing of the past. The minister of health, Hugo de Jonge, said in an interview over the weekend that this is a "realistic" scenario.

In addition, it is foreseen that every adult in the Netherlands who wants to be will be fully vaccinated by then, including international students. The government previously predicted that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will get their first shot by at least 1 July. This had to be slightly adjusted to mid-July as delivery of some vaccines was delayed.

By this week, almost 10 million vaccinations have been administered in the Netherlands and there has been a steady decline of new COVID cases and hospitalisation since the government's vaccination programme really started picking up steam from mid-May onwards.

Meanwhile, another round of corona restrictions will be relaxed in the Netherlands from 5 June. This includes the opening of museums, historic buildings, cinemas and theatres.  Adults may once again take part in sports in groups of up to 50 people without having to keep 1.5 metres apart, if the sport in question requires people to be closer. That means yoga classes can restart.

Restaurants and cafes can open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., as long as everyone is assigned a table and there are no more than 50 guests in each space – i.e. indoors and outdoors. A maximum of four people is allowed per table seated 1.5 metres apart, excluding the under 13s.

De Jonge warned people to stay alert in the meantime and continue adhering to the basic rules, including those who have been vaccinated:

  • Wash your hands.
  • Keep your distance.
  • Get tested and stay at home if you have any symptoms.

WUP 2/6/2021
by James Wittenborg
©WUAS Press

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