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Many Chinese Alumni Employed by Dutch HE Sector

by Wittenborg News -
Many Chinese Alumni Employed by Dutch HE Sector

High Number of Chinese PhD and Bachelor's Students Stay in the Netherlands after Graduating - CBS Report

Over 60% of Chinese bachelor's and around half of Chinese master's degree graduates still live in the Netherlands 3 years after receiving their diplomas, a new report by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) states. And around 43% of Chinese PhD graduates are still in the Netherlands 10 years after the end of their PhD contracts. This is around 10 percentage points higher than the stay rate of the average international PhD student in the Netherlands, the quarterly Internationalisation Monitor, commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has found.  

While the bulk of Chinese who currently reside in the Netherlands work in the Accommodation and Food Industry (43% in 2018), higher education is also one of the most popular sectors for Chinese people working in the country.  

"This is to a large extent driven by the number of Chinese PhDs employed by Dutch universities. In 2018, there were around 400 Chinese PhDs in the Netherlands, around one-tenth of all international PhDs working at Dutch universities that year. Chinese people working in higher education are relatively young (the average age is 31), and men are often overrepresented in technical universities."

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, with its diverse student and staff component, also employs a number of Chinese nationals as academics and support staff. After Germany and Italy, China is the 3rd biggest source of international students for the Netherlands. However, Nuffic has predicted that global student mobility will probably decrease in the next 5 years due to COVID-19.  

In the academic year 2018/19, there were 4,475 Chinese students in higher education in the Netherlands (1,072 in universities of applied sciences (HBO), and 3,403 in research universities). Interestingly, the number of Chinese students in bachelor's programmes decreased between 2013/14 and 2018/19, while the number of master's students increased during this period.

Non-EU Students Contribute More to Dutch Economy

The CBS report, which focuses on economic relations between China and the Netherlands, states that academic cooperation with China is an attractive option is because it is a way of luring talented students and researchers to the country. "CBS research from 2019 also shows that international students – especially non-EU students – contribute significantly more to the Dutch treasury then what they cost the country."

Chinese Make Up 7th Largest Number of Internationals in the Netherlands

In 2019, the Dutch population stood at 17.3 million people of which 1.1 million were non-Dutch residents. They comprised mainly of Polish people (144,000), Germans (77,000), Turks (75,000), Syrians (74,000), Brits (47,000), Italians (39,000), Chinese (37,000), Belgians (35,000), Spanish (33,000) and Indians (31,000).

WUP 2/7/2020
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press


Dutch Universities Allowed to Start with Physical Classes from 1 July as Per New COVID-19 Regulations

by Wittenborg News -

Dutch Universities Allowed to Start with Physical Classes from 1 July as Per New COVID-19 Regulations

https://www.wittenborg.eu/dutch-universities-allowed-start-physical-classes-1-july-new-covid-19-regulations.htm

Wittenborg In Line with Minister's Call to Adopt "Hybrid" Education Model after Summer

Wittenborg In Line with Minister's Call to Adopt "Hybrid" Education Model after Summer

Dutch universities are expected to re-open en masse after the summer holiday as the government announced a further ease in restrictions this week. The Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, has called on the higher education sector to adopt a "hybrid" model, by providing online as well as class-based education – in line with a plan announced by Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences two weeks ago. Van Engelshoven emphasised the importance of face-to-face education, especially for first-year students.

The Executive at Wittenborg released a plan detailing its return to class-based education in August after moving online in March due to COVID-19. All lessons will be run on location and students are required to attend with laptops or tablets, and students who cannot attend will be able to follow online using Moodle and Teams. Wittenborg invest heavily in online databases of journals and books, and successfully extending its ICT infrastructure to facilitate online delivery. "These investments will help make our education provision in the future even better," Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall said. He emphasised, though, that Wittenborg has no plans to become a fully online university of applied sciences.

Online Education Assessment

Wittenborg also sent out a survey to students to assess their experience of remote learning the past quarter. Results are expected soon. 

In a parliamentary debate on the corona crisis and education, Van Engelshoven urged institutions who plan on continuing online until the end of the year to "rethink", according to an article in Het Parool. She said "hybrid education" - combining online and physical classes - must be properly fleshed out. "Digital education is a great addition, but should not be the only option. Institutions who are planning to stay digital until 31 December should think carefully. It is imperative that first-year students in particular interact with each other, their lecturers and on campus. This cannot be done in one's bedroom, behind a screen."

New Regulations

These are the main changes to regulations that will apply from 1 July:

  • People are urged to maintain the social distancing rule of 1.5 metres as a fundamental guide.
  • All seats on public transport services can be utilised again, but wearing a mask remains compulsory.
  • Universities and universities of applied sciences like Wittenborg can start with physical classes again, adhering to social distancing rules.
  • People can also sit next to each other in coaches and non-family groups can travel in the same car. Masks are recommended.
  • Outdoor events will no longer have a maximum number of visitors, as long as social distancing is observed and people are seated and have booked places in advance. Without reservations, the limit is 250.
  • Indoor events have a limit of 100 people excluding staff. Seating is compulsory.
  • Stadiums can reopen for events, as long as people keep 1.5 metres distance and do not sing or chant.
  • Saunas, sports schools and gyms can reopen, and competitive sports can also resume.

Night clubs and discos, however, remain closed and singing in large groups, including in church, remains banned due to the risk of infection.

WUP 30/06/2020
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press

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Student Volunteers - Backbone of Wittenborg's Events Success

by Wittenborg News -

Student Volunteers - Backbone of Wittenborg's Events Success


Wittenborg events supported by relentlessly dedicated students

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences organises numerous activities and events for its students, staff and faculty members consistently throughout the academic year. When it comes to events management, there is a lot to prepare and sometimes it's easy to overlook what pressure goes on behind the scenes. There are weeks or sometimes months of planning to be able to deliver a successful event. The preparation part takes a lot of dedication and patience. A lot of events that Wittenborg has delivered to its stakeholders have been supported by students relentlessly devoting their time as event volunteers during the whole process. Today, we hear from some of these wonderful students about the motivation behind their contribution to Wittenborg events and activities.

Cynthia Andrea: 'A great lesson for the time I start applying for jobs'

Cynthia Andrea: 'A great lesson for the time I start applying for jobs'

Cynthia (Columbia) studies IBA in Economics and Management. Her parents taught her that making people around her happy is a source of positivity in life. Cynthia grew up with this habit and it is now part of her life values. Participating in Wittenborg events has not only brought joy to herself and her surroundings, by interacting with a lot of people in events she is now able to accept differences and develop a nice degree of tolerance. Meeting people also expands her network and raises her self-confidence and public speaking skills. ‘It's a great lesson that will bring me benefits for the time I start applying for jobs’ she explained.

 

Supun Rodrigo: 'I like it because I know I'm being useful somewhere'

Supun Rodrigo: 'I like it because I know I'm being useful somewhere'

Supun (Sri Lanka) studies IBA in Financial Services Management. Supun has always been active in volunteering activities both in his home country, India, and here in the Netherlands. He is a volunteer member from the Missionary of Charity in Calcutta and Amsterdam. His work focuses on providing companionship for the elderly and being a good listener. Recently, that role changed as he volunteered to participate in a Wittenborg Live Q&A session with future students of Wittenborg. He found it very rewarding because he was challenged to use more his voice instead of his ears. Supun told us that he enjoys knowing that he could be a meaningful person to somebody and everybody. He likes volunteering because he is being useful somewhere.

 

Anna Temofeeva: 'I encourage everybody in the field of events and hospitality to start their careers with volunteering'

Anna Temofeeva: 'I encourage everybody in the field of events and hospitality to start their careers with volunteering'

Anna (Russia) studies IBA in Events Management. Anna loves people and she believes with her work in events, she can make people happier. As a student in this field, she found that it is difficult to land jobs without experience. Her volunteering activities have given her leeway to many job opportunities so far. Anna is now employed part-time as the first English-speaking member of staff at the Van der Valk Hotel in Apeldoorn. Anna is encouraging everybody in the field of events and hospitality to start their careers with volunteering.

WUP 28/6/2020
by Sylvia Effendi
© Wittenborg University Press

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Saying goodbye to a long-serving member of staff: Tineke van der Leer

by Wittenborg News -

Saying goodbye to a long-serving member of staff: Tineke van der Leer

https://www.wittenborg.eu/saying-goodbye-long-serving-member-staff-tineke-van-der-leer.htm

Saying goodbye to a long-serving member of staff: Tineke van der Leer

Tineke van der Leer Heads into Retirement

Tineke van der Leer is now entering the retirement phase of her professional career after working with Wittenborg for the past 8 years. In her position as the Student Registry Administrator, she has been influential in the student journey of a large number of WUAS students. She will be greatly missed by colleagues and students who have had the good fortune of interacting with her. We caught up with her to talk about her experience working at Wittenborg and what she is looking forward to in this new chapter.

What were your different roles during your time at Wittenborg?

I joined Wittenborg at a time when the organisation was in a phase of accelerated growth, so all staff members had quite a lot of responsibilities at the time. I started out as office manager helping the management with housing contracts, making invigilator schedules for exam periods, as well as anything else that needed to be done. When the number of staff started growing, responsibilities were shared with the new team members and I became more involved with students joining the university. While I have had the same job title all the time, my job description changed over the years in line with the university’s growth.

What have you become more proficient at during your time at Wittenborg?

Each student is so different, they come from different countries and backgrounds, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to interacting with them. Within the bounds of my position’s responsibilities, I had to learn how to tailor my approach to each individual student.

What did you enjoy most about your role working with students at Wittenborg?

I enjoyed the opportunity I had to have personal contact with the students and help them tackle some of the problems they faced as they embarked on their journeys as Wittenborg students. I really liked having the ability to contribute towards making a positive impact on their student experience.

What are your plans for the next phase of your life?

For the first few months, my plan is to do nothing but rest. I had made a lot of plans, but I have had to put them on hold because of the current global COVID-19 pandemic. But while those plans are on hold, I am tending to my new vegetable garden, going on walks and reading the many books I have been putting off reading because I didn't have the time. Post-pandemic, I would love to do volunteer work with refugee children, specifically helping them learn Dutch.

What will you miss most about Wittenborg?

I will definitely miss my colleagues the most. The last three months working from home proved to me just how much I enjoyed the daily interaction we had with each other at the office. The office atmosphere was always welcoming and jovial. What I enjoyed the most must be the diversity in the organisation, there are so many different nationalities represented by the staff and I was able to learn a lot from different colleagues. 

Do you have any final words of advice for your colleagues who are on the other side of the retirement line?

Always remember to take care of yourself. Of course you have to be dedicated to your job, but work-life balance is most important.

Tineke's Vegetable Garden (tomatoes, cabbage and corn)

Tineke's-Vegetable-Garden


WUP 26/6/2020
by Olivia Kawuma
© Wittenborg University Press

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Workout Session with Refugees in Apeldoorn

by Wittenborg News -

Workout Session with Refugees in Apeldoorn

Volunteering is nothing new for some Wittenborg students

Amidst the warm summer afternoon, four young adults, three of whom are from Wittenborg, prepared for a workout session with refugees at the spacious backyard of the former UMW building on Christiaan Geurtsweg in Apeldoorn.

Joint Voluntary Work between Wittenborg, Network Skill-Ability and COA

The workout session was jointly organised by Wittenborg’s Communications and Events Coordinator Nadia Zaman, and Jasmijn Lagerweij from the Youth Volunteer Network Skill-Ability and COA (Centraal Orgaan opvang Asielzoekers - a central body for the reception of asylum seekers). Network Skill-Ability organisation is a youth volunteer group initiated by Lagerweij and fellow colleague Mirjam Buurkes, to introduce young people between the ages of 15 to 30 to volunteering work in Apeldoorn by using their skills and talents. A master’s student in Amsterdam, Lagerweij hopes to connect Wittenborg students with refugees and others who have settled in Apeldoorn. After helping a Syrian girl to learn Dutch, Lagerweij felt like she could do more. That’s why she started Skill-Ability in September 2019 and she connects with organisations, schools and social businesses in order to incorporate youth volunteering in the daily life of Apeldoorn. “Especially in this time of crisis, people need social interaction or a helping hand more than we think,” quoted Lagerweij.

Workout Session with Refugees in Apeldoorn

"Voluntary Work is a Good Opportunity to Make Others Happy" Sepand Zamani

The workout session was led by Sepand Zamani, Wittenborg’s MBA student from Iran. A health buff herself, Sepand was more than happy to share her health tips and exercise moves, because to her, it was a good opportunity to make others happy, even through something simple like a workout. About 10 refugees, teenagers and adults alike, joined the workout session which lasted for about an hour. A group of young boys were eager to start the exercise and even asked for their photos to be taken.

Kindness Begets Kindness

Shiolim DSilva, Wittenborg's MBA student from India, said that he has always associated himself with NGOs and other organisations which organise voluntary events. Volunteering has always been part of him since his school days and has continued till now. His reason for volunteering is to be of help to anyone, whenever, wherever, however he could in any possible way. DSilva said that volunteering is a good way to meet new and different people, to understand them and spread a bit of happiness to them. “I love doing it. It makes me feel good about myself,” said DSilva. He encourages his fellow schoolmates to be part of at least one volunteer group and expose themselves to the reality outside the virtual world. “Give yourself an opportunity to be of help to someone and maybe that help could return to you someday as a surprise,” he added. As the saying goes "Kindness begets kindness", Dsilva's words cannot be truer than that.

"Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love" Mother Teresa

On a serious note, Wittenborg bachelor’s student Supun Rodrigo, who is from Sri Lanka, says that voluntary work has led him to get to know life better. In 2015, he was so inspired by the charisma of Mother Teresa that he visited Calcutta, India and Vietnam for voluntary work, such as looking after the elderly in hospices. Holding on to Mother Teresa’s words “Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love”, Rodrigo encourages others to explore volunteering activities because it will help to bring about a realisation within oneself of the beautiful diversity of people and their lives.

Volunteering Leaves Positive Impact on the World

Volunteering is one of the motivating forces for creating transformation in society and making positive impacts on the world. Student volunteerism is not uncommon in many universities and institutions of higher education. In fact, it is highly encouraged and actively promoted by NGOs and government bodies. The benefits of volunteering are numerous. It opens up your mind by giving you a wider perspective on things, it makes you more aware of the tribulations that plague a certain group of people and at the end of the day, it gives you a sense of satisfaction that you have made somebody’s day better. Volunteering while studying will definitely enhance students' well-being and provide them with beneficial activities beyond their books and classrooms. Volunteering is like socialising but with a more beautiful aim.

Workout Session with Refugees in Apeldoorn

Interested? Contact us.

If you are interested in volunteer work, look out for announcements from Nadia Zaman or you can find updates on Instagram: Netwerkskillabilityapeldoorn. You can also contact Lagerweij at 06-83590328. “Contact us. We would love to get to know you and find out what your skills are, as well as showing you how to use these skills to help fellow ‘Apeldoorners’ on a voluntary basis,” said Lagerweij.

WUP 25/6/2020
by Hanna Abdelwahab
©Wittenborg University Press


Wittenborg's Virtual Meet & Greet for New Students under Travel Restrictions

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg's Virtual Meet & Greet for New Students under Travel Restrictions

New Students Enthusiastic after Wittenborg Virtual Meet and Greet Event.

New Students Enthusiastic after Wittenborg Virtual Meet and Greet Event.

Last week, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences organised a virtual meet and greet with eight master's students and four bachelor's students from Iran, Tanzania, Nigeria and India, currently still in their home countries due to COVID-19-related travel  restrictions. This unique meet and greet involves several Wittenborg current students and staff members, who inform new students about Wittenborg’s study system and its online implementation during the pandemic.

Travel plans were the main topic of discussion at the event as many countries, including the Netherlands have now gradually started lifting their travel restrictions.  Everyone remains optimistic and confident that they will be able to start classes in late August.

Wittenborg is preparing to move all classes into school locations from autumn onwards with regards to the government guidelines about the number of students in each class session. However, Wittenborg will also continue to support all students online as needed for those who cannot attend classes on location due to travel restrictions or individual health concerns.

The twelve new students were very enthusiastic throughout the discussion. Questions and answers about life as International students, the Dutch language and sporting activities were raised and the chat room continued to be busy for hours after the virtual meet and greet event officially ended.

WUP 23/6/2020
by Sylvia Effendi
©Wittenborg University Press

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When Hearing "No" is a Gift, Because your Dream Job is Waiting Around the Corner

by Wittenborg News -

When Hearing "No" is a Gift, Because your Dream Job is Waiting Around the Corner


When Hearing "No" is a Gift, Because your Dream Job is Waiting Around the Corner

Wittenborg Alumnus Lands Job at Top Dutch Bank after Many Rejection Letters during Corona

Before landing a job at ING, the largest bank in the Netherlands, Wittenborg alumnus Armin Moradi said he received a whole lot of rejection letters from companies he applied to – exacerbated by the coronavirus. "Looking back, I am over the moon that all those people said 'no' to me so I can do a job that I always dreamed of. This shows that sometimes hearing 'no' is a gift." Moradi, who is Iranian, also did an internship at Wittenborg as admissions assistant while studying.

Hi Armin, congratulations on the job. When do you start and what will you be doing at ING?
Thanks! I will start on 1 July as Operations/Network Engineer. That means it is all about fixing ICT problems such as malfunctions.

When did you graduate from Wittenborg?
I graduated in November 2019 with a Bachelor (IBA) in Information Management. I also have a bachelor's degree in Information Technology. After working a bit, I wanted to improve my English and went to the London School of Commerce in Malta. Alongside my studies, I was able to get my Cisco certificate, which was a big achievement for me

How are you applying some of the knowledge you gained at Wittenborg in your career?
Apart from my studies, my internship at Wittenborg helped me to become familiar with working in an international place where diversity is ubiquitous. This prepared me for my future. It does not matter what kind of position you have, as long as you learn something new every day.

Why were you interested in studying in the Netherlands and at Wittenborg?
I always wanted to live in Europe. I decided to come to the Netherlands for many reasons. The Dutch are cheerful and open to living with international people. Everything in this country is well organised - public transport, healthcare and so forth. In addition, Holland is the perfect hub for international students as there are lots of international universities across the country. I chose Wittenborg because of its reputation and the fact that it has 6 entry dates.

When Hearing "No" is a Gift, Because your Dream Job is Waiting Around the Corner

Any tips for current or prospective students about finding a job in the Netherlands?
First, I had to improve my Dutch language abilities, which will be needed in my future career. So, I strongly advise students to start learning Dutch. The only difficult part is the beginning. Knowing Dutch will be a big plus when applying for any job here. Secondly, doing internships is really important during your study because it shows that you are able to adapt yourself to a new environment. This is in addition to earning money and gaining experience. I can also share a good tip that I learned from a Dutch newspaper:  "Wat je kunt doen is investeren in jezelf en kijken naar de toekomst " - What you can do is invest in yourself and look to the future.

What do you like about life in the Netherlands?
My home is where my heart is and my heart is in the Netherlands, because this country gave me an opportunity to develop myself and start my professional life. I like the directness of Dutch people because you can vividly see what they really think about a specific subject. I also like the weather here. I don't like hot weather at all, so I think this is a perfect place for me. In the Netherlands, everything is very well-organised and you do not feel lost.

What were some of the challenges you faced and how did you bridge them?
The first thing that springs to mind is finding a new apartment. This can be very frustrating but in the end I managed to find a nice place. Finding a job during the situation caused by the coronavirus was also challenging. I sent my application to many companies. Many companies and people said “no” for many reasons but I never stopped trying and dreaming. Now, I am over the moon that all those people said “no” to me so I can do a job I always wanted. This shows that sometimes hearing “no” is a gift which brings a lucrative opportunity to you in the future.

In which city will you work for ING?
Since I will be working in a technical role, I will work in cities like Rotterdam, Amsterdam and in those areas, but mainly in Rotterdam. I’m currently living in Apeldoorn but I’m about to move to Rotterdam.

What do you ultimately hope to achieve in your career?
I would like to have a job that cannot be easily replaced by robots.

I could not help noticing your peculiar email address (networkman@….). Care to elaborate?
As networking is my passion, I tried to make a meaningful email address based on that.

WUP 20/6/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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Wittenborg Vindicated: Dutch Research Universities Found to be Registering Unqualified International Students Through Pathway Programmes For Visa

by Wittenborg News -

Wittenborg Vindicated: Dutch Research Universities Found to be Registering Unqualified International Students Through Pathway Programmes For Visa


https://www.wittenborg.eu/wittenborg-vindicated-dutch-research-universities-found-be-registering-unqualified-international

Wittenborg Vindicated: Dutch Research Universities Found to be Registering Unqualified International Students Through Pathway Programmes For Visa

Dutch Research Universities Found to be Registering Unqualified International Students Through Pathway Programmes For Visa

"Wittenborg has not yet received an answer to its letter informing the Minister that Research Universities were incorrectly recruiting unqualified international students and at the same time discriminating against Dutch 'Havo' school levers. The Minister requested the National Commission to investigate and they have now confirmed that Dutch Research Universities are unjustly registering non-qualified international students to the university in order to apply for a student visa, even though these students actually don't study at the university. We shall be asking the Minister to enforce the law." Peter Birdsall, President Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences. 

National Commission Upholds Wittenborg's Complaint over Fast-Tracking of International Students into Public Universities

More than a year after Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences called on Dutch education authorities to look into allegations that recruitment agencies are fast-tracking international students into research universities despite not having a qualification that is equivalent to the national requirement, Wittenborg's claim has now been justified. 

The National Commission for the Code of Conduct for International Students in Dutch Higher Education has now issued a report after investigating the matter, saying it was brought to its attention by Wittenborg, who not only petitioned the Ministry for Education, Culture and Science, but also laid it bare in publications such as Onderwijsblad, a publication of the AOb, the Netherlands’ biggest teachers' union.

Agencies are allegedly recruiting international students who do not qualify for admission to Dutch universities, offering them a costly “transition-year programme”, which is then taken care of by the agencies themselves. However, to comply with the requirements of a study permit, students are registered at partnering universities.

Among them are students who do not have the equivalent of a VWO diploma – the general criteria for admission to a research university in the Netherlands. The high school diploma in many countries like China, Indonesia and Russia only meet the Dutch HAVO-level, which is not eligible for entry into a research university.

Undesirable Situation

The commission has now concluded that universities should make a closer evaluation in estimating whether a student who enters the transition-year programme will actually pass and start with the programme he or she intended. "Our investigation has revealed that 24% of these students don't make it. The commission is of the opinion that based on the definition in the Code of Conduct, some of these private transition programme providers, do in fact act as agents judging by some of their activities. We are asking ourselves if this is a desirable situation.

"In the agreements made between institutions and providers, the latter are among other things responsible for the development of marketing material and the website, but also for the provision of information, the evaluation of admission criteria, the registration of students, evaluating their progress, the handling of student complaints and their overall welfare." The commission emphasised that these activities must to a sufficient extent take place under the oversight and within the influence sphere of the universities or institutions.

Stringent Policies Must Be Developed

The commission recommended that more stringent policies be developed – based on quality control in education – when it comes to recruiting students who do not yet qualify for admission to universities.

It also asked that institutions be "clearer" in their policies in which way the admissibility of students is determined.

The commission limited its investigating to three private providers who act on behalf of 8 Dutch institutions in taking care of their transition-year programmes. These are OnCampus (on behalf of the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences), Navitas (on behalf of the University of Twente and the Hague University of Applied Sciences), and Study Group (on behalf of the University of Tilburg, the Erasmus University and the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen). Navitas is Australian. OnCampus and Study Group are UK based.

Tags: VSNU, Research Universities, International Students, National Commission

WUP 20/6/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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Executive Unveils Detailed Plan for New Academic Year

by Wittenborg News -

Executive Unveils Detailed Plan for New Academic Year


What Wittenborg Students Can Expect When Class-Based Education Starts Again in Late August

What Wittenborg Students Can Expect When Class-Based Education Starts Again in Late August

A detailed plan mapping out the steps Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences will take in the next few months, as it prepares to start class-based teaching in the new academic year, has been presented by the Executive Board. It contains several COVID-19 prevention measures to ensure the safety of both students and staff, which include not having more students than possible in one class and running classes from morning to evening in the future.

Like other institutions of higher education in the Netherlands, Wittenborg was forced to move all its education online in March to ensure that students would have no study delay, or study break. The upshot of this is that for the last 3 months Wittenborg was able to invest heavily in online databases of journals, books and successfully extending its ICT infrastructure to facilitate online delivery. "These investments will help make our education provision in the future even better," Wittenborg President Peter Birdsall said in a letter to students.
He emphasised though that Wittenborg has no plans to become a fully online university of applied sciences. "We would like to make it perfectly clear that we are not delivering online programmes and that all of our degrees are full-time degrees (actually obligatory for any student on a study visa). In the future, we may offer some part-time degrees online for students outside of the Netherlands; however, this will not affect our current programmes on location."

From 2 June, Wittenborg re-opened its Apeldoorn and Amsterdam locations as well as book and library facilities in line with the gradual lifting of restrictions by the Dutch government. "We are now getting towards the end of the academic year, and preparing to move all classes back into school locations as from the autumn. To do this we will have to take some measures that will ensure that not more students than possible are in a classroom at the same time and we shall also have to programme lessons from morning to evening according to government guidelines; however, we aim to run a normal timetable as far as we possibly can. We will also continue to support all students online as needed, which is especially important for those who cannot attend class on location due to travel restrictions at that time or individual health concerns," Birdsall said.

Laptops in Classes

All lessons will be run on location and students are required to attend with laptops (or tablets), as lessons will be using Moodle and Teams to teach, but also so that students who cannot attend can also follow online. Laptops should have a wireless connection to Eduroam configured and have a battery capacity to last the lessons on that day, as charging capacity in classrooms is limited.

Attendance vs Participation

Attendance requirement will not be re-introduced; however, we will maintain the participation requirement for taught modules. We will ensure that teachers make the ‘participation’ manageable without increasing the study load, but adding to the learning experience.

Staff and Students Thanked for Responding Efficiently to Crisis

Birdsall thanked staff for responding quickly and efficiently as the COVID-19 crisis arrived. "We are extremely proud of our staff for the effective way in which they have managed to provide full-time education to you, our students, under such difficult conditions.

"We are especially proud of the way that you students have reacted to this situation, and continued to study and learn and achieve credits in this way. Special compliments to those of you who actually started your studies online, ready to arrive when you are able to. Thank you everyone."

WUP 18/6/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press


On the Perks and Perils of Teaching Online

by Wittenborg News -

On the Perks and Perils of Teaching Online

https://www.wittenborg.eu/perks-and-perils-teaching-online.htm
Wittenborg Lecturer Nátalia Leal "Passionate" about Empowering Others

Wittenborg Lecturer Nátalia Leal "Passionate" about Empowering Others

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has reopened all its campuses in the Netherlands and is restarting more activities on location. This week, we checked in with lecturer Natalia Leal who teaches Master in Business Management (MBM) modules on the advantages of lecturing online and what she looks forward to teaching in person again.

Leal, who holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Kent in the UK, was chief executive of the World Fair Trade Organisation. Aside from lecturing, she also acts as a public speaker and as a life career and executive coach. She describes herself as someone passionate about helping and empowering others in gaining control of their lives. "I am continuously searching for personal growth and ways of supporting others in making conscious decisions and effective plans towards a happy life."

Leal says what made her stay positive during the COVID-19 crisis was the nice early spring weather the Netherlands experienced this year. "… but also realising how lucky she was to have a nice place to work from and online friends she could reach out to.

"In the beginning I had to learn how to do webinars and was really spending a lot of time at my desk in front of my computer, as most other people I presume. I do enjoy dressing more casually, on those days when nobody is meant to see me!"

As a freelance worker she did not have to adjust to many changes workwise, but says that although online teaching did save her a lot of commuting time she missed face-to-face meetings. "Not being able to see people's reactions and adjust your communication accordingly. Most communication is non-verbal, so with sound only we miss a lot of cues."

"I cook more and use an app to help me exercise at home"

She tried to make use of her free time as well as possible under the semi-lockdown spanning more than two months in the Netherlands. "I tried to cook more often and talk with friends I had not been in contact with for a while. I also started using an app to help me exercise at home. One of the things I took for granted before was being able to take a walk whenever and wherever I chose to."

WUP 17/6/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

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