Tech-Women Scholarships for MBA in Digital Transformation and MBA in Data Analytics
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has launched a special scholarship aimed at attracting 'Tech Women' to study MBAs. The scholarship will provide a 5,000-euro fee reduction for women with a technical background in the new Wittenborg MBA specialisations Digital Transformation and Data Analytics.
Wittenborg already started developing more technical specialisations for its degree programmes in 2016-2017 after regular discussions with technology companies in Apeldoorn and the region, who pointed out their need of talent immediately and in the future. Maggie Feng, CEO of Wittenborg, has spent the past three years leading discussions with a broad range of 'tech' and manufacturing companies in the Apeldoorn region.
ICT talent - management shortage
“Back in 2015, it was clear to me that ICT talents were in short supply and that the talent gap would only increase in the coming years. This is still the case today, 6 years later. I spoke and listened to directors, CIOs and managers at a range of companies in the ICT and manufacturing industries as well as government agencies, such as the tax authorities and the land registry. I also worked together with colleagues at the regional research and development agencies to identify the human resources needs in Apeldoorn and the greater region, and to define the direction of our Tech MBA programme and curriculum development,” says Feng.
Wittenborg Hosts 3rd Annual Students and Staff Conference
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences successfully hosted its third annual Students and Staff Conference this week and the first one to be held online. Dozens of student representatives and members of staff logged in from home offices around the Netherlands. The unique event gives both parties the opportunity to gather and discuss a range of topics related to education at Wittenborg. High on the agenda this year was mental health issues as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, policy around working from home and how the pandemic is shaping the future of education.
Praise for Wittenborg's Hybrid and Online Learning Response to the Pandemic
Student representatives were particularly full of praise for the 'positive and successful' way that Wittenborg quickly moved its education provision online (in March 2020) and when possible between lockdowns supported a hybrid teaching and learning format with a mix of classroom and online teaching.
High on the agenda this year was mental health issues as a side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, policy around working from home and how the pandemic is shaping the future of education. Proposals emanating from the conference will be presented in a report to management next.
The day-long conference saw student representatives and Wittenborg staff meet separately in the morning before convening in the afternoon and exchanging ideas. At last year's conference mental health was already an issue for students and this year it was raised with even more urgency as students reel from the impact of the coronavirus on education.
Netherlands Scores Top Spot in Overall Global Reputation Report
Universities in the Netherlands are the most highly regarded by foreign academics from across the globe, an analysis by the prestigious British weekly, Times Higher Education (THE), has found.
The magazine analysed the results of its annual list of the world's most international universities. And although the results put institutions from Hong Kong, Switzerland, the UK and Singapore at the front of the race, a closer look at the data revealed that overall none of these countries as a whole has the strongest global reputation. That honour belongs to the Netherlands.
"The international reputation metric draws on THE’s annual Academic Reputation Survey and is a measure of the proportion of votes that an institution receives from academics outside its home country," the magazine states in an article.
"A country-level analysis shows that the Netherlands has achieved the highest average score on this metric for the past three years (88.8 in 2021), with all six of its representatives in the international ranking receiving a score upwards of 83 out of 100. This year, the UK is second (87.3) and Canada is third (84).
With Self-Discipline, Almost Anything is Possible
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “With self-discipline, almost anything is possible.” Self-discipline is, indeed, regarded as one of the keys to success. Many people attribute self-discipline as having determination and fortitude. That means having the strength and will to continue carrying out what one wants to achieve despite setbacks and hardships. But in actual fact, self-discipline is more about having self-control or the ability to control your desires and not falling prey to bad habits, such as laziness, procrastination and irresponsibility. In other words, self-discipline is having the willpower to fight your wilful desires.
When a teenager gets up early and prepares him/herself for online classes, that is self-discipline, as they resist the desire to sleep longer. If a student turns off his/her mobile phone to study peacefully without any distraction, that is self-discipline. Making great efforts to abstain from bad habits, such as smoking or too much gaming, is also self-discipline. So, basically, self-discipline is regulating yourself for the sake of improvement or betterment of your situation.
Distinguished Educator, Dr Petra de Weerd-Nederhof, Joins Wittenborg's Advisory Board
With more than 30 years of academic experience under her belt, Dr Petra de Weerd-Nederhof is one of three new members to join Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' Advisory Board this year. The two other members are Rijn Platteel (chair) and Paul Zevenbergen. De Weerd-Nederhof is currently professor in organisation studies and innovation at the University of Twente, but has held various other academic positions at the university throughout her career. She is also a member of Topvrouwen.nl - an initiative by the Dutch Ministry of Education and employer's association VNO-NCW aiming to boost the number of women in management positions.
De Weerd-Nederhof said she met Wittenborg CEO Maggie Feng years ago and has since been very impressed with the growth arc the institution has made. "Wittenborg is a very agile organisation, designed to be flexible and very aware of their unique position in the Dutch education landscape. Above all, in everything they do they are entrepreneurial. Maggie and Peter (Wittenborg's president) try things where other people would not. It would be very interesting to see how they continue to develop the organisation."
According to De Weerd-Nederhof, she is also intrigued by the school's personal approach to students. "I like the way Wittenborg takes care of its students – the individual attention to their well-being. I think the success of Wittenborg has a lot to do with the very specific characteristics of the people who run it."
Romanian Team Wins Open Science Schooling Project Logo Competition
After some stiff competition during the Schools Empowerment Event of Erasmus+ Eco-Systems Open Science Schooling Project (OSS), the Romanian team came out tops, beating teams of students from other partner schools. The logo, with its visually and aesthetically pleasing elements, represents an embodiment of the project theme and aims and will grace the project throughout its 2-year stint. (View the article on the launch of the project here).
A total of 20 artistic and innovative logos were received from partner schools (Turkey, Lithuania, Romania and Poland) and voting for the most representative logo was tough. But the Romanian team's logo took the prize because of its unique conceptualisation, which includes all the necessary elements that represent the project. When asked what she thought of the Project Logo Competition, Calkin Suero Montero, the knowledge expert from the University of Eastern Finland, said, "I was very pleased to see the good effort that all the student teams have put into conceptualising the essence of the project." She added that the competition was carried out smoothly and fairly, and the outcome reflects the consortium's synchronised spirit towards the project goal, well-represented by the winning logo.
Enhancement of Internal Quality Assurance of Education in Teaching, Learning and Assessment in HEIs of Azerbaijan and Russia
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has been accorded the privilege of being the grant holder of its 3rd approved Erasmus+ project by the European Commission. The project, which is known as IQAinAR (Internal Quality Assurance in Azerbaijan and Russia), seeks to support enhancement and development of the internal quality assurance of Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) of the partner countries with EU quality standards as the benchmark, as well as strengthening the HEIs' local, regional and national policies and strategies implementation.
The project was officially launched in a virtual kick-off meeting on 16 February, hosted by Wittenborg's EU Project Coordinator and Junior Researcher, Aydan Ismayilova and its CEO, Maggie Feng. The meeting was attended by Erasmus+ National Agency representatives from the Netherlands, Russia and Azerbaijan and graced by the presence of a special guest from the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), Danielle Picot. The meeting was packed with high spirits among all attendees from 5 countries and the support provided by Erasmus+ officers to the project team was acknowledged and warmly received.
Graduate's Research Looks at What Motivates Young Adult Chinese Shoppers
Wittenborg graduate Wei He took a peek inside the mind of the Chinese consumer as part of his final research project, deconstructing their online buying behaviour. He graduated with flying colours earlier this month with a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in Logistics and International Trade. In his Graduation Assignment (GA), Wei looked at what motivates Chinese millennials when they do online shopping and also what demotivates them.
Wei, who is Chinese, said online retail giants like Alibaba are facing some problems approaching millennials because of their unpredictable buying behaviour. "The purpose of my study was to analyse the purchasing behaviour of this group and help marketeers optimise sales, thereby creating effective marketing strategies."
Shift in Chinese Market
He hit upon the idea after seeing on the news the big shift in the Chinese market from traditional shopping to online shopping. "Being a millennial myself, I was curious about my own behaviour and what motivates me. Millenials are currently the biggest spenders in China."
His findings revealed that for this group of consumers, brand is the most valuable aspect of any product they buy online. "A popular brand name gives them a feeling of esteem. Online shopping also depends on income and gender. Females are much keener to shop online."
Wittenborg Advisory Board Adds Three New Members
Dutch education expert Paul Zevenbergen is one of three new members to join Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' Advisory Board this year, bringing with him considerable experience in both the public and private higher education spheres. The two other new members are Rijn Platteel (chair) and Prof. Petra De Weerd-Nederhof. The next Advisory Board meeting will be in the spring where they will be formally introduced.
Zevenbergen is a former director of the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO), board member of the Coding College Amsterdam (CODAM) and serves as chairman of a commission advising the Ministry of Education on the training of teachers. He was the guest speaker at Wittenborg's 30th anniversary gala in 2017.
Zevenborgen said he came into contact with Wittenborg through his work at NVAO. "I regard Wittenborg as a fine institution and a very relevant one, providing high quality management education to international students so they can benefit from all the good facilities and quality education system we have in the Netherlands. Wittenborg is relevant in light of its contribution to the landscape of management education and as a private institution with affordable fees."
He brings to the table a broad experience in both private and public education, a vast network, as well as a valuable insight into Dutch education from the government's point of view.
Happy Days for Wittenborg MSc and Double Degree Graduates as They Pick Up Degrees from UK Partner
Wittenborg's double degree master's and bachelor's students graduated from the University of Brighton in the UK last week as part of a partnership between the two institutions. It follows Wittenborg's own 2021 Winter Graduation Ceremony, which took place on 5 February.
Nineteen Master of Science degree students from Wittenborg attended Brighton's virtual graduation ceremony last Wednesday. They are from Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, Austria, Vietnam, Russia, Iran, Nigeria, Germany and Luxemburg. The degrees bestowed on them were MSc in Sport Business Management, MSc in International Event Management and MSc in International Hospitality Management.
On the preceding Monday, there was an online ceremony for bachelor's students who graduated with double degrees from Brighton and Wittenborg. They are from Denmark, India, Iran, China, the Netherlands and Thailand.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Brighton, Professor Debra Humphris, said it is her sincere hope that somewhere in the future, when it is safe to do so, the university will welcome the graduates back to the university as important members of its alumni community. "Our graduation ceremonies are always the highpoint of the academic year. This year is no different. Indeed, I would suggest the extraordinary times we are living in give us even more reason to celebrate your incredible achievements. And today the technology allows us to still come together from across the UK and indeed from across the globe.
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