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Wittenborg at Amsterdam Whisky Event

Wittenborg at Amsterdam Whisky Event

Wittenborg Student blends in well at Amsterdam Whisky Trade Fair

Wittenborg University Press (WUP) Sales & Marketing Assistant, Rousanna Baird, got her first taste of a drinks trade fair last weekend promoting "Whisky Burn – Distilleries of Scotland by Vespa". The hardback book is published by WUP, and written by UK author Ben Birdsall. 
"Whisky Burn" details the author’s trip around Scotland visiting the whisky distilleries and learning about the industry – all on a 1979 classic Vespa 50! Launched at Wittenborg’s Amsterdam campus late 2015, the book has surprised everybody concerned by its sales and media attention.  
A total of 34 exhibitors showcased their products, including some of the big names of the business, to c.700 visitors at the one-day event. Attending the annual “Spirit of Amsterdam” on March 3rd were representatives of whisky distilleries, importers, agents and interested members of the public. “Whisky Burn” was the only book on offer at the show.  

Also manning the stand was Wittenborg’s Student Registrar, Santosh Aryal. The Wittenborg duo got the chance to speak to some of the people who know the industry, selling a few copies as they went along to interested connoisseurs.
Rousanna, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in Marketing & Communication at Wittenborg, is not new to trade fairs in general.  “Actually,” she says, “I have done this more than once, in my home country of Guyana. However, it is my second time in the Netherlands. I recently exhibited at the annual Vakantiebeurs (Holiday Expo) in Utrecht, at the beginning of January. It was huge and really left a good impression on me. I am also exhibiting in Berlin this coming weekend at the International Tourism Fair. I think it will be great! I also have plans for other exhibitions throughout the year, for instance the London Tourism Fair. Therefore, it will be quite a busy year.”
Wittenborg at Amsterdam Whisky Event

Asked what benefits she sees from such events, she replied: “For me, personally, I think I benefit in terms of the exposure of being in such a diverse environment. It makes me feel alive, to talk to people, to tell stories (my favourite part), and just meeting and talking to people – getting an impression. In professional terms, I think the networking is beneficial – to be able to build my network, to meet important and influential people. At the Amsterdam festival, I even got to meet a distributor who is willing to work with us for selling the book.”
Will she be attending other drinks trade fairs after this experience? Sure. The sequel, "Whiskey Burn – The Distilleries of Ireland by Vespa", is being published by WUP in June of this year, and Rousanna is already putting her sales & marketing skills to work on that project.

WUP 8/3/2018

by Ben Birdsall
©Wittenborg University Press

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Ripple-effect of RUG's Failed China Deal

Ripple-effect of RUG's Failed China DealThe management of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has written to the Dutch Ministry of Education to voice its dismay over the University of Groningen’s decision to abandon its plans to offer full degree programmes in China, noting the damage the decision has caused to the reputation of Dutch higher education abroad, and specifically in China.

"As integrity, sustainable management and ‘value for money’ become increasingly important discussion points within western societies, Dutch Higher Education is asking itself why it embraces internationalization, and especially the link between 'mass internationalisation education business' and 'funding', whether public or private, and especially a combination of these. The University of Groningen (RUG) has spent the past three years investing in a venture in the Chinese city of Yantai, even having the Dutch Kind and the Chinese President sign the agreement to establish a branch campus – only to forget to inform all parties of the possibility that a works council could scupper the deal."

University of Groningen's Failed Venture in China Blocks Way for other Dutch Institutions

Wittenborg Writes to Minister of Education

In a hard-hitting letter directed to the minister, Ingrid van Engelshoven, Wittenborg directors Peter Birdsall and Maggie Feng asked that measures be put in place to restore Holland’s image in China, and that the university, as a state-funded institution, give a full financial account of the ill-conceived venture.

Spelling out the wider repercussions of the Groningen-decision, the letter from Wittenborg reads: “A week after the matter hit the headlines, one of our partner universities in China indicated that cooperation has become much more difficult, which has now forced us to drop agreements around student exchange programmes. These agreements were already at an advanced stage, and were to form the basis of Chinese government subsidised exchange programmes.

“We have also received similar signals of hesitancy from other partner universities in China. It is thus fair to conclude that our business is suffering as a direct result of what happened in the Yantai-deal, which has led us to write this letter.”

Talks about setting up a branch campus of the University of Groningen (RUG) in China already started at the beginning of 2015, with the university board being informed around May 2015. Only in 2017, when it became clear that the board would not concede to the plans, was the Yantai-commission formed to gather the necessary background information to give the go-ahead. In the meantime, RUG had already concluded an agreement with Yantai and invested millions of euros.

“In light of these events we ask how the management of a state-funded university signed a cooperation agreement – under the auspices of King Willem Alexander and President Xi Jinping of China, no less – to set up a campus in Yantai without proper consultation or adherence to the proper requirements? How did it happen that the Chinese thought it was a done deal, while nothing had actually been presented and agreed to by the university board at that stage?” Birdsall and Feng write.

They also question the role of NESO China, part of the Dutch agency NUFFIC that promotes Dutch education abroad, in the whole ordeal.

In conclusion, Wittenborg asked the minister to make sure that, in future, state-funded universities adhere to the rules which guide their decisions, that damage control measures be put in place in the aftermath of the Yantai-deal, and also for a full financial account of the venture.

WUP 16/2/2018

by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press

Wittenborg MSc Graduates Receive Degrees from Brighton University

Wittenborg MSc Graduates Receive Degrees from Brighton UniversityWittenborg's latest Master of Science graduates received their formal degrees on Friday at the University of Brighton's 2018 Winter Graduation Ceremony in the UK. Wittenborg offers its MSc programmes in conjunction with Brighton. Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall, was also in attendance to support graduates.

The Graduation ceremony was led by Brighton's Vice Chancellor, Professor Debra Humphris, who highlighted the great importance of higher education, to society, the economy and the development of towns, cities and countries. Professor Humphris, who congratulated each degree awardee on stage, also highlighted the importance of life-long learning, and after the ceremony took the time to personally congratulate Wittenborg's students with a photo opportunity.

Wittenborg has 12 master's degree graduates this winter, and held its own graduation ceremony last week. The graduates are Thomas Daniel Janssen (Netherlands), Brenda Evan Uzoma (Nigeria), Yingjiao Wang (China), Gabriella Margarita Gomez (El Salvadore), Janice Calista (Indonesia), Yuchi Wei (China), Szu Yi Lui (Taiwan), Jinendra Gooneratne (Sri Lanka), Nadine Weltevreden (Netherlands), Nadia Deandra Indradi (Indonesia), Grace Ofodie (Nigeria) and Sanjay Shrestha (Nepal).

Of these, Nadia, Brenda and Jinendra attended the Brighton ceremony on Friday. Raymon Driessen, who graduated from Wittenborg's IBA (entrepreneurship) programme in February 2016, is also a Brighton master's degree graduate after attending the university's Business School, where he studied management and entrepreneurship. He was happy to meet up with the Wittenborg group.

Another Brighton graduate this year (Master of Science in International Event Management) was Wittenborg's Vienna Campus coordinator Luise Wagner, who joined Wittenborg after having studied in Eastbourne.

As far as future plans are concerned, Brenda said: "I intend to gain as much international experience as I can, and then return to Nigeria sometime to re-start and build my events company on a better scale."

Janssen said: "For the next few years, I will remain in the Netherlands. However, after a few years I really want to live and work in Australia and/or New Zealand together with my girlfriend for one or two years."

Janice has similar plans: "I will be staying in the Netherlands, apply for the orientation year and gain some experience in the Netherlands."

Wittenborg currently works with the Schools of Business, of Service Management & Sport and of Education at the University of Brighton, and also with the Centre of Teaching & Learning, for staff development and academic support.

WUP 18/2/2018

By James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press


A German Student Explains his Decision to Study in the Netherlands

A German Student Explains his Decision to Study in the Netherlands
The number of international students in the Netherlands hit an all-time high last year, most of whom came from Germany – so much so, that it recently led the rector of the University of Amsterdam to question the desirability of this. So why does a German student want to study in the Netherlands? We asked Tilman Schmitz, a German student who came to Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences in the 2013-14 academic year to do an IBA in Real Estate Management.  “I could not find a similar programme in Germany, and to be honest, Dutch and German cultures are not that much different, so I can understand why it is an attractive study destination for German students. It has also not been hard for me to understand Dutch as a language.”

Wittenborg Bracing itself for Brexit in 2018 while striving to be a "Benchmark" for Internationalisation in Dutch Education

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In 2018, Wittenborg will build on its phenomenal successes of 2017, which includes being ranked one of Holland's top small universities of applied sciences, Wittenborg's chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall told staff and guests at its annual New Year's reception.

"We have achieved the consistent and guaranteed international classroom, something other institutions are struggling with." Wittenborg reached totals of almost 700 students in 2017 from more than 100 nationalities. "We have achieved complete diversity and internationalisation within our staffing. We stand out, both locally, nationally and increasingly within the 'study in Holland' international circuit. Let's become a benchmark in the Netherlands for internationalisation in education."

A debate is currently raging within Dutch education circles on the definition of a truly international classroom and what the limits are to accepting international students. Birdsall said Wittenborg occupies a unique position in Dutch higher education. "As a private institute we do things that our public brothers and sisters are struggling with – and quite literally means that some automatically assume we are public, because of what we have achieved and what we represent."



Whisky Burn the Sequel!

Second Whisky Book from Wittenborg University Press Expected by Summer

Second Whisky Book from Wittenborg University Press Expected by SummerAfter the success of his first book, Whisky Burn - Distilleries of Scotland by Vespa, Wittenborg writer Ben Birdsall has just finished the draft for his second book, which this time explores the distilleries of Ireland. It will be published in time for the summer season by Wittenborg University Press. 

Wittenborg student, Rousanna Baird, who has done a marvellous job the past few months in marketing the first book, says the team is about to start drafting a strategy to promote the second. Birdsall toured both established and emerging distilleries in Ireland over the summer on his Vespa, repeating the formula of the Scottish trip.

Wittenborg Strengthens Academic Ties with China as it Signs Agreement with Weifang University

Wittenborg Strengthens Academic Ties with China as it Signs Agreement with Weifang University

Following on from a visit to China last year, Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences has entered into an inter-institutional agreement of cooperation with the Weifang University of Science and Technology in Shandong, China.

The common goal of the agreement is to promote academic exchange between the Netherlands and China, to enhance mutual education performance, and to strengthen collaboration in areas of mutual interest, so as to develop academic and research cooperation.  

Weifang was represented by two delegates, Mr Jianping Wang and Mr Yanhui Chengh. They were welcomed by Wittenborg CEO, Maggie Feng, and the chair of the executive board, Peter Birdsall.


Wittenborg to offer MA in Education from 2018

Wittenborg to offer MA in Education from 2018Want to pursue a master's degree in education? Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences is pleased to announce that from September 2018 it will offer a Master of Arts (MA) in Education, drawing closer to its goal of creating a broad management university with 5 schools in the next 5 years, including a School of Education.

The programme will be offered full-time (1 year) as well as part-time (2-3 years). Students will learn through a mixture of lectures, taught sessions, tutorials, online learning, group work, independent study and through work-related activities.


A message for Christmas

A message for Christmas

This is the time of year when we all look forward to a few festive days, away from the incredibly busy lives we all lead, looking back at what has gone, preparing for what is to come.
As an ancestor is reported to have said, "Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection." 
And what an incredible year it has been at Wittenborg, celebrating our 30th anniversary, welcoming many students from the Netherlands and around the world to Apeldoorn, to our entrepreneurship in Amsterdam, and our new location in Vienna!
It was a year in which Wittenborg and its team gained home and international recognition for its internationalisation and its diversity, and for its international programmes. It was a year in which Wittenborg was recognised as being ranked 4th Best Small University of Applied Sciences – a proud moment for students and staff.
During 2017 - the Wittenborg family reached totals of almost 700 students and over 80 staff members. Building this great team has been inspiring, and while we welcomed lots of new colleagues this year, we also sadly said goodbye to two important members of the team.
We would like to thank sincerely our team of colleagues for making our achievements seem so easy, and for our wonderful students for joining us on this journey.
We wish everyone happy holidays, however long or short they may be, and however close or far from home you might be. Go safely!
And what of 2018? – That’s for another message!

A message for Christmas

WUP 23/12/2017

by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press



Students and staff enjoy festivities at campus Vienna, Amsterdam and Apeldoorn

Students and staff enjoy festivities at campus Vienna, Amsterdam and ApeldoornThis week, students and staff have enjoyed Christmas drinks and snacks at the different locations in the Netherlands and Austria. CEO Maggie Feng joined students in Amsterdam for the Christmas party, and chair Peter Birdsall visited students in Vienna for a festive drink at the famous Christkindlmarkt.

Yesterday students and staff at the main campus in Apeldoorn celebrated the start of the festive season with an informal event at the Irish Pub in the towns central bar and restaurant area.

WUP 21/12/2017

by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press




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