End of an Era: Brexit Spells End of Wittenborg's Teaching Collaboration with UK Partner University of Brighton
Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences' long-standing delivery partnership with the University of Brighton in the UK is coming to an end. Wittenborg's President, Peter Birdsall, has indicated that the partnership, of joint programme delivery, has become unsustainable as a result of Brexit.
Birdsall, said in a statement that as a result of Brexit the "difficulties and administration of running jointly delivered programmes in the Netherlands are too great for the relationship to remain a success".
The good news is that Wittenborg is now offering its own Master of Science (MSc) degree programme called a Master of Business Management, also specialised in the 4 areas that the 'Brighton degrees' have been focussed on: hospitality, tourism, events and sports business. The MBM programme is accredited by the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO), and also offers 4 pathways in international business.
For a long time, it has been uncertain how Brexit would affect Wittenborg's partnership with Brighton, but clarity on the matter was given on Friday. "The ending of this partnership for delivery of programmes in the Netherlands will not affect the development of Wittenborg or its students and staff in any significant way," Birdsall assured stakeholders.
Many highlights and successes
"The partnership lasted for a long period of time and had many enjoyable and successful moments. Wittenborg is glad to say that many of the teaching staff involved in the programmes from the University of Brighton have stayed in touch and will continue to do so."
Wittenborg has been working with the University of Brighton since 2009 – it began with the opportunity for Wittenborg students to go to the UK and complete a top-up degree in hospitality as part of the so-called EuroBA Consortium programme.
Experience with Brighton invaluable to Wittenborg's own development
From 2012, Brighton offered MSc programmes in hospitality, tourism, event management and later sports business at the Wittenborg locations in Apeldoorn. "Although the degrees were fully University of Brighton master's degrees, they were jointly taught and delivered together with Wittenborg teaching staff," Birdsall said.
"The experience that Wittenborg built up during the following years proved invaluable when it came to the creation and accreditation of its own master of business administration programmes, and most recently master of business management programmes leading to an MSc."
In the years after 2016, Brighton and Wittenborg offered bachelor's top-up programmes in the Netherlands. In Apeldoorn, students were able to study a top-up in hospitality management, which was integrated into Wittenborg’s own bachelor's programme and lead to a double degree. The Amsterdam campus offered a double degree in entrepreneurship and small business (EBA) and a bachelor's in business leading to a BSc from Brighton.
The double degree in Amsterdam will still see the top-up year being offered by Brighton for the current cohort and the two years of students that have already been registered at Wittenborg on this track. After current students, the programme will close and no new students are being admitted to the double degree. Wittenborg will continue to expand its own programmes in Amsterdam according to its development there.
Wittenborg offers its own MSc degree programme specialised in hospitality, tourism, events and sports business, accredited by NVAO. Its HBA business administration pathway offers all the bachelor versions of these specialisations.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press