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Wittenborg Celebrates Its History and Looks to the Future at Annual Staff Dinner

Wittenborg's Annual Staff Dinner a Resounding Success

On 9 February, employees and friends of Wittenborg came together at the Bilderberg Hotel De Keizerskroon in Apeldoorn for the annual staff dinner, not only to reflect on the accomplishments of 2023 but also to anticipate what lies ahead in 2024.

The special evening started with a warm welcome from Fjorentina Muco, Lecturer & Guest Lecturing Coordinator at Wittenborg, followed by remarks from Patrick Birdsall, whose connection to Wittenborg spans back to 2003 when he began teaching the first group of international students at the business school. He is also the father of Wittenborg's president.  

"Wittenborg is a bright beacon of intellectual progress and enlightenment, an international business school that fulfils a most significant and special role in the world by providing a series of high-level, interactive learning programmes, which are by their very nature international, taught in English and administered by a united team of dedicated international staff to students from many different countries who have chosen to come and study in the Netherlands," Birdsall expressed. 

He highlighted the importance of international education in addressing global challenges and promoting understanding across cultures.  

"International education becomes a uniting and stabilising force fostering a culture of critical thinking, understanding and empathy for less fortunate communities in order to meet and find solutions to global problems."  

He concluded his address by imparting words he had previously shared with Wittenborg students, who graduated earlier in the day: "Lead out. Do not to cram in. In other words, 'encourage' and lead the potential out of the individual. My message at the end of their graduation speech was, get a good sleep tonight, everybody. Your education starts now. It starts tomorrow."  

Wittenborg CEO, Maggie Feng expressed gratitude to the staff and friends of Wittenborg, acknowledging their contributions to the institution's success. She emphasised the sense of family cultivated within Wittenborg and praised the collaborative efforts that drive the university forward:  

"The annual staff dinner has evolved into a cherished tradition at Wittenborg, with a genuine sense of family. This year's gathering brought together the Advisory Board and the International Academic Advisory Panel members, providing them with the opportunity to meet face-to-face, a testament to the ongoing improvements we're making. Connecting brilliant minds is always the first step in creating something extraordinary."

Wittenborg Celebrates Its History and Looks to the Future at Annual Staff Dinner

A genuine celebration of diversity and internationalism

Peter Birdsall, President of Wittenborg, drew parallels between Wittenborg and a Formula One car, stressing the importance of each component working together seamlessly. He expressed appreciation for the dedication of staff members across various departments, including admissions, finance, research and student support, among many others. Birdsall extended gratitude to Wittenborg’s Head of Executive Affairs, Myra Qiu, who became a permanent member of the school’s Executive Board in January 2024.  

For Qiu, it was a memorable night. "We had a fantastic time at this cherished Wittenborg tradition! The evening was well organised and productive, and we were delighted to see staff members, invigilators, guest lecturers, Advisory Board members, and International Academic Advisory Panel members, along with their families, joining us from around the globe, including the United States, Croatia, the United Kingdom and China. Witnessing the Wittenborg family expand to over 200 individuals from 60+ nationalities in recent years has been truly heartwarming. The event was a genuine celebration of diversity and internationalism, and we are immensely grateful for such a remarkable gathering!" 

Wittenborg Celebrates Its History and Looks to the Future at Annual Staff Dinner

Wittenborg's vision for 2024

Looking ahead, Birdsall outlined exciting plans for Wittenborg, including the pursuit of AACSB accreditation and investment in a new university college in Bad Vöslau, Austria. He also announced the upcoming Globalisation Conference in August, inviting academics to submit papers for consideration.

Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a town campus in Apeldoorn, emphasising the project's potential to enhance education and housing opportunities in the area.

Birdsall also reiterated Wittenborg's commitment to its motto of "better our world," emphasising the collective responsibility to effect positive change globally: "It's not better yourself and better your world. It's better our world. And that's what we're asking everybody to think about." 

WUP 14/02/2024

by Erene Roux

©WUAS Press 

Wittenborg Celebrates Its History and Looks to the Future at Annual Staff Dinner

Wittenborg Celebrates Its History and Looks to the Future at Annual Staff Dinner