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Wittenborg Welcomes Shanghai Business School Students for Educational Exchange

Visiting Students’ Horizons Broadened by Lectures and Cultural Activities

To strengthen its partnership with Shanghai Business School and promote a valuable cultural exchange, Wittenborg offered a special one-week course for a group of students from the Chinese institution from 28 January to 3 February. In total, the activity involved 10 bachelor’s students from Shanghai, mainly studying Information and Communication Technology and Business Management, as well as lecturer Dr Yuangang Li. 

During their time in the Netherlands, the students attended lectures on multiple themes including Dutch culture, intercultural management & business approach in Western culture, ethical leadership & communication and presentation skills & constructive feedback. These sessions were conducted by Frits Bartels, Fjorentina Muco, Maggie Feng, Peter Birdsall and Fahad Shakeel.  

Moreover, they had the opportunity to visit Apeldoorn’s famous Paleis Het Loo, as part of an assignment which required them to promote the palace in the Chinese market, using different social media platforms to advertise it. The students presented their projects to a panel including Paleis Het Loo’s Manager of Marketing & Communication, Jacolien Van Wezep, who commended their work and expressed the institution’s willingness to go on collaborating with Wittenborg.  

The activities also included a visit to Deventer-based MyAutomation MA-IT, where Talent Development Manager Fabian Grootfaam introduced the students to the company’s culture. Grootfaam emphasised that MyAutomation MA-IT focuses on the personal growth of its employees, as well as on the development of core competencies such as creative problem-solving skills, teamwork, time management and efficient interpersonal communication.

Wittenborg Welcomes Shanghai Business School Students for Educational Exchange

Additionally, the group was given a city tour of Amsterdam, which included diverse fun cultural activities such as a canal cruise.  

The initiative also provided the Shanghai students with the opportunity to engage in volunteer work, conducted at Apeldoorn's Maria Kerk ('Church of Maria') by local philanthropic organisation Sant’Egidio Apeldoorn.

Every Monday, Sant'Egidio offers free meals to the homeless, and the students and lecturer Dr Yuangang Li were invited to contribute to the project by helping to cook and serve the meals. In doing so, they interacted with the organisation's regular volunteers as well as the people who are helped by the project. It was a moment of solidarity that had a very positive impact on the group.  

During their stay, the Chinese students could rely on the assistance of Wittenborg bachelor’s student Alexandra Kukhtina. Kukhtina, who is also working part-time in Wittenborg’s External Relations & Events Management Department, served as their guide and also accompanied and coordinated the activities.  

She highlights that this marked many of the Chinese students’ first visit to Europe, and they had the opportunity to learn about various aspects of life, culture, education, business and careers in the Netherlands. Kukhtina adds that this experience was also enriching for the Wittenborg students, who interacted closely with the Shanghai visitors.  

“Thanks to such projects, both the welcoming students and the host students broaden their horizons, become open-minded to new cultures, develop communication skills, make international connections, enrich their educational experience and create unforgettable memories. This wonderful experience has allowed me to understand the importance of all the courses, projects and volunteer initiatives that I take part in. They are slowly but surely strengthening my confidence in time management, group leadership and communication with people.” 

Wittenborg Welcomes Shanghai Business School Students for Educational Exchange

Kukhtina’s view is shared by the Chinese students who participated in the activities. Ruyi Luo, majoring in Information and Communication Technology, comments that this exchange will be beneficial for his future career development.  

For Ying Chen, the activities offered an insight into different ways of thinking and lifestyles. “By learning about cultural differences, I have become more open-minded and tolerant, and this trip has greatly broadened my horizons.” 

Xuchun He in turn points out that the programme included a wide variety of activities. “I am very happy that I had the opportunity to come to the Netherlands for this study tour. During this period, I participated in church volunteering activities, visited the Het Loo Palace and attended interesting classes. These were great experiences and I have learned a lot. I am looking forward to coming to the Netherlands again!”

A solid partnership

Wittenborg’s Head of Executive Affairs Myra Qiu underlines that Wittenborg has a long history of cooperation with Shanghai Business School, spanning more than a decade. 

Wittenborg Welcomes Shanghai Business School Students for Educational Exchange

“This partnership symbolises a bridge between cultures, enhancing educational experiences for students and faculty alike. We have years of experience sending Wittenborg students to Shanghai and welcoming students from Shanghai Business School to the Netherlands for the short courses. This initiative was interrupted, but we resumed it after a meeting of Wittenborg’s delegation with the Shanghai Business School in China in October 2023.” 

According to Qiu, the two institutions are planning to implement a new joint initiative in the future, enabling Shanghai Business School students to progress to a master’s programme at Wittenborg after they successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in China.  

“Partnerships and exchanges like these enhance the school’s global profile, enrich the students’ educational experience by providing them with diverse cultural and academic perspectives, and foster global networking opportunities. Such collaborations also support the development of intercultural competencies among students, a crucial skill in today’s globalised business environment. Moreover, these initiatives can lead to joint research projects and academic development, further advancing the institution’s reputation and academic excellence.”  

WUP 22/02/2024

by Ulisses Sawczuk

©WUAS Press