Wittenborg's President Peter Birdsall - a Christmas Message 2021
Our festive season of Christmas, at a time when the days are short and the nights are long, is normally a moment of reflection. A time to look back and prepare to ‘close’ the year. 2021 was not at all a bad year – many of us rose to new challenges, many of us started a new study, or new projects, and many of us graduated. Some of us started new families or added new life to them. Some of us lost loved ones or were challenged by sickness.
At Wittenborg, we discovered new ways of working, teaching, and learning online, ‘hybrid’ lessons, online ‘submissions’, even graduating online. We started building our new student housing complex at the Ruyterstraat in Apeldoorn, we increased our research activities through engaging many new colleagues in our faculty and pushing on with our Erasmus+ research project. At the same time, we powered on with our drive to professionalise our departments and the service we provide. We continued with our programme development, and accreditation processes, making our degrees more valuable for our students and alumni. I actually managed to run our Climate Change Project week, with over 175 students at three locations in Apeldoorn, Amsterdam and Munich involved! It was such a great experience to be able to meet and work with so many students in person. We also welcomed over 350 new bachelor’s and master’s students from all over the world and over 175 graduated, which makes 2021 Wittenborg’s most successful year ever.
In the Netherlands, to combat the threat of COVID19 on our healthcare services, we started 2021 in a lockdown in the hope that double vaccinations would help us out of the pandemic. We are now ending 2021 in another lockdown waiting for the ‘booster vaccination’ that will increase our immunity against sickness from the coronavirus. We hope this will finally get us back to normality; it’s certainly been a bit of a rollercoaster for all.
Each one of us will remember 2021 in a different and personal way, but at the same time, collectively at Wittenborg, we can be extremely proud that we managed to turn what could have been a negative year into a very positive experience!
Please stay safe and stay physically and mentally healthy this Christmas time. Enjoy each other’s company as far as that’s possible, time with friends, and possibly with family. Reach out to others if you see a need and please reach out if you need help.
Wishing us all a peaceful festive season in 2021.
President at Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences
21 December 2021
by Peter Birdsall