In the context of our cooperation with NHL Stenden University, Vesna Kolenc Potočnik, programme manager at DOBA Business School, visited the NHL Stenden campus and held lectures for students. These are her thoughts on the experience:
“As part of Erasmus mobility, I had the opportunity to attend the International Week at NHL Stenden University in Leeuwarden, in the Netherlands. During the four days, we had the opportunity to attend lectures and workshops as well as meetings with teachers, employees, and students from this university and other participants from partner universities who attended the International Week. It was very encouraging to feel the mission of NHL Stended in all the activities which they had prepared for us. Even though two universities, NHL and Stenden, which are practically neighbouring buildings, merged in the beginning of the year, they have a clear vision and strategy for the future. They are aware of the unpredictable future and are determined to prepare their students for it.
The golden thread of their activities were internationalisation, design-based education, the importance of mental attitude, the importance of cooperation, teamwork, and good communication, knowing oneself and assuming responsibility for recognising one’s own path. All of the lectures and workshops emphasised “less is more”, i.e. the meetings lasted no more than one hour (including the essential realisation) and we were then given time to reflect on the matter (what these new realisations mean for us).
Especially inspiring were the lectures held by Dutch celebrities Marit Bouwmeester (Professional Sailor & Olympic Gold Medal Winner) and Ruben Terlou (Dutch Photographer, Journalist and Medical Doctor), and a the personal experience in the Escher museum. The common message was the importance of following your own path, staying true to yourself and your feelings (even if it is not always easy) in order to be successful in life.
Another exceptional experience was the lecture and meeting with NHL Stenden University students on the subject of teamwork. The lecture on the basics of successful teamwork soon transitioned into an exchange of good practices in virtual teams in our study programmes and the implementation of education in the form of MOOCs. Another interesting point was their practice of working in international teams, where mixed teams are formed, prepared for work in the team, directed during the process, and finally engaged in reflection on what they have learnt. Another interesting aspect is that students meet with the teacher for 60 minutes, which is followed by teamwork. The university even has specifically equipped rooms – the possibility of using the computer in all rooms allowing teamwork. It was interesting to learn that they implement internationalisation and design-based education specifically through teamwork. They see teamwork as a work method which enables them to train in communication; it facilitates mutual learning, creating and acting, and pushes students out from the comfort zone so that they develop as a person. Good teamwork is the future and they are therefore introducing the evaluation of teamwork as a process (what students have learned) and not just the result of teamwork.
I think that this mobility has given me extra motivation to develop teamwork also in our school, but with our characteristic of being active in the virtual environment.”