Text VI. CHN University of Professional Education (CHN)
CHN University of Professional Education is located in Leeuwarden, capital of the province Fryslan in the northern part of the Netherlands. Situated on the North Sea, and partly surrounded by the famous Dutch dykes, the Frisian country shows the characteristics of a wide clear sky and open countryside with a palette of historical towns and small villages.
In the three universities of professional education in Leeuwarden, over 23,000 international and Dutch students follow a variety of courses. Among a population of 90,000 inhabitants, the students represent an important segment of the Leeuwarden community and thereby have a strong hold on the social, cultural, and economic life of the city. Leeuwarden is a true student town. With its attractive old canals, beautiful 16-th-18-th century houses, and charming city centre, featuring many pubs and outdoor cafes, Leeuwarden has a great deal to offer. Every year in May, Leeuwarden is host to the student band festival, and interest for this free festival is still growing. Several times Leeuwarden has been chosen by Ditch and international students as the best and most attractive Student City in the Netherlands.
The CHN is a young, dynamic and innovative University of Professional Education. The CHN in recent years has grown into a truly global campus with 5,500 students from over 55 different countries. During their studies, students must develop intercultural management skills and acquire international contacts. They strive to offer their students a truly international, educational Grand Tour through encounters with fellow students from several countries and cultures at the CHN and its campuses abroad. The CHN has its own international campuses in the Middle East and South Africa- and soon in other countries- where students may do part of their professional education. In addition to this, CHN offers worldwide internship possibilities and exchange programmes. Although primarily directed at underground, students will still greatly benefit from the international exposure, network and contacts generated by CHN’s Grand Tour initiatives. The CHN is the only Dutch University offering international education through its own network of campuses abroad.
Enterprising Study. The development of the student’s independent problem solving skills within the practice situation is an important educational concept in the study programmes taught at CHN. Also known as “Problem Based Learning” (PBL) and “Case Based Learning” (CBL) in involves the students working independently in small groups. The acquisition of practical knowledge in the work field is further stimulated in their unique learning companies where students encounter real clients and customers. Some companies for learning experiences are linked to a CHN institute. At ISM students of all programmes may acquire experience in commercial consultancy services and research.
Personal Touch and Attention. As a student, everybody will be assigned to a personal coach on the first day of his/her studies. It is a personal coach, assigned to a student for the whole duration of this/her study programme, who stimulates them to critically think about themselves and their future career. Students will discover their strong and weak points and they will learn how to develop and improve their skills. At SGS the student has centre stage as they work with small group-not larger than 25 students- and the focus is on value creation for their students in the broadest sense.
Value Driven Education. CHN education-while not ignoring the need to make a profit- pays a specific attention to the care for “people and planet” .An open dialogue with all philosophies and religious is central to their philosophy of education. As a future manager and a professional, a student will often have to take a stand on issue in a changing, multi-cultural world. Reflection on a student own personal values or principles is an essential aspect of value driven-education in all CHN studies and it is aimed at-for example –learning to deal with ethical issues in their professional practice. CHN hopes to add to student personal and professional development in the encounter with others.
State of the Art Facilities. As a young institution, CHN is housed in quite modern buildings and teaching facilities. With the start of the renovation and expansion of the CHN Leeuwarden Campus, their educational facilities and the university’s interior will be further enhanced and improved.
Plans include a contemporary and completely modernised library in the shape of a n amphitheatre, a Grand Cafй with terrace.
International Acceleration and double Degree. The SGS Master’s degree programmes are accredited by the prestigious London Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom. This accreditation opens doors and career opportunities worldwide. Holders of a CHN Master’s degree will also receive a Dutch Degree through the accreditation of Master’s degree programmes by the Dutch accreditation authority NAO.
SGS-Schhool of Graduate Studies. CHN- University of professional Education is a rapidly growing university, with over 5500 students, over 900 of which are international students from more than 55 different countries. CHN provides higher professional education, research, and services, in the fields of hospitality, leisure, tourism, career, retail, small business, office management, media and entertainment, social care, and education. In each field, Bachelor’s Degree programmes are offered. Once a student has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree at CHN or elsewhere, a student may continue to study for a Master of Arts (MA) Degree at CHN. Since 1994, The CHN School of Graduate Studies has successfully developed several MA programmes. These programmes provide students with in-depth knowledge to enhance their career perspectives in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.
The service sector, for which they offer MA programmes, is still growing, and has become one of the most important sectors of the economy. These developments require specialists, who are able to meet the challenges faced by the service industry. The CHN-SGS MA programme has a common core segment, which is mandatory for all students, and it also offers specialised segments for different fields of services, and service management.CHN offers the following MA programmes:
-Master of Arts in International Leisure and Tourism Studies
-Master of Arts in International Hospitality Management
-Master of Arts in International Retail Management
-Master of Arts in International Service Management
General Prifile of the CHN-SGS MA Programme. Five main features can be mentioned:
-The CHN-SGS MA is a professional Master of Arts degree programme. The complete programme is related to the concrete practice of services.
-The CHN-SGS MA has an academic level. Relevant scientific theories and practical experiences with reaspect to the different fields of services are studied and critically analysed.
-The CHN-SGS MA has its own special character in accordance with the mission and the educational philosophy of the university. This means that attention is given to human values, social values, environmental and (micro) economic values.
-The CHN-SGS MA programme has a common core segment, which is obligatory for all students, and specialised segments for different fields of service, such as hospitality, retail, leisure and tourism and service management.
-The CHN-SGS MA programme has an international orientation.
Characteristics of the CHN-SGS MA Programme.
-The curriculum highlights the role of values and corporate culture in the service industry. Important items like sustainable economy, business and community development are subjects of study and research.
-The programme is based on constructivist learning principles and focuses on the acquisition and application of knowledge in the context of service management, by combining a firm theoretical base with practical case studies.
-Since all services aim at contributing to the quality of human life, the study of this subject is of utmost importance within CHN-SGS MA programme. Differences between cultures with regard to their concept are also subject of study and discussion.
-In addition to the common core segment of the CHN-SGS MA, the programme also offers a specialised preparation for the fields of hospitality, retail, leisure &tourism studies and service management.
-The programme is taught in groups of between 12 and 25 participants from a variety of countries, to enhance the exchange of experiences between different cultures.
-Personal coaching and attention for the individual student is considered as one of the major aspects of the study programme.
-All of CHN-SGS programmes are validated and are operated under the auspices of the London Metropolitan University.
Design of the CHC-SGS MA Programme. The CHC-SGS MA programme consists of modules, research projects and a dissertation. The full-time programme stats each year at the end of August. For the starting date and information on the part-time programme a student must contact CHN-SGS. The programme offers students the possibility to opt for a specialisation in one field of services according to their personal preference or work experience: leisure & tourism, hospitality, retail or services. The other units of the programme are mandatory for all students.
The complete curriculum consists of 2,000 credit hours. The programmes are divided into eight units. One unit equals a period of six weeks. Each unit is divided into two or three modules of 80 or 160 hours. The module Personal Value Creation runs parallel to the eight units. The core element of the Master’s degree programme is formed by modules about the service society, service research and value creation. Next to these common modules, much attention is given to the specific field of services: retail, leisure & tourism, hospitality or services. The seventh and eighth units are devoted to writing a dissertation. In total, the full-time Master’s Degree programme comprises 52 weeks.
Quality Control. The CHN-SGS MA programme strives to offer education of the highest quality to all students. Therefore, the Master’s degree programme is subject to continuous quality control.
The following control methods are used, to maintain the highest possible quality level:
-Student evaluation of the teaching methods, content and effectiveness of the MA programmes.
-Yearly evaluation of the MA programmes by the management of the School of Graduate Studies.
-All SGS MA programmes are validated and accredited by and are operated under quality control procedures of, London Metropolitan University.
-The School of Graduate Studies has initiated the procedure to obtain validation by the Dutch Accreditation Agency.
-Each of the Master’s degree specialisations has an advisory board with experts from the field. This guarantees that the theory offered to the participants is of practical relevance for the field.
Problem Based Learning. (PBL) PBL is a participatory and an active learning process. As a future manager, a student is expected to possess knowledge of his/her professional work field, but most importantly a student should be able to think and act in a problem-solving manner. Through PBL students will acquire knowledge and learn to develop their professional and personal capabilities
How does PBL work? Participants in the PBL system meet in groups of 10-12 students and work under the supervision of a tutor on cases taken from practical work field situations. In the first meeting, the group analyses the case. Students discuss how to approach the problem and what additional information they need. In the multimedia library they can find books, magazines, videos and internet-sites with the required information. Lectures, courses and workshops provide them with even more information. In the next meeting students present their solutions and they supplement and correct one another’s information
Binding Study Advice and Personal Coaching. At the end of the first year of studies, every student receives a binding study advice. This study advice is presented once all of the study results of the first year are known. It is binding and irrevocable. With less than ѕ of the maximum of credits for the first year a student will receive a negative study advice and will not be allowed to continue their studies at IHM. At the end of the second year a student should have completed all academic work and requirements of his/her whole first year. If not, a student will still receive a negative study advice after all. This 2-nd study advice is also binding and irrevocable.
A student is assigned a Personal Coach to guide him/her for he duration of his/her entire studies. The emphasis in the coaching is on his/her personal and professional development. Students will learn to critically reflect on their personal development, their study performance and their future professional career. And students will learn how to undertake necessary actions to improve on weak areas. These actions must also improve their study results and guide them to a positive study recommendation. The role of coaching and counselling by the personal coaches is especially relevant in the process of establishing the study advice to students.
On the CHN campus students may find all the services offered to the Dutch and international students such as:
-International Student Support Services
-The International Office and Student Service Centre
- The Meeting Centre and Chapel
- Job Centre
- School restaurants
- Institute of Service Management, the Globe
-Hotel and the Convention Centre
-Sports and Fitness
-Student Pastorate ,etc.
Text IX. Education for a United Europe
European integration and closer relations between East and West require new courses and new approaches to higher education. This has prompted the appearance of new, integrated courses in European Studies.
As far as higher education is concerned, universities are not “Temples of Wisdom”, whose sole function is to produce an intellectual elite, with or without any relevance to society’s actual needs. In order to respond adequately to society’s growing complexity and its need for a highly-skilled labour force, educational policy-makers have had to provide for as many young people as possible to enter the higher education system. Therefore university thresholds have had to be lowered both economically and sociologically, but also in terms of admission criteria. Another development which has occurred almost everywhere is the inclusion in the university system of technological or polytechnic institutes.
This shift has had certain consequences. Universities everywhere are facing similar problems: lack of space and infrastructure, inadequate administration, limited funds for research and teaching. The conjunction of these elements with the demographic surge of the past-war years has resulted in areal “university crisis” characterized by student over-population in the first university levels and a general failure of the system to respond to market-demands. On top of this, it appears that a university degree is no longer considered the asset it was before in terms of getting a job.
Postgraduate education has grown accordingly. This evolution has been particularly significant in the social sciences.
This is the context in which courses in European Studies- sometimes called Integration Studies- have grown. Of course, different strategies have been followed. Some such courses offer an extensive programme, trying to cover in a multidisciplinary way the various aspects of the “European identity”. In these cases, topics such as comparative history, culture and sociology form an important part of the curriculum. As expressions of individual cultures and bearers of common values, language and literature also find a place in such programmes.
European Studies courses of this type must be continued and deepened, given the new context after the disappearance of the artificial barriers in history and politics imposed on Europe over the last decades.
The problems we are now facing in Europe often concern existing EU institutions. These institutions are part of the national context in each of the Member States. Accordingly, there is a growing need for experts in these matters. Given the growing degree of integration with the West, the countries of Eastern and Central Europe and the newly independent states cannot afford to ignore these questions. Bearing in mind, there is definitely a place for specialized programmes concentrating on such issues. This is not only a question of strategy but rather of priorities.
When these considerations are taken into account, the composition of curricula in European Studies becomes rather more obvious. In terms of European economic union, there must be provision for a strong economic component emphasising the process of economic integration and relevant EU policies. Since the EU is also a legal construction with a mass of specific legislation, no one can doubt that “ European Law” should become a major element in such curricula. Finally, if one wants to understand anything at all about European integration, contemporary history and politics are very necessary subjects in the build-up of a European consciousness.
One way or another, all these components should be present in such courses. Quite evidently, the particular emphasis and the respective weight of the chosen topics are strictly related to individual situations, to available resources and the particular needs and goals of the organizing institutions. Moreover, any analysis of the European integration process limited to only one of the above-mentioned aspects would undoubtedly be doomed to fail. In that sense, what seems to be essential in such a programme -be it general or more specific- is a careful balance between the various components and a high degree of multidisciplinarity.
Finally, according to experience at the College of Europe, the international component to these studies appears essential to their effectiveness. In the increasingly interdependent world in which we live today, there is as never before a need for persons who will not only be competent in another language but who also will be able to communicate with partners abroad.
Such considerations evidently apply to European Studies programmes. This factor must be taken into consideration where both student and faculty recruitment is concerned.
This is a dynamic process, even more so now that the world that we once considered stable and fixed is changing so dramatically, changes that are going to introduce modifications and significant adjustments to our programmes.
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