A successful history and a bright future

Added on: 02-Sep-2016  |  Last modified on: 05-Oct-2016  |  Category: Highlighted Policy   | Comments Off on A successful history and a bright future

“Our lustrum slogan ’50 years of Excellence’ does not only reflect on a successful history but also on a bright future”, is what Hein van Oorschot said in his speech at the opening of the academic year.

“When NHTV opened its doors in 1966 it was an exclusive school. For the 200 students that could enter in the early years, there were regularly 500-600 applications and there are alumni who tried 3 consecutive years to enter the institute before they were finally admitted. For many years, NHTV built on an excellent reputation and we have retained that position and that image. In 2015 we were named the best university of applied sciences in The Netherlands in two of the many rankings that are carried out. Nationally and internationally we do very well. When it comes to the placement of students in internship positions, our students are wanted.  Within The Netherlands and abroad, we almost always have more places available and offered than we have students. It is great to have such a position in a country that has relatively good higher education. I want to thank all our employees, students and stakeholders that have made NHTV’s past such a superb one. You are our success.”

“But it requires a lot to keep that position, especially in our fast changing world”, Hein continues. To realise that, he calls upon the government and politics: “We have to create space for those institutes who want to excel. Next to their distinguishing strategic strive for excellence and their specific determination for unique goals, they need a great freedom to manoeuvre. Excellence is exceptional in the sense, that it cannot be what everybody does! So, there must be space for differences, for different choices, for unexpected actions. NHTV wants to walk that road and we invite you to join us. We invite the government and politics to make this possible. Excellence needs structural space for action and change.”

Why does NHTV want this? Hein explains: “Our reason for existence is the special position we have. If what we do is done everywhere else in the world and in The Netherlands, our added value for our industry and for this country, diminishes. Therefore, we have to build on the strong position we have today to become more special and more exclusive in national and international context. We want to be the institution that is chosen by the best for study and research: recognised by industry and stakeholders with a reputation that is beyond any doubt.”

50 year anniversary Hein van Oorschot rendition

From delivering services to making places
In his speech, Greg Richards, NHTV Professor of Placemaking and Events, zooms in on the changing demand of the market: “The major shift that has taken place is the transformation from a service economy to what Pine and Gilmore (1998) termed the Experience Economy. This experience evolution can be linked to the development of education at NHTV:

1960s – training people to deliver tourism services (service orientation)

1970s and 1980s –understanding the needs of the client (producer orientation)

1990s – developing quality services (linking production and consumption)

2000s – experiences, Imagineering

He continues: “NHTV fully embraced the experience economy paradigm through the development of research and education related to Imagineering. The Imagineering perspective provided an unique perspective at a time when most education providers were still stuck in a traditional services context.

But as with all new developments, eventually the competition catches up. Ideas pioneered at NHTV, have been borrowed, copied and digested by others – increasing the competition in the field of experience education and research, just as happened previously with services. Pine and Gilmore predicted this continuous struggle for innovation, and they also forecast what would follow the experience economy: the era of transformations. The idea is that people no longer want to simply experience things, but they want to be transformed by the experience.  So moving forward, NHTV will need to pioneer new ways of thinking about how experiences transform people and places. In this way, NHTV can hopefully meet the needs of future generations as successfully as it has met those of the past”, Greg concludes.

Source: Speeches Hein van Oorschot and Greg Richards, opening academic year,  1 September 2016

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