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Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science exposed to the needs of University of Aruba

Bishita Di Minister Dijkgraaf Na Universidad Di Aruba...3

Dr. Dijkgraaf assures support to enhance opportunities for students and the academy

 

More cooperation and more exchange of information as well as creating the platform to enable academic and professional mobility the Kingdom of The Netherlands. That were the requests presented to the Minister of Education, Culture and Science of the Netherlands, dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf during his recent visit to the University of Aruba.

Minister Dijkgraaf and his delegation were welcomed by Aruba Minister of Education and Sports Endy Croes and member of the Board of Trustees of the University Angelo Brete. Rector of University of Aruba, prof. dr. Viola Heutger led a tour around the premises and officially welcomed the dignitary during the presentation in. the aula. Dr. Heuger in her welcome address said many do not know that research in Aruba dated since the early 17th century with a study on hummingbirds. Noting the importance of this collaborative study in which it was determined Aruba was home to the smallest species of the hummingbird, dr. Heutger emphasized the value of research for the development of the university, its academia, students and community as a whole. For research to flourish though, collaboration is essential as was the case in the hummingbird study.

Mr. dr. Ruth Bonnevalle-Kok, dean of the Faculty of Law, led the presentation of the deans on the status of their faculties, enrollments, successes and challenges. The accredited program at the Faculty of Law produces many success stories and opportunities. However, graduates still don’t have access to the so-called Civiel Effect, in order to form part of The Netherlands Bar, the professional organization of the legal profession, thus be able to work in some legal fields in The Netherlands.   Minister Dijkgraaf addressed this concern and said the process to change the law is ongoing and once adapted, it will mean further Kingdom mobility for Aruban Masters of Law.

Mr. Paul Vandormael of the Faculty of Economics and Finance, FEF illustrated the value of the faculty for the Aruba society, but also for the continuous development of graduates both in The Netherlands and elsewhere. Currently in its efforts to regain accreditation, FEF and Aruba will be better served with program and study material exchanges. With Dutch universities and recognition of diplomas.

The Faculty of Hospitality, Tourism Management Studies, FHTMS, also meets the demands of a robust tourism sector. Dean Sue-Ann Lee pointed out the faculty’s US accreditation and collaboration with University of South Carolina show the hybrid character of the institution. She also focused on the (limited financial) capacity in Aruba to do ongoing research, particularly as tourism in Aruba can offer a wealth of information on a global scale.

While graduates of University of Aruba end up with careers, both in Aruba and abroad, being able to broaden intellectual capacities is part of the Kingdom Mobility. Faculty of Arts and Science dean dr. Mieke de Droog, outlined the need for a program to finance and facilitate among others Aruban students the chance to participate in academic/higher education exchange programs. 

The Office of International Affairs showed the positive impact of the existing exchange programs, through among others the Erasmus + program and the Minister received testimonials of participants to the ever-growing Academic Foundation Year program, that enables high school graduates to be better prepared and informed before continue their higher education elsewhere.

At the end of the presentation, Minister Dijkgraaf expressed his commitment to meet the requests and ensured steps are already being taken to elevate collaboration and mobility within the Kingdom. Dijkgraaf also explained the decision of the Dutch government to offer excuses for its participation in slavery in the Caribbean islands and how the proposed reparations are geared toward improving understanding and knowledge.

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