Christelijke Hogeschool Ede (CHE) is experiencing a grateful period. Just like last years, CHE was awarded to be the best medium-sized University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. A magnificent performance. We spoke with Ludo Zwaan, CIO of CHE, and Albert Jan Bouwman, ICT Manager of CHE, about the success story of CHE.
"We are a medium-sized University of Applied Sciences, and we invest in an intensive relation with our students. We're strongly focused on the student, with motivated professionals." It is not surprising that CHE has won this award for consecutive times.
They have a clear strategy, with good quality education with the student as a leading factor. "We've just opened our new building, called Prisma, which is specially designed to support more types of education. Some areas are designed to be sociable, while others are designed for optimal study performance."
Not only this strategy contributes to the success of CHE, also the Christian identity has a significant influence on the success. "Students and lecturers of CHE invest in an equal mutual relationship. Everyone is willing to help their fellow man. This definitely contributes to our success. We are a social community, and are all responsible for this achievement."
"Blended learning is one of the most trending topics at this moment. We are therefore exploring the opportunity to incorporate blended learning into our curriculum." Blended learning is an educational mix in which a student partially learns online and partially experiences a brick-and-mortar school structure. "We believe that you can only build a relationship between a student and a teacher when they have the opportunity to have face-to-face conversations. This is one of our Unique Selling Points (USPs) to maintain."
Bouwman and Zwaan state that the usage of tablets and smartphones can be an enrichment to current education. "Tablets will only be used in a class if it is truly an improvement to our education. If they aren't used without a proper didactic concept, it will only backfire. Our teachers will be supported to use tablets, and other digital tools, to use this form of education. Distraction of the student is a threat, and will cause derogation of our education."
Just last March CHE partnered up with StuComm. The StudentsApp was launched just before summer. "We are very satisfied about the partnership. StuComm has a skilled team and a great mentality. The app was developed in close cooperation with CHE students and an experienced (SCRUM) project manager from the CHE. They are very eager for success, are enthusiastic, and do not have a nine-to-five mentality."
"The MijnCHE app is a huge success, whereas almost the entire student population has downloaded the app already. One of the key factors of StuComm's success is that they involve students into the process. You can tell they represent the student opinion."
StuComm is striving for strong, intensive relationships with their partners. "StuComm puts a lot of effort into their partnerships and is willing to think along with their partners. Next to that, the speed of implementation is a big plus for StuComm."