Erasmus University may embark on a closer working relationship with Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (HR). President of the board Ron Bormans from HR talks to Profielen following the arrival at the university of new president of the board Kristel Baele.

On Tuesday 1 December, Baele became the new president of the board at EUR. Between 2007 and 2012, she and Bormans were members of the executive board at HAN University of Applied Sciences. When EM asked Baele whether she would seek a partnership with Bormans, she replied that ‘cooperation relating to education and research mainly belongs to the rector’s portfolio, but I’ll obviously have a coffee with my former colleague Ron.’

Plenty of opportunities

Bormans sees ‘plenty of opportunities’ for cooperation, particularly because the two educational institutes are neighbours. “We partly seek and find cooperation, but we also leave too much untapped”, says the president of the board at HR. “So the fact that the new boss at EUR and I worked together very well and intensively over a five year period provides great added potential.”

Bormans would very much like to see ‘the university’s thinking power’ more involved in the (re) organisation of the economic programme at HR. Bormans: “We are looking for renewal of the substance of the education programme and professors and tutors at EUR could advise us in this.” Also because many HR students go on to study at the university. Bormans: “Whatever happens, we want to have a harmonious link between our honours programmes and EUR’s academic programme.”

Complementing each other

Baele is sure that HR and EUR can complement each other well. ‘Research at universities of applied sciences are very practice-oriented. A research question in higher vocational education always comes from the work field and must result in usable products. That practical orientation and connection with the work field is where a university of applied sciences can complement a university.’

EUR also has an interesting range of programmes for HR students – even before their arrival, indicates Bormans. “Take the minors, for example. In this field, we focus on formalising the cooperation between EUR, Codarts and the Willem de Kooning Academie.”

Better information needed

With regard to the previously mentioned students who want to move on to EUR, Bormans has various wishes. “The information provision towards them could be better, but we must also achieve better coordination between the education provided by EUR and the HR. Students regularly tell us that they are not entirely sure which bachelor and particularly which supplementary programme provides admission to EUR. That information does exist, but it is apparently difficult for students to access.”