International Advisory Board meets at AUC to refine future strategy
On Monday, 20 November 2017, the AUC International Advisory Board (IAB) convened in Amsterdam for their annual meeting. This was the first meeting which included four new board members who joined the IAB in September 2017: Ms. Domenica Ghidei Biidu, Prof. Cathia Jenainati, Prof. Gray Kochhar-Lindgren and Dr. Sijbolt Noorda. They accompanied the two continuing board members Mr. Jindra Divis and Dr. Marja Zonnevylle.
Reviewing five-year plan AUC21
The International Advisory Board members were joined by Prof. Dr. Murray Pratt (AUC Dean), Dr. Michiel van Drunen (AUC Director of Education), Dr. Belinda Stratton (AUC Managing Director), AUC’s Heads of Studies, Senior Tutor, and representatives of AUC’s Student Council and AUC Student Association to discuss topics including the development of the five-year strategy AUC 21: Our community’s vision for excellence, diversity and global citizenship.
After summarising the key strategic aims expressed by the working groups and wider AUC community, the meeting participants further expanded on these goals by considering trends and initiatives in education, society, science and work internationally, identifying potential future actions, and setting a course for further institutional progress.
Refining what makes AUC unique
Especially of importance was the process of refining what makes Amsterdam University College unique, with consideration to both domestic and international needs in higher education. These topics were approached from a holistic perspective that included considering the various expectations of different stakeholder groups: students; applicants and secondary schools; alumni and masters admissions officers; employers; the universities (including AUC's own expectations regarding excellence, diversity, quality assurance and innovation) and the responsibilities to local communities and future society.
Professor Pratt commented, “Aligning our strategy within these different and sometimes contradictory expectations is complex, but the International Advisory Board brings lots of experience and expertise that helps AUC better understand these dynamics and respond with imagination and agility.”
The new IAB Board Members also shared their thoughts on how AUC could further optimise elements of its future strategy, more specifically by fostering its relationship with the city of Amsterdam in ways that promote contextualisation of student learning, by solidifying outreach activities that reinforce institutional goals, by promoting students’ agency and empowerment, and through advocating the strengths of a liberal education in a rapidly changing global context.
A foundation for the future
The International Advisory Board will meet again in June 2017 for an update on the ideas generated in the most recent meeting, and to work further with colleagues and students on exploring future plans and scenarios in depth.