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Breda University of Applied Sciences

Breda University of Applied Sciences: Catalyst for Global Learning and Its Impact

Amidst the vibrant academic landscape of Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) in the Netherlands, innovation finds its home. A bustling campus where ideas seamlessly merge with ambition, and learning goes beyond textbooks. Here, more than 7,000 Dutch and international students from 100 countries converge, not merely to attain degrees but to pioneer change. In the heart of this academic hub, collaboration isn’t just encouraged—it’s intrinsic. Students, staff and industry and research partners unite, embarking on a journey to shape a better world through ‘Creating Meaningful Experiences.

In this ecosystem of knowledge and creativity, the spirit of making impact is palpable. Industries like Tourism, Leisure & Events, Hotel & Facility Management, Built Environment, Logistics Management, Game Design, Creative Business, Data Science & AI are not just subjects—they are gateways to transformation.

This setting is where connections matter, where theory meets practicality and where dreams of a better world find a nurturing ground. Here, Breda University of Applied Sciences isn’t just an institution—it’s a catalyst for change, preparing students for a world in which sustainability, innovation, collaboration and meaningful experiences are not just goals, but a way of life.

In this dynamic environment, BUas has the perfect breeding ground for impactful B2B collaborations, where ideas from academia fuse seamlessly with real-world applications, propelling industries towards a future defined by innovation and excellence.

Let’s explore the endless possibilities of collaborative ventures with Breda University of Applied Sciences through cutting-edge research and innovative solutions in a talent pool of future leaders through this exclusive interview conducted by Insights Success!

Briefly describe your mission and vision regarding student success and career growth

The ambition to have an impact and to shape a better world is representative of the generation coming to us for an education today and tomorrow. It reflects a sense of civic duty, responsibility, optimism, initiative, and the desire to do more than just a job.

Our mission therefore is empowering young professionals on their journey to shape a better world.

BUas drives its mission through integrated learning and research. In our diverse learning communities, students, industry partners, lecturers, and researchers collaborate on real-world challenges.

This amalgamation of education, research and practical impact is vital, especially in a world facing complex issues like population growth, environmental concerns and technological shifts. As technology reshapes industries and work dynamics, BUas prepares professionals to navigate these changes. We stand at the forefront, equipping individuals to lead through the challenges of the future.

Our vision therefore is educating for and in a continuously changing world.

Could you highlight some of the university’s most innovative programmes or initiatives aimed at enhancing student success and career growth?

In fact, all BUas’ programmes and initiatives help industry partners innovate, adjust to society’s challenges and transform accordingly.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital realities open up new frontiers for governance, organisation and management. Digitalisation and climate change drive the innovation of business models and governance in the tourism, leisure and hospitality domains. In the quest for circular and sustainable working environments, facility management concepts are changing fast. Livable cities increasingly require smart logistics. The built environment needs to be reconsidered and redesigned to remain habitable, creative places that inspire communities and visitors to tackle societal challenges.

To make a difference in the future of these sectors, BUas strives to be much more than a higher education institute offering degree programmes. BUas engages in research from the idea that knowledge contributes to solving these societal issues. At the same time, it allows students to better understand and respond to them.

How does the university foster collaborations with industries to create opportunities for students?

BUas cooperates with businesses all over the world which are at the top of their field. This means that students can get work placement positions at some of the big names in their field of expertise such as Samsung, Disney, Google, KLM, and Hilton.

We consider the international experience of great importance. That is why we encourage students to go abroad during their studies for a work placement or an exchange programme. Lecturers often have an international background. We think it is important that they participate in international networks. In many cases, lecturers are also active in the professional field in addition to teaching. For students, this not only means that they are on top of current events but also that they can benefit from these extensive and valuable networks.

How does the educational establishment assist students in identifying career paths and securing work placements or job opportunities?

At BUas, in-house training companies, studios and labs spanning diverse fields guide students towards their career paths. BUas serves as an inspiring hub where students, staff and industry partners converge, creating a dynamic community of shared knowledge and experiences. The campus, driven by core values like transparency, inclusivity and sustainability, blends technology seamlessly to offer a secure and comfortable atmosphere. Within its walls, various spaces cater to different needs, from project rooms and labs to quiet study corners.

Notably, BUas embraces entrepreneurial spirit through its Innovation Square. This innovative hub bridges education and applied research with industry activities. Welcoming industry professionals, students, alumni and researchers, it acts as a nexus for collaboration, career opportunities and even startup ventures. BUas doesn’t just offer education; it fosters an environment where innovation, connection and entrepreneurship thrive, ensuring a holistic and enriching experience for all.

How does your educational institute promote mentorship and guidance for students throughout their academic journey?

We strive to be a close community on our campus in Breda. That is why we encourage all BUas staff and students to jointly engage in activities that connect us beyond the curriculum. We offer students a range of extracurricular activities that contribute to the BUas campus feeling and interconnectedness with fellow students and BUas staff. We have several associations and clubs, which organise parties, sports and games activities, excursions, and other events.

We think it is very important that all students feel welcome at our university. We welcome all the enthusiasm, happiness and joy from our students, as well as their questions, concerns and support needs. We have a dedicated and professional team to offer support whenever needed.

We also offer a wide variety of free extracurricular training courses and activities under the name BEST. BEST stands for Better Studying. By better, we do not mean raising the bar higher. Not at all, in fact. We would like to contribute to students’ well-being in an easily accessible way. We do so by offering all sorts of skills and behavioural training courses that may help students to handle their studies in a pleasant way, as a result of which they feel a stronger learner.

In today’s rapidly changing job market, what efforts does the university make to equip students with future-ready skills?

At BUas, young professionals embark on a transformative journey, honing skills that transcend textbooks, shaping not just careers but a better world. Our education, research and culture nurture these skills, empowering students for life.

BUas Skills for Life:

  • Creating Meaningful Experiences: Through innovative and entrepreneurial mindsets, we empower students to make a societal impact. By connecting with the industry and offering small-scale, intensive education, we cultivate global vision, local sensibilities and sustainable ambitions fostering meaningful learning experiences.
  • Integrating and Shaping the Future: We equip students to navigate the complexities of a hyperconnected world. By integrating cross-domain and cross-cultural contexts, utilising data and technology, and fostering a global mindset in diverse classrooms, we prepare them to shape future industries. Our approach blends research and education, creating balanced professionals adept at integrating diverse perspectives.
  • Guts and Personal Leadership: At BUas, we nurture self-awareness and personal leadership. Students learn to articulate their purpose, make informed choices and contribute to meaningful decision-making. Through personalised learning and student ownership, we offer room to grow, enabling both personal and professional development. We instil the courage to speak up, address challenges and become self-directing professionals ready to lead.

How do you engage students in research projects and industry-specific initiatives to enhance their practical knowledge and skills?

At BUas, education transcends solitary endeavours through our innovative learning community model. Here, students, lecturers and industry professionals collaborate on real-life challenges, fostering innovation and addressing societal issues collectively. This approach isn’t new, but recent enhancements make it dynamic. Restaurant Sibelicious, a training company, serves as a longstanding model. What sets us apart is our inclusion of industry partners, enriching the learning experience.

In BUas’ learning communities, active student involvement is pivotal. Students lead their learning journey, emphasising process over the end product. It’s about the knowledge gained, the path taken and the growth mindset cultivated. Each learning community is unique, adapting to specific domains. For instance, Esports and Tourism Impact Lab form vibrant communities where knowledge evolves collectively. In Logistics, the learning community revolves around real challenges faced by transport company Arriva, involving not just students and lecturers, but also Arriva’s young professionals, creating a shared learning experience.

The essence lies in mutual learning and the growth opportunities crafted for everyone involved. BUas’ learning communities inspire continuous development, nurturing a spirit of collaboration, innovation and lifelong learning.

How do you measure the success of its initiatives in driving student success and career growth?

One indicator is to look at success rates of our students. How many drop out, how many get their diploma within the desired time. But those are just quantitative numbers. The quality of education and research at BUas is demonstrated by high ratings in recognised international and national rankings. But perhaps the best indicator is that our alumni are successful and eager to come back to our campus to work together with students or be active in our community as a guest lecturer in a panel, during an industry event etc. Furthermore, alumni actively participate in our learning communities. In this way, valuable experience comes back into education, which empowers the new generation of students.