Collaboration with Utrecht ‘on hold’

Consultations between both executive boards ended in a deadlock

  • The announcement made by the executive board caused a lot of confusion.
  • At the start of December the matter has to be settled. Utrecht seems to have made up their mind already.

The collaboration of the division Movement & Education with the teacher education studies of Hogeschool Utrecht is hanging on a silver thread. Last week, the executive board shared with its staff that the entire fusion process has been put ‘on hold’. This announcement caused consternation, especially at the Master SEN (Special Educational Needs), who have already started the process.

During a meeting in Utrecht, just before the summer, it had become clear that there was a lack of enthusiasm for the fusion process on both parties’ sides – HU and Windesheim –  as was set by the directors.  This led to a meeting between the executive board of Windesheim and the executive board of Utrecht (the new chairman of the executive board Henk Hagoort was present as well), after which a communication was sent out to all Windesheim employees involved carrying a message that appeared to be liable to further explanation for multiple parties. On the one hand the collaboration was set ‘on hold’, but later on it appears that there was also ‘further maneuvering’ involved. Many employees concluded that an end had come to the collaboration with HU. But, the situation still appears to be unclear.
Cor Niks, vice president of the unit participation council: “During the ‘soup meeting’ last week, Jan Willem Meinsma was shocked by the ambiance. He first spoke of a ‘scratch’ on the Master SEN; later on he talked about a wound, a fracture. It appears that he has become more aware of the earnestness of the issue.”

Member of the unit participation council Johan Harlaar: “The entire case is especially painful for the Master SEN. They have exchanged teaching locations with Utrecht. And therefore they are now receiving less students.”

How to proceed further? According to unit participation council chairman Bob Schoorel, big investments need to be made in the Master SEN in order to put it back in the market in a good position. “But the question is whether the current directors in the current organizational structure are capable of solving the problem – because solving this problem will mean pursuing it with an entirely different approach compared to the ones taken up until now.

A decision will have to be made before December. As far as HU is concerned; according to Cor Niks people over there haven’t heard anything officially yet, but in the lobbies people are talking about what should happen. It seems as though people have said goodbye to the entire idea. Director Dick de Wolff, the ‘puller’ of the entire process, has been removed from the file. Niks: “Over  there, they are especially focused on their own problems. What I hear, is that Windesheim is not in the picture at the workplace of the employees.” (

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