Kyra Bär knew when she was 14 that she wanted to get into events management, to put her organisational skills to use. Being practically minded, she was careful to choose a university of applied sciences that would match her hands-on approach. Now in her third year at NHL Stenden, she considers herself an ambassador for its educational concept.
“Design-Based Education was the biggest selling point for me and it works really well for the Leisure & Event Management programme,” says Kyra. “I already had experience working in the events industry, but I didn’t want to regret not taking the opportunity to study. What I really didn’t want was to sit in a lecture hall with 500 other students listening to someone work their way through a PowerPoint presentation. I wanted a practical approach. I wanted a teacher that would know my name, know what my strengths and weaknesses were and how I needed to improve.”
”I learn what I need when I need it, how I need it.”
Kyra Bar, 3rd year student of Leisure & Events Management
Learning what I need to know
“I love the teaching principle and how it emphasises the personal relationship. The focus is on coaching and supporting the students and because the teachers are watching out for me, I can focus on learning. They’re didactical and subject experts that also share their own practical experience. And they don’t teach in straight lines but are flexible. Which is nicer for me as it means I don’t get an information overload with huge blocks of theory in a lecture, but they see when they can and need to give particular information. For instance, rather than having a lecture on Michael Porter’s Five Forces Model at the beginning of a semester and me wondering when and how I can apply it, it gets introduced at a time when I need it to help analyse a situation. I feel that that means I actually learn how to use it rather than it just staying as a theory in my head.”
A major part of NHL Stenden’s educational concept is that students also work and learn from each other. “Each group has its own project, but we also hear what other groups are doing. We present our projects to each other and discuss what’s happening so that we can support each other. It makes learning very interactive.” And it has the added benefit that students get to know each other’s way of working better, so they learn to handle different types of team players and management styles – a skill that they will be able to put into practice in any working environment.