When attending the Delta Academy at the HZ University of Applied Sciences it’s easy to recognize that everything works correctly and in time, but who keeps the whole system running? Who is behind all of this?


What does your job look like on a daily basis?

Willem: Usually I am visiting companies, stakeholders and governmental organisations. I’m making connections in order to know where and what are the possibilities for us as a university to work with them, and looking for long term agreements. For the remaining part of the time, Marco and I work on making plans together with the good team of managers that surround us. Moreover we are going to move to Middelburg in 2018. This means a new building, a new school. It’s very ambitious for us, but we have to be able to manage it.

Marco: I am working in the structure, trying to translate as well as possible the changes and the opportunities coming from outside into the university environment for the curriculum we offer. Currently we are developing a 3-year Water Management programme that will be linked to our upcoming (in 2018) Master of one and a half years: it’s a good opportunity to continue your education at the HZ after the Water Management programme and receive a Master's degree in four and a half years. For us the goal is to always offer the best service we can to our students.

Do you feel satisfied with the goals you reached at the HZ?

Marco: We are really moving forward to 2020, and most of our plans were between 2016 and 2020, so we are moving forward. Our goal is to educate students that can contribute in a positive way to the human capital capacity and do our best to give the best educational experience for the students.

Willem: We have 2 goals:
1) Be the best university academy in Delta technology we can for students both during and after the study.
2) Be the best university for our stakeholders. We want them to know that we are the best institution they can work with and that if they want good professionals, then they should look at the Delta Academy.

Marco: We are proud of having the research centre with 4 teams:
- Building with nature
- Aquaculture
- Resilience
- Water technology
We have a many specialists in the Delta Academy that also teach at our university, and this is a very strong point.
We also have a new building where we will be moving in 2018, and we aim to have 750 students in 3 years coming from all over the world, right now the delta academy counts around 500.

Willem: We want to be a university where students are able to be responsible for problem solving outside the university, doing research and collaborating with stakeholders. Therefore is really important to be connect to the outside world also with the students. In that way we want be unique in the Netherlands and hopefully in the world. Our ambition is high, but we aim to achieve it in less than 5 years.

Would you like to have more contact with the students, in what ways?
Marco: I would like to have a lot of contact with the students, mostly with DASA. When I started at the academy, the study association was something I helped to launch together with the students. The students actually took the initiative. I have contact with the chairman and I do my outmost to help them. To build a good service co-operation between students and staff is really important.

Willem: I want to involve students more in what is going on with the Delta Academy. We might miss some great ideas.

Where do you see the Delta Academy in 10 years?
Willem: I think it has to be the worldwide leading university of applied sciences in the field of Delta technology. We have the delta, we live in it and we are connected with it.
We want to start from what’s happening here and then translate it to other deltas by training our students to the system of deltas. We have unique programmes so we can be the best in the field and be connected with other universities worldwide.

Marco: In the new building with good laboratories the faculty will be focused on quality, as it has always been. Indeed I think that our greatest ambition is an always increasing quality of teachers, students, and structure.

Why are the HZ Civil Engineering and Water Management programmes attractive for international students?

Willem: Millions of people live in deltas areas, using water to live, eat and work, that’s why it’s a key location . But of course the supply is not enough for all the people to work, eat and live.
I hope that our students can help people living in those problematic locations and can really make the difference by solving problems caused by Climate Change.

Marco: I see people with broader perspectives, more skills, trying to solve the world's problems with those skills. I’m proud ofthis generation, I have a lot of hope in it, because you act in a differentway, that’s how you can help us. Seeing a problem and how it is interconnected with other issues and fields.


Last modified on: 10-07-2024