The Business School welcomed a cohort of Dutch students who flew over to collaborate with Edge Hill University students on a group project and experience the UK culture.
Fifty second year students and two members of staff from Avans University of Applied Science in The Netherlands visited the Ormskirk campus for three days, where they were set the task of developing and planning the launch for a backpack in the UK.
Mixed groups of Edge Hill and Avans students worked together researching the UK rucksack market to discover the size of the market, identify competing products and investigate consumer preferences as they worked to develop a product and marketing mix to fit their chosen target market. Following an introductory lecture from one of the Dutch tutors the students began an intense three of days’ work, following which they presented their findings and reports to a panel of Dutch and UK tutors.
The central activity is the students working on a short marketing project, but in addition a key part of the visit is also the opportunity for both British and Dutch students to experience collaborating with people from different cultures, a theme which many of the students commented on.
Danielle Van der Steel from Avans University enjoyed exploring the differences in culture.
“The English are so kind and humble, and I found it really interesting to learn about the differences in the curriculum in the UK – over here you learn completely different languages to us. It was also fascinating to see how differently Avans and Edge Hill students approached the task, we had completely different perspectives.”
Jennifer Cairns, a second year Marketing with Public Relations student from Edge Hill, thinks this experience will help her in the future.
“Collaborating with students from the Netherlands was really fun, and I think it will definitely help me in the future when meeting or working with people from a range of cultures. It was interesting to see how we all approached the task – students from Avans came up with ideas we’d never considered or heard of, and vice versa.”
Daan Zijlstra, an English teacher from Avans University, accompanied students on the trip.
“Experiencing the differences in how things work overseas was great for developing intercultural awareness,” said Daan. “As soon as Avans students stepped foot on campus, it opened up a whole new world for them.”
The programme Edge Hill devised for their Dutch guests included an Edge Hill Business guest lecture from an industry expert and a visit to Liverpool Tate where they were treated to two lectures, one on the marketing of the Tate and the other on modern art appreciation, before they spent time viewing the exhibitions.
Edge Hill’s Fiona Syson, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for Marketing, said:
“This was the fourth visit of students from the Avans University and we are clearly developing a good reputation with them, as this year they had to set a cap at 50 participants and had more applicants than places. When you consider their 150 eligible students had the choice of visiting Boston, Valencia, Paris or Ormskirk, that’s pretty impressive for us.
“Knowledge Exchange activities of this kind are a critical part of our work in the Business School and provide benefits to both the international student visitors and Edge Hill students alike.
“The feedback regarding the visit was excellent. They think our campus is amazing, really enjoyed working with our students and enjoyed the programme of activities provided.”
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