Brendy Boogaard
“The pandemic demands reflection and acceleration. What opportunities and threats do we see? And what do we have to offer in response?"

Brendy Boogaard

Lead Lifelong Development

“New opportunities for Lifelong Development”

“The labour market is changing enormously. Fewer and fewer people continue to do the same thing all their lives. The need to continue developing yourself is increasing. Organizations are also looking for partners for the continuing education of their employees. At the same time, there is stiff competition: universities of applied sciences, private educational institutes, online providers. We have to determine precisely what distinguishes us, as VU Amsterdam, from the competition.” “Lifelong Development is a hot topic. Many different parties are active in this arena. And because of the coronavirus pandemic, the online market is rapidly changing. If you want to participate in this market, you have to be very active. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science considers it a task of the universities to stimulate and facilitate Lifelong Development with a diverse range of courses. The VSNU, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands, is also making this a top priority.” Brendy Boogaard, the driving force behind the ambition Lifelong Development, wants to do everything possible to ensure that VU is and remains the place for development for professionals—now and in the future.

“The pandemic requires reflection and acceleration. What opportunities and threats do we see? And what do we have to offer in response? On the one hand things are moving very fast technologically, but also a lot of things are happening in our country economically as well. And that offers opportunities. That may sound crazy, but it does. If we see that there are many people getting laid off in certain sectors, then perhaps we can retrain them. We’re also seeing an increase in enrolment to the Learn! Academy for teachers. Specifically, there is an increase in lateral-entry candidates, so these are people who are being retrained in a profession in which there is a shortage. We’re in an excellent position to respond to this.” “And no, we’re not a sales force for educational offerings, but in order to contribute to society we also have to show entrepreneurship. We see professionals as our impact instrument. Through us, professionals can develop broadly and, through them, we can also contribute to their organizations and society.”

“In our current offer, there are some real gems. Still, I think we also have to make choices. What are the areas where we stand out in terms of content? And what does the market need? We can’t offer everything to everyone , but we can focus and expand on what we excel at. Otherwise, I'm afraid we’re doing too much of everything.”

“I imagine a building in front of me with ‘VU for professionals’ on the facade. These times require us to reconsider how we’re going to utilize that building space. If we’re going to offer many more lectures online, we will probably need fewer classrooms. But I think a meeting space will become much more important. We can continue to fulfil that networking function by having our own building.” “I saw on the news that 200 million euros has been made available for further training and retraining. What an opportunity for VU! The world needs people who are flexible, who can move with the times and who can make a difference. Lifelong Development at VU offers that foundation.”

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