HUF 10 years, celebration in Groninger Forum


Ten years the driving force behind projects for vocational education for young people in developing countries. Donors and those directly involved celebrated the birthday of the Hanze University Foundation on the 10th floor of the brand new Forum in Groningen. Director Linda Maat talks about the origins, results and milestones.

'When we set it up, we had to indicate how many funds we expected to raise per year. I actually had no idea. Just do 40 thousand euros, I said. Whether we would really achieve that, I doubted, but in 2010 we already collected more than 100 thousand euros. That has remained the case on average in recent years.' Linda Maat is director of the Hanze University Foundation and has been involved in Hanze development projects for more than twenty years.

In 2005, the Hanze Center for Development Cooperation (HCDC) was established, an expertise center that coordinates development cooperation activities within the university. The projects focused almost exclusively on educational development with funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BUZA). 'All meaningful projects, with substantial budgets. But over the years we had seen that you can achieve a lot with little money, especially for people who cannot afford the new education. We also found it very unfortunate that the cooperation with partner institutions in BUZA projects ended after the regular four-year term. Curriculums must be regularly updated and teachers trained. For those two reasons, we then set up the Hanze University Foundation.'

Since its foundation, students, employees and companies have donated almost one million euros to the HUF projects. Eighteen hospitals, universities and colleges upgraded their facilities and retrained their staff. More than a hundred students and lecturers have completed courses, courses or a summer school.

Hanseatic League also benefits
Not only partners in developing countries benefit from the HUF projects, Hanze University of Applied Sciences itself also benefits. 'In the projects, for example, we increasingly focus on the Hanze spearheads: sustainable energy, entrepreneurship and healthy ageing. And students and staff benefit from the cooperation with partner institutions in developing countries. There are already more than a hundred students and teachers who have become acquainted with colleagues and students from the partner institutions through their involvement in HUF projects in developing countries. Through exchanges, Hanze teachers also learn how teaching is approached in a completely different culture or with much less resources.' Another example: HG students already worked on projects in Tanzania for the fourth year this summer, together with Tanzanian students with whom they build a personal bond.

Helping set up the North Coast Medical Training College, the lustrum goal of 2013, was one of HUF's highlights for Maat. The school in Kenya came about partly thanks to the proceeds of the lustrum campaigns, Christmas package donations, the Inspiration Breakfast, attendance funds made available and student campaigns, totaling 230,000 euros.' The school in Bomani, fifteen kilometers north of Mombasa, now offers various courses, including basic medicine, nutrition and dietetics and nursing. 'We sponsored a skills lab, furnished classrooms and made grants available to students with few financial resources. A real gem!'

Mini EnTranCe
Another HUF gem, according to Maat, is the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology in Tanzania. 'A university with which we had already done various projects for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With the 15,000 euros they received from us, they have started an energy lab. Partly due to exchanges with the Hanze, a motivated team of energy teachers has emerged that initially concentrated on oil and gas, but is now increasingly focusing on sustainable energy. Teachers who have been here have been very impressed with our energy research center EnTranCe. Now there is a follow-up application from Dar es Salaam for a kind of mini-EnTranCe.'

You can take pictures of the celebration here find.