By Bamidele Famoofo
Consul-general of Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, Jan Van Weljen, recently made a first and historic visit to the Business School Netherlands (BSN) flagship Centre in Lagos.
The purpose was for him to learn more about the business school’s operations in Nigeria, and he was hugely impressed, describing his experience as ‘fantastic’. He added that the BSN study centre was a centre of excellence.
On Weljen’s arrival to the beautifully designed BSN campus located in the serene Ikeja GRA, he was warmly welcomed by Professor Lere Baale, the Country Director of BSN who said: “I am delighted to welcome our distinguished guest to Business School Netherlands. We are grateful for the immense support offered by the Consulate to students and graduates of the school over the years.”
The Consul-General was taken on a tour of the centre after which he participated briefly in an MBA workshop. The business school shared with him details about the fast growth of the business school, noting that 1,745 Nigerians have enrolled for MBA programme with 679 graduating since 2004.
Business School Netherlands is a leading provider of Executive Business Education worldwide. BSN was established in 1988 in The Netherlands and has grown its presence in 16 Countries which include Nigeria. The school has graduated over 5,000 Executive MBA holders from over 1,200 firms in over 55 countries. It has worldwide accreditations reflecting her commitment to exceptional global quality standards.
“Our vision is to develop world-class leaders, and our ambition is to be an enabler in the development and success of leaders and organizations worldwide through unique pragmatic practical Action Learning programme providing answers to current leadership issues,” Prof. Lere Baale said.
The visit culminated in a lively discussion with facilitators and key members of staff on how the business school was addressing the challenges facing businesses in Africa, using the Dutch model of practical education.
According to Baale, “BSN is aware that the methods that succeeded in previous decades may not be applicable in our fast-changing world. Even if they are, organizations cannot achieve competitive dominance by merely copying the strategies and tactics of the past. BSN takes learning beyond case studies to inculcate the thinking and the doing processes that birthed those successes.
“Our value proposition is distinct. We are not just offering MBA, we require our students to take Action on the Knowledge they acquire and thereby grow their skills. BSN drives inspiration, innovation and creativity of our Graduates. We are creating platforms to connect our students to a circle of global network of peers, angel investors, venture capitalists, private equity firms, Mentors, Coaches, etc. They are thus enabled to explore opportunities for international or global collaborations. Our Graduates are equipped to manage business professionally to secure capital and accelerate business & entrepreneurial ventures. This is why BSN graduates drive acceleration of business transformation through growth & profitability. Through resilience, such businesses can scale up and move to the stock exchange, thus creating a wealthy global community and make a better world by contributing to the 17 SDGs- ending poverty, protecting the planet, and promoting global peace and prosperity,” Baale said.
In his response, the Consul-General said, “I am impressed by the world class standards I have found in the Business School Netherlands. This Dutch Inspired Education model aimed at innovative and practical approach to business administration and development is commendable. The Dutch are known for their disciplined approach to life and practical approach to education. I believe the Dutch model of business education is the best for a typical economy like Africa. That the Business School Netherlands has been able to replicate the Dutch model in this center of excellence is worthy of our commendation.”
He assured the school of the continuing support of the consulate.
While giving a vote of thanks, Mrs Morenike Adeyeye, the Country Operations Manager, expressed gratitude to the consul-general for his visit and his interest in BSN.
The Consul General, Mr. Jan Van Weljen, was appointed to the Netherlands Consulate in Lagos in August 2019. Before then he had a rich career as a diplomat serving his country in Nairobi, Lagos and Baghdad. He holds a Masters in Law from Utrecht University in The Netherlands.