Meet the Board

The Board of Management consists of the President of the Association, the General Manager and three Board Members. The President and Board Members are elected for a three year period at the annual general meeting of the network (held at the annual conference). The General Manager is an appointed post and the position is reviewed annually.


General Manager

Yvonne Farrand

Projects Beyond Borders

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Yvonne has worked in education for over 27 years in a variety of Management roles. Yvonne has managed Student Service teams, including Admissions, Careers advice & guidance and funding. She was responsible for setting up an international division, designing systems to manage international student requirements from admissions and accommodation to immigration and pastoral care. Active in the voluntary sector Yvonne has been involved in school governance and an Educational Trustee for many years. Advocating lifelong learning and a teacher of EFL she enjoys exploring new languages and cultures and is currently studying Arabic at the University of Manchester. Yvonne joined the Board during the Virtual Annual Conference in November 2021 having been a member of Businet since 2017 attending her first conference in Vilamoura that year. <br/>Yvonne is a Director of Projects Beyond Borders, one of the first SMEs to join the Businet network as associate member. She is member of the Entrepreneurship and Health and Social Working Groups, contributing to the development of a number of successful EU projects that include Businet as a partner. She has been a part of the Social Media team raising the profile of the network and promoting the benefits of membership through social communication channel. Yvonne was appointed General Manager at the Annual Conference in Mainz 2023. This position involves managing the day-to-day activities of the organisation, and putting into place the wishes of the membership as interpreted by the Board of the organisation. Unlike a Board position which is for a set term the position of General Manager is not time barred.

Nico Nijsten

UCLL University College Leuven-Limburg

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Nico Nijsten has been working in an international environment since his job at the Standing Committee of the EU Hospital Associations in 1992. It was not much of a surprise that when he joined UCLL (then KHLeuven) in 2003, he immediately became involved in internationalisation. So he soon took up the role of Financial Manager and Chair of the Unit ‘Work placement Appraisal and Implementation’ in Businet's Leonardo da Vinci project Framework. Nico studied Education (1984), Economics (1995), Law (2000) and he obtained a certificate on Computer Systems and Networks in vocational training (1998). Since 1988 Nico was involved into politics and started working as a personal staff member for the Flemish Minister for Public Works. In 1991 Nico became assistant to the Secretary-General of the Standing Committee of the EU Hospital Associations (now: European Hospital and Healthcare Federation). Since 2003 Nico works as a lecturer at KHLeuven, now UCLeuven. In between he has also been a co-worker at his brothers Law firm. For the last couple of years Nico has not only been teaching International Law, EU Law and Intellectual Property Law but he is also coordinating the Internationalisation of the Law Program and he represents UCLeuven staff in the UCLL Joint Consultative Committee. Nico was elected in the Businet board for the first time from 2007 until 2011. In 2009 during the annual conference in Durham he started the Businet Law Group which he chaired until 2022. Since then John, Ingeborg, Rik, Jean- Pierre, Eija, Michael, Martijn, Pieter, Lucy, Chris, Massimo, Benedetta, Pilar, Roselien and lots of other representatives have helped tremendously in making the Law group successful. Nico also helped starting up the Health Group and the Internationalisation@home Group. <br/>Nico has been a member of the board of management of Businet and was elected President of the organisation in November 2022.
Board Member

Ria Slingerland

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

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Ria Slingerland started her career as a lecturer in Spanish linguistics and language acquisition at the department of Languages and Cultures of Latin-America of Leiden University. Later on, she became a lecturer in cross-cultural management, sales and account management and again Spanish at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (RUAS). In this role, she set up many different courses and was in the lead of the Second Languages and the Study Career Coaching programme for many years.<br/> Besides this, she has been working in different internationalisation roles for more than 20 years now: first as an internship abroad coordinator and later on, as the head of international relations for the School of Commerce of RUAS. Currently, she is in charge of the academic partnership portfolio for Rotterdam Business School, also part of RUAS. Besides this, she also coordinates the International Business and Career and the Study Abroad minor programmes and is project manager for several EU-funded projects. During the pandemic, Ria started co-creating across borders, which led to several COIL-projects and events with partner institutions from all over the world. In the past years, Ria got really caught by the power of internationalization, in which traditional ways start making place for new ways of interconnecting people and sharing knowledge. Ria has been an active extended board member of the Businet network, (co)chairing the International Relations Managers Working Group for several years. In 2020, she was elected as a member of the Businet Board.
Board Member

Mindaugas Samuolaitis

Kauno Kolegija/ Kaunas University of Applied Sciences

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Education: Ph.D. in Business; Master's degree in Business Administration; Bachelor's degree in Business Administration; Professional Bachelor's degree in Business Administration.<br/>Work experience: more than 10 years in the logistics sector; associate professor of logistics teaching in Hight Education Institutions since 2009; was working as Erasmus Coordinator and Study Process Administrator, later as Career Coordinator in the national projects for school children in secondary schools and students in HEI. Currently working as Head of the Department of Student Affairs and Head of the Career Center and main responsibilities are strengthening the cooperation between business and HEI in order to help students and business companies to find each other and to reveal new possibilities of cooperation for HEI and business. As well to help student to plan their life in such way that they would be happy today, but not letting them to forget that tomorrow will come. Teaching, work, international travel, various project activities, studies and an environment in which it is good to grow and where you can help others to grow -has contributed to the emergence of the theme "life logistics".
Board Member

Ferdi Hofstede

Windesheim University of Applied Science

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Over the past 25 years, Ferdi Hofstede has worked in a wide range of management positions at various organisations in financial services, local government, sports and education. He has worked at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences since 2016.  First as a lecturer and coordinator for the business administration programme and since 2023 as the degree programme manager for International Business, a role he combines with teaching in the international classroom.<br/>With his passion for internationalisation, Ferdi has contributed to various international projects such as COILs and blended intensive programmes in recent years. He joined Businet as the first representative of his university in November 2022. Within Businet, he has been co-chair of the Interdisciplinary Working Group since December 2023 and he joined the Businet board in May 24. In addition to his master's degrees in business administration and general economics, Ferdi has also taken courses in international politics and intercultural communication at Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. He teaches intercultural communication, global public affairs and operations management.
Deputy General Manager

Griet Barrezeele

UCLL University of Applied Science

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Griet Barrezeele is Deputy General Manager for the Businet network and co-chair of the curriculum working group HEDICT.<br/>Alongside her role as Deputy General Manager, she is also lecturer, international officer and student coach at UCLL University of Applied Sciences in the bachelor programme in applied computer science (Dutch speaking TI and international BCS). Griet is a master in Computer Science and she has been organising virtual projects for many years, also offering support to partners who need help in organising virtual projects. She provides help to the members of Businet in their communication and collaboration via Basecamp. Her role as Deputy General Manager entails supporting the General Manager in the day to day management of the networks and assumes responsibility for communication and the annual student conference.

The Board meets regularly throughout the year. These are appointed posts and are appointed annually.

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