Ben Bartels in memorian – updated

Dear ETEN colleagues, It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that on the 27th of February, our beloved colleague Ben Bartels passed away in the warm embrace of his wife and sons and in the comfort of his own home. For the past nine months, Ben fought against a very rare form of cancer in the brain that caused among others a reduced vision and issues with his sense of balance. At first the treatment he received seemed to be working, but over time it became inevitable that we would have to say goodbye to him way too soon.

Ben was known as an inspired internationalizer and was passionated about his job as Director of International Relations. As a TIG leader, he sought to put internationalization on the map, always keeping in mind that internationalization should not have a separate status, but should be a part of all TIGs. Ben believed in a better world and was convinced that by learning about each other’s cultures and becoming more global, we could achieve that. He went out of his way to ensure that students could travel to broaden their view of the world or at least had an international experience at home. I hope we can continue his work. For now, Michel Hogenes is taking over his work as TIG leader, thanks for that.

I am sure you agree when we say it was lovely to work with Ben as he was always so kind, warmhearted and full of good cheer and will be missed dearly by students and staff. Ben was married to Anita and had two sons.

Kindly note that in due course, the HAN international team will arrange for an online commemoration service in his memory for all of you to join. Date and time will be communicated to you shortly. Those of you who would like to contribute to this service in any form, are more than welcome to contact us both directly per e-mail. In addition, feel free to forward this message to anyone you think should be notified.

Els van Wezel
HAN University of Applied Sciences
School of Education, The Netherlands

In case you wish to send your personal condolences to Ben’s family please use the following postal address:
Fam. Bartels
Fretstraat 7
6531 JE Nijmegen
The Netherlands

UPDATE – Invitation!

Dear colleagues,

As HAN International team we would like to invite you to the commemoration service in memory of Ben Bartels on Tuesday, March 28 at 5 p.m. local time. Of course you are welcome at HAN at the live commemoration in Nijmegenl, Kapittelweg 35 Nijmegen room -1.16 but for most of you that will not be possible.

That is why we give you the opportunity to be present to pay your last respects to Ben ONLINE.

You can use this LINK to attend the service.

Warm regards on behalf of HAN UoA,

Els van Wezel

Categories: Internationalisation, Portraits, Uncategorized

8 replies

  1. Dear Ben,
    For so many years you have contributed with excellent work and collaboration within our ETEN Eco and TIG leader community – it will be a very strange conference in Nuremberg, without you there. We will miss your welcoming and inclusive spirit as well as your great sense of humour – thank you so much!
    R I P /your colleagues Karmen & Anna, Language and Education TIG

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So sad to hear about Ben. I had the opportunity to work with him briefly at ETEN, and his personality was a force to reckon with. He was welcoming, with a big and warm personality. My thoughts are with his family and friends. Amrita Narang, UK xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is with a great sense of regret and sadness that we were informed of the passing away of Ben Bartels on Monday 27 February 2023 . As the director of the International Office at HAN University, Nijmegen, Netherlands he facilitated and financed several cohorts of four SPFET students to attend the annual winter camp in Groesbeek. On occasion, staff members like Proff Waghid and Sosibo were also fortunate enough to attend the camp. In 2018, Felicity Titus and I had the privilege of visiting and giving guest lectures at HAN University, and attending and presenting a paper at the ETEN Conference in Rotterdam – the courtesy of the International Office of HAN University under the directorship of Ben. These and so many other memories come to mind when I recall how many opportunities were created by Ben to live his passion of internationalisation. He will be missed for his kind and generous heart who have cut across cultures to do and realize internationalisation not only at CPUT but also at institutions in Namibia and Australia to name but a few. May his legacy live on in the hearts of everyone who was blessed to work and collaborate with him. Rest in peace Ben Bartels. You were an international giant on whose shoulders many students and academics around the world stood tall.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You will be missed! Your visit to IUP is a legend that keeps growing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sad to hear that you have left us Ben.
    But you leave us a most precious legacy: the kindness and warmth of people with a so big heart. We will miss you.
    Thank you for everything Ben.
    Love to your family and friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had the privilege of interacting closely with Ben both in the Netherlands and in South Africa. What a brilliant, warm and welcoming person he was! Indeed, he was a giant. When my four CPUT students and I arrived in the Netherlands in 2018, Ben warmly welcomed us at the airport in Amsterdam. It was as if we had known him forever! A big tree has fallen. Rest in peace, Ben. You are a legend to us in South Africa. You’ve left a huge void and an indelible mark. We will never forget about you.


  7. INSPÉ de Versailles joins all of you in the rememberance of Ben.
    So sad to have lost his great personnality, but so grateful to have met him.
    His work and legacy will certainly pass on to future generations through the huge amount of people he connected with during his international carreer.
    Ben, you will be missed.
    Jennifer Connan, Maud Kerforne and Florence Bray


  8. Ben, our paths have crossed many times in the name of internationalisation of higher education, in particular in ETEN conferences. It was always a pleasure meeting you and your welcoming attitude and positive mood. So many students you have sent to our university during the years, and so many students you have given the opportunity to a unique experience abroad. It was very sad to hear of Ben passing away, way too soon. Condolences to the family. Cathrine Døscher, on behalf of colleagues at Oslo Metropolitan University


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