ANTWERP – DocAtlas, the learning and knowledge center for language, welfare and citizenship, has a new owner.
Thomas More University of Applied Sciences will take over both the operation and the impressive collection of more than 35,000 educational resources.
Deputy Kathleen Helsen (CD&V, right in the photo): ‘Since the internal state reform, the powers of the provinces have changed.’
‘Culture, welfare and other personal powers are no longer a core task of our province, so we can no longer offer these services directly to citizens. ‘
‘Moreover, the efficient and effective use of government resources is a second important argument for giving the rich collection of docAtlas a proper and accessible place.’
‘Because in a changing world, the docAtlas collection is a valuable source of support for many.’
‘That is precisely why we have invested a lot of time and carefully conducted many discussions to find a suitable buyer.’
Stijn Coenen (left in the photo), general director of Thomas More: ‘Our university of applied sciences believes it is important to fully play its social role.’
‘We bring in expertise in the areas of migration, inclusion and diversity, themes that we attach great importance to.’
‘We also want to make our current efforts in that area a lot more visible. We do this, among other things, by opening up the learning center, not only for students but also for the neighborhood.’
The works of docAtlas are ideal for non-native speakers who practice Dutch, for children, educational institutions, but also for companies that want to improve the language of their employees in the workplace.
The large influx of refugees from Ukraine last year resulted in a huge number of requests for docAtlas from teachers, volunteers, library staff and reception center supervisors.
Coenen: ‘The operation of docAtlas is therefore necessary and relevant. In addition, our school also strengthens its contacts with compulsory education and with the professional field.’
The docAtlas collection, currently housed in the Atlas Building in Antwerp, will move to the Thomas More campus in Sint-Andriesstraat in Antwerp from January 2024.
The collection will find a place in a room that will be furnished for this purpose later. The collection in Turnhout currently has a home in the Turnhout library.
Thomas More can count on the support of the province of Antwerp for a smooth move and a seamless transition of operations.
Helsen: ‘It is time for a new chapter for DocAtlas, we are convinced that Thomas More will continue to write and spread the story with great care.’ (EM / Photo Province of Antwerp)