Organisation - April 20, 2017

Executive Board wants English-taught Bachelor's

Linda van der Nat

The Executive Board has taken the provisional decision of making Wageningen Bachelor's English-taught. They want to start the first programmes in September 2018. This is stated in a letter from the Board to the Student Staff Council.

Photo: Sven Menschel

Five programmes will pioneer the transition. These are Soil, Water, Atmosphere; Animal Sciences; International Land and Water Management; Food Technology, and Environmental Sciences. All these programmes are enthusiastic about a full transition to English. If the Student Staff Council agrees to the plan, the five programmes will no longer be offered in Dutch as of September 2018.

The university has been considering becoming fully English-speaking for some time now. The primary argument for this step is the international domain in which WUR operates. Education director Tiny van Boekel spoke on this topic in September 2016: ‘Themes like food production, climate change, soil, water and atmosphere are international. You give students an extra learning experience if you view these not only from the perspective of the Dutch situation.’ Other arguments are: better preparation for an international work field, strengthening international cooperation and better use of the international teaching staff.

A working group has recently been studying the consequences of introducing English-taught Bachelor's. These will include a greater influx of international students, who will need accommodation and possibly extra support. Some programmes are already having difficulty catering for the current growth in student numbers. The working group has advised the Executive Board to appoint an internationalization coordinator to monitor such developments.

The Executive Board would like a response from the Student Staff Council before 29 May.

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