The international visitation committee that visited last week is positive about the quality of Wageningen education and the university’s quality control system. The committee reported these conclusions in a presentation on Friday 2 February.
The five-strong international committee spent a week talking to some 175 teachers, administrative staff and students. The committee will present the written report on its Institutional Audit in a few months’ time, making recommendations to the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO).
The committee was very impressed by the culture around Wageningen education. One typical feature is the informal policymaking process in which students and teachers can put forward and discuss their ideas. Having all the education under one faculty puts the different degree programmes in a good position to share knowledge and courses. Nonetheless, the committee recommends strengthening the position of the programme directors. By giving the programme directors more clout, the programme committees would be better able to exercise countervailing power, thinks the committee.
Something that surprised the committee was the title ‘personal professor’. The committee says they should just be called professors. Another suggestion is that the university increase the number of examination committees. With the growth in student numbers, the work is getting too much for the four existing committees, said the auditors.