News - November 25, 2015

No new gender minor for now

Rob Ramaker

There will be no minor on gender on offer at Wageningen University next year. The previous programme, which was scrapped this spring, will not be followed up for the time being.

Photo: Guy Ackermans

A disappointment, says Bettina Bock, associate professor at Rural Sociology. In the ‘minor call’ in which teachers were invited to submit proposals, she put forward an idea entitled (In)equality and Sustainability. This minor would be broader than its predecessor and would pay attention to the different reasons for inequality, such as gender.

But the education institute OWI selected three of the other 26 submissions. Bock: ‘We were not lucky.’

But this is not the end of gender education at Wageningen, says the sociologist. She had already been asked by rector Arthur Mol to write an action plan outlining how 'gender and diversity issues’ should be reflected in Wageningen teaching and research. Bock will be devoting herself to this task in the coming period. Meanwhile the OWI has invited her to discuss alternatives in January. The education institute is still convinced that gender is an important issue which should be addressed in teaching and research, emphasizes OWI director Tiny van Boekel.

The previous gender minor was scrapped this spring due to lack of interest. Only one or two students sign up for it each year, says Ellen de Jong, minor coordinator at the OWI. This means two courses disappear from the curriculum, leaving only two courses on the topic of gender: Gender and Consumer Culture, and Gender and Natural Resources.