After his Bachelor’s in International Studies in Leiden, Michiel van de Pavert (24) came to Wageningen for the Master’s in International Development Studies. That suits him better. ‘This programme is more geared to solving problems. That makes all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place.’ In fact, he is so enthusiastic that he is looking into the possibilities for a PhD.
The academic world nearly lost Michiel to the conservatorium. ‘I played electric guitar. Now I don’t have time to play every day, and a quarter of an hour a week is no good. So nowadays I just listen to music.’ He does not mourn his missed musical career. ‘Only a few people get to the top and the music world didn’t particularly appeal to me. Making music is a nice hobby, but no more than that.’
Michiel did not choose WUR for the sake of Wageningen – to put it mildly. ‘The town doesn’t do anything for me. I’ve been there about twice but there is not much going on.’ The attraction was purely the Master’s programme. The only other thing Wageningen has going for it, he thinks, is the beautiful surrounding countryside. ‘I love going cycling because this is a nice area for it.’
The difficulty of finding a room in Wageningen these days didn’t affect Michiel. ‘My girlfriend Laila has a studio in Arnhem which is big enough for us both. I don’t have that many contact hours, so I can just travel up and down.’
For the future, Michiel is looking into the possibility of doing a PhD with the Knowledge, Technology and Innovation chair group. ‘I’m now doing an orientation course to see what other options there are. I know I want to choose this chair group but of course I should also know why I’m not choosing the others.’