News - June 27, 2013

Honours Programme for 'tomorrow's leaders'

Honours Programme to start this year.
WUR Council wants greater emphasis on student 'motivation'.

The Wageningen Honours Programme: after long discussions it should now finally be starting this year. Other universities have had a special educational route for outstanding students for some time, and now Wageningen UR is introducing its own version: a multidisciplinary programme in which the emphasis is on students' ability to work independently. The accompanying information says the aim is to provide 'tomorrow's leaders'.  
The WUR Council is all for the idea of offering students something extra on top of their standard degree but it is not so sure about the approach chosen by the university. For example, the Council wants the admission criteria to put more emphasis on students' motivation and less on their academic achievements. The minimum average grade should therefore be reduced from 7.5 to 7.
The Council, which must give its consent to the plans, also wants a guarantee that the programme will not have an adverse effect on the regular teaching. The Honours Programme will cost four hundred thousand euros and the university wants to fund it using money obtained from the government in return for meeting performance targets. The WUR Council wonders whether this will be enough and wants to know where the cash will come from if the government's 'bonus' turns out to be insufficient. It is discussing its concerns with the Executive Board on 26 June. It will give its final response on 5 July.