Earth sciences at WAU have been judged good or even excellent by the visiting committee which evaluated the research quality at several Dutch universities. Six research programmes at Dutch universities are excellent; two of them are from Wageningen. The programmes given by soil scientist Dr Johan Bouma and hydrologist Dr Reinder Feddes are the best in their field worldwide according to the committee. Two other WAU programmes are good. A minus point for Wageningen is that it abolished the chair in Geology and Mineralogy, says the committee: this should not be missing if proper research and education is to be given in the field of earth sciences.
WAU is listed as one of the best Dutch universities in the Guide for Higher Education. The students in Wageningen are very positive about both the education and the student facilities. Moreover, the Wageningen educational programmes score better than average, according to visiting committees who judged the environment, economics, chemistry and biology programmes at the WAU. The prospects of finding work after an agricultural or environmental study are better than a few years ago, the Guide points out. Taking this into account, the WAU is ranked second in the Guide for its educational quality, and first for its student facilities out of a total of thirteen Dutch universities.
The opening hours of the central library have been extended and other university buildings are open in the evenings for personnel and students. However, the extended opening hours are under threat, because the WAU wants to protect its buildings against burglars. The activation of alarm systems after five or six oclock in the evening keeps out the burglars, but also the students. Professor Bert Speelman, chair of the educational committee, wants all buildings to stay open until ten oclock in the evenings.
Wageningen mayor Michel Jager has been appointed as head of the Flevoland province of the Netherlands. The departing mayor thinks that the organisations like the WAU and the DLO-institutes for agricultural research should work together with the municipality to invest in jobs and cultural activities. Tourism could also be promoted, thinks Jager An important aspect of this is that the university and agricultural institutes are better known and are embedded in a special natural environment."