Wetenschap - 17 september 1998

English Summary

English Summary

English Summary
  • The cutbacks at the University - twenty million guilders in the next four years - by the Ministry of Agriculture will force the Executive Board of the WAU to limit tasks, says chairman Cees Veerman. He wants a fundamental debate about the nature of our products. The reorganisation may include a substantial decrease of the number of courses (twelve hundred at the moment) and the elimination of chairs and laboratories. A project team has six weeks to produce a business plan. We really have to make decisions now, says Veerman, Unlike in the past, when we got less money and carried on doing the same tasks. A clear result of that strategy is that the working pressure has increased.
  • Organic farmers in the Netherlands spend a lot of time on weeding, and the yields and quality of the products are still too low. These are the main bottlenecks on ten pioneering organic farms that still remain after eight years of intensive counselling from the AB-DLO institute in Wageningen. A large-scale switch-over to biological farming is still not feasible, the researchers conclude
  • Paul Ehrlich, who has given dire warnings about overpopulation and environmental devastation on earth in several books over the past twenty years, will participate in a lecture series in Wageningen. He will be awarded a medal from the Netherlands Academy of Science, but his prediction in the 1960s that the growing world population will quickly exhaust natural resources, leading to wars and hunger for millions of people before the year 2000, hasn't come true. It is not overpopulation, but bad governance that is causing wars and hunger, says environmental economist Wim Heijman of the WAU. See Studium Generale information on pages 10-11
  • WAU graduates change jobs more quickly than they used to do. More than half of them find a temporary job first and have to look for other jobs while they are working. That's the reason why the job office of WAU's Alumni Association is registering more and more job-seekers who graduated five years ago. The many job changes mean that the graduates have to fulfil higher requirements: they have to settle into their work and operationalise their knowledge quickly and need to update their knowledge and skills all the time
  • About two hundred of the WAU students don't like life in student flats, but prefer the old, noisy and mouldy sheds in the jungle Droevendaal outside town. They grow vegetables and keep free-range goats and chickens. But the wooden sheds will now be replaced by brick cottages, with good insulation, solar energy and rain water for the toilets and washing machines. Quite a change. To maintain the old atmosphere, the students want to save the lush flora and fauna around their houses

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