Dutch universities have to present better education for less money. To achieve this, Secretary of State Aad Nuis wants a structural adjustment in Higher Education: more diversity in the length of the programmes and better job orientation. Three advisory boards agree with him: not all students should continue their training in scientific skills; the others should orient themselves towards applied studies and obtain a mix of learning and working skills. Students should go through a further selection procedure after three years of study, says A. Ph. de Vries, of WAU's Department of Extension Science. The contrast between quantity and quality is one of the core problems in Dutch Higher Education."
In May Holland celebrates the liberation from the German Nazi occupation, fifty years ago. Wageningen will be at the centre of the celebrations, because the Germans capitulated here in 1945. The Dutch still have bad feelings about the Germans - they are bad, we are good - but this cultivated contrast should be put into perspective once and for all in order to improve the relationship with Holland's main political and economic partner. One activity organized by Aisec economics students was a conference on the relationship between the two countries. One conclusion reached was that Dutch schools should teach more about postwar Germany to make people more aware of the democratic development of our neighbours.
German professor Konrad Hagendorn from the Humboldt University in Berlin visits Wageningen regularly to teach about the transformation processes in Eastern European agriculture. He disagrees with the view within the European Union, that the EU's Common Agricultural Policy should be liberalized in order to give the Eastern European countries an opportunity for political integration and to enter the market. The EU should accept that there are different structures in agriculture", says Hagedorn, like big companies in the West and smaller ones in the East. When the economic circumstances are bad, as they are in the East, it is logical to have small-scale enterprises in agriculture." The main problem of Eastern European agriculture is pollution", says Hagedorn. The consumer demands better quality, also during the production process. If the food in Poland and Russia is produced in a way which contributes to a worsening of the greenhouse effect , the EU will refuse to buy the products."