Wetenschap - 9 maart 1995

GIS Programme is

GIS Programme is

According to its Master Plan, the university's Executive Board would like to merge courses which have fewer than ten students. This would affect both Dutch and MSc programmes. Although several MSC programmes may be affected, the programme Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Rural Applications explains what steps they have taken to enable them to feel confident about the future. J.H. Loedeman of the GIS programme: Concrete steps are being taken by the programme to ensure that students are encouraged to come to this university. We are lucky to have entered into a joint cooperation agreement with the International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC) in Enschede. It is a big initiative, and we are guaranteed a steady flow of students so we are not really worried about being merged."

GIS Programme Director G.F. Epema elaborates further, This past year the contract with the ITC was made official after 4 or 5 years of an unofficial agreement. What it means is that international students come to the Netherlands and spend 7 months at the ITC. Then they continue on in Wageningen for another 10 months. It is a way of making the most of what both universities have to offer. The diploma the students receive also mentions both institutions. We never graduate in January, because the students start a month later at the ITC, but on February 24th we celebrated graduation here in Wageningen with 6 of the 14 students and another 6 will graduate on March 29th. We hope that the other 2 will follow in the summer."

Another avenue in which the GIS programme has experimented, is a team-building exercise through a fieldwork focus. Director Epema continues, Last year 7 of the 14 students went on a fieldwork trip to Spain and they all concentrated their theses on that field work. It builds team spirit, and concentrating on one topic produces very pleasing in-depth results: real cooperation."