Wetenschap - 25 juni 1998

International Page

International Page

International Page
Jeanine Hermans leaving The most fun job
After eight years as Dean of International Students, Jeanine Hermans has accepted a new job. From September she will be working four days a week in Brussels. It's time for a change, a new challenge, Hermans explains. Her replacement (as yet unknown) will start at the end of August when the new group of MSc students come to Wageningen. Hermans looks ahead at her future job and reflects over her time as Dean
Jeanine Hermans' new position? Secretary-General of a European network known as UNICA (UNiversities in CApital Cities), which deals with problems that come up during international university staff and student exchanges in Europe's capital cities; problems such as health and racism. Hermans' challenge will be to strengthen cooperation within the eight-year-old network and to increase its role of influencing European Commission policies on education. This feels like a logical step in my personal development, says Hermans, who has been involved in a working group called the European Association for International Education (EAIE) in the last years
Hermans has worked for the WAU since 1984, first as a project coordinator in study skills, and later as a student counsellor where she came into regular contact with the international students in Wageningen. She became the first dean of the newly established Dean's office in 1991, set up to specialise in issues arising within the growing international student community
Looking back at her experience as dean, which she describes as a combination of management and cross-cultural communication, Hermans describes it as the most fun job in the University. Even though you have to work really hard - at times there is hardly enough room to breathe - it remains fun. The workload has changed a lot over the years as the international student community has grown and diversified. In the early years of the Dean's office, students all arrived at the same time and had basically the same kinds of needs. Now students come at all times of the year through various exchange programmes and need much more individual attention
Challenging
The personal contacts are what have kept Herman's job so interesting, the world comes to my office. It's also challenging, especially in times of personal emergencies among the students. These days, when a conflict breaks out somewhere in the world, Hermans has a direct connection with it because of students studying here: It's not an anonymous article in the newspaper anymore, it has a face. Feeling responsibility for a student does not lessen even when there is so little she can do to help: I feel these things in my heart - there are some people I will never forget!
Hermans hopes that her experience in Brussels will improve the type of knowledge she has when she returns to Wageningen after her contract ends. Working for UNICA for one year will help her to understand the ins and outs of the European Union and its process of policy-making in education, which will stand her in good stead for when she returns. Having an international reputation for high quality research, Hermans has noticed, is not enough to attract students and funding anymore. Understanding international educational policy may be a good way to help strengthen Wageningen's policies and ability to compete in the field of international education
Lake Tana is better known in Wageningen than in Addis Ababa
Tesfaye Wudneh's PhD thesis, Biology and Management of Fish Stocks in Bahir Dar Gulf, Lake Tana, Ethiopia, officially accepted this week, has brought attention for the first time to the biological composition and behaviour of the major fish stocks in Ethiopia's largest lake. Wudneh's research focused on a biological inventory of three main types of fish, which account for 78% of the total fish population. This information was vital for sustainable management of the lake's stocks: knowing what mesh size should be used in nets, for instance, to avoid disturbing the reproductive cycle of the fish
That Lake Tana is better known in the Netherlands than in Addis Ababa, which is only 500 km away from the lake, is a paradox that Wudneh presented in his PhD's last proposition. Only recently has the Ethiopian government's Department of Fisheries become interested in developing Lake Tana's fishing potential. It has tended to favour the more easily accessible Rift Valley lakes south of the capital, rather than the nearer and larger Lake Tana. In 1986, two international development organisations in Holland initiated a project there, introducing motorised fishing alongside the traditional reed-boat subsistence fishery. Wudneh's research which also led to a second PhD in Wageningen, on the lake's taxonomic diversity, has focused even more attention on Lake Tana. Wudneh's study reveals that the lake's fish populations can sustainably withstand greater exploitation, but this will take time to achieve because of market-related obstacles. Increasing motorised fishing will not hinder the traditional fishing as the two activities exploit different areas of the lake and different types of fish. The local market needs and diet are satisfied by the traditional fishery, which works closer to the shore (catching mainly tilapia), whereas distant markets favour the catfish caught by the motorboats further into the lake
Nuclear tests spark debate among Indian students
When India became internationally condemned for conducting five nuclear tests in mid-May, an MSc student set off an e-mail debate among his fellow Indian students and researchers in Wageningen. His message called for support to India's nuclear industry for security reasons. Are we a soft state that we should allow ourselves to be trampled by anybody? Why are there no sanctions against France and China? Another student responded, encouraging participation in opinion polls set up by major newspapers on the Internet
Wanting to broaden the discussion beyond strategic concerns, another student, Esha Shah, sent a long statement, prepared together with her husband in India, challenging students to look at the political, ethical and social questions. Condemning the nuclear tests as a useless exercise of political pride in a country which cannot spare greatly needed funds for a competition it cannot hope to win, their mail ended with a citation from an Indian text: if it is impossible to beat the enemy on the basis of brute power, it is better to beat it on intelligent moral grounds. Since then, the e-mail debate has grown to include statements from Indian students and staff from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague as well as in other countries. The debate has eased off now, as messages are dominated by arguments of a more general anti-nuclear nature, many coming from the website South Asians Against Nukes. According to Shah, the twenty-five Indian researchers and students in Wageningen, have come to agree in this regard
ISOW soccer times
The ISOW club building is open from 17.30 - 19.30 and 21.00 - 23.00 daily
The activities this week all centre around World Cup football matches on the big screen and from 23/6 to 26/6 the early opening times are different: 16.00 - 18.00
On the days when two matches are played simultaneously ISOW will be showing the following
Thursday 25/6: Holland vs. Mexico at 16.00
Friday 26/6: Croatia vs. Argentina at 16.00

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