Wetenschap - 31 oktober 1996

WAU brochures not winners

WAU brochures not winners

Not only the quality of the educational programmes is an important factor for international students to choose for a specific university, the question, whether a university is well-known, language and the presence of family and friends are just as important factors." In the latest issue of Transfer, a magazine on international cooperation in higher education, Ad Hofstede makes a critical assessment of the brochures of the Dutch institutes offering international study programmes. The general conclusion is that the quality of the brochures leaves a lot to be desired. Most institutions put too much emphasis on what they have to offer and give little consideration to who the potential readers are likely to be. In addition, the effect the brochures have is by and large unknown.

According to Hofstede, absolute winner is the brochure on Islamic studies from the University of Leiden. It is concise and its introduction is written in Arabic, Turkish, Bahasa Indonesia and English, so directed at all possible target groups. Upon inquiry with Hofstede it appears that he cannot recall the Wageningen brochures, except to say that WAU was certainly not among the winners.

Nevertheless, Wageningen seems to be well-known and attractive enough. According to Evert Kamphuis from the Dean's Office, they receive some 60 requests for information every week and between 1,000 and 1,200 applications for enrolment each year. There would seem to be little amiss with the information material. The fact that only 10% of the applicants actually start their study is mainly due to candidates' lack of money and a shortage of scholarships.