Colleges will become part of Wageningen UR
The colleges of higher education, Larenstein and Van Hall Instituut, will
become part of Wageningen UR in January 2004. The Executive Board published
the business plan for the merger this week.
The merger will mean a doubling of student numbers for Wageningen UR. At
present the two colleges of higher education have over 4,000 students
following Bachelor’s degree courses. Larenstein, University of Professional
Education, has considerable numbers of international students. Last year
about 200 international students started a BSc degree.
Wageningen UR and the colleges believe that the merger will lead to a more
attractive choice of education for international students, but more
importantly also for Dutch students. It is also hoped that the number of
students who continue for a master’s degree after obtaining a BSc will
increase. At present about 50 graduates from the two colleges come to
Wageningen University to continue their education, and about 60 percent of
these actually obtain an MSc.
By meshing the programmes offered by the colleges and the university it is
hoped that the number of masters students will increase as well as the
number of graduates. The colleges also offer their own masters programmes,
the aim is to incorporate these in the Wageningen selection of programmes.
A feasibility study is already being done for the Masters in Landscape
Architecture offered by Larenstein. Ultimately the colleges and university
intend to offer joint education whereby students of both institutes can
follow all courses offered. This wider choice of education will hopefully
attract more students. Projections range from 2 to 10 percent annual growth
in student numbers.
The colleges of higher education will become the sixth sciences group
within Wageningen UR and will retain a large degree of autonomy. They will
retain their current names, but will adopt the Wageningen UR house style.
The broad lines of management will be set out by the Executive Board of
Wageningen UR, but daily management will continue under the current board
of the colleges themselves. They will become the equivalent of the
directors of the science groups, but for the outside world they will remain
the board of directors. A joint Education board will be created in order to
guarantee that Larenstein and Van Hall have enough input in Wageningen UR
education policy. The board will consist for fifty percent of teaching
staff and students from Wageningen UR, and for fifty percent of
representatives from the colleges.
The Van Hall Instituut in Leeuwarden (in Friesland) and Larenstein (located
in Velp and Deventer) are presently in the process of merging with each
other. They officially became one organisation at the beginning of this
year. Larenstein has already decided to move its Deventer location to
Wageningen in 2006.
The draft business plan ‘Wageningen UR – Van Hall Larenstein’ was approved
this week by the Executive Board. It will be discussed by the
representative councils in the coming six months. Board members from
Wageningen and the two colleges will discuss matters further at meetings
with personnel and students.