Science - January 29, 2004

Committee chairman complains about lack of information in English for international students

The members of the programme committee of Plant Sciences & Plant Biotechnology have urgently requested the higher levels of the university to deliver minutes, proceedings and notes in English. “It’s a frustration of all the members that most of the information is still only written in Dutch,” says Professor Ken Giller, temporary chairman of the committee.

“Our programmes attract a lot of international students. We want these students to participate in all aspects of education of Wageningen University. One of the members of the programme committee is from Greece; our meetings are in English and so are our minutes.

The education institute (OWI) has finally agreed to send us their minutes in English. Unfortunately, other very important education information that the programme committee receives, like BSc and Master competences, is only available in Dutch. It seems to be impossible to get these documents in English and that makes participation of international students in ordinary programme affairs extremely difficult. We have raised this problem several times at all levels of Wageningen University, with very little success,” says Dr Anja Kuipers, programme coordinator.

“I am really angry. I think it’s ridiculous that students cannot even read what they are expected to learn during their studies, because the goals are written only in Dutch. If the people at the education institute or the Executive Board don't have time or money to translate everything, why can’t they just do it in English in the first place?” says Giller. “If Wageningen really wants to be an international university, English should be the language of all documents related to education,” says Giller. The education institute was not available for comments. | Guido van Hofwegen

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