are not particularly enthusiastic about their studies. This is the main
conclusion of a survey of 12,000 students, published recently by the
Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.
If the Student Monitor is anything to go by, Wageningen students are no
different from the majority of university students in the Netherlands.
Nationwide, 13 percent indicated that their motivation was low, although it
is economics students who present the most sombre picture. Almost 12
percent of the economics students interviewed claim that they were not even
motivated to start their study, and at the time of the survey 18 percent
were not particularly enjoying their course. Economics students also spend
the least amount of time per week studying, an average of 26 hours each
The survey covers more than just the motivation of students. Other issues
such as the background of students, their living conditions and financial
circumstances are also presented. The difference in income and expenditure
between university students and those at colleges of higher education is
considerable. With an average income of 752 euros a month, university
students have nearly one hundred euros extra to spend than students at
colleges. The latter also therefore have less to spend on living expenses.
According to the Student Monitor most university students manage to balance
their budget each month, but nevertheless one in five students indicated
that they have too little money.
The increase in the cost of living since 2000, when the euro was
introduced, has led to increased expenditures among students. University
students now spend 27 percent more than they did three years ago. One
consequence of this is that students now spend 25 percent more of their
time working instead of studying.
Despite the lack of motivation students in the agricultural and
environmental scientists are among the most hardworking. They spend an
average of 35 hours a week studying, an amount only surpassed by medical
Photo Guy Ackermans