Wetenschap - 31 mei 2001

English Summary

A concierge in the Transitorium caught a thief red-handed on Tuesday 22 May as he tried to steal a beamer which had been set up as bait.

In the car of the arrested suspect the police found a list of addresses of technical colleges and universities throughout the Netherlands. A second suspect managed to escape. The concierge had borrowed a broken beamer to set a trap: "I hung a camera above the beamer, and thought 'come on then'. On Tuesday they walked right into the trap." A research assistant helped the concierge to restrain the suspect. Nevertheless the concierge urges everyone to remain alert to the dangers of stealing. "Losses from theft amount to hundreds of thousands of guilders."

Wageningen University is to collaborate with the China Agricultural University.

From 2003 about 90 Chinese students will come to Wageningen to complete the third and fourth years of a BSc course that they start in Beijing. The students will be able to follow courses in Food science, Biotechnology or Environmental Science, and each course is expected to attract about 30 students. BSc courses for international students at Wageningen are new; until now they have only been able to follow post-graduate MSc programmes. The Executive Board hopes that some of the students will continue for an MSc after they have gained their BSc, as only then will Wageningen University receive money from the Dutch government for these students. As an incentive, fees for the MSc will be lower than for the BSc. Both universities are to go in search of sponsoring from international organisations and companies. It is likely that international students will form the majority in the last two years of the course.

The Agrotechnological Research Institute (ATO) is part of a large project, Profetas, for the development of a new alternative to meat.

Calls for a new meat substitute have been particularly loud in Germany and Great Britain, both of which have been hard hit by the BSE and foot-and-mouth crises. Professor Wim Jongen of ATO sketches the background: "The aim is to develop a sustainable food production system." On average it costs 5 to 7 kg of plant protein to produce one kg of meat, and a lot of energy. The increase in meat consumption in China means that world meat production will have to double. The meat substitute will be marketed as an independent product, and not as a substitute, and it will be a nutritionally balanced product. A total of nine PhD researchers and 6 postdocs are working on all aspects from production to marketing.

It is election time for the student council in Wageningen.

Students can vote for one of the three parties until 7 June. The Progressieve Studenten Fraktie (PSF) claims to be the most idealistic, and will do the most to improve things for students by pressing the Executive Board of the university. The Verenigde Studenten (VeSte) claims to have a sober view of matters, based on the facts, and has a membership based on the student societies. The Christelijke Studenten Fractie (CSF) says it is the one to vote for if quality of education is your main concern.