Nieuws - 8 maart 2001

English Summary

Wageningen University celebrates its 83rd anniversary on Friday 9 March.

The official celebration will take place at 15.00 in the Aula. To mark the occasion four distinguished professors will be inaugurated, including Ismail Serageldin former vice-president of the World Bank. Serageldin will discuss his experiences at the World Bank with students on Thursday evening 8 March at 20.30 in De Wereld. All are welcome.

Wageningen UR makes a significant contribution to the high position of the Netherlands on the world ranking lists for scientific publications and their impact, which is measured as the relative number of citations per article in the four year period from 1994 to 1998.

The number of Dutch publications on agricultural and food science subjects is about 30 percent higher than the average for Europe, and these come largely from Wageningen UR. The Netherlands also scores above average for research in biology, environmental sciences, chemical technology, civil engineering and ICT. The Netherlands is tenth on the world hit list of countries with the most scientific publications, but in terms of impact it lies third behind Switzerland and the US.

The arrangement which made it possible for PhD research assistants (OIOs) and trainee research assistants (AIOs) to receive an allowance for an extra year after their four-year funding finished was stopped at the beginning of this year.

Many PhD researchers in Wageningen rely on this extra fifth year to write up their research findings. As government employees they were entitled to a year's 'wachtgeld', but this has been scrapped as civil servants are brought in line with the private sector. The department of Human Resource Management of Wageningen UR has now come up with a proposal to extend the contracts of AIOs and OIOs by a year, offering them the minimum wage for this period, which is approximately the same as they received in 'wachtgeld'. The Executive Board is expected to consider the matter next week.

The threat of foot-and-mouth disease in the Netherlands as a result of the outbreak in the UK has had a number of repercussions for Wageningen UR.

The official advice from the department of Communication and Public Affairs is that visits to farms and test stations should be postponed or cancelled. If a visit is unavoidable then there must be at least 72 hours between two visits, and the necessary precautions must be taken. An overall and boots from the farm itself must be used. Applied research for livestock is most affected by the restrictions, as the test farms are visited annually by some 40,000 people. Students in the department of Animal Science who were due to do practical work at the farm De Ossenkampen in Wageningen had to make do with a lecture and some slides instead.