First integrated Dutch/International MSc gets go-ahead
The Geo Information Science (GIS) MSc is set to get a new, more technological face starting from September 1999. Approval of funds from KUS (an information technology programme between WAU, DLO and other institutes, with the Ministry of Agriculture) was announced earlier this week. Arnold Bregt, professor of GIS, explained the changes. Although there is already an MSc in GIS, this is the first time that a combined programme will be offered for Dutch and international students in Wageningen. This means that there will be more courses available and higher student numbers.
Bregt reported on the plan's components, starting with the development of an overall Information & Communications Technology (ICT) framework for the courses. This will include the availability of study aids such as overhead sheets on the Internet, and greater use of Internet and videos in the courses themselves. Use of the Internet will allow students to engage in more self-study, and the possibility to upgrade their skills before or during the programme. The plan also proposes to further develop the ICT courses for GIS to create new courses in Forestry and Nature Management. Bregt is enthusiastic about the initiative: The ICT component should increase the quality, and increase possibilities for hooking up with sources outside the university. Although there are no plans to develop a Distance Learning MSc in GIS, Bregt mentioned interest from the United States to include Wageningen-developed ICT courses into their virtual campuses. Am.S