Science - September 1, 2005

First place in university guide

Students in the National Student Survey rated Wageningen University highest. This survey is used to compile the Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs (University Guide) that will be published in October. Wageningen students value above all the wide choice of subjects available.

Wageningen is regularly in the top five of the University Guide, but this is the first time that it has been voted top. Departing Rector Professor Bert Speelman is pleased with the results. ‘This is a wonderful farewell present.’
In the survey students were asked to judge different aspects varying from course content and cohesion to the quality of buildings. Wageningen University scores particularly well in the section on breadth of choice, and these results were published in a separate section in the guide this year. With an average score of 7.9, Wageningen is well ahead of the other universities. The students in Wageningen gave the facilities a 7.5 and teaching staff a 7.4.
Speelman regards the good score as confirmation of the policy being pursued by Wageningen. ‘It shows that the performance rewards we have introduced, such as the teaching bonuses and the teacher of the year award, are starting to bear fruit. It is a compliment for the teachers who have managed to continue to perform well, even now that there are fewer means available in the last few years.’
Wageningen’s lowest score is for the section on career preparation. Nevertheless its score of 6.7 is the highest in the country. In compiling the rankings this year the Ministry of Education had requested that only the student evaluations be used. This has not led to big changes in the listings in comparison with last year; once again it is the smaller universities that come out best.
Wageningen University was also placed first in the Masters rankings. Speelman: ‘That was not such a surprise. After all, we have a few years’ lead over the others, as we were the first to start with the Bachelor-Master system in 2000. Most institutions only went over to the new system when it was made compulsory in 2002. / JH

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