Nieuws - 23 november 2011

Friesland gets network university

An independent international MSc programme in water technology will be offered in Leeuwarden from September next year. This two-year programme will lead to a joint degree from Wageningen University, University of Groningen, University of Twente and the international water institute Wetsus in the Frisian capital.

This was announced at the official opening of the University Campus Fryslân (UCF) on 18 November in Leeuwarden. UCF is an innovative network university, a collaboration of knowledge institutes, three applied sciences universities and four universities, including VHL and Wageningen University. It aims to strengthen and expand the academic network and climate in Friesland. Eighteen million euros are made available for UCF up to 2015 by the Friesland provincial government and the Leeuwarden municipality.
Besides starting the international MSc programme, there are plans to set up a technological academy. This will incorporate Life Sciences and Technology, in which Van Hall Larenstein and NHL University of Applied Sciences will collaborate with Philips Drachten. This shavers producer has 50 vacancies in its research department which are difficult to fill. It is envisaged that this future academy will have a special scheme comprising minor subjects within existing programmes.
This network university starts exactly 200 years after the Franeker University closed its doors definitely in 1811. UCF focuses on six core themes: sustainable energy, water, green life sciences, recreation and tourism, multilingualism and quality of life. The provincial government expects this network university to play a major role in fighting the depression. 'Investing in the knowledge economy is the best guarantee of sustainable growth. Glpobal research shows that the economy moves along with knowledge workers. In this way, you could prevent young people from drifting off after their studies.'