Nieuws - 25 juni 2010

Frisian official: 'Don't weaken Van Hall'

The position of Van Hall in Leewarden should not be jeopardized by a merger with Larenstein in Velp and Wageningen. This appears in a letter from the Provincial Government of Friesland and the Municipality of Leeuwarden to the Executive Board of Wageningen UR.

When asked to elaborate, the Friesian official Hans Konst (Labour Party) declares that Van Hall is important for agriculture education in Leeuwarden. The provincial government is investing money in the Dairy Campus of experimental farm Nij Bosma Zathe in Leeuwarden. 'It shouldn't be such that something is built at one end and something else is torn down at the other', adds Konst. He wants to talk to the Executive Board about whether the planned new curriculum of Animal Management will jeopardize Van Hall in Leeuwarden. 'Once you set up an Animal Management programme elsewhere, the position of Leeuwarden will be weakened, whereas we intend to strengthen it.' However, he doesn't want to make this into a condition for extending the subsidy.
The employees' council of Van Hall (MR) indicated last week that it will agree to a merger only if the Executive Board promises that there will not be an Animal Management curriculum in Velp or Wageningen for five years. The MR feels that a second programme elsewhere would attract considerably less students to Leeuwarden. Konst says: 'While we won't come down so hard on this, we want to put this issue of having Animal Management in another location and the consequences for Van Hall Leeuwarden into perspective in a talk with the Executive Board. The position of Van Hall should not be weakened.'
Konst says that he has received 'signals' of concern about the future of Van Hall. However, he stresses that he has not discussed the matter with the MR. 'That is not our discussion partner, and we are not a mouthpiece for the MR. Our only concern as provincial government is for Van Hall Institute to stay strong.'