Wetenschap - 11 januari 2001

Graduation ceremony to have more cachet

Graduation ceremony to have more cachet

Wageningen University wants the traditional graduation ceremony for international students to become more prestigious. This year's graduation day on Tuesday January 25th will include a brief ceremony in which diplomas are handed out with a short speech, followed by a big reception, buffet and party.

The university is following other Dutch institutes for international education and MBA courses by giving the graduation ceremony a more American flavour. The traditional setup whereby all students from one programme receive their diploma in the Aula will disappear. Instead all MSc students will receive their degrees together during a streamlined ceremony in the WICC building. The traditional talk held for each student will also disappear, partly due to the often embarrassing mistakes made in the past. Dutch staff members sometimes made jokes that were not appreciated by the graduating students. In the new-style ceremony, a short biography of the student in question will be projected as the graduates receive their diploma. After the diplomas have been handed out, the Van der Plas prize for the best MSc thesis will be awarded. This will be followed a reception and buffet, after which the festivities will transfer to the Junushoff, where there will be a party with live music starting at 20.30.

If the 'new-style' graduation ceremony is a success the university wants to make it an annual tradition. Only the January graduation ceremony will undergo this facelift, however. The graduations held at other times of the year will remain the same as in previous years.

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