Nieuws - 28 mei 2009


In Resource 26 an article on the international pages described a debate on internationalization at Wageningen UR. The article stated that international students are ‘unreachable’ and not ‘ready to represent their own interests’. It cited debaters who thought international students should apply for a job at Resource or start their own paper if they want an English language paper.
I believe this divisive rhetoric is dangerous at a time when Wageningen students are better served by uniting. Recently students residing at Droevendaal met to discuss an Idealis policy separating Dutch and international students, and organized themselves into workgroups to fight the policy. The result? Idealis has suspended the policy. Blaming international students for the apartheid at Wageningen is counterproductive and counterfactual.
I dispute the argument in the paper that international students are not ready to represent themselves. The board of WSO is made up of five students from five continents; our members are similarly diverse. Other student organizations and parties, PSF and Veste for example, are also represented by students of diverse origins.
Also, the article blames low attendance on international students’ near lack of attendance. This too is counterfactual. I have yet to discuss this article with another student who was aware of the debate taking place. One must realize that there are many activities each week at Wageningen, and students are busy being students. This said, considering the article reports that the debate was of poor quality and followed an ‘unintelligible’ film, and that one participant intended to ‘oppose literally every motion,’ I cannot say that the attendance of international students would have made this debate productive.
I hope that this rejoinder contributes to the debate on internationalization at Wageningen and that international students at Wageningen (both Dutch and non-Dutch) can embrace solidarity rather than apartheid.