International students not very visible at debates
In spite of the 7,000 guilder investment in simultaneous translations to enable participation of the university's international student community, only a small fraction of the 100 available headphones were used in Monday and Tuesday's sessions. A telephone check to ten MSc students came up with one overwhelming response: bad timing. This also highlights the difficulty of including such a short-term community in long-term decision-making processes
Had the debates on the Business Plan been held in the evening, many more international students would have attended. Corrie du Preez, vice-chair of the ISP, attended for a few hours on Monday: It's unfortunate, but as international students are under a lot of pressure to finish within a short time period, we cannot afford to miss any classes.
All things considered, no period in the year would ever be good timing for MSc students to participate fully in this type of decision-making. Du Preez: This whole discussion has come at a difficult time for new MSc students. We have to divide our attention between adjusting to being here, following a very intensive course, trying to understand the current and past situations while also trying to see how future studies will be affected. For outgoing MSc students, some of the issues are easier to follow, but they are now finishing their theses and preparing to leave. PhD students, particularly those in the Sandwich Programme, are in Wageningen for an even shorter period of time, and have very little time or energy for anything other than their research. Am.S., photo G.A