Large numbers of students from abroad have started Master’s degree programmes. There is also an increase in new Bachelor’s students at VHL and Wageningen University.
The increase is largely due to more students from abroad, explained partly by a rise in the number of bursaries. For instance, the number of bursaries awarded by the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes to students in selected developing countries has risen again, says Rien Bor, responsible for the recruitment of non-European foreign students. There is also been an increase in international students who do not apply for Dutch funding, for example because their education is being paid by their own governments.
According to Bor, in recent years Wageningen has been particularly popular for government tuition grants from countries such as Chile, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Colombia and Kazakhstan. In addition, a well-run international network of alumni representatives has helped increase the number of new students. Bor: 'We have put more effort into the network over the past few years. That has had an immediate effect. There was a dip in the number of Chinese students a few years back but numbers are growing again since last year.'
Nearly 10 per cent more Bachelor's students
The number of students starting a Bachelor's degree grew by 9.5 per cent from 1015 students last year to 1111 now. Animal Science has no less than 133 first years, beating Biology (125) to become the largest subject at Wageningen. Nutrition and Health (120) is the third subject in the top three. The smallest subject is Economics and Policy (15).
The number of new students at Van Hall Larenstein (VHL) has also grown, by 8.5 per cent. The Leeuwarden Animal Management degree programme has as many as 259 first years (compared with 224 last year). However, the Forestry and Nature Management programme in Velp is responsible for most of the growth as its 175 first years (both full-time and part-time) means it has grown by nearly 45 per cent. Garden and Landscape Design (181) in Velp is about the same size. The VHL programmes in Wageningen have attracted a total of 151 first years. The smallest subject there is Tropical Agriculture, with 10 first years, the same number as for Horticulture and Arable Farming in Leeuwarden.