Organisation - January 31, 2019

PhD students get say in graduate schools

Albert Sikkema

PhD candidates will have regular meetings with the chairs and secretaries of the Wageningen graduate schools in the Wageningen Graduate Schools (WGS) consultative body, WGS has decided.

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Wageningen’s PhD students want more input on the issues discussed by the graduate schools, say Sabine Vreeburg and Job Claushuis, who are both PhD representatives in WUR Council. The WGS consultative body, which is chaired by the Dean of Science, often discusses topics that directly affect PhD candidates, such as accommodation for PhD candidates, the variability in their supervision, and their teaching tasks and workload.

The PhD students already had a seat at the table in the meetings of the individual graduate schools but not the joint consultative body. ‘We really did our best to get this,’ says Claushuis. Two PhD candidates from the PhD Council will now attend the next meeting.

Ingrid Vleghels, the secretary of the Experimental Plant Sciences graduate school, is pleased the PhD candidates will now be joining the meetings. ‘We regularly discuss matters that affect the position of PhD students and it would be nice to hear their views directly. This will also let them raise issues sooner. The more interaction there is, the better.’