The Wageningen University Fund is to award an annual prize to the best
lecturer to encourage the quality of education and reward excellent
The ‘Leermeester’ Prize has been awarded since 1981, but only once every
four years. From 2004 it will be awarded each year. The awarding body the
Wageningen University Fund also wants to increase the influence of students
in determining who should receive the prize. Students fill out an
evaluation form at the end of each course they take. In mid-October the 25
best performing chair groups will then be invited to make a list of
lecturers from which students can vote for their two favourite candidates
for the prize. A jury of members of the student council and students from
the four education institutes will then assess the five top nominations and
select the overall winner. The prize will be presented in January at the
New Year’s reception for students.
Minister of Agriculture Cees Veerman wants a public debate on the future of
the intensive animal farming in the Netherlands. The focus is on the
suffering of farm animals. Wb did a quick survey among those working on
livestock in various parts of Wageningen UR.
Number one on the shock horror list is the castration of young piglets.
Pigs in general have a bad time of it. By nature very clean animals who
make sure they defecate in a special area away from their eating
activities, they are forced to live in cramped and dirty conditions on
farms. Cattle are not much better off either, showing the ‘behavioural
scars’ of intensive farming systems such as compulsive chewing movements
despite having nothing in their mouths. The most unlucky cows have sore
feet from the uneven and hard floors in their stalls, and sores on their
bodies from lying on the same hard floors. Doubt was also cast on the
general health of farm animals. According to one researcher it is only
through vaccinations and antibiotics that they survive.