Science - January 22, 2004

Translation costs disputed

The sum of eighty euros has been made available to student organisations to translate their statutes into English. This is not enough for the job, say the organisations.

“Translation costs 15 eurocents a word, not including VAT,” declares Aniek Ivens, president of Biologica. “Our statutes are 3104 words, so even without the VAT it would cost us 465,50 euros to translate them.” Other student organisations have also indicated that the amount available is too little. More to the point, Ivens questions whether translating the statutes would actually lead to more international students joining the organisations. An e-mail survey indicates that this view is shared by more of the student organisations in Wageningen.

According to Liesbeth van der Linden of Education and Student Affairs, it’s a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation. “I asked the student associations how many words there were in their statutes. But they didn’t want to tell me, because they didn’t know what the costs were going to be. So far no association has asked to have its statutes translated. If all the associations were to get them done together our translator could probably do it more cheaply.”

Van der Linden also adds that about five hundred euros is available for each association for internationalisation activities. “The Executive Board has a total of 12,500 euros. Associations can apply for funds if they are organising activities of an international nature. The ideas have to be proposed by Dutch and international students, and they must involve mutual exchange of information.”

Guido van Hofwegen

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