Nieuws - 18 augustus 2011

Where are the girls?

More and more girls in class

Pick up school diploma. Check. Register for degree programme. Check. Find a room. Check. In other words, you are ready to launch into student life. But who will be your classmates? If you are looking for a wife, you should have chosen Animal Sciences. And on the MSc in Meteorology, even if you wanted to speak Dutch you won't get a chance.
If you are on the lookout for a nice girl, you've done the right thing if you've you chosen to study Animal Sciences. In October 2010, there were 111 women students in the first year as opposed to 22 men. Nutrition and Health is in second place, with 105 'nutrition lassies'. This is predominantly a women's field anyway: a full 89 percent of Nutrition and Health students are women. It is a bad move for men in search of women to study Agrotechnology, where there were precisely zero new women students in 2010 and there are only 7 percent women overall.

Hunting grounds
For women students, there is a bigger choice of hunting grounds. With the exception of Applied Communication and Health and Society (programmes with 4 men each), the male sex is well, or fairly well, represented across the board. There are most men studying Biology and Soil, Water and Atmosphere (63 and 43 respectively).
The percentage of women at Wageningen University has been going up since 2006. Of last year's first-year cohort, more than half were women in both the Bachelor's programmes (almost 58 percent) and the Master's programmes (more than 60 percent).

Ni hao
Wageningen is the Netherlands' most international university. Admittedly, Maastricht has the largest number of foreign students, but the diversity is greater in Wageningen, with students from as many as 105 different countries. The countries from which the largest numbers of students come are China, Indonesia and Germany.
Last year, 769 international students and 1792 Dutch students arrived at Wageningen University, so 30 percent of the intake is international. The Bachelor's students usually stay five years and the Master's students two.
But the applied sciences institutions have an international flavour too. In Velp there were 22 foreign students last year, and in Leeuwarden there were 111, most of them German. At VHL Wageningen, 83 foreign students have already registered for this year.
Dutch students who are not interested in international friendships had better stick to Health and Society, Plant Sciences or Agrotechnology, where they won't meet any foreigners in the classrooms. That is not something that will ever happen on a Master's programme though. There is not a single MSc programme without first year international students. In fact, Dutch students are in the minority on most of the Master's programmes. Plant sciences, for instance, had 57 new students last year, 5 of them Dutch. And there isn't a single Dutch student among the new cohort on the MSc in Meteorology and Air Quality.

Sources: Education Monitor 2010, Annual report 2010
Animal Management is the biggest
There were a total of about 7,000 students at Wageningen UR in 2010-2011, 4,000 of them at Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences. There are 20 Bachelor's programmes and 33 Master's programmes. Last year, 1,075 students embarked on a BSC programme and 1,486 on a Master's (Education Monitor 2010). The three biggest programmes are Animal Management in Leeuwarden, Biology (Wageningen university) and Nutrition and Health (Wageningen university). The emptiest lecture halls can be found on the Organic Agriculture programme - with a grand total of three students.