Strategic Plan


This strategic plan is a call upon new and existing partners, students, alumni and citizens to explore with us the potential of nature, to participate in defining and understanding the challenges facing us, to engage in discussing and navigating trade-offs, and to work with us on evidence-based and socially inclusive answers that drive transitions. This Strategic Plan - with an update for the period 2022-2024 - is an invitation to join us in finding answers together.

Global challenges and our ambition

In the 21st century, we face major global challenges crossing the borders of nations and sectors. Humanity is over-consuming nature and its natural resources; urban centres are becoming overpopulated, a major part of the population faces malnutrition, and the climate is changing rapidly. National and global developments – like the Covid-19 pandemic and the continuous changing geopolitical situation – require new knowledge and solutions to respond and anticipate well.

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) provides high-quality knowledge, education and research to develop and implement paths of change addressing these challenges and design and accelerate the necessary transitions. We cannot do this alone. We need partners - both our current and new ones, both national and international ones. Simultaneously, we aim for continuous internal renewal, change and improvements to maintain and strengthen our high quality, societal impact and global position.


Our research

Our research is driven by our desire to understand and contribute to the world’s challenges and the transitions that lie before us. In Wageningen, we encompass the entire chain of knowledge, from curiosity-driven fundamental research to science-based and up-scalable practical knowledge to create solutions that have an impact.

In the coming years, we will continue to work on Open Science and the ‘Recognition and Reward’ programme. We also start with our first Engineering Doctorate degree programme.

Every Strategic Plan period, we select new investment themes to expand our fundamental and applied research on priority issues. Also, our new Wageningen Research Programmes are established as part of our total research portfolio. These programmes strengthen our knowledge base.

Our education and students

We provide students and professionals with the knowledge and skills to contribute to key global transitions. Students and professionals come to Wageningen University & Research to participate in our expanding portfolio of online and on-campus programmes, trainings and courses, all of which are combined in our Education Ecosystem. Our Education Ecosystem continuously develops through innovation and expansion of both content and forms of education, while maintaining high quality, creating flexible learning paths and strengthening our diverse classrooms.

In the coming years, we will maintain, improve, and expand effective blended (combination of face-to-face and online) and small-scale education innovations. We will further strengthen our profile in both the Netherlands and abroad and expand our programme of education for professionals.

Our people, organisation and resources

Our people generate the impact of WUR. They develop and disseminate new knowledge and innovations, teach students and professionals and find answers to societal questions. Support staff assures that education and research run efficiently. Our policies, organisation, and resources facilitate our staff’s excellent work and collaboration with colleagues, students, partners and society. Together we are OneWageningen, maximising the synergy between Wageningen University and Wageningen Research by increasing flexibility and mobility between and within the two institutions to form effective and diverse teams that boost our collective quality and impact. We maintain new ways of (online) working that contribute to these ambitions.

Impact: our value for society

Since our founding a century ago, we have been driven to find answers and improve our world. We want to make an impact. We create an impact by providing high-quality education, carrying out innovative research with our partners, and establishing start-ups and spin-offs. We will continue contributing to societal agendas and ensure that our research responds to and supports societal needs and the UN SDGs. We will utilise new technologies and new digital ways of knowledge dissemination in doing so. Simultaneously, we continue to organise societal dialogues, develop our campus ecosystem and strengthen our connection with our national and international partners and alumni.