Percentage of female WUR alumni keeps rising

Published on
August 22, 2023

Over six out of ten Wageningen University & Research graduates between 2016 and 2019 were women. This is the result of the 2022 Career Monitor, a five-yearly report focused on the labour market position of WUR alumni.

The previous Career Monitor was conducted in 2015. The report was originally launched in 1973. For every edition, a new sector of WUR alumni – termed a cohort – are asked to participate in the study. In the 2022 edition, the researchers asked alumni who graduated between 2016 and 2019 to participate. The findings were then compared with other cohorts. The results provide prospective, current and former students, their parents or guardians, lecturers and policymakers with insights into their career perspectives and other facts.

Increase in female students at WUR

The percentage of female alumni who have completed the survey has risen, from 16 percent in 1973 to 61 percent of all graduates between 2016 and 2019. The percentage of non-Dutch alumni has also increased, from less than one percent in the 1970s to 37 percent in the 2016-2019 cohort.

More alumni follow a PhD abroad

Increasing numbers of alumni go on to follow a PhD programme outside the Netherlands – including Dutch alumni. Between the 1970s and 2019, the percentage of Dutch alumni who started a PhD programme or obtained a PhD abroad rose from around 9 to 25 percent.

Entering and progressing on the labour market

Alumni who graduated less than five years ago mainly work in the business world. There, they are focused on research or knowledge transfer. Alumni who entered the labour market over five years ago often work as senior researchers, departmental heads or directors. One in five alumni who graduated less than five years ago currently hold positions as managers. Their predecessors, who graduated longer ago, are even more likely to be managers, with four out of ten holding management positions. Even more noteworthy is that almost 40 percent of all alumni (regardless of when they graduated) indicated that they still use their subject-specific knowledge to a significant or highly significant extent.

Job contract and salary

Almost all graduates start out as salaried employees. At the start of 2022, over 70 percent of alumni from the 2016-2019 cohort had a permanent contract. The average gross annual salary on the basis of a 38-hour working week differs among employed alumni, from €40,000 for beginners to over €80,000 for alumni with over 25 years of work experience.

More information and interpretations of the report can be found in the 2022 Career Monitor Report.