Speech 2007 by M. Hoogenboom

This speech was given during the Dies Natalis ceremony in 2007:

Maartje Hoogenboom

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m very pleased to get the opportunity to contribute to this event. The coming few minutes I will show you an interactive video because I think we want to know what the opinion of consumers is on today’s theme. So we will switch to our reporter Paul Toxopeus:


So, what did we learn from these interviews?

Motives for choosing a product are very diverse… and for consumers, the theme of this afternoon actually seems to be quite irrelevant.

But is it relevant for students?

For me it is!

  • As a student of Nutrition and Health, I study the relation between the individual’s nutrition and health.
  • In addition the new programme of Public Health and Society looks at the societal determinants of health including the lifestyle and physical and socio-economic environment.

These two programmes, give us students also the opportunity to tackle the problem interdisciplinary, which means from different fields and expertises.

I personally experienced that an interdisciplinary approach is really one of the nice things this University offers students.

Because I think, students should learn to think out of the box.

And so I feel that the interdisciplinary approach should be better facilitated within the study programmes. The two previous presentation already clearly showed the need for such skills.

From the students side, we could be more pro-active in using the free-choice in our programme for this purpose.

But studying in Wageningen is more than just following your study programme…

So there is one last thing I would like to get attention for.

These are the student facilities which are arranged very good here in Wageningen compared to other Universities.

Still it remains important that we as students take care that these facilities will remain outstanding, also when Wageningen University is reorganising and cutting budgets.

And this is, I think of great importance to keep Wageningen attractive for students…

As you all know, at first Wageningen does not sound as a really cool and funky student city…

But, as I can say after 5,5 years, Wageningen has a lot of nice things to offer besides your study programme. Examples are the different student associations here and the sports facilities where you have the possibility to learn as well!

That’s why I’m very glad that our rector shares this opinion with us because finally, after lots of discussions with students, he told us that there won’t be any cut backs on the financial support regulation for students!

This brings me back to the public health. Earlier we mainly talked about the role of nutrition and lifestyle. But other factors, for students, like social activities at a student association and the possibility to develop yourself by taking part of committees in these associations are important as well to feel happy in Wageningen. And feeling happy in your environment is next to healthy nutrition important for public health too!

Thank you very much for your attention!