Support students from developing countries with the Anne van den Ban Fund

The Anne van den Ban Fund allows promising students from developing countries to follow an education at Wageningen University & Research.

The impact of your gift

The Anne van den Ban Scholarship Fund is named after dr. ir. Anne van den Ban, former Professor of Rural Extension at Wageningen University. The fund was founded in 1992 by two Wageningen alumni.

Thanks to your donations each year the fund supports nearly fifty students from developing countries and gives them the chance to study at Wageningen University & Research. After graduation, most of them return to their country and contribute to sustainable development.

Foundation of the Anne van den Ban Fund

The Anne van den Ban Fund was founded in 1992 by two Wageningen alumni who named it after dr. ir. Anne van den Ban. He is a retired professor in Applied Communication Science at Wageningen University & Research.

Dr. ir. Anne van den Ban: “One of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals is to halve the amount of people that need to live off of less than a dollar per day. Lack of knowledge is one of the driving forces behind poverty. Knowledge is thus an indispensable factor in combating poverty and I decided to do something about it. At Wageningen they learn, with the aid of knowledge and insight, to search independently for new solutions for developments in their home country.

“In 1992, I decided to pay the amount of money necessary to give a student the chance to gain international experience. The Anne van den Ban Fund developed from this idea.”

Alumni experiences

Peter Msimuko (Zambia, Plant Sciences)

I am making my dreams come true with my new job
Peter Msimuko (Zambia, Plant Sciences)

Peter graduated in 2009 with a degree in Plant Sciences. He won the Rijk Zwaan Award for his graduation thesis and was offered a job at the Agricultural Training Centre in Lusaka as ‘Extension Coordinator’ upon his graduation.

“I am responsible, among others, for the organisation of short courses for small-scale farmers, teachers and other NGOs. Besides this, I also conduct research in the field and at the trainings centre. The most important goal of my work is to improve the food security and income of farmers through sustainable agricultural methods.”

The Anne van den Ban Fund made it possible for Peter to receive a partial grant from the Nunhems Foundation.

Fred Wamalwa (Kenya, BSc Agriculture)

The Anne van den Ban Fund has changed my life and those of the people in my community
Fred Wamalwa (Kenia, BSc landbouw)

Fred Wamalwa became a teacher in Kenya upon his graduation with a BSc in agriculture, but wanted to contribute to the development of agriculture in his community in a different manner. He became field coordinator at a NGO that gave microcredit to farmers in irrigation projects. As a result of his MSc in Management of Agricultural Knowledge Systems (MAKS) at Wageningen University & Research, he had learned a lot about community development.

“I could never have financed my study without the scholarship from the Anne van den Ban Fund. The scholarships may be a bit lower than those from other funds, but I think that is a good thing, I think. It allows other people to get funding through a scholarship as well. Anne van den Ban kept in personal touch with us.”

Upon completing his education, Wamalwa put theory to practice in Kenya. “The study taught me to respect all forms of knowledge, from understanding the role of experts to the position of the farmers. I learned how to involve a community in projects. You are taught everything about project management and working flexibly – with policymakers as well as with farmers. What seemed difficult before, seemed simple after MAKS.”

With his newly acquired knowledge, Walmalwa is able to participate in larger projects. He is satisfied with his contribution to the developments in his home country.

“I applied for a job as regional manager at the Community Development Trust Fund. This organisation finances community projects for the construction of roads, bridges, water projects and for education and health care with money from the EU. I identify projects, plan and implement them as well as evaluate them afterwards. The local people really do the work. Therefore, it is important that the community of farmers is well organised. That is my job. My work feels useful and I see people are becoming better off as a result. It is a great job for me. The Anne van den Ban Fund has changed my life and that of the people in my community.”

The story of two donors

In 2008, Henk van Oosten and Tineke Snoek wanted to donate a large gift to a societal cause. They chose the Anne van den Ban Fund. “We researched funds that were not too large and where the money went directly to its purpose. We wanted to stimulate students because we believe that investing in people is the most sustainable thing to do. It is the largest chance of something good coming from it. Students from all over the world are helped by this fund. After their study, they return to their home countries and contribute to its developments.”

Henk and Tineke got to know each other during their studies at Wageningen University & Research. She studied landscape architecture and planning, he studied horticulture plant cultivation. “The world population is steadily increasing and all these people need to be fed. Wageningen University & Research is especially strong in food production and has a large international network.

“The beauty of the Anne van den Ban Fund is that it is small scale and transparent. For instance, you can donate to specific people. We chose not to do that. We left that to the expertise of the board of the Anne van den Ban Fund. Besides the transparency, their approach seems very effective to us.

“In 2008, Wageningen University & Research matched all the donations because professor van den Ban turned 80 years old. We thought that was a nice initiative and also doubled our gift. We agreed to a fixed amount over a period of five years and passed this via the notary public. That way, our donation enjoys the maximum fiscal advantage.”

Figures & Annual report

During the summer of 2015, the 250th student was accepted for funding from the Anne van den Ban Fund. Currently (September 2017) 276 students have been supported by this fund. An increased amount of applications are expected in the future as a result of the growing amount of foreign students studying at Wageningen University & Research.

Results from 1992 - 2010

Donations €1.5 million

Amount of students:
- (almost) full scholarship: 76
- additional support: 122

Students from:
- Asia: 54%
- Africa: 40%
- South America & Eastern Europe: 6%

Female students: 40%

Annual Report

All other annual reports are in Dutch and can be found here.

Board & Contact


The board selects students once a year based on the advice of study coordinators and alumni active in developing countries. The students receive complete or partial financing of a MSc programme at Wageningen University & Research.

Prof. dr. Johan Verreth (president)
Prof. dr. Anke Niehof (secretary)
Dr. ir. Ingrid Duchhart & ir. Willy ten Haaf (student affairs)
Dr. Ron van Lammeren (treasurer/ benefactors)
Ir. Bert Bruins

Postal address

Stichting Anne van den Ban Fund
p.a. Postbus 9101
6700 HB Wageningen

Visiting address

You can find us at Plus Ultra II on the Wageningen Campus.

Bank information

IBAN: NL62ABNA0447524658
On name of UFW- Anne van den Ban Fonds in Wageningen
BIC/Swiftcode: ABNANL2a

Chamber of Commerce: 1 051 464
Fiscal number: 8161.41.599

Obituary Anne van den Ban

Prof. Anne van den Ban, founder of extension science in Wageningen, passed away on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at the age of 88.