Studentenverhaal

“The Wageningen atmosphere is diverse and international"

Atiqurrahman Jalil: "I’ve just finished my Master International Land & Water Management, Irrigation & Water Management specialisation. I’m very satisfied with the programme’s approach, since students are involved in research from the outset; from defining a problem right up to the completion of the thesis report. The courses were well integrated with each other and our lecturers guided us very well along this route!”

The Spain practical was like a demo in which we practiced our research skills

 “When I enrolled in the Master’s programme, I had a professional background in engineering and was used to dealing with irrigation solely in a technical way. Now I’ve learned the importance of addressing other disciplines as well, such as the social side of irrigation systems and political aspects of transboundary water management. The latter is very important in Afghanistan where we have five river basins which are all transboundary. International cooperation is crucial to find solutions to water management issues and so are professionals who are capable to sort out different options for working together with neighbouring countries. As a graduate of the MSc International Land and Water Management, I’m well prepared for my current job as a manager at the Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.”

Practical in Spain
“One of the courses I liked best was the practical Sustainable Land and Water Management in Spain. It was like a demo in which we practiced our research skills. Starting from the issues at stake in the region, we developed concepts to use in our research approaches, found methods to conduct our research and dealt with the final outcomes. In every specialisation, students have the opportunity to choose courses that suits them best. I chose Water Delivery and Water Governance because those are relevant to my situation. It is also important to know about water reform and water distribution and equity, so I took courses such as Water Institutions, Reforms, and Equity (WIRE).”

No right and wrong
“The educational approach throughout this programme was new to me and I considered it to be very valuable. Instead of a school-like situation, you are free to select your own electives to a large extent. Students come up with their own ideas and teachers guide them in improving them. There is no right and wrong, but it depends how you present issues and how you are able to convince your supervisor. By questioning my decisions and conclusions, my supervisor helped me see what I could do better. I appreciate this approach very much, since students feel more responsible for their own research.”

Thesis in Afghanistan
“I did my internship and the fieldwork for my thesis in Afghanistan. I conducted a comparative analysis of irrigation schemes in a governmental project on farm water management before and after modernisation. To determine how it helped in terms of improving the water productivity, income and lifestyle of farmers in the lower Kabul River basin, I interviewed farmers about their irrigation and economic practices as well as modelling to determine irrigation optimisation options. My internship was aimed at implementing what I’d learned in Wageningen. For instance, I organised a workshop for the ministry people on how to design a drip irrigation system. Both my supervisor at Wageningen University and in Afghanistan appreciated the results and, just after graduation, the ministry offered me a position as a regional manager for water management projects.”

Atmosphere
“The Wageningen atmosphere is diverse and international, you can find people with different ideas and perspectives when it comes to group work. It enables students to think broader and discuss things with people from other parts of the world. That’s what I’ve found most interesting here. As a city, Wageningen is a bit boring, but the rest is excellent: the environment, the lecturers and the diverse international community.”