“You realise that you can really use your knowledge”

“Both Wageningen and this study programme are particularly recognised for their value - there’s definitely a reason this is considered a top degree programme. This is reflected in the education itself: there is intensive contact with lecturers. Furthermore, knowledge is applied well in practice. This is an academic programme, so it’s certainly challenging, but the lecturers are constantly looking for ways to apply the knowledge in practice. That is one of the things that I like most about the degree programme. I am someone who is eager to get out and about and doesn’t want to simply sit in a lecture hall.”

“Another advantage is that the programme starts with a broad focus. This means that you learn to work in an interdisciplinary setting right from the beginning. This requires you to be familiar with other disciplines that work with water and land. Furthermore, the initial years were great for me to figure out what I really wanted, so that I could choose the right direction to continue in after the Bachelor’s programme. You also receive support in this from your study adviser. You can specialise in various areas. For example, I focused on learning about water quality. In the Master’s programme, there also is room to follow your own ideas and to supplement the core curriculum with courses that you consider to be interesting or important.”

The Tanzania case
“I found the Design 2 course at the end of the second year to be one of the highlights of the Bachelor’s programme. What’s great is that we were challenged to use all the knowledge that we’ve acquired in different courses to tackle a case in Tanzania, where they are struggling with water shortages and erosion problems. We actually received step-by-step preparation to put things into practice. Under the guidance of lecturers, we first analysed the specific problems that existed, who they affected, and where they are located. Next, together with a project group, we considered questions like, ‘What do we think is most important here and how will we come up with solutions for that?’ The solutions could be anything: new methods for irrigation, introducing new crops, or changes in the market. Two experts from Tanzania visited to provide feedback. We also received tips from Dutch experts. The course is super intensive. We worked in groups a lot which enabled us to learn what we are good at and what we find to be more difficult. I still remember getting an incredibly satisfied feeling from it. In this course, we came up with highly practical measures and realised that we’ve already gained knowledge which can truly be used.”

Matthijs Wessels, Master's student