First Wageningen University (WUR) Alumni meeting in Warsaw
On Monday 16 April 2018, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Warsaw hosted the 1st Wageningen University (WUR) Alumni meeting. The aim of this meeting was to re-connect Polish Alumni and celebrate the 100th birthday of Wageningen University.
A worldwide alumni day to celebrate 100 years WUR will be organized on June 23, connecting worldwide Alumni meetings and events.
WUR has devoted itself to educate over 47.000 alumni in the domain of healthy food and living environment of which about 158 originate from Poland. Although, many of the Polish alumni are living and working abroad, there was a good representation of over thirty people attending the meeting. Among participants were both Master and PhD Polish alumni.
The meeting was also attended by other international Alumni staying/living in Poland as well as a Dutch delegation from WUR, among others, Dr Martin Scholten, Managing Director of Animal Sciences who gave a presentation entitled: How This Tiny Country Feeds the World. While searching for the Polish Alumni, it turned out that many have also graduated from Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Therefore, professor Marek Szyndel from Warsaw University of Life Sciences also joined the meeting and reflected on the cooperation of the two Universities.
The Dutch Ambassador opened the meeting. In his speech he mentioned that Polish Alumni are valuable assets for Dutch businesses and Dutch development organizations/projects because they have more knowledge about the Dutch culture, their sometimes directness and blunt behavior and even speak a bit of the Dutch language. In addition to knowing both cultural context, Polish Alumni are highly professional and experienced in their respective fields as they have been studied at Wageningen University, one of the leading agricultural university in the world.
Dr Martin Scholten stressed in his presentation that Wageningen University & Research is a famous university among AgriHortiFood Business. Its strength lies in its ability to join the forces of specialized research institutes and university. It also lies in the combined efforts of the various fields of natural and social sciences. This union of expertise leads to scientific breakthroughs that can quickly be put into practice and be incorporated into education. But, WUR is also a nodal point of Food Valley, an expansive cluster of agricultural technology start-ups and experimental farms. Wageningen is a place of merger of academia and entrepreneurship.
The connection of WUR with Poland is not only thanks to Polish students but also due to 55 EU running projects. Over 15 of these projects (i.e. on zoonosis, Salmonella, animal welfare) were initiated within the veterinary cooperation WUR started in September 2015 with 3 Polish institutes: The National Veterinary Institute in Pulawy, the Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding and Poznan University of Life Sciences. In the cooperation, also efforts are undertaken to strengthen the connection between science and industry.