VHL University of Applied Sciences – Menno Kramer Interview (International Relations Officer)



Today we discussed about VHL University of Applied Sciences with   Menno Kramer, International Relations Officer. Soon we will come back with the Romanian translation, until then, enjoy this nice interview.

1.Where is VHL University located?
VHL University of Applied Sciences has three campuses, all located in widely different areas in the Netherlands. At these campuses we offer a range of programmes. Due to the proximity of a unique marine eco-system and the many international dairy businesses near our northern campus, this location focusses on water technology, dairy expertise and environmental studies. Our second campus is located in a green woodland area, and focusses on forestry, horticulture and landscaping. Our third campus is located in Wageningen, on the same campus as world famous Wageningen Research University. This campus is truly the most international where almost 50% of our student body consists of non-Dutch, international students from all over the world.

2. Why should students choose VHL University of Applied Sciences? What is different about your university?
VHL truly is a unique university that studies the relationships between nature, humans and businesses. Just looking at our programme portfolio you can tell that we are not yet-another business or engineering school. On the one hand, students that come to study at VHL want to contribute to their own lives by acquiring knowledge about biology, chemistry and business. But at the same time, VHL students have a drive to make businesses more sustainable, to improve water quality worldwide, to make food safer and healthier. Our alumni end up in businesses and governments where they work on health issues, food safety or water management problems that improve the lives of all.

3. What kind of bachelor degrees/masters do you offer?
We focus mostly on undergraduate programmes including Food Technology, International Business in Agriculture, International Development and Animal Sciences. All of our programmes are taught entirely in English. Most programmes combine science and business, so students get a well-rounded education that makes them versatile professionals. Food tech is one of the most popular programmes, whereas Disaster Recovery Management is by far the most adventurous. Can you imagine doing your VHL-internship in an earthquake stricken area somewhere in Asia to help orchestrate the relief programme? I’m pretty sure we are the only university in the world that do this :).

4. How is the student life there (talking about prices/student life/entertainment opportunities)?
Almost all of our students are located on our Wageningen campus. This campus is the most international with around 8,5000 students in a small town. In fact, Wageningen really is the definition of a student town where 25% of all people living there are students! As it’s located outside of the main Dutch cities, its student life tends to be more laidback. But keep in mind that over 8,000 students in one campus means that there is always something to do. Still want to go to the big city? Getting into Amsterdam is easy with hourly direct trains that take students to the capital in just over 60 minutes.

5. What are the entry requirements for admission?
Students need to finish high school with an 8 out of 10 on their GPA. Depending on the programme, additional requirements such as math, chemistry or biology may apply. As our programmes are taught entirely in English, we also uphold a strict English language requirement equivalent to 6,0 IETLS or 78 TOEFL iBT.

6. What about tuition fees?
Our tuition fees for the academic year 2014/2015 are 1,906 euro for all EU students, including Romanian students.

7. Is there any loans/scholarships for Romanian students?
The Dutch government offers a student loan scheme for EU students allowing a loan for full the tuition fee for the full duration of the programme. Students only pay back after graduation based on their income at a mere 0.6% interest rate. For a full four Bachelor programme, this comes down to less than 7,800 euro in total. In the UK you wouldn’t even be able to finance one academic year with those funds.

8. Do you offer any internships for students?
Internships are an integral part of our educational philosophy. This means that all students participate in 3-4 internships with a total duration of up to one year. Through these mandatory internships students get to obtain real-life experiences in a business environment in addition to their academic curriculum. We believe that through the combination of theory and practice students are best prepared for their professional lives, as it not only builds their CV while still in college, but it also gives them a business network and contacts that will help in finding a job after graduation.

9. How much may a student pay for the living costs?
Romanian students should expect to pay around 550-600 euro per month on housing, food and transport.

10. Do you offer accommodation or students need to find by themselves?
We guarantee student accommodation for new international students. As we are outside of the major metropolitan areas, accommodation is relatively easy to find, so students who want to change accommodation after the first year are generally able to do so. Also, housing prices are much friendlier than in the major Dutch cites.

11. What is the student-teacher ration in VHL?
VHL is a very personal university with small classes and a lot of teacher-student interaction. Class size ranges from 15 to 25 students per class, so you will never feel like ‘just another number on the sheet’.

12. Can Romanian students work part time in order to pay their living costs in Wagenigen? What are the main domains where they can work before graduating?
Part-time jobs are available for students, but most of them require that students speak a bit of Dutch. We offer Dutch courses to help international students with this. But honestly, most students have a busy schedule anyway with making friends, living their student life and ohw yeah.. classes. Keep in mind that the internships that students mean that they are away from Wageningen for a significant part of their study career. In most cases, students get paid a modest amount for these internships, so that should help too.

13. What are the job prospectives after finishing a degree in VHL ?
Our alumni work in many sectors of the economy, in small, medium and multinational business. Many of these companies, governments and NGO’s are international in nature, as is reflected in the VHL study programmes. Students can become policy advisors for environmental bodies within governments, work for large multinational businesses in dairy, food or flowers or become scientist focusing on improving living conditions of animals in the food sector.

14. Are there any Romanian students?
We do have several Romanian students at VHL at the moment, although currently in small numbers. However, as we are located on the same campus as Wageningen Research university, you will find more Romanian students on campus than just the ones that study at VHL. Having said that, we take great pride in our very diverse student body and encourage all students to use their study abroad opportunity to look beyond the comfort and familiarity of their fellow countrymen.

15. Instead of an endspeech, is there anything that I might omitted about studying at VHL?
I think it’s good to note (and safe to say) that VHL won’t suit everyone. If you are looking for a generic and bland International Business degree, a fancy old-world university title behind your name or if you want to get-rich-or-die-trying, VHL probably isn’t the best choice for you. But if you are passionate about sustainability, want to help businesses develop long term plans that focus on people and nature as well as on money, or if you are passionate about food and want to contribute to a healthier and safer human lives, then our doors are wide open .


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: VHL University of Applied Sciences – Interviu cu Menno Kramer (International Relations Officer) | Plec La Studii

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