Wageningen University and Research

Wageningen University & Research (also known as Wageningen UR; abbreviation: WUR) is a public university in Wageningen, The Netherlands. It is located in a region of the Netherlands known as the Food Valley.

Wageningen University & Research
Wageningen University & Research
Motto in English
To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life
TypePublic university
Established1876 as an agricultural college. Recognized in 1918 as a public university
RectorArthur Mol
Executive Board PresidentLouise Fresco
Students12001 (2017-18)
Undergraduates5659 (2017-18)
Postgraduates5821 (2017-18)
Other students
521 (2017-18)
Location, ,
ColoursBlue and Green
AffiliationsEuroleague for Life Sciences, EUA, 4TU
MascotWUR Wolf

WUR consists of Wageningen University and the former agricultural research institute of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture. Wageningen University trains specialists (BSc, MSc and PhD) in life and social sciences and focuses its research on scientific, social and commercial problems in the field of life sciences and natural resources. The university has about 12,000 students from over 100 countries. It is also a member of the Euroleague for Life Sciences (ELLS) university network.

WUR has been placed in the top 150 universities in the world by three major ranking tables.


In 1876 the Rijkslandbouwschool (National Agricultural College) was established in Wageningen. Due to the development of the training to a higher educational level it changed in 1896 to the Hoogere Land- en Boschbouwschool (Agricultural and Forestry College) and in 1904 in Rijks Hoogere Land-, Tuin- en Boschbouwschool (National Agricultural, Horticulture and Forestry College).

In 1918 the school became academic by law (Academic Education Act). The name changed to Rijks Landbouw Hoogeschool (National Agricultural College). The opening date and official start date is 9 March 1918.

In 1986 the "hogescholen" (comparable to scientific institute of technology) were renamed to University in a modification of the Academic Education Act. The new name became Landbouwuniversiteit Wageningen (LUW) (Wageningen Agricultural University (WAU)). The 1986 law changes resulted in the use of the name hogeschool in the Dutch system to be used exclusively for universities of applied science.

Over the years the research and teaching branched out into life sciences in general, while interest for agriculture as a career opportunity waned. In 1997, when the DLO institutes merged with the university, the new organisation was rebranded as Wageningen UR (Wageningen University and Research Centre); with the University being renamed Wageningen University. Under Dutch laws the University and the institutes had to remain separate legal entities.

In 2006, the university of applied sciences Van Hall Larenstein became part of Wageningen UR. The idea was to create better collaboration between applied teaching and research at Van Hall and the academic research at Wageningen University. This would also support students to continue with an academic program upon completing their applied degree. However, due to differences in organizational culture and incompatibility of procedures, the collaboration remained problematic. In 2012 it was decided that Van Hall Larenstein would leave Wageningen UR and continue as an independent school once more. In the spring of 2015 the separation was marked by the move of the final Wageningen-based Van Hall Larenstein studies back to Velp.

In 2009 it was decided that the University would consistently use the English name in its communication, and that university research could be presented under the name of the university: Wageningen University (WU) (as an alternative of using the name Wageningen UR).[1][2] On 6 September 2016 Wageningen University and the research institutes becameas one joint brand: Wageningen University & Research (WUR).

On 9 March 2018 Wageningen University celebrated her 100 years anniversary. During this year there were many events and festivities around the campus and in the city of Wageningen.

Academic profile

Wageningen University was the first Dutch university or school that was allowed to use the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) label. This label is awarded by the European Commission and guarantees the quality of the study programme. The university consequently applies this system, thus promoteing the mobility of students within Europe and preventing study delay.

BSc programmes

The University offers 19 BSc programmes[3] (2018-2019). The language of instruction is partly Dutch, partly English. For some BSc programmes the language of instruction is English. The programmes start each year in September, last three years, and consist of 180 ECTS credits. The programmes are in the field of economy and society, health, life sciences and technology, nature and environment, animals and plants.

MSc programmes

Wageningen University offers a 36 different MSc programmes[4] (2017-2018) and two online masters programs.[5] The language of instruction is English. The programmes start each year in September, they last two years, and consist of 120 ECTS credits. Most programmes offer various specializations and possibilities for majors.

PhD programme

The PhD programme is a four-year programme which consists of a research component (conducting research under supervision and writing a thesis) and a smaller education component (up to 15 percent of the total PhD time). To apply for a PhD position, the applicant must contact one of the six Graduate Schools of Wageningen University.[6] In order to guarantee adequate supervision, the research subject must fit in the research programme of a Graduate School.

Research Institutes

The following research institutes are part of Wageningen Research:

  • Wageningen Environmental Research (Alterra), formerly Alterra[7]
  • Wageningen Economic Research, formerly LEI Wageningen UR[8]
  • Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, formerly Central Veterinary Institute[9]
  • Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, formerly Centre for Development Innovation[10]
  • Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, formerly Food & Biobased Research[11]
  • Wageningen Livestock Research[12]
  • Wageningen Marine Research, formerly IMARES[13]
  • Wageningen Plant Research[14]
  • Dairy Campus[15][16][17]
  • RIKILT[18]


International Rankings

University rankings
ARWU World[19] 151-200 (2019)
Leiden World[20] 210 (2019)
THE World[21] 59 (2020)
USNWR World[22] 79 (2020)
QS World[23] 125 (2020)

In the field of life sciences, agricultural and environmental science, the university is considered world-class.[24][25][26] According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings it is the best university in the Netherlands and No. 1 worldwide, in agriculture and forestry for 2017 on the QS World University Rankings charts.[27]

  • In the 2017/2018 National Taiwan Ranking[28] Wageningen University is ranked first in the field of agriculture.[29]
  • In the 2017/2018 National Taiwan Ranking[28] Wageningen University is ranked first in the field of Environment & Ecology.[30]
  • In the 2016 Shanghai Ranking Wageningen University was ranked in the bracket 101-150th best universities in the world overall[31] and 36th best in the life and agriculture sciences.[32]
  • In the 2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings[33] Wageningen University was ranked 25th overall in the world and 16th in life sciences.
  • In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2017[34] Wageningen University & Research is ranked first in the field of Food Science & Technology.[35]
  • In the 2016/2017 QS World University Rankings, Wageningen University was ranked 119th overall in the world, first in the field of agriculture and forestry, fourth in environmental science, 13th in development studies, and 83rd in life sciences and medicine.[36]

National rankings

  • The Dutch 'Keuzegids' ranking compares Dutch universities based on reviews by their own students. In 2018 Wageningen University is ranked as the best university in the Netherlands in full-time education for the 13th time in a row.
  • In 2015 Wageningen University was awarded as the most sustainable Dutch University by Morgen (organization), for the third time in a row.

Student activities and associations

  • M.S.V. Alchimica is the study association for students Molecular Life Sciences. Since 1970 it has been organising different activities for its members.[37]
  • CODON is the study Association for all Biotechnology (BBT and MBT), Bioinformatics (MBF) and Biobased Sciences (MBS) students. Established by the first students of Bioprocesstechnology on 16 September 1991. At that time the association carried the name "BiPS" which was later changed to CODON.[38]

Notable alumni and staff

See also


  1. "Wageningen Universiteit (WU)" (in Dutch). Studie.nl. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  2. "History of Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  3. "Bachelor's". 2012-08-30.
  4. "Master's". 2019-02-06.
  5. "Student Service Centre - Wageningen UR". Wageningenuniversity.nl. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  6. "PhD Programme - Wageningen University". Wageningenuniversity.nl. Retrieved 2013-07-09.
  7. "Wageningen Environmental Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  8. "Wageningen Economic Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  9. "Wageningen Bioveterinary Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  10. "Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  11. "Wageningen Food & Biobased Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. 2015-12-10. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  12. "Wageningen Livestock Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  13. "Wageningen Marine Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  14. "Wageningen Plant Research - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  15. Over Ons, website of the Dairy Campus
  16. Tiemen Roos, Op Dairy Campus leveren koeien vooral data, Reformatorisch Dagblad, 26 May 2016
  17. Meindert Schroor (ed.), Nieuwe Encyclopedie van Fryslân, Gorredijk/Leeuwarden (Utgeverij Bornmeer/Tresoar), 2016, ISBN 978-9 05 61 53 755, pp. 2173-2174.
  18. "RIKILT - Wageningen UR". Wageningenur.nl. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
  19. "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". ShanghaiRanking. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  20. "CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019". Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  21. "World University Rankings 2020 - Wageningen University". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  22. "Best Global Universities 2020". U.S. News Education (USNWR). ). Retrieved 2019-11-21.
  23. "QS World University Rankings 2020". Top Universities. 2019-06-05. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  24. "Subject Ranking 2015-2016: life sciences top 100". 9 October 2015.
  25. "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015 - Environmental Sciences". 22 April 2015.
  26. Viviano, Frank (September 2017). "This Tiny Country Feeds the World". National Geographic. Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  27. "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016 - Agriculture & Forestry". 17 March 2016.
  28. http://nturanking.lis.ntu.edu.tw/Default.aspx
  29. "NTU Ranking, 2017 - Environment/Ecology". National Taiwan University Ranking. Archived from the original on 2017-10-11. Retrieved 2016-09-04.
  30. "2017 National Taiwan University Ranking (NTURanking)". nturanking.lis.ntu.edu.tw. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  31. "University of Wageningen | Academic Ranking of World Universities - 2016 | Shanghai Ranking - 2016". www.shanghairanking.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  32. "Academic Ranking of World Universities in Life and Agriculture Sciences–2016". www.shanghairanking.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  33. "World rankings–Europe". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  34. "ARWU World University Rankings 2018 - Academic Ranking of World Universities". www.shanghairanking.com.
  35. "ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017 - Food Science & Technology | Shanghai Ranking - 2017". www.shanghairanking.com. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  36. "QS World University Rankings". Top Universities. QS Quacquarelli Symonds. 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  37. "M.S.V. Alchimica". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  38. "CODON". Retrieved 14 April 2015.
  39. "Profile: Fortuyn killer". 15 April 2003 via news.bbc.co.uk.

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