Male students are an endangered species in Wageningen. Time for action, says Animal Feed professor Jan van Dittum.
Once again, WUR tops a list. This time it’s the feminization of the student population. Nowhere are there as many women relatively speaking as in Wageningen. An incredible 58 per cent of first-year students are women. Isn’t that great? Not really, says Van Dittum. In his opinion, it’s changing too quickly. ‘At this rate, all Wageningen students will be women in 50 years’ time. That surely can’t be the intention?’
The influx of women studying Animal Feed has changed the programme content too. Van Dittum looks back nostalgically at the time when Animal Science was exclusively about cows and pigs. Those were the days.
I’ve got nothing against women. Even my best friend has one
‘Farmers’ sons meeting up over a beer for some laughs.’ In his opinion, the first signs of trouble were when they started to include other domestic animals. ‘Horses,’ he snorts. ‘Not my thing at all. They don’t even taste good.’
Don’t get him wrong. ‘I’ve got nothing against women. Even my best friend has one. But it’s getting out of balance. The Wageningen ecosystem is fast reaching a tipping point. And the thing with tipping points is there’s no way back.’ So Van Dittum has decided to take action. Wageningen needs more male students.
The concerned professor already has an idea of how to tackle this. ‘Step one is for me to take over from Arthur Mol as rector magnificus.’ He tells Resource the lobbying behind the scenes is already in full swing. ‘Once I’m the rector, I’ll get WUR to start a major nationwide campaign.’ He already has a slogan in mind: Real guys know WUR is wise!
‘Look,’ says Van Dittum, ‘That Sower statue is in front of the main building for a reason. I’m sure a lot of thought went into that. But now they’ll probably be wanting to replace him with a woman. Or even something gender neutral.’ He assures us that won’t happen when he’s in charge. ‘Of course, first I need to get the rector job’.