Assault on campus

A PhD student was beaten and had stones thrown at him on Friday evening.

The abuse occurred between 22.00 and 23.00 hrs in the evening. The victim, a PhD student from China, was cycling past Forum with a friend when a group of youngsters suddenly attacked him. He was hit by a stone, kicked and beaten. He was taken to the hospital for treatment after the assault.

Text: Dominique Vrouwenvelder and Luuk Zegers

University spokesperson Jan Willem Bol: ‘This is a terrible incident. We are working closely with the police and the municipality to identify the perpetrators. Naturally, we are analysing security camera footage.’ Moreover, Bol says that the university is making every effort possible to assist the victim.

The act of violence has sparked fear within the international community, some of whom no longer feel safe in Wageningen. ‘We have seen that this attack has caused considerable unrest on social media’, Bol states. ‘Before we draw conclusions, we must find out precisely what happened.’ The police have started an investigation and are looking for witnesses. No arrests have been made to date, as the police do not know who the boys are. WUR shared the police notice in an Instagram story.


Student Alita Tithphit read about the incident in a WhatsApp group on Friday evening. She immediately contacted others to offer assistance. ‘I am one of the group moderators, and I read the message soon after it was posted.’ The incident took place near Forum, but the victim went to the Bornsesteeg student building immediately following the abuse, where he was assisted by some residents. ‘When I arrived there, I saw his nose and eye were bleeding. His glasses were broken. I assisted him with some practical things, such as contacting the hospital and his social security number. Someone else had a van and drove him to the hospital.’ Tithphit says the victim is currently doing okay, considering the circumstances.

Not a first

According to Tithphit, this is not the first time that international students have been assaulted verbally and physically by local youths. ‘We normally feel very safe at WUR because we don’t feel like foreigners. But if these incidents continue, we worry. I believe that the safety on campus and in Wageningen must be addressed.’


The incident also begs the question of to what degree WUR is responsible for the safety of its students and employees. Bol: ‘That is a complex issue. The campus is open to the public but is WUR property. Ultimately, the police are in charge of public safety. However, we also feel a degree of responsibility for the safety of the campus, which is why we have campus security.’

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