Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR) has the unique position of being the only university in the Netherlands to focus on healthy food and the living environment. Wageningen UR’s history dates back to 1876, when it opened as a national agricultural college.
Wageningen UR consistently ranks as one of the world’s top universities. In its life sciences specialism in particular, it’s considered one of the best universities in the world.
Its mission is "to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life". The university’s 20 bachelor programmes all share this common theme, from agrotechnology, to molecular life, to international land management.
The university requires Dutch fluency to take part in any of its undergraduate courses, with the exception of tourism.
The university’s expertise in food and the environment puts it in high demand to produce research for the Dutch government, businesses and nonprofits. Its facilities are commissioned by these groups to explore new solutions for healthy living. Their projects have ranged from seeking innovation in sustainable energy to finding ways of making plastic from seaweed.
Fittingly, given its focus on the healthy natural environment, Wageningen UR made it a goal to become carbon neutral, and achieved this goal in 2015.
The town of Wageningen, where the university is based, is a historic town on the banks of the Rhine. Each year in May the town holds a festival which draws in thousands of visitors, celebrating the town’s significance as the site of the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of the Second World War.