Rural Wageningen Foundation has a long tradition – since 1978 – of organizing activities for students in Wageningen. Throughout the early years, RUW foundation mainly organized activities on rural food production and agriculture because at the time WUR was fully profiled as an agricultural school. However, over the years many teams – board members, coordinators, and volunteers – have shaped and reshaped the identity of RUW.
In more recent years RUW foundation has organically evolved in synchrony with the University to cover almost all topics and themes related to Life Sciences in Wageningen. We do continuously operate from a clear vision, which is grounded in four pillars:
RUW practices a critical/collaborative attitude.
RUW facilitates reflection on our perspectives. We feel that well-intended, scrutinous, but most of all, shared reflection really is the basic idea behind the scientific method, and therefore we want to facilitate it. At the same time, we enjoy testing what might be possible, put stuff into practice, and develop student life in Wageningen. Our work stems from the desire to collaborate with everybody as to make an impact on our shared ambitions, while purposely maintaining a critical attitude.
On a day to day basis, RUW mostly works with students.
All our activities are rooted in student life, as we aspire to appeal and connect to all ‘shades of students’ at the University. Although students are our primary focus, we also provide substance for more seasoned academics and citizens of Wageningen, as they gather around and co-evolve with student life. The RUW team consists of (ex)students who wish to gain experience in a board or coordinator functions while learning freely.
Our activities are very diverse.
Our activities range from cow milking to philosophy, from vegan potlucks to water management. Everything we do is relevant because of the timing of our activities in line with developments in WUR, and our deep connection to the practice of Life Science in the broader ecosystem. To illustrate, last year we hosted a series on the ‘future of education’ at a time when serious discussions were raised about the influence of increased student numbers on the quality of education and science in Wageningen.
Combining theory and practice
By opening a dialogue about big questions while getting our hands-dirty, RUW connects grand visions, daily practices, and brave hearts in Wageningen.