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Every year the Wageningen University Fund, WUF (http://bit.ly/1swONTz), organises the Teacher of the Year Award. The goal of the award is to “enhance and reward good education at the Wageningen University”.

The Teacher of the Year was awarded for the first time in 1981 along with the Research Prize, the Entrepreneurs Prize and the Press Prize. At that time it was called the Education Award. It was awarded every 4 years. In 1996 the name was changed to Teacher of the Year Award and ever since 2003 the Teacher of the Year is awarded on an annual basis. The award comprises a replica of the statue ‘De Leermeester’ (‘The preceptor’) by Jan Preat (the original can be found in front of the Leeuwenborch building), a jury report, a certificate of appreciation, and a cash prize of €2,500.

Voting, longlist, shortlist, winner

The election of the Teacher of the Year is made up of several steps. The first one being the election period in which students can vote for one of approximately 250 teachers. These are the 250 teachers that have scored best in the EvaSys surveys, the student evaluations of courses. Every second year student and up can vote for three of their favourite teachers. This also applies to MSc students who have not done their bachelor studies in Wageningen. The idea behind this selection is that students should have followed at least one full year of courses before they can have a good overview of the teachers they can vote for.

A statistical program is used to compare the number of votes for each teacher to the number of students following their classes. This prevents that those teachers with most students are most likely to get on the shortlist, and gives each teacher an equal chance to be voted on the longlist. In the end the fifteen teachers with the highest absolute and relative percentages of votes make it to the longlist.

When the longlist has been set, a student jury interviews all fifteen teachers. The reason for having a jury is that the Teacher of the Year should not be based on a popularity contest. During the interviews the jury looks into the background and the teaching methods and goals of the teachers. The interviews are gathered and discussed during jury deliberations. Subsequently, the jury chooses the five best teachers, the shortlist, and eventually the winner. The winner is announced during the Teacher of the Year Award ceremony in January.

Every year around September the Wageningen University Fund establishes a new Teacher of the Year jury. Are you interested in being a jury member next year or do you want to know more about the Teacher of the Year award, please contact wuf@wur.nl or go to the website http://www.wageningenur.nl/en/Benefactors/Areas-to-support/Wageningen-University-Fund/Rewarding-excellent-accomplishments/Teacher-of-the-Year-Award.htm

Karel is on behalf of the Student Council in the Teacher of the Year Committee.

Former winners of the Teacher of the Year Award

Teacher of the Year 2014: Huub Savelkoul

Teacher of the Year 2013: Dolf Weijers

Teacher of the Year 2012: Frits Claassen

Teacher of the Year 2011: Gert Peek

Teacher of the Year 2010: André van Lammeren

Teacher of the Year 2009: Jan den Ouden

Teacher of the Year 2008: Dane Bicanic

Teacher of the Year 2007: Arie Terlouw

Teacher of the Year 2006: Theo Hendriks

Teacher of the Year 2005: Reint Jan Renes

Teacher of the Year 2004: Gosse Schraa