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Entries for January 2010

“I have to be careful, but I work it out somehow”

“I have to be careful, but I work it out somehow”

Every student in the Netherlands gets at least a basic grant from the government and a card for free public transportation in the Netherlands. But what do students from Germany, India, Poland or the United Kingdom get from their governments? Observant tried to find the facts and figures, and spoke with six international students about their houseke...
Searching for student’s heaven on earth

Searching for student’s heaven on earth

Which country takes really good care of its students? Is it the Netherlands, where all students get a basic grant that they don’t have to pay back? Or are you better off in Belgium, or maybe the United Kingdom or India? Observant tried to find the facts and figures of the studiefinanciering of seven of Maastricht University’s ‘target countries’.
Two SBE students win sustainability award

Two SBE students win sustainability award

Their Be Clever Be Green proposal has made German students Arne Tutschapsky and Sven Weber 500 euros richer last Monday. They submitted their detailed idea in a suggestion box. The box was installed after the national Sustainability Day, held on 9 September 2009 in many places, including Maastricht. The sustainable policy working group thought that...

The important stuff is always in the footnotes

It appears that vegetarianism is all the rage these days. Recently, most newspapers’ Saturday supplements tend to carry at least one or two articles about the pros resp. cons of meat eating, and Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals hit the bestseller list last week – just as he came to The Netherlands, to talk about his life as a vegetarian in a s...

Stukafest

What: Stukafest When: 4 February, 19.30 Where: various student rooms, closing party at De Kadans Admission: open passes €12.50 From the comfort of a student room, here is your chance to get up close and personal with artists at the annual student room party (studentenkamerfeest, abbreviated as Stukafest). Accompanied by a beer and someone else’...

UM is a microcosmos

UM is a microcosmos

Her telephone rings. “It will be a friend of mine who wants to tell me that I’m missing my Bestuurlijk Nederlands class right now.” Claire Leifert is a second-year European Studies student. “It’s a very nice course, financed by the faculty. Its aim is to improve the political integration of foreign students at UM. It’s meant for students of the fac...

“Paying tax is not the same as being punished”

“Paying tax is not the same as being punished”

A study grant for every student? Or just for children with relatively poor parents? These and other topics made the debate, organised by the political student organisation DOPE last Thursday in café Ad Fundum, not only lively but also well-attended.

An opera inspired by a novel

A few months ago I went to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam to hear the opening performance of a requiem, part of the opera Wake by the Dutch composer Klaas de Vries. He had been asked to compose an opera to commemorate the fireworks explosion ten years ago in the city of Enschede, which had taken 22 lives. At first, De Vries didn’t want to, because ...

Millennium Trilogy Marathon

Page-turning plots and inspiring characters at a tearing pace – Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series has it all. People have been captured by the trilogy around the world. Both the books and the film have swept through various countries, gathering awards and praise. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked...

Abandoned things in UL

A red wallet, a mobile phone, lipgloss, a small bottle of water and some books. The owner is nowhere in sight. It’s Monday afternoon and the University Library (UL) in the inner city is crowded. After a few seconds, fourth-year law student Ellen Aarts walks towards her possessions. “I was gone for a moment, but my friend here will keep an eye on my...

“Please stay in China. They need you”

Google wants to stop censoring itself in China now it has become clear that the Chinese government has been trying to hack into dissidents’ Gmail accounts. Isn’t this a little too late? Wasn’t it wrong from the start to deny the Chinese people access to certain sites? Or was this a strategic move: starting with a censored Google and then bit by bit...
Living in the student-life bubble

Living in the student-life bubble

Hoe komt het dat je zo goed Nederlands spreekt? “My grandmother was Dutch”, says Arian Meyer (22), a second-year European Studies student who was born in Hamburg. “My mother was raised bilingually. I picked up a lot from her. We had a holiday house in Terneuzen, Zeeuws Vlaanderen. So I’ve visited the Netherlands many times. And besides that, in Ju...

Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture & Debate

“Just as for Eve there was no way back to the Garden of Eden, after reading Holofaust there is no way back to naivety.” This is just one of the praising comments on the book Holofaust, by writer Govert Derix. On the evening of 21 January you will have the chance to meet him and, better yet, to join the debate about the Holocaust and other genocides...

The ultimate bartender

Second-year Tax Law student Elroy Richter (24) can call himself best ‘flirttender’ of the Netherlands. A flirttender is a bartender who knows how to flirt. “It’s businesslike flirting we’re talking about; making your customer comfortable and trying to find out what they want.” Richter works at Shake and Serve, a company that makes cocktails on loca...

2010: The Year of Education

2010: The Year of Education

Seven thesis awards, an education award, three lectures, a musical intermezzo and a demonstration by animal activists outside the entrance to the St. Janskerk. The programme for the celebration of the 34th anniversary of Maastricht University last Thursday was a full one. Rector Gerard Mols announced an innovation of the problem-based learning syst...

“It’s not like you can lead a life of luxury on €260”

The Dutch National Student Union is scared. Why? The Minister of Education is considering getting rid of the basic student grant, about €260 a month. If this becomes reality, Dutch students will have to turn to their parents, start working longer hours or take out loans. Are Dutch students spoiled? Is it ridiculous that the government contributes t...
"The best time of my life"

"The best time of my life"

“This has been the best time of my life”, says Sophia Meyer-Landrut, a first-year Arts and Culture student who was born and raised in Frankfurt. “I love being here. I feel at home in Maastricht. When I was at home for Christmas – I love it there too, we have a big family – I was looking forward to coming back.” The reasons? “I’ve made really nice f...

The burden of daily life

It is a black day in the very small world of Christopher Boon, who likes the police and red things but detests France and the colour yellow. One night, the boy finds a neighbour's poodle dead in her garden and is accused of being the one who killed it. Sparked by a desire to clear his name and intrigued by the puzzle, he decides to break the case h...

UM structural target for animal activists

UM structural target for animal activists

The animal activists group Anti Dierproeven Coalitie is going to systematically aims actions against Maastricht University, according to its leader Robert Molenaar. The action group protested against the university at the beginning of October, on the occasion of a cardiologist conference in the Bonnefantenklooster (hence the afternoon programme had...

UM wants free parking places for students

UM wants free parking places for students

Maastricht politicians want Maastricht University to be more co-operative when it comes to solving the (foreign) students' parking problems. The UM has said that it pleads for free parking facilities on the periphery of the town and may want to contribute to their security.

Dangerous crossings

The most dangerous crossings in Maastricht are located at the Viaductweg, which runs from the Noorderbrug towards the A2 motorway. This was reported by RTL Nieuws on the basis of data provided by the Dutch Department of Waterways and Public Works. RTL Nieuws compiled a list of the 150 most dangerous crossings in the Netherlands where accidents had ...

UM employee award

Lou Quaden and Ien van de Leur have won the 2009 Maastricht University Employee Award. Quaden is the caretaker of the Minderbroedersberg building, and Van de Leur works as head of the Education Office at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. During the New Year reception at the economics faculty last Tuesday, they each received a work by sculpt...

Chairperson

The University Council was unable to select a new chairperson during its last meeting in December.

David Lynch expo

To visit this week’s tip you will have to make a short journey, but it should be worth it. The Max Ernst Museum in Brühl is showing an exhibition by David Lynch, director of Twin Peaks, The Elephant Man and Wild at Heart. Lynch uses pictures, paintings, watercolours and installations. In his disturbing images he leads the viewer into a world that i...

Ever seen the Dieter Koblenz Show?

Ever seen the Dieter Koblenz Show?

Is there a difference between Dutch and German girls? Peter Ulrich, a 22-year-old student of European Studies – born in Tübingen – and president of the student association Concordantia, has to laugh. “I have to be careful; my girlfriend will read this article too. She’s German. The ones I know are quite similar. I don’t like to make distinctions o...

“I’m going to the toilet now”

Our society is becoming more and more individualistic. The modern world, with its internet, e-mail, Twitter and so on seems to bring people together. But it creates a safe distance between you and me. We now can speak without being seen, without showing ourselves, anonymously. The expression of emotions and vulgarities is easier; speaking without r...

Impossible to keep your hands clean

A little boy falls into a hole and dies. Years later, his friend can’t remember whether he stood idly by as it happened, or if maybe he pushed his friend, or sent him down the hole on a dare. That is the premise and the question of Hole, the first story in Andrew Porter’s collection The Theory of Light and Matter (2008). Given the characters in the...