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Entries for January 2013

Nay? Yea!

The story: Washington, 1865. The American Civil War is coming to an end. President Abraham Lincoln has just started his second term in pursuit of a free, united country where slavery is a thing of the past. To get his constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery past the House of Representatives, Lincoln must pull off the biggest political feat of ...

First SSC study places open

First SSC study places open

MAASTRICHT. The first ninety study places at the Student Services Centre (SSC) will be opened next Monday. A total of 170 study places will be created in the building on the Bonnefantenstraat, to be completed before the summer.
“I like to be part of the authentic culture of a country”

“I like to be part of the authentic culture of a country”

Amée Leferink (20), a Dutch fourth-year UCM student of Social Sciences and also treasurer of student rowing association Saurus, who has seen 10 per cent of the world. Amée Leferink loves travelling. From North Carolina to Singapore, she has seen many different parts of the world. Her preparation? “I like to read up on a country before I go t...

What is crime?

What is crime?

Who: Hans Nelen, Professor of Criminology What: The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg, Mark Twain Target group: Law students

I am the Brain

PhDs are full of ups and downs. Some days, it goes like this: Oh. Dear. God. I am the stupidest person alive. This is the worst PhD *ever*. The next day, it’s all: OMG. This PhD is amazing. I am AWESOME. Happily, today is one of the latter. I met with my supervisor, having handed in a chapter draft. I thought it was good work, and that is wor...

Exploring the passion for research

MAASTRICHT. A dark red curtain, a wooden table, an illuminated globe and famous books of critical minds – the organisers of Just being Curious have inventively decorated the stage in UCM’s common room for an evening dedicated to ‘the bright side of research’. It’s Wednesday 23 January. Students and staff have settled o...

Extra resit after controversial exam

Extra resit after controversial exam

MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics are at a loss about what to do with the messy course of events concerning a Statistics resit on 11 January. A lecturer accidentally posted the answers on Eleum before the exam. They were there no more than half an hour, but some 30 of the 210 students probably saw the answers to the multiple-choice q...

In love

I was given some lovely Christmas gifts. One was a pair of metal squares for poaching eggs, so that they come out precisely the same shape as your bread. (Because heaven is a perfectly geometric breakfast.) Another was an 1100-page book called On politics which promises to take me on an informative yet lively journey from Herodotus to the present d...

Queen Beatrix to stand down, the Netherlands will have a king

Queen Beatrix to stand down, the Netherlands will have a king

NETHERLANDS. Queen Beatrix is to stand down on April 30, 33 years to the day after her coronation. The queen is abdicating in favour of her son Willem-Alexander, who will be 46 on April 27. In a short address, broadcast on radio and television, the queen said this year - which includes her 75th birthday and celebrations to mark 200 years of the mo...

PhD candidates remain employees for the moment

NETHERLANDS. Universities are disappointed, but PhD candidates are relieved. The cabinet decided at the last minute not to give "PhD student" a status in the Higher Education Act. Since the middle of the nineteen-nineties, universities have tried hard to replace the PhD employee by the PhD student. This would mean that they no longer nee...

Fries with gravy

‘No, I can eat whatever I want now, I’m taking a double dose of those pills right now.’ She got my interest, the woman who spoke these words on the bus. I turned around, and saw her: not the fittest person I’ve ever seen, to put it gently. This was one of those moments you think: ‘Only in America...’. And yes, I ...

Highlander open for now

Highlander open for now

MAASTRICHT. Student pub The Highlander is open again, temporarily at least. At the beginning of December, the pub was closed down for six months by order of mayor Hoes, because soft and hard drugs had been found on the premises, both in the pub itself and in the apartment above it. The owner lodged an appeal and asked the court for a temporary arra...

Reduced rail services continue because of weather, passengers are fed up

Dutch Rail is continuing to operate reduced services throughout the country because of the wintry weather, but passenger complaints are mounting, Nos television says. The continuing problems caused by snow and heavy frosts at night mean services have to be cut, to prevent a single breakdown clogging up the entire system, Dutch railway operation NS...

71 percent of recent FASOS graduates work abroad

MAASTRICHT. On average, 8 percent of Maastricht University alumni who graduated in 2009/10 are unemployed. Topping the list are graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences: 24 percent were not in work at the time of the interview (autumn 2011) for the recent Maastricht University graduate surveys.
Scientists’ white lies

Scientists’ white lies

It started with a tweet by a neuroscientist called Leigh, on January 7th, and since then the genie has been out of the bottle. Leigh twittered: “We did experiment 2 because we didn’t know what the fuck to make of experiment 1.” After that, thousands of scientists confessed their small white lies under hashtag ‘overlyhonestme...
Insight into a mathematician’s mental process

Insight into a mathematician’s mental process

Who: Frank Thuijsman, Mathematician at Knowledge Engineering Book: Uncle Petros and Goldbach’s conjecture, Apostolos Doxiadis Target group: students of mathematics, knowledge engineering, and econometrics

Patients need better information on healthcare quality: MPs

Patients should be able to get proper information about the quality of the hospitals and doctors they use, including details of criminal convictions and serious complaints, a majority of Dutch MPs say. They want health minister Edith Schippers to set up a register as part of efforts to boost health service quality. The register should not only mak...

Travel and you will grow

Travel and you will grow

Drew Reid, 20, is an Australian who has just finished his semester abroad as an Erasmus student in the Entrepreneurship programme. He has seen 6 per cent of the world. For Reid, the first associations with the word travel are 'excitement', 'uniqueness' and 'growth'. “Growth in terms of a person,” he says, &ldquo...

De namen van de maanden

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: the names of the months

BVO’tje

In this series UCM-student Floortje Rawee (21) writes about her experiences as an exchange student in Kingston, Ontario, Canada at the Queen's University. This week she get's an insight in the Canadian police system.

Fifteen hundred protesters against Tihange

MAASTRICHT. Gert-Jan Krabbendam, member of the Provincial Council on behalf of the GroenLinks political party in Limburg estimates that some 1,500 people participated in the demonstration against the Belgian nuclear power station Tihange, held in Maastricht last Saturday afternoon. The march went from Plein 1992 to the Market, where the ‘Stop...

In search of order

In search of order

Who: Oscar van den Wijngaard, philosopher at UCM What: The Man Who Was Thursday, G.H. Chesterton Target group: UCM students

Pass the tissues

The story: Henry (Ewan McGregor) and Maria (Naomi Watts) go on holiday with their three children to a luxury resort in Khao Lak, Thailand. But what should have been a carefree stay in a tropical paradise turns into a nightmare when a tsunami separates Maria and her teenage son Lucas from the rest of the family, leaving nothing but despair and destr...

Moving out

Moving out

The rent is too high, the heaters don’t heat properly, the landlord never seems to do anything and worst of all, the housemates are frustrating to say the least—these are all good signs that you should probably move out. That is what I finally did after I realized I don’t want to be the only one cleaning anything and that I prefer...

“When I have graduated, I will go abroad”

“When I have graduated, I will go abroad”

Joep van Agteren (25), a Dutch master’s student of Psychology who has seen 6 per cent of the world Although Joep van Agteren has been a member of the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) for years now, he has no personal experience of being an exchange student. “It's a great pity, but I just didn’t have the time. I went from one boa...

Overly honest research methods

Lying about your research methods to get a journal article published? Not okay. Telling the whole truth? Probably not your best option either. Twitter geeks will have noticed last week the explosion of tweets under the hashtag #overlyhonestmethods. Here are some things you DON’T want in your manuscript: ‘Samples were incubated for exact...

Tutor may stay

MAASTRICHT. Dr Louis van den Hengel, the tutor for whom a group of students from University College Maastricht (UCM) and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASOS) started an online petition last Month, may stay at Maastricht University. He has been offered a tenure track position, as became clear last week. “I can’t tell you how h...

De openingstijden

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: opening hours

The little things

In this new series UCM-student Floortje Rawee (21) will write about her experiences as an exchange student in Kingston, Ontario, Canada at the Queen's University. This week she talks about all the little differences between Canada and the Netherlands.   

Two in three private security guards report being victims of violence

Some two-thirds of private security officials were subjected to physical or verbal violence last year, according to research by sector organisation Nederlandse Veiligheidsbranche. Shop security guards, street wardens and traffic regulators were the most likely to be hit, spat at or intimidated, the organisation said. One in four security workers ...

“Tihange is a big risk”

“Tihange is a big risk”

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht is worried about the antiquated Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium, just 36 kilometres from the Dutch border. Almost 10 thousand people signed the Stop Tihange online petition during the past few weeks. The latter is an initiative by the Limburg section of the GroenLinks political party. They have organised a demonstrat...
Strange Traditions

Strange Traditions

Sometimes I wonder what aliens would think of humans if they ever landed on earth. Most likely they would be very confused about strange things people do. Scratch that—I sometimes think of my own culture and wonder how weird it is. Especially when I explain to foreigners things like why we cook pork fat until it’s crunchy and then put i...

High-speed train Fyra still running late on Brussels service

Just half of the Fyra high-speed trains to Brussels and Breda are arriving on time, according to a users lobby group website which monitors the new service's arrival times. The high-speed service has been the only direct route from Amsterdam to Brussels for the past month, and complaints from passengers are mounting up, the Failra group says. ...

“Switzerland is picture perfect”

“Switzerland is picture perfect”

Michael Kaisers (27), from Germany, who just finished his PhD at the Department of Knowledge Engineering, has seen 11 percent of the world   If you need travel tips for New York, Michael Kaisers is your guy. He lived there for a few months while doing his master’s and returned during his PhD to live in New Jersey. “I was actually...

All worked up about relaxing

I spent New Year’s Eve surrounded by corporate and academic types with three degrees each and New Year resolutions like ‘I’ll make partner, take over a bank, publish a monograph, cycle the Alpe d'Huez and sponsor a dozen Burmese orphans’. This was not conducive to my own 2013 goal, which was, for the second year running ...

Students want tutor to stay

MAASTRICHT. “Let Louis van den Hengel stay at UM,” is the heading of a petition on the UCM Facebook page. Some fifteen students from University College and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASOS) started a petition last month when they heard that the temporary contract of the very popular tutor Louis van den Hengel will not be r...

SIFE becomes Enactus

SIFE, a non-profit student organisation that aims for a more sustainable world, has changed its name to Enactus. “SIFE Worldwide had some marketing research done and it turned out that people didn’t have the association with the name that we want them to”, says Max Florenz, marketing director of the department in Maastricht. &ldqu...

Resolutions

In this weekly column A dash of Dutch by the Language Centre you will learn more about the Dutch language and culture through video, audio and practicing yourself. This week: New Year's resolutions.