Back to list All Articles Archives Search RSS Terug naar lijst Alle artikelen Archieven Zoek RSS

Entries for October 2016

Minister puts €87m in extra cash into eradicating inequality in education

THE NETHERLANDS. Education minister Jet Bussemaker has earmarked an extra €87m over three years to be spent on reducing inequality in education.
Are you proud to be an American?

Are you proud to be an American?

When I was about eight years old, I was convinced that I would be the first female president of the United States. In fact, whenever my grandmother called from California (on rare and exciting occasions in the days before Skype) I would invariable answer with: ‘The president speaking.’ When my ballot for the United States presidentia...

Press the button!

Press the button!

My UK visa journey started in Germany, and if history taught us anything, it is that you don’t want to be stuck between these two nations. Yes! History does have a point. I spotted the immigration office easily by a crowd of people in the middle of the sidewalk with their faces clinging the window, as if they are about to reach heaven. The...

Tans Lecture: “The misunderstandings and false claims drew me to the topic”

Tans Lecture: “The misunderstandings and false claims drew me to the topic”

‘Healing thoughts’, the idea that the mind influences the body – is it all just pseudoscience? Miracles we shouldn’t believe in? In her book Cure, British science journalist Jo Marchant provides a critical exploration of this new area. She interviewed scientists who are investigating or have found evidence that our thou...
Myth: We only use 10 per cent of our brain

Myth: We only use 10 per cent of our brain

Those among us who have a crappy ad blocker or has none at all on their computer sees them popping up now and again: ads for homeopathic substances that claim to help you use your brain capacity to the full. After all, we now only use 10 per cent of our brain. If you were to expand that, you would not only become smarter but you would also develop ...

UM councils in the dark

UM councils in the dark

MAASTRICHT. Sixty people from the various representative bodies recently came together for a day to discuss participation at the university. Their biggest complaint? That the information provision and communication within UM leaves a lot to be desired.

Maastricht student housing companies see no drop in rentals to first-year students

MAASTRICHT. Last academic year, a mere 16 per cent of all Maastricht first-year students went to live in digs straight away, according to a recent report by Kenniscentrum studentenhuisvesting (Kences, Knowledge Centre for Student Housing). Maastricht student housing companies have not noticed anything like that so far and have doubts about the...
Stressed? Take Ritalin

Stressed? Take Ritalin

Ritalin, Adderall, Modafinil. Are SBE students taking ‘study drugs’ more often? Research by honours students shows that one in seven students from SBE has on occasion taken a ‘cognitive enhancer’. But also that the stress and the competitiveness at the faculty promote their use. Board member Huub Meijers: "I know that s...

Controversial ‘tick’ food label to be replaced by an app

THE NETHERLANDS. The blue and green ticks on food labels are to be replaced by a smart phone app, allowing consumers to access personalised information about products they are thinking of buying, health minister Edith Schippers has told MPs.
“Our gift to you, sir: the Most Beautiful Students Calendar”

“Our gift to you, sir: the Most Beautiful Students Calendar”

“Oh, shit, we get scored on the food?” Loek Rekko hasn’t been following this Observant series. “Darn!” He apologises: he prepared the shoulder chops, but he didn’t buy it. “Also, it’s been in the oven for twenty minutes too long.” “My fault”, says Matthijs Hesselink. “I was lat...

Anti-gay leaflets spread around Amsterdam

THE NETHERLANDS. Police in Amsterdam say they have received over 20 complaints about an anti-gay leaflet which has been distributed door to door in western parts of the city.
See-Food Diet

See-Food Diet

“Back home, I barely use any oil at all, but here the food is so greasy!”, says one of my roommates. She remembers that when she first started going to UC Santa Cruz, adapting to the food in the dining halls was one of the hardest parts simply because of the sheer amount of heavy food. Even though the cooks make a stab at diversity, at ...

Don’t call them Spanish

Don’t call them Spanish

We know history has many purposes. It might offer us consolation, great movie plots, a sense of identity, lessons for the future, and, in many cases, tourism and jobs. Spain is one of those countries that counts with such a large amount of historical heritage that one might lose oversight - not necessarily a problem, in most cases, but an opportun...

Recorded crime drops by 25% in nine years; all types show a decline

THE NETHERLANDS. There has been a 25% drop in the number of recorded crimes over the past nine years, national statistics office CBS said on Monday.
On being an indy scholar

On being an indy scholar

Now and then people ask me, ‘Do you miss academia?’ The question always surprises me, because to my mind, I never left. I’m not affiliated with a university; not since I left Cambridge two years ago. But I never stopped doing and publishing research. I call myself an independent scholar. When I tell people this, they look at me...

Ministers back assisted suicide for people who feel their life has been completed

THE NETHERLANDS. People who feel their ‘life has been completed’ should get the legal right to die with the help of a specialist care worker, health minister Edith Schippers and justice minister Ard van de Steur have told MPs in a briefing.
Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

With all the blankets, pillows, clothes and shoes they’ve collected, at least one student room is already overflowing. In addition, they managed to raise some 2500 euros in two weeks. They can hardly believe it; so touched were they that they even cried. “We were so surprised by all the appreciation and loving emails and messages”...

Stealing student: “It was a joke”

MAASTRICHT. A certain ‘Na Cho’ put a photo on Facebook, in which he – we only see an arm and a hand, which appear to be male – is helping himself to tea bags and sugar while announcing that he is stealing the stuff, in the Randwijck library. Albron caterers say that they have no idea how great the company’s losses are ...
OPINION: “I can´t vote for someone I don´t believe in”

OPINION: “I can´t vote for someone I don´t believe in”

Why are many young Americans so disappointed in the presidential elections that they even consider not voting at all? Cydney Contreras (19) from southern California, who is an exchange student in political science at UCM, explains her considerations.
Myth: Dieting makes you fat

Myth: Dieting makes you fat

Who believes in the myth that dieting makes you fat? Nobody, isn't it?  “There are frequent statements in international media that dieting encourages overeating and therefore makes you fatter. But that is an error of reasoning,” says Anita Jansen, professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology and dean of the Faculty of Psycholo...

“Let’s shoot less, but hit the target more”

MAASTRICHT. A third bachelor’s degree by 2019, 2100 students in 2021, more time for research, a reduction in work pressure and more opportunities for career development, not only by means of promotion to more full and associate professorships, but potentially also through the introduction of teaching careers. These are some of the plans set d...

Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

MAASTRICHT. With all the blankets, pillows, clothes and shoes they’ve collected, at least one student room is already overflowing. In addition, they managed to raise some 2500 euros in two weeks. They can hardly believe it; so touched were they that they even cried. “We were so surprised by all the appreciation and loving emails and mes...

Finance ministry takes back control of the tax office

THE NETHERLANDS. Junior finance minister Eric Wiebes has placed the tax office under direct ministerial control and plans to replace the organisation’s board with a senior civil servant reporting directly to him.
“We practically drink in your backyard!”

“We practically drink in your backyard!”

“Ooooh how sweet!” He has barely been inside for five minutes and Martin Paul has already charmed the girls from MAX (pronounced mex), presenting them with four cups and saucers with the Maastricht skyline. “My daughter moved to Berlin for her studies. When I found out she was drinking out of an empty Nutella jar, I had to go to I...

Amsterdam professor is most influential Dutch woman in latest Opzij ranking

THE NETHERLANDS. Jose van Dijck, an Amsterdam University professor and head of the Dutch scientific academy KNAW, has been chosen as most influential woman of 2016 by feminist magazine Opzij.
I want to ride my bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle

“Does anyone recognize these markings?” The bicycling instructor indicates a symbol that is a simple line drawing of a bike with two pointy brackets pointing upwards above it. It’s Friday night, and fifteen students are attending the Bicycle Safety Class that is mandatory for participants in the Bike Library, a program to encourag...

Commuters hit by changes to off-peak travel rules

THE NETHERLANDS. Rail users have been hit by changes to the rules for using the NS off-peak discount card that prevent them splitting their journey between full-price and discounted travel.
An awkward silence - or not

An awkward silence - or not

More than a year after the attack on Paris, months after that in Brussels and not long after the so-called Islamic State attack on Nice, my family arrived in Europe. Tension is on the rise. Politics is shifting to the right and the conservatives are gaining in popularity in most countries. Everyone is scared and afraid as uncertainty unfolds. I ...

Nobel chemistry prize sparks delight from mini-motor maker

Nobel chemistry prize sparks delight from mini-motor maker

THE NETHERLANDS. Sparks of delight flew as Dutch scientist Ben Feringa jointly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for his work in creating miniscule motors.
Maastricht code of conduct for hazing seems to work

Maastricht code of conduct for hazing seems to work

MAASTRICHT. The practice of hazing new students is again under fire following incidents in Groningen and Amsterdam. But so far all is quiet on the home front: the Maastricht student associations claim to be following the Introduction Period Code of Conduct to the letter. Rector Rianne Letschert is monitoring the situation: “If something goes ...
Psychology in the lead, Medicine at the bottom again

Psychology in the lead, Medicine at the bottom again

MAASTRICHT. In the latest Elsevier ranking, the best and the worst bachelor’s programmes in Maastricht are exactly the same as last year: University College and Psychology come out as best in the country and Medicine as one of the worst, just like Biomedical Sciences. The best UM master’s in the country are: Psychology, M...
“You need someone to bake a cake? I can!”

“You need someone to bake a cake? I can!”

What’s it like to be a home chef, to share your dishes with fellow Maastricht residents? Observant visited a Russian and an Indian student who present their creations on the online platform HomeHandi.
Films to enrich the curriculum

Films to enrich the curriculum

The “1970s living room” on the Bogaardenstraat was recently traded in for a hundred-year-old boilerhouse with style. But the new Lumière is not about to start showing James Bond films. Definitely not. What the cinema would like to do is cooperate in a more structural way with Maastricht University: “UM will have free use of Screen...
“What if your potential fraternity member doesn’t drink?” That would be difficult

“What if your potential fraternity member doesn’t drink?” That would be difficult

According to a note by the door, the doorbell to the Boschstraat 58c is broken. At the bottom of the note the occupant of 58b has written her phone number. It’s a considerate gesture. Before she picks up, however, three students with grocery bags cross the road to the flat. Yes, they are tonight’s chefs, they reply cheerfully, as Ischa ...

New smoking policy at FASoS

MAASTRICHT. Smoking is set to be banned at the entrance to the Turnzaal, on the terrace behind Bandito and around the entrance to the Grote Gracht 76. Smokers will have to go to the area near the fire escape stairs of Grote Gracht 76, where a new covered smoking zone is to be created. These are some facets of the new smoking policy that will come i...

From South to North: Granada - Madrid

From South to North: Granada - Madrid

“We are uncultured people”, concludes Manu, with a face that is darker than last week’s Andalusian rain storm. While I’m working my way around eating my green beans with garlic - being a vegetarian here is a challenge sometimes, especially on the deserted highway that leads from the nothingness of central Spain to the greatn...

Criminal investigation into Vindicat initiation rite

THE NETHERLANDS. A criminal investigation has begun into an initiation rite at Groningen student university society Vindicat that left a young man in hospital with a severe head injury, reports the Volkskrant.

Three Amsterdam students hospitalised after initiation rituals

THE NETHERLANDS. Three first year students in Amsterdam were hospitalised last month after taking part in initiation rituals to join a student society, broadcaster NOS reports.
Would you like a violin with that privilege?

Would you like a violin with that privilege?

I have a violin! After regretting not bringing my violin from Maastricht I enquired in the music department about renting one. Rent? They were having none of that. After my audition on a friend’s violin I was whisked into a locked room full of instruments on hold for just such an occasion and presented with my (temporarily) very own violin fr...

Police chief: ethnic profiling in stop-checks ‘undermines trust’

THE NETHERLANDS. More than half of people stopped during police roadside checks have an ethnic minority background, a new study has found.