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Entries for November 2013

Bermuda triangle

Bermuda triangle

When my mother asked me, I stayed calm. When some other family members asked me, I stayed calm. When a very disciplined friend of mine asked me, I stayed calm. But when one of my least organised friends, who lives in a permanent chaos of life, told me recently she was having a little 'future-crisis' and was seriously looking for options wha...

Santa is coming to Tokyo

It feels a bit early to talk about Christmas, but like in most countries that are not familiar with the wonders of Sinterklaas, Christmas decoration and promotion starts early in Japan. Right after Halloween the Santa costumes were ready in the stores, and invitations for Christmas-themed parties are now trickling in slowly but steadily. All the wh...

Keep a clear vision of your goal

Keep a clear vision of your goal

Who: Astrid Offermans, researcher in the field of sustainability at ICIS Statue: Jacques Balmat and Horace-Bénédict de Saussure, in Chamonix Target group: students of Sustainability Science and Policy
Make it in the Netherlands

Make it in the Netherlands

NETHERLANDS. Dutch education minister Jet Bussemaker wants more foreign students to choose a career in the Netherlands after their graduation. Dutch language courses, contact with potential employers and more information about working in the Netherlands should win them over, writes the minister in her plan of action Make it in the Netherlands.
Tans Lecture by Anne Applebaum: Does Eastern Europe still exist?

Tans Lecture by Anne Applebaum: Does Eastern Europe still exist?

MAASTRICHT. When we think of the shared Soviet past of Eastern Europe, we tend to see it as a whole. But the fall of communism saw major changes in all countries involved. This is why Eastern Europe no longer exists, according to Anne Applebaum, who delivers this year’s Tans Lecture. “The old lines between who is more ‘East’...
Where is this?

Where is this?

Any idea where this picture was taken? It is somewhere within the UM, but we want the exact location. E-mail your answer before Wednesday, 3 December, to cleo.freriks@maastrichtuniversity.nl, referring to ‘Back page competition’ and enter the draw for a 20 euro cinema voucher. The picture will appear on our Facebook page www.facebook.co...

Running for a good cause

Running for a good cause

Run, walk or jog with us during the Zweit veur Leid (Sweat against Suffering) event on 4 January in Maastricht.

J-Pop & Karaoke

Before coming to Japan, I expected karaoke to be a substantial part of my life here.  However, though everyone seems to be doing it all the time, after two months I still hadn’t come around to it. What I did do in the meanwhile, though, was looking at large groups of 15-year old girls prancing around in miniskirts and bikini’s, bec...

How effective is the examination of witnesses?

How effective is the examination of witnesses?

MAASTRICHT. How effective and efficient are examinations of witnesses in court? This was the question to which law students Hannah Jans, Rianne Mertens, Frank Hoogers and Vera Poels tried to find an answer. They attended more than a hundred examinations. 
Where is this?

Where is this?

Any idea where this picture was taken? It is somewhere within the UM, but we want the exact location. E-mail your answer before Wednesday, 27 November, to cleo.freriks@maastrichtuniversity.nl, referring to ‘Back page competition’ and enter the draw for a 20 euro cinema voucher. The picture will appear on our Facebook page www.facebook.c...

Your iPhone or your left arm?

Your iPhone or your left arm?

Who: Tsjalling Swierstra, philosopher at Arts and Social Sciences Book: Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Target group: students of Arts and Social Sciences

Better students pay higher tuition fees

MAASTRICHT. From next academic year, Dutch universities and schools of higher vocational education may experiment with a higher tuition fees for ‘excellence programmes’. The maximum amount will be €3,812 (twice the official rate). The cabinet wants to find out if students are indeed willing to pay more for a better programme. The e...
Obstetrician present during labour? It’ll cost you extra

Obstetrician present during labour? It’ll cost you extra

MAASTRICHT. Informal (also known as under-the-table) payments in Central and Eastern Europe are higher and more frequent for maternity care than for any other type of medical care. This is one of the conclusions of a broader research project on out-of-pocket payments (both formal and informal) across Europe. Wim Groot, Tetiana Stepurko, Jelena...

Snack Pack

Snack Pack

Free candy coming your way at the library (: Some weeks ago the announcement “Call 0644519555” appeared in front of the Inner City library, hung up on a white bike. “I deliver snacks to university buildings in the inner city, usually by bike or on foot”, explains third-year UCM student Luis Oala, the founder of Snack Pack. ...

“This is university”

“This is university”

Traces of (fake) blood can still be found around our apartment after we threw a Halloween party.  From the corner of your eye, in the light of day, these forgotten stains can appear uncomfortably realistic.  I’ve caught myself wondering if someone’s injured themselves more than once.  Another consequence of not being the ...

The walk of shame

I have always sworn to never, ever be seen in Crocs, dead or alive. However, this week I was forced to break that promise, as I was the victim of a Japanese tradition. In many Japanese homes, you take of your shoes before you enter. Room slippers are everywhere, and it is not weird at all to walk around in them wherever people want to keep their f...

Law climbs from eighth to first place, UCM unrivalled leader

Law climbs from eighth to first place, UCM unrivalled leader

MAASTRICHT. University College Maastricht may call itself the best Liberal Arts studies in the Netherlands, based on the latest edition of the KeuzeGids Universiteiten 2014 (2014 University Guide), which was published today. The Maastricht experts in knowledge engineering, law, fiscal economics, international business administration and econometric...

National entry restrictions for Law dropped again

MAASTRICHT. The national entry restrictions, which was introduced for all bachelor’s programmes of law in the Netherlands this academic year, will be abolished again next year. The VSNU, the Association of Dutch Universities, took the decision this month. Faculties that want to continue applying a student quota may do so. The M...

A different outlook on the world

A different outlook on the world

Who: Lex Borghans, professor of Labour Economics and Social Policy at the School of Business and Economics Series of photographs: In almost every picture 7, Erik Kessels, on exhibit in the Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven until 17 November Target group: students of Economics

Video fragments help Law students to get better grades

MAASTRICHT. Last year the Faculty of Law introduced short video fragments as an additional educational tool. Now, it has been demonstrated that this helps to improve students’ insight into basic law matter. First-year students who watched all fragments also have significantly better grades than other students. 
A red, yellow and green Vrijthof

A red, yellow and green Vrijthof

MAASTRICHT. If you are walking through the city of Maastricht on this Monday morning, it’s not comparable to all the other Monday mornings you have experienced. It’s the 11th of November, the start of the Carnival season. All you see is people dressed like animals or people wearing neon-colored wigs. The smell of cigarettes and beer is ...

An all-men’s cheerleading team

Imagine a university with a high number of dance clubs. Jazz dance, International dance, traditional Japanese dance, cheerleading…  Now imagine how many guys would join these kinds of clubs in the Netherlands. Maybe 10 per cent? Surely not much more. At Waseda, I visited the yearly school festival. All of the university’s cl...

Alstublieft Already! Please!

Alstublieft Already! Please!

Dear Dutch Language: As a foreigner to this lovely, cobbled, chilly, dark, and damp country, I was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming kindheartedness of the people who speak you. In my first days, I remember an interesting and strange word of yours being thrown about on most every occasion: Alstublieft.  I wondered what word could hold ...

The student at the helm

The student at the helm

Who: Chahinda Ghossein, teacher in the Skills lab and researcher at obstetrics and gynaecology Poem: On Teaching, Khalil Gibran, from the series of essays called The Prophet Target group: all students
University College Venlo to start in 2014

University College Venlo to start in 2014

MAASTRICHT. The first students should start their studies at University College Venlo (UCV) in September 2014, provided the minister grants permission. It is a new programme at Maastricht University with an anticipated student influx of 150 to 200 per year. The official language will be English.
Finding a job in an economic crisis

Finding a job in an economic crisis

MAASTRICHT. Today’s job market is tough for university graduates. Around 10 percent of recent UM graduates are currently jobless, the UM’s Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) thinks. “I was searching online, reading adverts, writing motivation letters and CVs on an everyday basis.”

Number of enrolments for Summer School has almost tripled

MAASTRICHT. In 2012, only 89 participants enrolled, this year 251 people – divided over 52 nationalities – took part in the Maastricht Summer School.  It was the second time that the UM organised a Summer School. The participants appeared to be very satisfied with both the courses (giving average score of 8.1) and the lecturers (8...

A sense in the chaos

A sense in the chaos

Is there any place that offers Finnish lessons, or do you know of a Finnish student that might want to teach me Finnish? 
How to measure openness?

How to measure openness?

MAASTRICHT. How transparent are national and local governments really? That is what the students participating in the Marble project ‘Transparency’ wondered last year. Each of them focused on a subject from their own perspective. 
Bringing Piet out of the shadow

Bringing Piet out of the shadow

The Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas, observed on 5 December every year, is the Netherlands’ most eagerly awaited festival. Like Santa Claus in the US or Father Christmas in the UK, the tradition revolves around the joy of sharing and caring. While its popularity is easy enough to glean from the enormous fanfare surrounding it every year, its a...

Everyday drowning

Everyday drowning

Does the thought of finishing work at 6pm each day sound absurd? Or taking an entire Sunday off? It does to me, too. Like many of us, I am masterful when it comes to ensuring that I will be stressed out and snowed under. It’s much easier to plan things to do than to plan not to do things. Full-time PhD? Check. Freelance translation business...

Partying until the early… evening

Last Friday, my dancing club organised a Halloween party. Fully dressed up as a cat and having payed 2500 yen (20 euro) for a ‘nomikai’ (all you can drink for a limited time), I was ready to go. However, partying in Japan is quite different partying in the Netherlands. It already starts with the timing of events: because many students c...