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Entries for December 2014

The Ambivalence of Christmas

The Ambivalence of Christmas

The Christmas season is supposed to be magical, beautiful, filled with love and kindred. A quiet time of contemplation and reflection. But is it? In an increasingly secular world Christmas has changed. The quiet season has developed into a long-lasting rush hour. Everyone dives into the masses of Christmas markets, Christmas parties and extensive ...

Additional study spaces at Tapijn

Additional study spaces at Tapijn

MAASTRICHT. In Spring 2015, the University Library intends to launch an experimental learning environment for students in shed V at the Tapijn barracks. In due course, the shed is scheduled to be demolished, but for the coming three years the library wants to use it to create approximately 200 additional study spaces. 

Student club’s location still unknown

MAASTRICHT. There will be no definite answer before Christmas about the building that will house the international student club. This is contrary to what the director of Student Services, Astrid Boeijen, declared on Wednesday 12 November in a meeting of the University Council. UM’s preference is the Timmerfabriek; the alternative locations ar...

“An ordinary man, very down to earth, sympathetic and without any airs”

“An ordinary man, very down to earth, sympathetic and without any airs”

A large grey moustache, genial, commonsensical, a facile pen and the worldwide authority in the field of the History of Science. Professor Steven Shapin, 71 years old and a professor at Harvard, is the great example for Raf de Bont, assistant professor of the History of Science at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and since recently a member ...
‘Vice rector’ to drive educational innovations

‘Vice rector’ to drive educational innovations

MAASTRICHT. To speed up educational innovation, the Executive Board has appointed a 'vice rector of education' in the person of FHS dean Harm Hospers, also director of Edlab. "We have been talking about 'PGO 2.0' for five years, but we haven’t made enough progress."
RunPee

RunPee

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Collective labour agreement for universities: more wages, more permanent contracts

THE NETHERLANDS. The negotiators from the unions and universities have reached an agreement on the new collective labour agreement. Wages will rise by 3 per cent and there will be a one-off bonus of 350 euro gross in July 2016. The agreement is now being put to the union members and university administrators. If they accept the agreement, the new ...

Slapstick, light effects and 1960s clothing

Slapstick, light effects and 1960s clothing

MAASTRICHT. Brindsley Miller, a young artist, and his fiancée Carol Melkett want to impress a rich art collector who has come to look at Brindsley’s work. That is why they steal their neighbour’s expensive antique furniture. Things do not go according to plan. Carol’s father also decides to pay a visit; Brindsley and Carol get int...

Carbon monoxide poisoning in Guesthouse

MAASTRICHT. Two students – from Korea and Italy - became unwell in a Maastricht University Guesthouse on the Raccordement/Heugemerweg because of carbon monoxide poisoning. Still conscious, they were taken to the hospital. The two inhabitants have rooms on the ground floor of the apartment complex on the Raccordement in Heugem. This building ...

A Faded Virgin Mary

A Faded Virgin Mary

Winter in Northern Europe is something so familiar. The dreary rain, the short sunlight hours, hoping there will be snow to brighten the place up and then cursing the snow once it arrives. The run-up to Christmas entails the same degree of mania every year, unless you decide to avoid the whole thing entirely. Below the equator the sun burns and th...

Do you accept a beer when the glass in your hand is half full?

Do you accept a beer when the glass in your hand is half full?

MAASTRICHT. If you drink more than twenty glasses of alcoholic beverages a week, are you a problem drinker? The students in the Karl Dittrich hall at Student Services, where there was a discussion evening on drugs and alcohol last Tuesday, are of different minds. “That is about three glasses a day, that is not so much. Then you’re not a...

Kwaak Wekker

Kwaak Wekker

Kwaak Wekker Funny/sleeping/useful Free iOS
‘Dear Mr Badawi’

‘Dear Mr Badawi’

Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi’s name must have been written down many times yesterday. Like that of Elkin Musaev, a former Uzbekistani Ministry of Defence official, or United States army soldier Chelsea Manning. They are serving 10, 20 and 35 years in prison respectively. Amnesty International calls them prisoners of conscience, imprisone...

“She was warm-hearted, it was like visiting an aunt "

“She was warm-hearted, it was like visiting an aunt "

She is a Dutch celebrity: Major Alida Bosshardt (1913-2007), the figurehead of the Salvation Army. “She had a social conscience, never passing a judgement on others,” says senior lecturer and programme director for the Faculty of Law, Ria Wolleswinkel, who did a one-year traineeship at Bosshardt’s Goodwill Centre in Amsterdam&rsqu...

Thirty new jobs at SBE

Thirty new jobs at SBE

MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics (SBE) is about to recruit dozens of academics for a total of thirty FTEs. Staff numbers have not increased in proportion to the growing student population. More than that: SBE now has 61 fewer academic FTEs than in 2010, while the number of students has risen.

Mingle with the Maastricht´s bohemians and hipsters

I fell in love with the Take Five on my first visit. They played Bon Iver´s Holocene, a little detail that I have not forgotten since. An artist and song that I very much enjoy but whose melancholic and slow music I would have never expected to be played in a bar. The family owned lounge/bar has two entrances; I usually take the one on the s...

Daddy time

I’ll never forget what a friend of mine told me about the first day his son came to life. While looking down into the cot at this little and vulnerable creature, with a mix of immeasurable love, pride, surprise, and anxiety, one of the million things that went through his mind was: “I’m not qualified for this.” He made me la...

“He taught me to be critically minded”

“He taught me to be critically minded”

He wanted to become a psychoanalyst. That is why David Bernstein (1956) moved from his place of birth Los Angeles to New York at the beginning of the nineteen-eighties. “New York University offered one of the best psychoanalytically oriented programmes,” says Bernstein, professor of Forensic Psychotherapy at the Faculty of Psychology an...

Gift List Manager

Gift List Manager

Gift List Manager December/gifts/useful Free Android
Access to thousands of journals in danger of being blocked

Access to thousands of journals in danger of being blocked

MAASTRICHT. A sinister radio silence is all that is left, after negotiations between Dutch universities and Reed Elsevier publishers have failed. Licences are due to run out on 1 January and researchers will no longer be able to read the latest editions of many journals, including The Lancet.
Black Peter discussion: “We should take a critical look at our tradition”

Black Peter discussion: “We should take a critical look at our tradition”

MAASTRICHT. Is Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) a racist phenomenon or not? The discussion on this issue has become more heated during the past year. A discussion in which universities should involve themselves more, wrote five academics in a column in daily newspaper de Volkskrant last Monday. Most universities appear to have only marginally adapted thei...