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Entries for February 2018

Heart for language

Heart for language

In 1992, we moved to Spain. To Madrid, to be precise. I had taken a two-week crash course in Spanish at the Language Centre and felt reasonably equipped for a talk with the Spanish landlord and the grocer. They would appreciate my well-intended efforts in Spanish, help me when I stumbled or was lost for words. With hands (and even feet) we would ma...

New SBE dean: “I won't be a bull in a china shop”

New SBE dean: “I won't be a bull in a china shop”

MAASTRICHT. The 54-year-old Danish economist Peter Møllgaard is to become the new dean of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) on 1 April. For the past three years Møllgaard has been ‘research dean’ at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS).
SBE needs to find data scientists

SBE needs to find data scientists

Professor Jos Lemmink thinks that the School of Business and Economics should appoint fifteen data scientists in the next two years. It is high time to make way for smart technology in the curriculum. He will give a presentation to the Faculty Board next week.
A lounge for SBE lecturers

A lounge for SBE lecturers

The students have had one for quite some time. Then the lecturers from the School of Business and Economics thought: we want one too! Sometimes life is just that simple. By now the lecturers’ lounge - on the ground floor, near the restaurant - is a fact. Elegant sofas, stylish gold-coloured lamps and an enormous TV screen. Anyone who teaches,...

Genetic editing: The principles of evolution, redefined

Genetic editing: The principles of evolution, redefined

The principle of evolution is a theory that justifies the diversity seen in this world, from unicellular organisms to plants, animals, and even humans. Evolution explains questions like how come apes are our closest relatives? Why do giraffes have long necks? It is true that living things change over time and that is due to several factors includin...

The modern hunt

The modern hunt

As I had a few days off for carnival, I decided to take a trip to the Amazon Forest, which is only four hours by bus from the city of Quito. I arrived at the city of Tena, which is right at the border with the Amazon forest. On the second day there, together with a friend, we decided to take one of the boats that ride you further down the forest, t...

Student funding body to close digital access point for a month for upgrade

THE NETHERLANDS. Students will be unable to access details of their funding online for a month while the service provider upgrades its user portal.
“Getting high marks isn’t everything in life”

“Getting high marks isn’t everything in life”

Erik Kikas, second-year student of Psychology and Neuroscience from Estonia, is just 21, but he already has an impressive collection of tattoos. The second one he had done runs from his shoulder halfway down his right arm: an owl with a clock and the words ‘Enjoy every moment’. “When I was thirteen and fourteen I was so stresse...

MPs branded ‘traitors’ by Turkish newspaper after genocide vote

THE NETHERLANDS. Turkish newspaper Sabah has accused five members of the Dutch parliament of ‘betrayal’ after they voted to recognise the Armenian genocide of 1915.
FHS faculty to split, the question is how

FHS faculty to split, the question is how

MAASTRICHT. One thing is clear: The Faculty of Humanities and Sciences (FHS) is going to be split up. The science side will form a new Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), the sections that cannot be included, will go their own way.
Choose your f*cks wisely

Choose your f*cks wisely

Recently, I read a book: The subtle art of not giving a f*ck by Mark Manson. I strongly recommend it. Manson openly admits that there is no such thing as not giving a f*ck in life. However, in order to truly not give a f*ck about something, we need to give extreme f*ck for something else. And those “f*ck-worthy” things are those that...

UM Sports cafe reopens at the beginning of March

UM Sports cafe reopens at the beginning of March

MAASTRICHT. At the beginning of March, the sport's cafe in the UM Sports complex will reopen its doors. Rivazza, which is the new name, will be the first tramezzini shop (small Italian rolls) in Maastricht. For the time being, it will be open every day from 10:00 to 20:00 hrs.

Minister wants to discuss internationalisation with lecturers and students

NETHERLANDS. The newspapers are filled with opinions and analyses about foreign students and the use of English in higher education. But education minister Van Engelshoven is taking the time before she puts forward her vision. First of all, some working visits.
Customers hunting for a bargain are less friendly

Customers hunting for a bargain are less friendly

Customers are more likely to behave unseemly towards employees of low-budget companies than towards employees of reputable companies. This discovery was made by Alexander Henkel, researcher at the BISS institute in Heerlen.

Police ‘mole’ who leaked case files to underworld gets five-year jail term

THE NETHERLANDS. A police officer has been given a five-year jail sentence for leaking confidential information to contacts in the criminal underworld.
“My mom and I always fight, but when she’s not here, I miss her terribly.”

“My mom and I always fight, but when she’s not here, I miss her terribly.”

On the upper left arm of Elif Erkul (20), third-year Economics and Business Economics student from Turkey, is an image of a crescent moon with a pair of arrows pointing to two sets of coordinates: those of Maastricht and of Ankara. “When my mother and I are around one another, we always fight. But when she’s not here, I miss her terr...

Netherlands to hire at least 750 extra customs officers for Brexit

THE NETHERLANDS. The Dutch government is recruiting up to 900 extra customs officers to strengthen border controls after Brexit.
The dying language of the ancestors

The dying language of the ancestors

When a Spanish person wakes up with a hangover, he has la Resaca. But not Ecuadorians, they are Chuchaqui. This is only an example of the many words that make Ecuadorian slang so unique, differentiating it from the Spanish spoken in other Latin American countries. Ecuadorian Spanish is influenced by Quechua, a very old language, which used to be sp...

OPINION: Fashion feminism

OPINION: Fashion feminism

“The future is female” and “Girls run the world” are current statements printed on shirts which are striking my eyes while walking through an H&M store. Songs are shouting that girls are fighters and Hollywood embodies the principle of feminism at its best at the moment: Stars and artists are setting a symbol with the #m...
Missing

Missing

Maastricht University prides itself on its problem-based learning approach in education – a system which has been adopted by almost all Dutch universities and many others around the globe. The edge that Maastricht once had no longer exists. Therefore, the university must remedy the situation. Otherwise, the university might struggle to attrac...

Up to their eyeballs in teaching duties

Up to their eyeballs in teaching duties

MAASTRICHT. They are exhausted, feel under-valued and miss the support of colleagues. These are some of the complaints by UM lecturers who suffer under their workload. The problem appears to be more multifaceted and complicated than thought, as appears from the report by the Taskforce Educational Workload.
Annadal Campus or Randwyck

Annadal Campus or Randwyck

MAASTRICHT. On Tuesday evening, Maastricht University presented to the city council a second solution for the shortage of affordable student rooms: expansion of the Annadal Campus. In December, the university already argued in favour of 250 container units in Randwyck. Asked which option was preferable, Nick Bos, vice-president of the UM’s Ex...
Student associations dissatisfied with city accommodation policy

Student associations dissatisfied with city accommodation policy

MAASTRICHT. The present Maastricht city accommodation policy is useless. Students are too often depicted as a necessary evil. The three large Maastricht student associations Circumflex, Tragos and Koko have written a letter to the city council this week to express their discontent. In doing so, they are involving themselves in the discussion about ...
OPINION: Modern Frankenstein fears

OPINION: Modern Frankenstein fears

With the rapid pace of technological and scientific developments, it’s high time to have a thorough, wide-ranging discussion of their ethical consequences, says Katherine Bassil in this opinion article.
“A labour of love”

“A labour of love”

MAASTRICHT. A wonderful example of consensus decision-making in science. That is how professor Sally Wyatt describes the success of national research school WTMC (Wetenschap, Techniek & Moderne Cultuur (Science, Technology and Modern Culture)) of which, until recently, Maastricht ran the secretaryship. “The willingness of the ten Dutch un...
“It wouldn’t do for them to confuse me in court for the suspect”

“It wouldn’t do for them to confuse me in court for the suspect”

Legal psychologist and researcher dr. Henry Otgaar (34) has no shortage of tattoos, the most meaningful of which covers his entire chest. When he leaves his top two buttons open, it can be seen peeking out from his shirt: a tiger head with a kris – a traditional Indonesian dagger – and a pair of crossed machetes. “I’ve be...

Student loan group can access private info about student travel

THE NETHERLANDS. Student loan group Duo can ask for information about the movement of students suspected of committing fraud by pretending to live at home, the highest Dutch administrative court said on Monday.

Ollongren calls on Baudet to debate racism in parliament, not police station

THE NETHERLANDS. Interior minister Kajsa Ollongren has urged Thierry Baudet to air his grievances in a public debate after the Forum voor Democratie (FvD) leader filed a police complaint against her claim that he was failing to tackle racism in his party.
“I never knew there was a chance I was in for it”

“I never knew there was a chance I was in for it”

MAASTRICHT. His enthusiastic co-operation with researchers, the quality of his thesis, and his contribution towards better treatments for cancer patients, were three reasons why the Dissertation Prize 2017 went to Dr Mark Podesta, postdoc at MAASTRO clinic, last Friday. The faculty deans nominated a total of five theses, but Time dependen...
Supermarket Culture

Supermarket Culture

As a Master's student of Health Food Innovation Management, I love going to the grocery store. This love started when I was a kid. A trip to the supermarket often ended with my parents buying me a chocolate chip cookie. I grew up in the U.S. and remember those cookies were literally the size of my face. Cookie dimensions are just one example of...