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

Entries for March 2016

Holy smoke, what a week!

Holy smoke, what a week!

Call me naive (you wouldn’t be the first one to do so), but I had no idea that Semana Santa (the Holy Week) is such a big deal here in Andalucía. It all began one cold night at the end of February, when I thought I was dreaming a very loud dream: one in which a bunch of men were shouting at each other whilst trying to lift a very heavy tomb-l...

Bringing abstract matter to life

Bringing abstract matter to life

Analytical chemistry is not for everybody. It is a dry subject, but Anne Bruinen, Ph.D. candidate at the M4I institute, has been inspired for life by a fanatical trainee researcher in Leiden.
Untappd

Untappd

Untappd – Discover Beer Friends/night out/fun Free iOS, Android

Soete: “Have papers corrected in India”

MAASTRICHT. Have student exams, specifically papers, corrected in India from now on. That would release the pressure on our already overburdened lecturers. Rector Luc Soete made this suggestion last week. It is already being done in the US, and he feels that the results are promising.
“After the explosion, there were screams everywhere”

“After the explosion, there were screams everywhere”

German master student Ediz Rehberg, doing a Master’s degree in European Public Affairs at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, was in Brussels last Tuesday. He slipped into the metro at 9:01 just before the doors closed. At Maelbeek station, he witnessed the explosion of the carriage in front of him, about 20-25 meters distance. In a...
Sushi Centre: The devil is in the details

Sushi Centre: The devil is in the details

It’s all about details. Sushi is like the Pointillism of food – the effect achieved by making fine movements and closely following painstaking, precise steps. Running a sushi restaurant is a tricky business; the food is so simple that the difference could be measured in tiny percentage points. But what matters most are the ingredients. ...

Incentivise This!

Incentivise This!

Critical thinking made a big splash in 2015.  Originally an obscure idea from the liberal arts, it is spreading like marmalade through all the major faculties of Maastricht.  Political science students are now encouraged to think critically about the law curriculum; economics students are told they must be very critical about Marxism and ...

Possible delay for extended BSA at Psychology

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty Council at Psychology and Neuroscience does not support the extended Binding Study Advice (BSA) as currently proposed by the Faculty Board.
“Was that easy?” “A bit”

“Was that easy?” “A bit”

“It’s irregular.” It’s Tuesday afternoon at the Maastricht University Language Centre, and the students sound resigned. They may have only just started this Dutch course, but they already know all too well that Dutch grammar is teeming with exceptions. A few weeks ago seven Syrian refugees joined the course; five in one grou...
Four female deans at UM

Four female deans at UM

MAASTRICHT. Female deans will be in the majority at Maastricht University as of 1 June 2016, when Professor Anita Jansen starts her term as the new dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. She succeeds Bernadette Jansma, who will take the reins at the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences. This brings the total number of female deans at UM ...
UPDATE Attacks in Brussels, UM Campus closed

UPDATE Attacks in Brussels, UM Campus closed

MAASTRICHT/BRUSSELS. Maastricht University’s campus in Brussel has been closed for the time being because of the attacks at Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek metro station, Tuesday 22 March. School children from the Montessori Lyceum in Zeist, who were to visit the premises tuesday, turned back while they were on their way, says Vivianne Hei...

Security stepped up across the Netherlands following Brussels explosions

THE NETHERLANDS. Security has been stepped up at Dutch airports following the bomb blasts in Brussels on Tuesday which killed several people, Dutch counter-terrorism chief Dick Schoof has said.

17 millionth Dutch resident likely to be a migrant

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands welcomed its 17 millionth inhabitant on Monday and for the first time the new arrival is more likely to be an immigrant than a baby, according to the government statistics service CBS.
Turn it around

Turn it around

Patricia (23): “My mother doesn’t show much interest in me. Instead of just talking about herself, she should pay more attention to me. How could I achieve this?” Ingrid: I once read somewhere that there are only two problems. Either there is something that you don’t want, or you want something that isn’t there. Of ...

"No one of deans, who know each other so well that chances of new ideas are slim"

"No one of deans, who know each other so well that chances of new ideas are slim"

Rector magnificus Luc Soete is leaving. On 1 September his successor will take over. Who should that be? And what should he/she do especially? Observant will ask students and staff this question in the coming weeks.
“He opened up a whole field”

“He opened up a whole field”

“If I have looked further than others, it is only because I have been carried by those who were great.” Dixit Isaac Newton. The giant in the field of Ph.D. candidate Mireille Sthijns is Arne Holmgren, the Swedish professor of Biochemistry who always brings his dachshund to work
Ginger’s fresh and tasty food will boost your energy

Ginger’s fresh and tasty food will boost your energy

Not just serving tasty food, but also raising customers’ energy levels by using fresh and healthy ingredients: this is the mission statement of a tiny restaurant in the heart of Maastricht, between the law and business faculties. Ginger also has a story: a young, enthusiastic Chinese woman teamed up with her brother to share her culinary secr...

“Down with the lecturer as process supervisor”

“Down with the lecturer as process supervisor”

MAASTRICHT. The university is not always working on urgent social issues, there is not enough mutual co-operation, and passion among students and staff is less than in the past. These were the first ideas from the ‘education think tank’ to reach the outside world on Monday.
The million dollar question: how to overcome the hatred?

The million dollar question: how to overcome the hatred?

MAASTRICHT. “Think of Europe 70 years ago,” says Haim Divon, Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands, in his introductory talk. “Who believed then that France, Germany and England would now live so peacefully together? In other words, anything is possible. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solvable too, in my opinion. Other...
UNU Jargon Buster

UNU Jargon Buster

UNU Jargon Buster UN/knowledge/useful Free iOS, Android
It’s been a hard day’s night

It’s been a hard day’s night

MAASTRICHT. “A social life?!?” Snorting, laughter and amazement follow the suggestion that students have plenty of leisure time. There might not be too many contact hours, but the workload at Maastricht University is much higher than at other universities, claim exchange students and other internationals. “Excellent”, says E...
No-bro zone

No-bro zone

It’s late in the afternoon and I step into the gym. The sound of weights clang and cardio-machines hum in the background. I’ve only been here a month but already I am familiar with much of the exercise equipment present. This is unusual for me. Usually I’ll only stick to the three I know: leg-press, tricep extension and leg extens...

The battle of the sexes

The battle of the sexes

You thought UCM was alternative or ‘hippie’? Me too. After a couple of weeks at a Spanish university, however, I have come to realize that everything is a question of perspective (very postmodern, you say? Yes, I know, thank you). Sometimes, I’ve noticed, non-UCM students in Maastricht associate our faculty with naïve idealism, ge...

Uber paid €450,000 in Dutch fines last year

Uber paid €450,000 in Dutch fines last year

THE NETHERLANDS. Online taxi platform Uber paid a total of €450,000 in fines last year for breaking taxi regulations with its Uberpop service.
What you see is who you are

What you see is who you are

Stan (22): “People who put themselves in the spotlights irritate me immensely. Those who do most of the talking in the tutorial group meeting and who are also chairperson of an association. What should I do with my irritation?” Ingrid: “A person is a person because of other people,” declared archbishop Desmond Tutu. It&rs...

‘No’ vote makes gains ahead of Dutch Ukraine referendum

THE NETHERLANDS. Some 57% of the Dutch who are planning to vote on next month’s referendum on the EU’s treaty with Ukraine will vote ‘no’, according to a poll of 2,500 people for the Volkskrant.

Collecting Support for Amnesty International

MAASTRICHT. 1.59 million euros. That is what Amnesty International Netherlands gathered during Collection Week in 2015. This year, Collection Week will be held from Sunday the 13th until Saturday the 19th of March. The student group of Amnesty International Maastricht has set up a variety of channels that will enable students as well as the...

Faculty Fight on 12 May

Faculty Fight on 12 May

MAASTRICHT. Five years ago, the team from the School of Business and Economics won the first Maastricht Faculty Fight, a huge sports’ competition between the various faculties that is organised every fifth anniversary year of the UM. Last week a delegation of athletes from six faculties and representatives from the organisers - UM Sports - we...

Polish your image by buying art

Polish your image by buying art

MAASTRICHT. Where does all the money that is being pumped into the art market actually come from? “There is too little discussion about this question. It is about a lot of money, sometimes with dubious origins.” Olav Velthuis, associate professor at the University of Amsterdam and specialized in Economic and Cultural Sociology, delivers...
Not afraid of a critical rethinking of her own theories

Not afraid of a critical rethinking of her own theories

MAASTRICHT. “I’m an undisciplined TEFAF visitor and will simply enjoy a luxurious wander through the extraordinary variety of objects on view”, says Pip Laurenson. “But I’ll be sure to see the Joseph Beuys show Show Your Wound being curated by Mark Kremer as part of this year’s fair.” Laurenson (1965) is pr...
“The New University wasn’t overly relevant down here”

“The New University wasn’t overly relevant down here”

MAASTRICHT. During his last meeting as chair of the University Council, in late February, he was given a framed print of Maastricht’s St Servatius Bridge. “Herman builds bridges”, explained the university president Martin Paul, who presented the gift. This is indeed how Professor Herman Kingma (65) has approached the role over the...
“I preach for more investment in art facilities”

“I preach for more investment in art facilities”

MAASTRICHT. She is the first professor of Arts and Finance in the world. “The culture of finance is in need of change, and art can help to make it fairer, freer and more ethical”, says Prof. Rachel Pownall. In addition to her chair at UM, she is also a professor at Tilburg University and collaborates with the Van Gogh Museum and other i...
“Sure as hell not scared”

“Sure as hell not scared”

She is from the north of England, “from a lower social class, which is still easy to hear in her accent”. Jane Humphries (1948), professor of Economic History at All Souls College in Oxford, does not disguise her roots; on the contrary, she likes to joke about it. “She is small in stature, inventive in her academic work, super int...
With your nose pressed against the glass

With your nose pressed against the glass

MAASTRICHT. He gained worldwide fame with a rubber duck. A gigantic inflatable whopper, called Rubber Duck, has splashed around in Amsterdam, Sydney, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and at the end of last year off the coast of Long Island near New York. Its creator is Florentijn Hofman, whose artwork ‘Scans’ was revealed on the facade of the Scann...

“Hildegard Schneider is good, but I don’t want to lose her as dean”

“Hildegard Schneider is good, but I don’t want to lose her as dean”

Rector magnificus Luc Soete is leaving. On 1 September his successor will take over. Who should that be? And what should he/she do especially? Observant will ask students and staff this question in the coming weeks.
Forty per cent of economic experiments cannot be replicated

Forty per cent of economic experiments cannot be replicated

MAASTRICHT. Last year, it was the psychologists who took a beating, now it seems that it is the experimental economists’ turn: a study by the journal Science shows that 40 per cent of the experiments have different results when repeated. According to UM professor Arno Riedl, it is not as clear-cut as that.
An American in Maastricht wins $100,000

An American in Maastricht wins $100,000

MAASTRICHT. Just twenty years old and already famous – on the American quiz show Jeopardy! College Championship, Sam Deutsch took home the prize of $100,000. A junior at the University of Southern California, Deutsch is now spending a semester in Maastricht.
The cow died twice: once in the slaughterhouse, once in the kitchen

The cow died twice: once in the slaughterhouse, once in the kitchen

On the one hand, cooking a steak is tricky because you can’t see the inside when you serve it. It takes time, experience and knowledge. On the other hand, preparing French fries is easy: use the right potatoes, run them through the hot oil until they turn golden and taste a couple for good measure. What a pity that Grand Café De Perroen faile...

Cabinet ‘failing to close gap’ between full-time and flexible workers

THE NETHERLANDS. Nearly three-quarters of people on temporary contracts would prefer a full-time job, but barely a quarter of self-employed workers feel the same, according to a survey by Maurice de Hond reported in the Telegraaf.

€12m allocated to researching gender differences in healthcare

THE NETHERLANDS. The health ministry has allocated €12m to a study into how men and women with the same illness display different symptoms and respond differently to treatment.
Comparative quality study

Comparative quality study

Sandy (21): “When I look around the pub, I see people who are better looking than I am. My physical fitness is less than the other rowers in my club and my fellow students have a way with words that I don’t have. I always come off worst.” Ingrid: A mindful summer weekend. A colleague and friend of mine and I make course partici...

Cats and dogs

Cats and dogs

It’s been raining non-stop for the past two weeks in Granada, Southern Spain, and I decide to take refuge in one of the many breakfast-bars the locals start their days in. Savoring my small Spanish breakfast (a toast and an espresso), I detect a strange odor. There’s no way around it: someone stepped into a pile of dog shit. Reflecting ...

Mutuals

Mutuals

Mutuals Game/nostalgia/friends Free iOS
“Combine faculty introduction with INKOM”

“Combine faculty introduction with INKOM”

The number of people taking part in INKOM is decreasing. First-year students prefer the faculty introduction. The solution is simple, says Bob Meijer, chairman of student rowing association Saurus, combine the two introductions in one week.
“The brain is like an orchestra”

“The brain is like an orchestra”

It’s a world first: the combination of three different techniques for brain research. Alexander Sack, professor of Functional Brain Stimulation and Neurocognitive Psychology, aims to develop new brain stimulation methods to treat people with attention and memory problems following a stroke. Two weeks ago he was awarded a Vici grant for this r...
Belgian terrorism

Belgian terrorism

I live across the border, 6 km into Belgian territory. Careful though! Not just ANY part of Belgian territory. French-Speaking Belgium, Walloon country… The village I live in houses so many Dutch people it hardly qualifies as Walloon country any more. In most neighbourhoods of Eben-Emael, just outside Kanne, order and neat front yards rul...

Fire in student house; police investigate possible arson

Fire in student house; police investigate possible arson

MAASTRICHT. There was a fire in a student house in the Brusselsepoort area during the night of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 February. The police found evidence of arson and have started an investigation. The building has been declared uninhabitable. “Nobody was harmed. I am so glad that I wasn’t there.”

No turnstiles in city centre university library

MAASTRICHT. There will be no access restrictions at the university library in the city centre. Although formally this library does not have a public function, the Executive Board and the deans wants to keep the building open for outsiders. They also reckon that the number of non-UM library users is manageable. Students think differently about this....

Shaken, not stirred

Shaken, not stirred

Shaken, not stirred; the classic recipe for style and good taste. The challenge for most cocktail bars is to recreate the classy atmosphere of a James Bond movie. This week I investigate whether Beez succeeds. Leaving behind the bright lights and gleaming white cobblestones of the tiny street next to the Bijenkorf, I find myself in the newly refur...

UM in second place in Keuzegids Masters

UM in second place in Keuzegids Masters

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht has had to relinquish its leading position as best ‘broad master’s university in the Netherlands’ to Tilburg, according to the Keuzegids Masters 2016. The UM is now in second place. At the same time, one Maastricht study is in the national top 22 of best master’s studies: Management of Learning.
New UCM dean is Maastricht native

New UCM dean is Maastricht native

MAASTRICHT. He studied political science, holds a PhD in history, worked as a researcher at Oxford and Harvard, is now associate professor of European Integration in Utrecht and a member of the national Scientific Council for Government Policy, writes columns for Het Financieele Dagblad and hosts a weekly Europe-themed spot on Radio-EenVandaag &nda...
The beer was horrible, but the place is perfect”

The beer was horrible, but the place is perfect”

Favourite spot of: Massimo Beckers, third-year Arts and Culture student. “My favourite spot in Maastricht is a square between two churches. I believe it’s called the Henric van Veldekeplein, named after, well, Henric van Veldeke. “I have been living in Maastricht for a while, but I discovered –so to say- that plein onl...

Eight Dutch jihadis executed after dispute with IS: report

THE NETHERLANDS. A Syrian activist group is reporting that eight Dutch jihadis have been executed after 60 were taken prisoner following a dispute with IS forces in the city of Raqqa.
"A monster of a book, almost incomprehensible"

"A monster of a book, almost incomprehensible"

“It was 2002, I was twenty years old and studying Health Sciences, Policy and Care Management. I had a tremendous hunger for other knowledge, read a lot of anti-globalist literature. Someone, I believe it was lecturer Jan van der Made, recommended Theorie des kommunikativen Handelns (Theory of Communicative Action) by Jürgen Habermas (born in...