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“It’s not like either everyone in Germany was a Nazi or everyone in the Netherlands was part of the resistance”

“It’s not like either everyone in Germany was a Nazi or everyone in the Netherlands was part of the resistance”

 “I was quite anxious, going to a commemoration of Second World War victims as a German.” On 1 May 2011, Professor Martin Paul became president of UM. Three days later, on 4 May, he lay down a wreath on behalf of the university during the Remembrance of the Dead ceremony in Maastricht. He immediately felt welcome and was “tak...
“This place is like my second living room. I’m here almost every day”

“This place is like my second living room. I’m here almost every day”

Hidde Bobbink/ 21/ third-year student of International Business/ works on average 10 hours per week/ earning 9 euros per hour
Digital exams in MECC from June

Digital exams in MECC from June

MAASTRICHT. The first digital exams are planned in the MECC for June, for up to eight hundred students at a time. The first day of testing this week with 864 Chromebooks, exam software and Wi-Fi installation went well.
UM starts fundraiser for university in Mozambique

UM starts fundraiser for university in Mozambique

MAASTRICHT. Three faculty buildings were completely destroyed, as were the small hospital and training clinic that belonged to it. Cyclone Idai, which made landfall in the city of Beira, Mozambique on Thursday 14 March, destroyed a large part of Universidade Católica de Moçambique (UCM). Maastricht University has close links with UCM and has starte...
Laudatory report from NVAO on UM's quality of education

Laudatory report from NVAO on UM's quality of education

MAASTRICHT. Good, good and good again. This was the oral judgment of the NVAO committee that visited Maastricht at the end of October to audit the education (InstellingsToetsKwaliteitszorg, ITK), quality agreements and internationalisation at Maastricht University. The report that was officially handed over to the Executive Board last week, is no d...
We don't want to be an exclusive club, but be open to everyone in Europe”

We don't want to be an exclusive club, but be open to everyone in Europe”

MAASTRICHT. Open, not elitist but inclusive, concerned with society, innovative, focussed on the future, with and for students, and - last but not least – working together towards a better Europe. These are a handful of the ‘core values’ of the YUFE alliance (Young Universities for the Future of Europe); a European University...
University Council: chairman Van Tilburg had to resign

University Council: chairman Van Tilburg had to resign

MAASTRICHT. Chairman of the University Council, Jonathan van Tilburg, has stepped down as of 1 March. The University Council had asked him the day before “to reconsider his position”. The reason for his departure is unclear.
“Does anyone have an injury? Is anyone pregnant?”

“Does anyone have an injury? Is anyone pregnant?”

Hannah Lou Kings/ second-year student of Arts and Culture/ teaches 1 weekly one-hour BodyBalance class at fitness centre MAC Maastricht/ earning 13.50 gross per hour
“I’ve lost my room key”

“I’ve lost my room key”

Mark van Slobbe/ 21 /second-year student of Dutch Law / works on average 10 hours per week/ earns 10,85 gross per hour
Majority of staff is satisfied; assistant professors experience most work pressure

Majority of staff is satisfied; assistant professors experience most work pressure

MAASTRICHT. Most employees of Maastricht University are satisfied about their work and feel they have the qualities required to perform in their jobs properly. This is one of the outcomes of the Sustainable Availability Monitor that more than 2,800 employees completed last autumn.

Green light for FPN's quality agreements

MAASTRICHT. The University Council endorsed the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences' quality agreements last week. All faculties have now been given the go-ahead.
Head of UM Sports leaves after eight months

Head of UM Sports leaves after eight months

MAASTRICHT. The head of UM Sports, Nico Freriks, has handed in his notice as of 1 February. He had the position since mid-June 2018. A difference of opinion concerning the “expectations, vision and future” of UM Sports was supposedly the underlying reason, says Pascal Breuls, director of Student Services Centre and Freriks' imm...
‘Don’t take academic freedom for granted’

‘Don’t take academic freedom for granted’

MAASTRICHT. Whether it was about the approaching Brexit, climate change, the school children demonstrating in Brussels, or the attack on the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest: never has Maastricht University's founding day celebration - the theme this time being Global Challenges - been so full of political statements.
“I can’t remember one pro-EU story in the media”

“I can’t remember one pro-EU story in the media”

MAASTRICHT. The impending Brexit, whether it’ll be a hard or a soft Brexit, will come with a lot of uncertainty and misery. This was one of the conclusions drawn during Bridges over Brexit, the morning programme of the Dies Natalis celebration held in the Feestzaal (Bouillonstraat) last Friday. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom...
York President: “It prevents us from darkness”

York President: “It prevents us from darkness”

MAASTRICHT. The uncertainty surrounding Brexit is increasing, which is precisely the reason why Maastricht University has started a close collaboration with the University of York. The two universities will jointly invest more than three million euros in research and postgraduate education over the next three years. This ‘Maastricht Treaty&rs...
UM professors examine ‘parking policy'

UM professors examine ‘parking policy'

MAASTRICHT. After the University Council had returned the mobility plan - commonly referred to as ‘parking policy’ - back to the drawing board last autumn, a large opinion poll will now be held within Maastricht University: what do people think when it comes to cycling, public transport, cars, parking spaces, or a cycling bonus? Three b...
“This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s just the truth”

“This isn’t a sales pitch, it’s just the truth”

Quinten Eitjes/ 20/ second-year student of Arts and Culture/ works sixteen hours per week/ earning 10.50 euros net per hour

University Council gives go-ahead for quality agreements, except for Psychology

MAASTRICHT. The University Council did not approve the quality agreements for the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences in its last meeting before Christmas. The controversial issue was the fact that Psychology would not actually spend all their funds for education on education. All other faculties were given the go-ahead, even if it was a strugg...

UM budget: more students, more buildings, fewer reserves

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University is going to spend 2.2 million more next year than it receives. This has to do with previously planned investments in faculties and sustainability measures at Tapijn. Money has already been set-aside for this (designated reserves).

University Council is critical, quality agreements not a formality

MAASTRICHT. The quality agreements, which were on the University Council's agenda yesterday afternoon after Observant had gone to press, are not likely to be approved without a struggle. This was apparent last week during the joint meeting of two University Council committees.
Faculty Councils and University Council: more often ‘conversationalist council’ than a monitoring body

Faculty Councils and University Council: more often ‘conversationalist council’ than a monitoring body

MAASTRICHT. More and more items on the University Council’s and Faculty Councils’ agendas are confidential. Usually at the request of the board that wants to brainstorm about new plans in seclusion for fear of rumours and unrest. Occasionally, a council closes the doors because there is no pressure from the people they represent (&...
“Everyone thinks Maastricht is far away, even farther away than Germany”

“Everyone thinks Maastricht is far away, even farther away than Germany”

Gwynne Janssen/ 19/ second-year bachelor’s student at University College Maastricht/ works a varying number of hours per month/ earning about 9.50 euros net per hour
Keuzegids 2019: University Colleges score much better than other UM bachelor’s

Keuzegids 2019: University Colleges score much better than other UM bachelor’s

MAASTRICHT. Just like last year, the three young, broad bachelor's programmes at Maastricht - University College Maastricht, University College Venlo and the Science Program - are a cut above the rest of the UM bachelor's. Their resounding results, all eight plus, cast a shadow on the fives, sixes and the odd seven of the rest.
‘Parking policy’ postponed, further investigation among staff and students required

‘Parking policy’ postponed, further investigation among staff and students required

MAASTRICHT. The introduction of the UM’s new mobility policy, also referred to as ‘parking policy’, has been postponed. The University Council and the local consultative body have advised the Executive Board to first consult a larger group of employees and students. “We want a solid plan that creates more support among those...
Good, good, and good again

Good, good, and good again

MAASTRICHT. “Do you know what the committee said: ‘If we were eighteen now, we would all want to study at Maastricht University’.” Rector Rianne Letschert repeats with a broad grin the words of the chairman of the NVAO committee that investigated the education, quality agreements and internationalisation at the UM last week....
Form is no longer sacred, but the philosophy behind PBL is

Form is no longer sacred, but the philosophy behind PBL is

MAASTRICHT. The Problem-based Learning system of the future is flexible, adapted to individual study programmes, and with room for lecturers' personal interpretation. The inescapable seven-step approach is no longer sacred, but there is a framework within which everyone at Maastricht University must work.

German students are finding their way to UM again

MAASTRICHT. The number of first-years who started a bachelors' or master's in Maastricht after the summer has risen by 3.8 per cent to a total of 7,396. In addition, another 103 pre-master's (bridging programme students) also started their studies, increasing the total number of newcomers by 5.3 per cent. This is the outcome of the...

PBL 2.0 is on its way: flexible, creative and tailor-made

MAASTRICHT. It is time for a flexible PBL system, one that provides room for creativity, a personal interpretation by lecturers, and one that may differ per study programme. Those were the most important outcomes of the EDview project. Rector Rianne Letschert announced last Tuesday that a steering group would now implement the recommendations in th...

Maastricht students slightly less positive about their studies

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht students are a little less positive about their study programmes than last years. This is one of the outcomes of the Dutch National Student Survey, held at the beginning of this year. Despite the drop, the UM still scores above the national average.
Sustainable Employability Monitor participation rate so far: 43 %

Sustainable Employability Monitor participation rate so far: 43 %

MAASTRICHT. The UM Sustainable Employability Monitor went online on Monday, 24 September. After one and a half weeks, 43 per cent of the employees have completed the survey. The organisers had hoped beforehand for a response rate of 60 per cent. This appears not to be impossible with another week and a half to go.
Maastricht drops in new THE Rankings

Maastricht drops in new THE Rankings

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University has dropped 25 places - to 128 - in the 2019 Times Higher Education Top 200 World University Rankings. Other Dutch universities have also seen their positions go down in the rankings.  
Language proficiency not up to scratch? Then take a course

Language proficiency not up to scratch? Then take a course

MAASTRICHT. To what extent academic and support staff have mastered the required languages will be mapped out in the coming months. Anyone who does not meet the required English and/or Dutch language skills level will have to start working to improve.
Why do you (not) come to work with a spring in your step?

Why do you (not) come to work with a spring in your step?

MAASTRICHT. Why do you (not) come to work with a spring in your step? We feel that the balance between private life and work is important: tell us how that is for you! The UM is international, but is it also inclusive? This is a small selection of questions from the new sustainable employability monitor that will go online on Monday, 24 September. ...
President Martin Paul renews contract for another four years

President Martin Paul renews contract for another four years

MAASTRICHT. The President of Maastricht University, Professor Martin Paul (1958), will remain the highest university official until 2023. By then, he will have been President for a total of twelve years, while eight years is the standard.
PAS workshop: I write, so I stay

PAS workshop: I write, so I stay

MAASTRICHT SATURDAY NIGHT 20.30. In no more than 45 minutes these brave writers wrote a small article about PAS during the Observant writing workshop. You can read them here.
“Students, learn Frans Timmermans’ speech by heart”

“Students, learn Frans Timmermans’ speech by heart”

MAASTRICHT. Five lecturers, a quiz, a brief panel discussion, two awards, an appeal to participate in the Green Impact competition, videos, vegan biscuits and a lot of beautiful music by the Famara Quartet. This is the overfull programme of the Opening of the Academic Year in the Mecc last Monday. “Sorry that it took so long,” said Pres...
Maastricht student accommodation shortages appear less than anticipated

Maastricht student accommodation shortages appear less than anticipated

MAASTRICHT. The shortage of rooms in Maastricht appears to be less than it was around the same time last year, says Maurice Evers, department head of Student Housing, “but we are not out of the woods yet”. The 217 additional rooms at the Annadal complex on the Brouwersweg, which will be handed over on 1 September, have almost all been r...
Three minutes by bike

Three minutes by bike

Jannick Neudert (24) from Germany, master International Business: “What I like about Maastricht? I arrived this morning and parked my car not far from SBE. I had to walk through parks to reach the faculty, I like the green atmosphere. I want to switch to a bicycle as soon as possible. I will get the key of my room the first of September. It&r...

Close to Düsseldorf

Close to Düsseldorf

“I have only been once in Maastricht before. I like it. It’s a pretty city; I like the architecture, the size.” Florian Bergs (24) from Germany, is a master student Human Decision Science.  He chose Maastricht because of the program, but that’s not the only reason. “I did my bachelors in the United States (Charlot...

“If I say I’m going to dinner with the Maastricht rector, they’ll let me off”

“If I say I’m going to dinner with the Maastricht rector, they’ll let me off”

MAASTRICHT. Tuesday evening. As the clock strikes six, the front door of the student house at Vrijthof 27 rattles. Two bright eyes peep through the mail slot into the corridor. It’s rector Rianne Letschert, pressing the doorbell in vain. In June last year, she joined the students for dinner for the Observant series Guess who...
Former top volleyball player head of UM Sports

Former top volleyball player head of UM Sports

MAASTRICHT. He played as many as 347 times for the Dutch national volleyball team, including at the 2004 Olympic Games. At the moment he is putting the finishing touches to his thesis for the executive MBA Sports Management at the Maastricht School of Management. Nico Freriks (36) started as the new head of UM Sports last Monday.
XXL weeks at University Library

XXL weeks at University Library

MAASTRICHT. It is time for the XXL weeks at the University Library again. This means that the library is bursting at its seams with students studying. Elise Abraham, second-year student of Economics from Belgium and Mimi Ahlsrog, second-year student of International Business from Finland, can be found at the Inner-City University Library every day....

UPDATE: Eleven Maastricht master's programmes in the top ranks

UPDATE: Eleven Maastricht master's programmes in the top ranks

MAASTRICHT. Eleven Maastricht master's courses are among the very best in the Netherlands, is the opinion of the Keuzegids Masters 2018, which took a close look at 43 UM master's. The research master's programme of European Studies with a grade of nine is the very best. At the very bottom are Movement Sciences and Epidemiology. Tho...

Greater absenteeism during blocks leads to lower grades

MAASTRICHT. First-year students who faithfully attend all tutorial group meetings, perform considerably better than those who just about meet the attendance standard. This was one of the outcomes of a survey carried out by Patrick Bijsmans and Arjan Schakel among first-year students of European Studies, which was recently published in Higher E...
Age is often forgotten when we speak about diversity

Age is often forgotten when we speak about diversity

A student who is 48, a professor who is eighteen and someone defending his or her thesis at 70 years of age. Intuitively we know what ‘fits’ with what age. So age is much more than the actual years on a calendar, there are numerous cultural connotations attached. “It is not just what you are (four, sixteen, fifty or eighty), but a...
“Without the university we would still be a sleepy provincial town”

“Without the university we would still be a sleepy provincial town”

MAASTRICHT. Flags along the boulevard and along the Kennedy Bridge to welcome the new students during Inkom or Open Days? Just like with Tefaf. No, there won't be any flags. And the names ‘Maastricht University’ or ‘university city’ on the signs at the city borders? “I think that is a very creative idea, I'...
‘No,’ my father answered, ‘I have a strong daughter’

‘No,’ my father answered, ‘I have a strong daughter’

Annemarie Penn-te Strake (Helmond, 1953)/ mayor of Maastricht since 1 June 2015/ married to Olaf Penn, four sons (35, 33, 32, 30) from a previous marriage/ lives in Maastricht
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.
“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...
“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...

Do’s, don’ts and don’t knows of PBL

MAASTRICHT. Is Problem-Based Learning the best methodology that exists in the field of education? Or should we return to the classic system with lectures in which the lecturer is able to elaborate uninhibitedly about his research? The EDview project is looking for the PBL system of the future and hopes that the entire UM will think along.

UM budget 2018: no concern, room for investment

MAASTRICHT. Next year, Maastricht University intends to spend 3.9 million more than it will receive. This is according to plan and has everything to do with investments in educational innovation, research facilities and the improvement of the employability and supervision of students. The extra expenses will be paid from the reserves.
“I’m modest and quiet; I’m definitely no braggart”

“I’m modest and quiet; I’m definitely no braggart”

Greed. I have a shoe tic: I have twelve pairs of running shoes, three pairs of cycling shoes and another ten or so pairs of ‘normal’ shoes. Obviously you can only wear one pair at a time, but I change them depending on the type of training I’m doing: I have shoes for endurance running, shoes for speed training, race shoes. They&rs...

“I would never say I’m from Spain. I’m from Catalonia”

“I would never say I’m from Spain. I’m from Catalonia”

After the controversial referendum, the declaration of independence, the harsh reaction from the Spanish government, and the ‘flight’ of dismissed Catalan president Puigdemont to Belgium, the Catalans will return to the polling stations on 21 December to elect new regional representatives. How are Catalan students and staff at the UM vi...
Keuzegids 2018: University Colleges UM extraordinarily good

Keuzegids 2018: University Colleges UM extraordinarily good

MAASTRICHT. The real Maastricht toppers in the Keuzegids 2018 are the broad bachelor's programmes University College Maastricht, University College Venlo, and the Maastricht Science Programme. They may call themselves 2018 Top Programmes. There was also a lot of praise for the quality of the English used by the Maastricht lecturers. They receiv...

Rich, richer, richest

MAASTRICHT. If you want to earn a lot of money later, you would be best off by studying Dentistry (€5,330 gross), International Business (€3,260 gross), Medicine (€3,140), Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (€2,950), or for example Fiscal and Notarial Law (€2,970). A study in the fields of Arts and Culture is not a...

Recruitment of foreign students: more and more rivals in the field

MAASTRICHT. The influx of foreign students at Maastricht University is still the highest in the Netherlands, but there are more and more rivals, not just in the Netherlands, but also abroad. This was shown by the latest figures from Marketing & Communicatie.
"In my country everyone wants to be right; here we agree to disagree"

"In my country everyone wants to be right; here we agree to disagree"

More than fifteen nationalities in a single study programme? For a number of Maastricht master’s programmes, such as Media Culture, Public Policy & Human Development and International & European Tax Law, this has become the norm. Observant looks inside one of the ‘international classrooms’ that do justice to the name: the ...
"The best innovation is to stop all innovation"

"The best innovation is to stop all innovation"

MAASTRICHT. “You're a rebel. You argue against innovation, but we can't just leave everything as it was in education. It is all about holding on to what is good and getting rid of the ‘trendy stuff’, as you call it.”

UM buildings appear safe

MAASTRICHT. Are Maastricht University buildings safe? This question has arisen as both Erasmus University in Rotterdam and Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle have each closed a relatively new building for being possibly unsafe.
Food Truck as temporary help for UM Sports

Food Truck as temporary help for UM Sports

MAASTRICHT. Sports cafe Time Out having gone bankrupt, Food Truck Formidable is temporarily going to do the catering for UM Sports. From Monday onwards, the old Citroen bus, which will be parked outside the sports complex, will be available for coffee, tea, rolls, soup, pancakes and other snacks.

More first-year UM students

MAASTRICHT. The preliminary figures indicate that the number of first-year bachelor's and master's students has risen by 4.7 per cent to a total of 7,114, after a minor dip last year. Almost all faculties have contributed to this increase, except for Psychology and Neurosciences (minus 2.4 per cent).
Double myth: The contraceptive pill is harmless / The contraceptive pill causes thrombosis

Double myth: The contraceptive pill is harmless / The contraceptive pill causes thrombosis

“I don't want to scare you,” says Hugo ten Cate, professor of Clinical Thrombosis and Haemostasis, every time he gives a lecture on the relation between the contraceptive pill and thrombosis to third-year medical students. “About 70 per cent of our students are female, the majority of whom are on the pill. It is not just ...

UM students (very) satisfied with study programmes

UM students (very) satisfied with study programmes

MAASTRICHT. Compared to students from institutes elsewhere in the country, Maastricht students are satisfied to very satisfied with their study programmes at Maastricht University. This is one of the outcomes of the National Student Survey (held in spring 2017), processed by the Centre for Higher Education Information (Centrum voor Hoger Onderwijs ...
“When you don’t have to try hard, it’s easy to slack off”

“When you don’t have to try hard, it’s easy to slack off”

Greed. Handball has taken me to many places around the world: Brazil, Qatar, Denmark, Turkey, Sweden. I want more, but my parents say it’s been great already and I’d do better to concentrate fully on my studies. I want to show everyone that I can accomplish anything I want. A year from now I want to be playing in a top handball country ...

“If you accomplish something you’re allowed to be proud”

“If you accomplish something you’re allowed to be proud”

Greed. I always want to win, to bring home medals. I cycled a lot in my youth and have a bookcase full of trophies at my parents’ place. I was junior Benelux champion and won silver at the Netherlands Championships for newcomers. I want to get the best out of myself; I’m a perfectionist, both in my studies and when it comes to mountain ...

FASoS research review: much praise and food for thought

FASoS research review: much praise and food for thought

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences was showered with praise late last week by the committee that came to assess its research. Plaudits went not only to the quality of the research (“very good”) and the PhD programme (“very professional”), but also to the “focus on people”. However, the workl...
PAS 2017: lots of visitors, pity about the weather

PAS 2017: lots of visitors, pity about the weather

We have no control over the weather, wrote Jacques Reiners in the programme booklet for PAS (Pleasure, Art and Science) Festival that took place last weekend. And that proved to be true: on Thursday and especially Friday evening, it rained cats and dogs, but things cleared up on Saturday - except for the odd shower. Still, Reiners can only “b...

Sport's cafe Time Out in financial difficulty

MAASTRICHT. Sport's cafe Time Out in the UM Sports’ centre is in financial difficulty. The Tax Office, where the manager of Concepts&More has a debt, had already ordered the forced sale of the inventory on Wednesday, 13 September, but this was called off at the last minute.
“I’m vain, I always wear white socks on my bike”

“I’m vain, I always wear white socks on my bike”

  Greed. I don’t have time to be greedy. I train and I study, that’s it. That said, I do always like to have the best bike, the best wetsuit and the best shoes. I have them now and am very happy with them. I’m an only child and have great parents who always support me, but I don’t think I’m spoilt.   ...

Top athletes finally have an advantage at the UM

Top athletes finally have an advantage at the UM

Maastricht. Students who do sports at a high level, will from now on receive extra support from Maastricht University. Not only will their study programme be tailored to their needs as much as possible and will they have free access to UM Sport's gym, they will also receive five (instead of the regular three) months of financial support from th...
You have no control over the weather, but you can control your mood

You have no control over the weather, but you can control your mood

We have only just sat down in the Tribunal pub when RTV Maastricht phones. No, he is in the middle of an interview at the moment, but he will be available in a little less than an hour. The local TV station will give a lot of exposure to PAS 2017: Pleasure, Art and Science, in the run-up to 8 and 9 September. The UM festival is organised by Studium...
Far from home

Far from home

MAASTRICHT. New in Maastricht and from abroad? Last Sunday the International Service Desk organised an International Welcome Day for foreign students. After a lunch, a city walk, a lot of tips and a dinner, Maastricht felt a bit more like home.

 “I always think things will be harder than they are”

“I always think things will be harder than they are”

  Greed. I’m not so into things, but when I do the groceries I always come home with more than was on the list. Gluttony. I’m addicted to boxing, am always either doing it myself or watching it. I have to watch every match, even when I’m supposed to be studying. As for food, when I’m in training I eat a...

Hangover or not: Legendary Workout

Hangover or not: Legendary Workout

MAASTRICHT. It's Friday, the fifth day of the Inkom. Most freshmen will be exhausted, but UM Sports had the guts to schedule the Legendary Work at 10.30h. And they were right. Over a hunderd fresmen joined the "body and mind mix". No high intensity training, as staffmembers told students at the entrance, but they will d...

“I expected rain”

“I expected rain”

“I didn’t expect Europe to be so hot, I expected rain, especially in the Netherlands”, says Nga Janda (18) from Zimbabwe. She is sitting in the sun before the building of the school of Business and Economics. “I have never been in the Netherlands before. I have visited the UK, France and Ireland. I like the diversity in Maas...

In love with Maastricht

In love with Maastricht

Big sunglasses and an African head wrap. “I didn’t feel like doing my hair today”, laughs the first year student University College, “it’s easy and it looks nice.” Indeed it does. Her name is Annemiek Cuppen (18), a real Dutch name. “I’m half Dutch, half Congolese. I was born in the USA and raised in ...

Record number of participants for Inkom 2017

Record number of participants for Inkom 2017

MAASTRICHT. No tropical heat or dull Dutch weather, but a mild sun with a cloud here or there. Today, Monday 21 August, 2900 new students start their Maastricht Inkom - a lot more than last year (2735). It means the introduction week for freshmen is “sold out”, according to Sean Beuk, Inkom chairman. This afternoon the info market Welco...

New city, new haircut

New city, new haircut

She has changed her haircut just before coming to Maastricht. “It has been pretty much every color of the rainbow but this is my original color. I‘m starting to appreciate it”, laughs Lucia Rosero (19) from Ashville, North Carolina (USA). She is standing with her brand new Inkom group under the trees of the garden of the Tongerses...

“Are you sure I can't help with the dishes?”

“Are you sure I can't help with the dishes?”

“Are you sure I can't help with the dishes?” rector Rianne Letschert asks as the evening is drawing to a close. No, say all in the student house on Vrijthof 27, located right next to Italian restaurant Gio’s. Just imagine, ‘their’ rector washing the dishes. “And don't forget to contact me if there is a pr...

A straight right and a left punch

A straight right and a left punch

UM Sports opened the doors of the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions, and will do so until the summer. Today: Box-it.
“If you want students to behave like adults you should treat them like adults”

“If you want students to behave like adults you should treat them like adults”

MAASTRICHT. Is it a good idea to assess student participation in tutorials? Some believe in it, others argue passionately against it, or will see it as a necessary evil, said Mark Vluggen, associate professor at the School of Business and Economics, in his pitch. And that was exactly what happened during the well-attended third UM teach-meet organi...
“I am for Europe so that is what I wrote. You wouldn't believe the number of hate mails I received”

“I am for Europe so that is what I wrote. You wouldn't believe the number of hate mails I received”

Brexit was inevitable; the British had been in “sabotage mode” for years, says Caroline de Gruyter, Europe correspondent for NRC Handelsblad in Vienna. Their constant hacking away at Europe was disruptive and fuelled Euroscepticism in other countries. The tide now seems to be turning. De Gruyter is the keynote speaker next Saturday duri...
There is no energy left after an hour

There is no energy left after an hour

UM Sports opened the doors of the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions, and will do so until the summer. Today: Strength & Conditioning.

Dope is the largest student party again

MAASTRICHT. With a total of 23 seats - spread out over various councils - Dope is again the largest student party in Maastricht, while Novum, with fourteen seats, takes second place. The new party WE R SBE acquired two seats in the School of Business and Economics council, but was left empty-handed when it comes to the University Council. The seats...
End-of-Year Event

End-of-Year Event

MAASTRICHT. Sun, music by the Tuna guys, drinks, and a brand-new issue of Mosaïek, otherwise known as the interdisciplinary cultural magazine of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, which seemed to be defunct for a while, but has now been restored to life by a group of students. The first copy was presented to dean Sophie Vanhoonacker during th...

“My goodness, I'm learning a lot, I had such a naive view of the student world”

“My goodness, I'm learning a lot, I had such a naive view of the student world”

“This is great man, what a party! I am a little overwhelmed. Can I give six stars?” Professor Piet Eichholtz looks at his dessert with pleasure: a large brownie filled with (warm) raspberries, vanilla ice cream and a glass of Licor 43 Cuarenta, a Spanish liqueur. He was not only bowled over by the cooking skills of the board members of ...

“If those over sixty work less, there are more permanent jobs for young people”

MAASTRICHT. The Lokaal Overleg (Local Negotiations between Maastricht representatives of the unions and the Executive Board) wants senior employees (60+) to be given the chance to work less for a slightly lower salary, without affecting the level of their retirement benefits. The hours that become available this way can be allocated to younger empl...
Maastricht 6th-best young university worldwide

Maastricht 6th-best young university worldwide

MAASTRICHT/BRISBANE. Maastricht University (UM) has dropped two places - from fourth to sixth - in the Young University Rankings for best young universities in the world. This has put the UM back in the same place as in 2015. The rankings were published yesterday during the Young Universities Summit in Brisbane, Australia. The Maastricht Executive ...

“What a luxury, four men cooking for me”

“What a luxury, four men cooking for me”

It takes barely five minutes for the battle for the women’s panties to come up in conversation. This weekend – counting from when this dinner took place, in late March –the underpants will be hanging from a pole smeared with grease, soap and oil during NOOC, the grand opening of the rowing season in Tilburg. “All of Vidar [t]...

Much more than hitting a small ball really hard

Much more than hitting a small ball really hard

UM Sports opened the doors of the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions, and will do so until the summer. Today: squash.

FASoS: proposal submitted and immediately brushed aside

MAASTRICHT. Would it not be a good idea if student council members were to receive ECTS credits for their work? This idea was proposed by some of the student members during the last council meeting at the Faculty of Arts and Culture. This was not for their own benefit, but to make council membership more attractive in the future, they said. After a...

‘Digital Transformations’ to be the third FASoS bachelor's

‘Digital Transformations’ to be the third FASoS bachelor's

MAASTRICHT. Digital Transformations will be the third bachelor's programme at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, opening its door - if everything goes according to plan - in 2019. This is a “working title”, emphasises dean Sophie Vanhoonacker, for an interdisciplinary programme aimed at providing insight into a variety of...
Kissed? That’s an understatement. “They were wrapped around one another”

Kissed? That’s an understatement. “They were wrapped around one another”

They’re wrecked, the four students from the independent sorority Schanulleke. Last night they partied the night away during the annual Chic Sat Club Night at the Mondial club in Beek. Myrthe Bovendeaard even kissed “a very nice someone”. Kissed? That’s an understatement, according to Dana Vervloet. “They were wrapped a...

Myth: ME is a mental illness

Myth: ME is a mental illness

Patients are not just a little bit tired, but are permanently exhausted. Sleeping doesn't help much - if they can sleep properly at all - and they usually pay a high price for any physical exertion: remaining even more tired than they were, for days on end. According to the present medical state of affairs, patients suffering from the chroni...

Eight master's programmes absolutely top notch, one or two below par

MAASTRICHT. Eight Maastricht master's programmes belong to the absolute top ranks in the Netherlands, says the Keuzegids Masters 2017, which was published last week and investigated 42 of the 51 Maastricht master's. One or two UM programmes score below average. Maastricht University as a whole is in second place in the category of ‘ge...

Match: students sharing their knowledge with the city

MAASTRICHT. Foreign students giving computer lessons to people in Witte Vrouwenveld, while brushing up on their Dutch at the same time. Medical students, members of Taskforce QRS (Qualitative Resuscitation by Students), giving resuscitation lessons at secondary schools. These are just two examples of how Maastricht students serve the community.
Journalist: “Sir, those are not the facts.” Minister: “That’s how I feel it”

Journalist: “Sir, those are not the facts.” Minister: “That’s how I feel it”

“A liar cares, in spite of everything, about the truth. A bullshitter cares only about the effect of his words. And that’s what was going on when Donald Trump mentioned Sweden last Friday. He suggested that something terrible had happened there. Trump doesn’t care about the truth – he’s only interested in the effect.&r...
Busiest spring Bachelor's Open Day ever

Busiest spring Bachelor's Open Day ever

MAASTRICHT. With almost 2,300 prospective students, the Maastricht University’s spring Bachelor's Open Day last Saturday had more visitors than ever before. Especially the Dutch study programmes of Medicine and Health Sciences were popular (both more than four hundred visitors). During the Open Day last autumn, on the other hand, there wa...

“A piece of cake until those tummy muscles start to protest”

“A piece of cake until those tummy muscles start to protest”

UM Sports opened the doors of the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions, and will do so until the summer. Today: Omnia.
Welcome in Maastricht

Welcome in Maastricht

A city walk, a traditional Dutch cookie (stroopwafel), drinks, a lot of tips and friendly words. Last Sunday the newly arrived international students were welcomed. About 120 students attended the ISAP Welcome Day.

Myth: COPD is an incurable disease

Myth: COPD is an incurable disease

“An incurable disease? We are inclined to think that it leads to death.” Nothing could be farther from the truth in the case of the lung disease COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), says Annemie Schols, professor of Nutrition and Metabolism in Chronic Diseases and director of research school Nutrim. Many COPD patients - whose l...

“We’re not those boorish, antisocial alpha males with their hair slicked back”

“We’re not those boorish, antisocial alpha males with their hair slicked back”

“We see one another in extreme circumstances: very drunk or very emotional. We share everything, including when someone’s going through a difficult time”, Lars Vreuls is explaining when the doorbell rings around 18.30 in the student flat on the Burgemeester Lespinassestraat 1C03. It is Professor Klaartje Peters, frozen with cold a...

“Squatting is like sitting on a dirty toilet without touching the seat”

“Squatting is like sitting on a dirty toilet without touching the seat”

UM Sports opened the doors of the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions, and will do so until the summer. Today it’s ClubPower.
 FASoS: compulsory attendance for 2nd and 3rd year bachelor’s students to be abolished

FASoS: compulsory attendance for 2nd and 3rd year bachelor’s students to be abolished

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is going to abolish compulsory attendance for second- and third-year students. For present students, everything will remain the same, but students starting in September 2017 will only have to deal with compulsory attendance in their first year.
“It’s comforting that the instructor has a spare tire too”

“It’s comforting that the instructor has a spare tire too”

UM Sports opened the doors to the new university sports centre one year ago. Each week, Observant shows up in sports gear to participate in one of the sessions. Today it is the Employee Workout Mix.

Dutch bachelor’s of Arts and Social Sciences discontinued

MAASTRICHT. The Dutch programme of the bachelor’s of Arts and Social Sciences is to be discontinued. As of September 2017, students will only be able to choose the English variant of Arts and Culture. Although the language used during the course is English, Dutch students can choose to do their exams in Dutch, just like their papers and these...
“The guys are ruined after six months. They can take their pick of the women"

“The guys are ruined after six months. They can take their pick of the women"

“You get the best piece”, says medical student Laura Oostewechel proudly as she places an enormous portion of vegetable quiche in front of Mathieu Segers, dean of University College Maastricht. “I don’t know if you’re allergic to anything?” And then, before waiting for the professor’s reply, “If so, t...

“If you want to change politics, hell, don’t wait for an invitation, get organised”

“If you want to change politics, hell, don’t wait for an invitation, get organised”

“A European patriot loves his country and the values our societies are based on; a nationalist is someone who hates other countries. Let’s become European patriots.” In a packed Bonbonnière on the eve of the anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, a passionate Frans Timmermans, first vice president of the European Commission, debate...
Observant Christmas tree in Guesthouse

Observant Christmas tree in Guesthouse

MAASTRICHT. They were busy preparing for their Secret Santa – drawing lots and planning ‘pakjesavond’ as one does for the Dutch Sinterklaas – when the group of exchange students on the fourth floor of the Guesthouse on the Brouwersweg suddenly felt the need for a real Christmas tree. Priyanka Kanthan, Ilesha Bapat (both from...

UCM undisputed winner

UCM undisputed winner

MAASTRICHT. Not a shared second place but undisputedly at the top. Like last year, University College Maastricht has the very best broad bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands. This is the outcome of the adapted Keuzegids 2017 ranking which was published yesterday. UCM received a final grade of 9.8 instead of 8.8, as was announced last week....

“We don’t go looking for trouble, trouble finds us”

“We don’t go looking for trouble, trouble finds us”

Could the journalist use the loo before leaving? Of course, says a jovial Christiaan ten Broek, who first checks to see whether the toilet is safe and clean (he vacuumed the living room today, but didn’t make it to the bathroom). It’s clean enough, declares Professor Corine de Ruiter. As for safe – the walls are plastered with pho...

Students criticise Keuzegids

MAASTRICHT. The ranking of University Colleges in the latest Keuzegids is “full of factual inaccuracies,” write UC students, united in the national UCSRN (University College Student Representatives of the Netherlands), in a press release that was published on Wednesday. In addition to mistakes in student numbers (the Utrecht College doe...

UCM and Knowledge Engineering absolute top

UCM and Knowledge Engineering absolute top

MAASTRICHT. According to Keuzegids 2017, Maastricht University has two really top bachelor’s programmes: University College Maastricht and Knowledge Engineering. Study programmes that have been doing well for years.
 “If only I’d bought you a broom instead of wine”

“If only I’d bought you a broom instead of wine”

“It’s too moist”, says Denise Sitters. “Not at all”, replies Nanne de Vries, professor of Health Promotion. “Just say that’s how your apple crumble is supposed to be. I like it.” Meanwhile, Wannes van Lonkhuijzen is standing at the kitchen counter with a knife and the second round of apple crumble. He...

“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...
“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 ...

Elsevier: Wageningen takes first place, Maastricht third

MAASTRICHT. In the latest Elsevier survey into the best studies in the Netherlands, Maastricht University takes third place in the category ‘specialist universities’. Wageningen is at the top of the list, followed by Tilburg, while Rotterdam ends up last. Elsevier’s ranking is based on the answers given by students to a single ...

UCM wants to expand its grants programme

MAASTRICHT. The five full scholarships that University College Maastricht awards annually to students from outside the European Union is not going to disappear. In fact, UCM is making plans to expand its grants programme so that students within the EU can benefit from it too.
“Do you speak three languages or more?”

“Do you speak three languages or more?”

Did you go to an international school? Do your parents have different nationalities? Are you left- handed? Last Tuesday, around 350 first-year students were sent wandering around Brasserie Tapijn armed with a sheet of nine questions. Their task: to find, among the 60 buddies – also known as ambassadors – and their fellow students people...

Myth: A GP mainly treats common colds and has to refer more complex cases to the hospital

Myth: A GP mainly treats common colds and has to refer more complex cases to the hospital

It is not just the medical students who often see GPs as “middlemen”, says GP and researcher Jochen Cals. Many patients think the same.  Daily practice is completely different. “Research shows that we deal with almost 95 per cent of the complaints ourselves, even the complex cases. It is only the tip of the iceberg that en...

“Europe! Practice what you preached!”

“Europe! Practice what you preached!”

Reconciliation and empathy – these were the driving forces behind the unification of Europe. And these are precisely the values that can pull Europe out of  its crisis today, said Professor Mathieu Segers in his speech during the official opening of the academic year.
“A ballerina who literally rises to great heights”

“A ballerina who literally rises to great heights”

Just one more week to go until PAS+ kicks off. The three-day Parcours of Art and Science, in which UM shows off all it has to offer, is slated to be the highlight of the university’s 40th anniversary.
Birthday party with trapeze in hall MBB

Birthday party with trapeze in hall MBB

MAASTRICHT. PAS+ is slated to be the highlight of the university’s anniversary celebrations: a three-day Parcours of Art and Science in which UM, now 40, shows off all it has to offer. When: during the week of festivities on 8, 9 and 10 September. Where: between the Zwingelput, Kapoenstraat and Minderbroedersberg. For whom? Everyone. In Dutch...
Another strong win for Dope in university elections

Another strong win for Dope in university elections

  MAASTRICHT. With 29 seats, Dope has come out as the largest student party at Maastricht University, just like last year. Competitor NovUM, who were the most powerful in 2014 but dropped back last year, has lost even more ground and now only has twelve seats. The new Wise party obtained three seats. The election results were made k...

“UM does not aim to guide students into employment, but focuses on enhancing employability”

MAASTRICHT. What can I do? What do I want? Will the labour market have an opening for me? Many students have doubts about their knowledge, capabilities and chances on the labour market. Maastricht University wants to facilitate students in their academic and personal development and make them aware of their employability. Eventually, in 2018 t...
"Not someone for quick successes or easy scores"

"Not someone for quick successes or easy scores"

He is very open and despite his success, he is never arrogant. He gives researchers the space to follow their passion. When decisions need to be taken, he wants to hear everyone’s opinions first. So, he is a friendly man. But if the interests of the research institute that he helped set up, are at stake, professor Frans van Winden can be fier...
“Help, I’ve almost graduated. What to do now?”

“Help, I’ve almost graduated. What to do now?”

What can I do with my qualification? What do I have to offer? Today’s students are under severe pressure and hardly have time to think about themselves and their future. It is the university’s job to help them, to ensure that no talent goes to waste and that future academics can enter the labour market with more self-insight and confide...
"You can follow the rules and still commit fraud”

"You can follow the rules and still commit fraud”

“I didn’t know I was committing fraud, but I was. I pled guilty because I broke the law, behaved unethically and harmed people. I’m ashamed and want to apologise.” These are the words of Andrew Fastow, former chief financial officer at Enron, the US energy company that went bankrupt in late 2001 after one of the biggest corp...
"His work opened up a new world for me"

"His work opened up a new world for me"

“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...

It would be arrogant to compare myself to him"

It would be arrogant to compare myself to him"

The American James Coleman is one of the greatest educational sociologists from the post-Second World War era, but also a man who didn’t think twice about sending politically incorrect opinions on education out into the world. Professor Rolf van der Velden, director of ROA (Maastricht Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market), grin...

“An hour after the Ph.D. ceremony in Maastricht, he is already on his flight back”

“An hour after the Ph.D. ceremony in Maastricht, he is already on his flight back”

Accepting money from the industry? Absolutely not, research must remain pure! Applying for patents? No, that would distract from the scientific work. In professor Giuseppe Remuzzi’s Italian Instituto Mario Negri, everything is about the patient and the search for medicines and therapies. He has no time for niceties.

Lots of enthusiasm for Employees’ Council FS

MAASTRICHT. For the first time in years, there are candidates for a seat in MUO’s (Maastricht University Office) Employees’ Council.  Also for the other employees’ councils of the various service centres and the student fractions of the faculty councils, lists have been submitted for the university elections that will be held...

University Sports Centre officially opened

University Sports Centre officially opened

MAASTRICHT. A new logo, gifts for the Executive Board and a dazzling performance by two Latin dancers and the UM cheerleaders. The new University Sports Centre (USC) was festively opened amid great interest last Tuesday.
UM in fourth place in the rankings of young universities worldwide

UM in fourth place in the rankings of young universities worldwide

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University has climbed two places in the top ten of the Times Higher Education 150 Under 50 ranking. Having been in sixth place in the young universities rankings three years in a row, the UM is now at number four. THE published its figures today.
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 ...
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...

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...
“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...
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...
"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...

“There is more to life than a cum laude”

“There is more to life than a cum laude”

MAASTRICHT. Pressure on students has increased in the past few years, claim Maastricht student advisers and counsellors. The list of possible causes is long: from binding study advice to parents who have (too) high expectations of their children.
“He dared to go against the prevailing views”

“He dared to go against the prevailing views”

When Jos Perry, historian and researcher at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, took his PhD, his supervisor refused to attend in cap and gown. The three-piece suit that he wore, was already a tremendous step for former communist and member of the Dutch Communist Party CPN, professor Ger Harmsen (1922-2005).
”You speak differently at the doctor’s than at a party”

”You speak differently at the doctor’s than at a party”

“William Labov, everyone calls him Bill, is the founding father of sociolinguistics, my field of specialisation,” says professor Leonie Cornips. “Before Labov, American scientists studied the language as a mental construct. They analysed sentences and decided intuitively whether a sentence like ‘I see a bird in the garden&rs...

Fasos: Third reader thesis AC will disappear

MAASTRICHT. The phenomenon of the third supervisor, who now springs into action when the final thesis of a bachelor’s student from Arts and Culture (Dutch and English track) scores a 6 or 6.5, will disappear. The faculty board of Arts and Social Sciences decided so.
Vrow Wielemösj is back in town

Vrow Wielemösj is back in town

MAASTRICHT. Prince Bastiaan 1st and his Tempeleers put Vrow Wielemösj on the stage at Student Services last Thursday. In doing so, the landlady from the Platielstraat, the symbol of student Carnival, is back where she belongs. For the past two or three years she had remained in storage with the Maastricht Carnival Association, because the annu...

“Don’t fall in love with the theory”

“Don’t fall in love with the theory”

MAASTRICHT. Monday morning, 11 January, Tongersestraat 53. Members of staff from the School of Business take their seats in an intimate setting for a lecture by professor Paul De Grauwe (Ukkel, 1946), the international economic authority who will be appointed honorary doctor at Maastricht University this afternoon. He will not speak about his hobby...
Pharmaceutical companies keep the price high, but medicines don’t need to be so expensive

Pharmaceutical companies keep the price high, but medicines don’t need to be so expensive

MAASTRICHT. It is about time that everyone has access to the right medicines, whether you live in America, Europe or Africa. At the moment the pharmaceutical industry has so much power that they can keep prices high. The UM wants to do something about this and signed the Socially Responsible Research and Licensing Policy this week. Ellen ...

Innovation Challenge: How to raise money for UNICEF

MAASTRICHT. A sign saying ‘No girls allowed’ at the School of Business and Economics. A sign saying ‘No water’ at the sports centre and ‘No toilet’ at the faculty. “It’s all about awareness for the living conditions of refugee children. People need disruptive reminders to know what it is like to have ...

FASoS: no more than one exam a day

FASoS: no more than one exam a day

MAASTRICHT. At the moment, there are often too many exams and resits in one week, says the student fraction of the faculty council of Arts and Social Sciences. Sometimes there are even two in one day, a situation that requires a solution.
“Supporting France doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the rest of the world”

“Supporting France doesn’t mean that you don’t care about the rest of the world”

MAASTRICHT. “The attacks on the Russian aeroplane, or Beirut last week, are just as barbaric as the one in Paris last Friday. But I know the neighbourhood in the French capital where it happened, I lived in Paris for a number of years when I was young, and I was there for UNESCO only last week. It is difficult to find words for the pain you f...
Strong interest from Dutch pupils

Strong interest from Dutch pupils

MAASTRICHT. Last Saturday saw the busiest Bachelor’s Open Day in Maastricht University’s history, with as many as 3100 school students descending on the city. In November 2012, which previously held the record for the busiest Open Day, UM welcomed under 2800 prospective students. A large number of this year’s pupils (almost 2100) ...
Few foreign graduates work in Limburg

Few foreign graduates work in Limburg

MAASTRICHT. A platform – Limburg Magnet! - that brings businesses in Limburg and students in contact with each other, and the UM project KnowledgeEngineering@Work that links local IT businesses to knowledge engineering students. Two initiatives that aim to recruit foreign graduates for the Dutch labour market. Last Friday, during a regional m...
“A dainty woman with more power than a hundred people”

“A dainty woman with more power than a hundred people”

Stefania Tuinder was studying to be a plastic surgeon when she met professor Grazia Salimbeni at a congress: a plastic surgeon who has world-wide esteem because of her pioneering work in the field of facial paralysis. She was immediately sold on the idea.
Six FASoS yellow cards most likely dropped

Six FASoS yellow cards most likely dropped

MAASTRICHT. Five of the programmes at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences that were issued a ‘yellow card’ by quality watchdog NVAO in 2013, seem to have received the go-ahead. The Qanu committees that assess the quality for NVAO, are satisfied with the changes that have been implemented. This means that the ‘yellow ca...

“Engage Wilders’ supporters with questions that will make them think”

“Engage Wilders’ supporters with questions that will make them think”

MAASTRICHT. “Moral courage means doing the right thing in the face of your fears”, says the Canadian professor Irshad Manji (1968), who will give this year’s Tans Lecture. She is an author, documentary maker, Muslim, independent thinker and well-known critic of traditional mainstream Islam. She is also the founder and preside...
Keuzegids 2016: High praise for University College

Keuzegids 2016: High praise for University College

MAASTRICHT. University College Maastricht once again received high praise in the latest edition of the Keuzegids guide to higher education. With a final score of 9.4, UCM left the sixteen other Maastricht programmes included in the ranking far behind, and can rightly call itself the best bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands. Knowledge Engi...

Faculty Arts and Social Sciences sees number of first-years drop

MAASTRICHT. Less enthusiasm for the bachelor’s and master’s programmes of Arts and Social Sciences, but considerably more for the bachelor’s of Psychology and Knowledge Engineering. This is what the latest Maastricht University registration figures show.

A few pats on the back, but mostly grumbling

MAASTRICHT. UM staff are very positive on a handful of matters – the digital payslip, Studium Generale, and the reception and switchboard services – but the list of things they are unhappy about is many times longer. The university website, the cafeteria and EleUM all came in for criticism once more in the latest UM Services Monitor.
Education goes on, even in wartime

Education goes on, even in wartime

MAASTRICHT/YEMEN. What do you do when you’re working with lecturers from a country where war breaks out? When half of your students flee the city and go into hiding with friends and family, and the dean, in Malaysia for work, can’t get back in the country? You carry on, as best you can.

FASoS deals with student complaints

MAASTRICHT. Late announcement of teaching timetables, too few books in the library, waiting too long on exam results, insufficient feedback on exams, ugly bare classrooms and insufficient information about graduation. Both the UM Student Monitor, Student Satisfaction 2014-2015 and the national student survey by CHOI 2015 (a survey also used by the ...
TEDxMaastricht 2015 in Vrijthof Theatre

TEDxMaastricht 2015 in Vrijthof Theatre

MAASTRICHT. Brief, to the point, lively, with a lot of expertise, some humour thrown in, and understandable for a large audience. This is the recipe for a good TEDtalk. On Monday 12 October during TEDxMaastricht, many people - including Maastricht professor Nicole Bouvy and Maastricht paediatrician Anita Vreugdenhil - will take to the stage of...
“He is a Harvard star but not a prima donna”

“He is a Harvard star but not a prima donna”

It’s a bit silly, the format of this series, says Prof. Kiran Klaus Patel with a smile. He holds the Jean Monnet chair of European and Global History and from January 2016, he will be vice dean of Research at the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. “I grew up in an academic tradition - in Germany - where we say: ‘When you see a m...
“Law is not neutral, but embedded in society”

“Law is not neutral, but embedded in society”

Whenever she has to give an important lecture, Professor Hildegard Schneider, dean of the law faculty, thinks of the lessons she learned from Professor Bernhard Groβfeld. “He’d always say, no matter how experienced you are, be sure to practice an important lecture in advance. Keep your eye on the time: 45 minutes is 45 minutes. And a se...

“Jannah, Michele, Louis, I’m your buddy, don’t feel shy to come on stage”

“Jannah, Michele, Louis, I’m your buddy, don’t feel shy to come on stage”

MAASTRICHT. Beer, spring rolls, bitterballen and a lot of laughter. In total seventy buddies (all of them international students) and more than 300 first-year bachelor’s students from all over the world came together last Thursday evening in the old Bonbonnière theatre in Maastricht.
A butterfly house in the garden at the Faculty of Law

A butterfly house in the garden at the Faculty of Law

Have you ever heard of the Maastricht Quartier Latin? It is located in the area of the Bouillonstraat, Tongersestraat, Minderbroedersberg, Zwingelput and all the way up to the Tapijn barracks. On Saturday, 12 September, this area will be the beating heart of lectures about scientific research, for theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts. It is ...
“Students of Maastricht, we need you”

“Students of Maastricht, we need you”

MAASTRICHT. “Let’s fasten our seatbelts.” With these words, moderator Simone van Trier introduced the twelve speakers of the morning program during the Opening of the Academic Year. The Minderbroedersberg Aula was almost packed to the brim, the audience including the full board of Maastricht University, the mayor and the city alde...
“He beat the living daylights out of you”

“He beat the living daylights out of you”

Political philosopher Jerry Cohen was a “bag of nerves” when he had to give a lecture. But once he was on stage, he made a show out of every appearance at Oxford University, Teun Dekker vividly remembers. The acting dean of University College Maastricht did his PhD with the man who loved drama, jokes and a lot of gaiety, many examples o...

Fasos welcomes freshmen

Fasos welcomes freshmen

MAASTRICHT. A queue already beginning on the Grote Gracht. This Wednesday morning the faculty of Arts and Social Sciences welcomes the freshmen. "Are you from Belgium", one of the first- year students asks. Yes, is the answer from a fellow student. "From the Dutch or French part?" "Dutch." And off they g...

Special fellow taxi driver

Special fellow taxi driver

MAASTRICHT. Three students of Maastricht University were driven by a very special fellow taxi driver from the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Maastricht, last Monday. Martin Paul, president of Maastricht University, was at Amsterdam Airport for the Holland Scholarship event with the Dutch minister of education. Could he serve as a pick-up s...

Dive like a dolphin

Dive like a dolphin

MAASTRICHT. Badminton, fencing, rugby, rowing, cycling, climbing, music and sun. Every UM sports association was at the Griend to show how much fun it is to participate, this Thursday afternoon. A lot of students came and tried to climb a wall, to dive with a dolphin and to play badminton. Or just sat together.

Yes, we dive

Yes, we dive

MAASTRICHT. Always loved to swim and dance? At this moment a lot of fresmen have put on their swimming suits to enjoy a couple of hours in and around the Maastricht swimmingpool Geusseltbad. Tonight, Wednesday 19 August, there will be a cultural festival and food market in the Stadspark.

Start festival Sphinxkwartier

Start festival Sphinxkwartier

MAASTRICHT. An hour ago the Inkom festival at the Sphinxkwartier started with two stages, a lot of music, places to dance, eat, drink and relax. It's quite crowded.

Cold Day@theUni

Cold Day@theUni

It was rather cold at the Day@theUni in the garden of de building of the School of Business and Economics Tuesday afternoon. Most freshmen stayed inside the inner city mensa for their lunch and missed a first acquaintance with study associations like Orakel (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), Santé (Faculty of Health and Medicine) and  Gaiu...

2300 freshmen join Inkom

2300 freshmen join Inkom

Yesterday, about 2300 freshmen started with their new life in Maastricht. On the first day of the Inkom 2015 they had lunch in the former military barracks of the Tapijnkazerne and were around 20:00 officially welcomed by DJ Enzo Zanetti, De Heeren van Aemstel Band, Fabrizio and Belle Perez at the Markt in the centre of Maastricht. Today there is t...

"We don’t import researchers, we export research questions"

"We don’t import researchers, we export research questions"

MAASTRICHT. There was a time when there were great plans: Maastricht University was going to conquer India. Those plans have been readjusted in the meantime and it appears that only the Faculty of Health Medicine and Life Sciences has made a success of its co-operation with India. It is a matter of great patience, investing a lot of time, and focus...
In an orange suit and wearing an Afghan chain

In an orange suit and wearing an Afghan chain

Whether it was a coincidence or not, last week Jaap Cohen, son of the former UM rector Job Cohen, obtained his doctorate with distinction in Amsterdam for his dissertation on the history of a Portuguese-Jewish family. It is the family of professor Hans-Ulrich Jessurun d’Oliveira LL M, the almost 82-year-old legal expert who taught the young R...

Who would you rather believe: a brain scan or a psychiatrist

Who would you rather believe: a brain scan or a psychiatrist

MAASTRICHT. What should a judge do with a suspect’s abnormal brain scan? Does he know what he is looking at? And what about psychopaths (snakes in suits) who sometimes successfully hold high-powered jobs in businesses? And: do people always make rational decisions? Problems that require interdisciplinary answers. In the new minor of Human and...
Dope biggest winner in university elections

Dope biggest winner in university elections

MAASTRICHT. For one year, Novum was able to call itself the most powerful political student party in Maastricht. Last Friday, when the election results were made public in the Kruithuis, it turned out that Dope had regained the top position: with no fewer than 29 seats – having gained seven – divided among the University Council and fac...
First part of the new sports hall is ready

First part of the new sports hall is ready

MAASTRICHT. Thirty spinning bikes are waiting in a brand new studio. A class of primary school pupils is using the large sports hall where three basketball games can take place simultaneously. In the new gym on the first floor, university students are doing their thing this Tuesday evening. The first part of the new University Sports Centre in Rand...

An academic father figure

An academic father figure

He is full of (British) humour and is intellectually extraordinarily inspiring. Andrew Webster, professor of Science and Technology Studies at the University of York, and at the beginning of this century the supervisor of Ragna Zeiss, now lecturer at the Maastricht department of Science, Technology and Society Studies.
UM in first place in Keuzegids Masters

UM in first place in Keuzegids Masters

MAASTRICHT. “Few real peaks, but broad quality,” concluded the Keuzegids Masters 2015, which was published this week, about Maastricht University. It is paying off: the UM is “the best broad masters’ university in the Netherlands”. At the same time, not a single Maastricht masters’ study reached the top twenty of...
NUM wants to work together with the Executive Board and the University Council

NUM wants to work together with the Executive Board and the University Council

MAASTRICHT. Investigations into the exact workload of staff members, elections for all top positions, don’t let the tuition fees rise. The New University Maastricht (NUM) set out eight “demands” in an open letter to the Executive Board this week, but also says that they want to work together with the Executive Board and the Univer...
"We have no time for the really good students"

"We have no time for the really good students"

MAASTRICHT. “Is there a problem? If so, what exactly is the problem? Is there a crisis? Do we need demands of the New University Maastricht?” The debate about the modern university, last Tuesday evening in a crowded lecture hall on the Tongersestraat, attended by not only students, but also by many deans, the entire Executive Board and ...
“Jeffery will be the cause of a scientific earthquake”

“Jeffery will be the cause of a scientific earthquake”

Jeffery D. Molkentin is an American molecular biologist who works six and a half days a week, who can be incredibly funny, and wants to have nothing to do with quick and dirty scientific research. He was one of the first to go in search of the heart’s DNA, twenty years ago. “A pioneer who dropped a bombshell among cardiologists througho...
“It is not about miscommunication, it’s about power”

“It is not about miscommunication, it’s about power”

MAASTRICHT. “Let them in, let them in,” students chant as the door to the crowded lecture hall (ninety seats) at University College closes. People interested in the debate organised by The New University Maastricht wait outside on Tuesday evening. This new community, just like the occupiers of the Maagdenhuis in Amsterdam are pleading f...

Smooth landing for students from afar

Smooth landing for students from afar

MAASTRICHT. Foreign students who do not meet the entry requirements for a university bachelor’s programme, will get made-to-measure education in Maastricht for a year. The so-called Foundation Programme will prepare them for European Public Health, International Business or Economics and Business Economics. There are plans for an expansion of...
Universities may appoint 2,000 PhD students

Universities may appoint 2,000 PhD students

NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. The government announced last week that universities will be given a period of eight years to experiment with PhD programmes in which candidates receive a grant instead of a salary. The Netherlands PhD Network (Promovendi Netwerk Nederland) rejects the plans. Maastricht rector Luc Soete is cautious.
“Well done Wynand Wijnen”

“Well done Wynand Wijnen”

He has three idols, each for different reasons, says Cees van der Vleuten, professor of Educational Development. “But because Observant is forcing me to choose one, it will have to be Wynand Wijnen.” This educational innovator, advocate of PBL and one of the founding fathers of Maastricht University “showed me the value ...
Fewer first-year students for universities

Fewer first-year students for universities

NETHERLANDS. Forty-four thousand first-year students embarked upon a university bachelor’s study in September. That is 2.4 per cent less than last year. The number of first-year students at Maastricht University has increased by 3.8 per cent. The total (bachelor’s and master’s) is 6,611 newcomers, 240 more than last year.
“We would prefer to hear that we are excellent”

“We would prefer to hear that we are excellent”

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has lately become a collector of ‘yellow cards’. To their own surprise. “No, of course we hadn’t expected this,” education director Jo Wachelder reacted. “There was a lot of praise from the quality auditors when they visited us; we were told on a number of occas...
Ample praise for Global Health

Ample praise for Global Health

MAASTRICHT. In addition to the master’s of European Studies, another four UM programmes were assessed in this round. The master’s of Health Food Innovation Management in Venlo received a pass, as did the bachelor’s and the master’s of European Public Health. The last two also received the mark of ‘internationalisation&...

Fourteen student clubs have a place of their own

Fourteen student clubs have a place of their own

MAASTRICHT. About fifty workspaces, two rooms for meetings, and a meeting place for fourteen – mostly international – student organisations. This new accommodation on the Gebroeders Hermansstraat 2 for Radio Frappe (a new student initiative), Chess club, Maastricht Students for Liberty, Rethorica, Alles is drama, Aegee, and the Maastric...
Another yellow card for FASoS programme

Another yellow card for FASoS programme

MAASTRICHT. Again, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has received a yellow card for one of its programmes. This time it is for the research master’s of European Studies, as was announced by the auditors of Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) last Tuesday. In 2013, six other FASoS programmes were also deemed...

Anti-Semitism Today

Anti-Semitism Today

MAASTRICHT. Michel Wieviorka, sociologist and Parisian, is one of the most famous French anti-Semitism researchers. A descendant of a Jewish family, with grandparents who were killed in Auschwitz, he is well known for his balanced and nuanced tone. Even after the brutal attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket. He will...
Maastricht wins University Business competition

Maastricht wins University Business competition

MAASTRICHT. A Maastricht student team won the University Business competition in Amsterdam last week. Five SBE students beat the other twelve competing university teams in a case competition about a business in the music industry. Utrecht came second, Leiden third. Create a school for young, talented DJs and have them play as supporting act to big...

“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 ...
Exhibition curated by UM student: Umbrellas and Hong Kong

Exhibition curated by UM student: Umbrellas and Hong Kong

MAASTRICHT. Yellow paper snowmen with umbrellas, pictures of students studying in the open air, mobile libraries, graffiti, art, the Lennon Wall full of post-its, policemen using force. Ruby Yeung, a master’s student of Arts and Heritage, has organised an exhibition about the student demonstration calling for genuine universal suffrage in her...

“The teaching of economics is in crisis”

“The teaching of economics is in crisis”

MAASTRICHT. “Not only the world economy is in crisis, the teaching of economics is in crisis too, and this crisis has consequences far beyond university walls.” This is the first sentence of the open letter of the international economics student initiative calling for ‘pluralism in economics’, or PINE. Students at University...
Keuzegids in shredder, Law from first to fourth place

Keuzegids in shredder, Law from first to fourth place

MAASTRICHT. The entire edition of the Keuzegids Universiteiten 2015 has to be reprinted because important data about ‘study success in first year’ were incorrect. This has consequences for most of the seventeen assessed Maastricht bachelor’s programmes. Law drops a few tenths (from 6.6 to 6.2) and is no longer in first but in four...

Universities quarrel with publishing company Elsevier

Universities quarrel with publishing company Elsevier

NETHERLANDS. Negotiations between the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) and publishing company Elsevier about subscription fees have failed. If the conflict remains unresolved, students and researchers can no longer view new articles as of next year.
Searching for a Dutch buddy

Searching for a Dutch buddy

MAASTRICHT. Breaking the ‘international bubble’ and building bridges between Dutch and foreign students. This is the aim of the buddy system, - already existing in Maastricht – which was discussed last Thursday during the First International Buddy Day. The event was organised by Maastricht University, the office for internationali...

Praise and criticism for the UM in Keuzegids 2015

MAASTRICHT. Ten points out of ten for University College Maastricht, making it not just the best university college in the Netherlands, but also the very best programme in the Keuzegids 2015, published this week. The bachelor’s studies of Knowledge Engineering and Economics & Business Economics also did well. Medicine, Health Sciences and...
“I was panicking: would I still have the chance to make friends?”

“I was panicking: would I still have the chance to make friends?”

MAASTRICHT. Julia Schneider, a first-year student of European Studies (ES), fell sick last September with a throat infection. “I had to go and see a doctor, but I didn’t know: should I make an appointment, would he or she would speak English, would I have to pay? Luckily I was able to call Hannah, and she gave me the name of her own doc...
International classroom: More mixing of nationalities is needed

International classroom: More mixing of nationalities is needed

MAASTRICHT. Why should we choose an international classroom? How can we achieve such a classroom? And how do we know if Maastricht University has been successful in doing so? These three questions were raised at the start of the student and staff panel discussion at the end of last week’s International Classroom Conference.
Highest score for UCM in KeuzeGids

Highest score for UCM in KeuzeGids

MAASTRICHT. University College Maastricht has again been chosen as the best broad bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands, writes the KeuzeGids 2015, published on Tuesday, 28 October. The grade given to UCM by students and experts is a staggering 10 out of 10. This is the highest mark ever for UCM, but also the best of all programmes assessed...

UM business sold, money goes to SBE chair

MAASTRICHT. The sale of Gresb, a business that was developed by UM researchers and placed under UM Holding, yielded so much money that Maastricht University is able fund a chair for the next 20 to 25 years (0.6 FTE, three days a week). Gresb stands for Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. Piet Eichholz, professor of real estate and finance,...

Number of first-years up

MAASTRICHT. The number of first-year students at Maastricht University has increased by 3.8 per cent. The total (bachelor’s and master’s) comes to 6,611 newcomers, 240 more than last year.
Fasos: how to reduce the workload

Fasos: how to reduce the workload

MAASTRICHT. How serious is the option of more students in PBL groups? What about the combination of additional sabbaticals and workload reduction? And how do we correctly mark theses? These were questions that arose during a meeting on the reduction of the workload at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences last Tuesday.
Free Dutch courses very popular

Free Dutch courses very popular

MAASTRICHT. In the past year, 93 per cent of all foreign first-year bachelors – 1,200 were expected – participated in one of the two free Basic Dutch courses. Two thirds of them passed the exam. It was the first time that Maastricht University had granted the long-desired wish of various student groups: free Dutch courses for foreign s...

31 buddies for non-EU newcomers

31 buddies for non-EU newcomers

MAASTRICHT. Exactly 31 senior-year students officially started working as buddies at the end of August. They each take one or more of the 120 non-EU newcomers under their wings. The first cups of coffee have already been downed.
Pick-up service for 125 students

Pick-up service for 125 students

MAASTRICHT. Waiting for new freshmen at the meeting point at the Dutch national airport, Schiphol. The past two weekends, approximately 125 foreign students from countries such as Brazil, China, Mexico, the United States, Denmark and Spain, were collected by Maastricht University’s Pick-Up Service. Next week, the first of September, they will...

Dancing, but not ín the swimming pool

Dancing, but not ín the swimming pool

MAASTRICHT. It's rather cold, but some fresmen and mentors don't hesitate at all to take a plunge in the Geusseltbad, today. Others stick to dancing and leave the aqua for what it is.

Fresmen: from Brazil

Fresmen: from Brazil

MAASTRICHT. Could you make a picture of us? With a big smile Breno Luna Meira (24) and Leandro Dias Romariz hand over a smartphone in the Stadspark this Wednesday evening. Inkom’s Cultural Valley is about to start. The two are from Brazil and have registered in Maastricht for the master Criminology (Breno) and Psychology of Work and Organisat...

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

MAASTRICHT. Yesterday, Sunday 17 August, early arrived  students from different faculties met at a get-together in the Student Services Centre. There was a free lunch, social activities and a welcome speech by the rector of Maastricht University, Luc Soete. 

Freshman: From Cologne

Freshman: From Cologne

MAASTRICHT. Carla Schmitt (Economics and Business) and Nina Bekele (International Business) used to live in Cologne, but are now inhabitants of Maastricht. The two just met. Schmitt and Bekele chose for Maastricht because of "the international orientation". Schmitt: "I appreciate the idea of studying with people from differ...

Sunny start Inkom 2014

Sunny start Inkom 2014

MAASTRICHT. At 11:00 o' clock this Monday (18 August) the registration for the Inkom 2014 has started.

Faculty Board of Arts and Social Sciences wants to reduce the workload in the short term

Faculty Board of Arts and Social Sciences wants to reduce the workload in the short term

MAASTRICHT. A lesson-free block period for all staff members with a research appointment, more room for sabbaticals, 10 per cent extra research time for lecturers with few research hours, and more time for the supervision and assessment of theses. The Faculty Board of Arts and Social Sciences wants to reduce the workload in the short term with a ra...
A buddy for every non-EU newcomer

A buddy for every non-EU newcomer

MAASTRICHT. Non-EU first-year students who arrive in August will be given a ‘buddy’ for one year: a bachelor’s or master’s student who can help them to integrate in Maastricht and solve practical problems they may face.
Basic grant to be abolished

Basic grant to be abolished

MAASTRICHT.As of 1 September 2015, the basic study grant will be abolished. Dutch students and foreign students who work at least fourteen hours a week in the Netherlands, run the risk of losing out on at least five thousand euro (those living at home) and up to thirteen thousand euro (those living away from home) over a period of four years. Ever...

Election results: NovUM-Dope: 22-22

Election results: NovUM-Dope: 22-22

MAASTRICHT. Last year Dope forfeited six seats, but was still the most powerful student political party at Maastricht University. Now, it will have to share power with NovUM: both parties won a total of 22 seats in the various councils in the latest election. The results were announced in the Kruithuis this afternoon amid boisterous cheering. Dop...

Searching for an alternative for handling fees

Searching for an alternative for handling fees

MAASTRICHT. Before Easter, the Executive Board decided that students who register too late for a block or exam would no longer be fined. The University Council’s Strategy Committee now fears that every faculty will come up with its own rules. They want alternative regulations – preferably based on best practices – to be introduced...

Maastricht takes 6th place again in Young Universities Top 100

MAASTRICHT. For the second time in a row, Maastricht University has taken sixth place in the Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 ranking. Earlier this year, the UM already captured a place in the top hundred (98) of the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2013-2014. THE looks at aspects such as research (scale, reputation), citations (...

Abolition of registration fees

Abolition of registration fees

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht students will no longer be charged a fee for registering late for exams, resits and courses. This decision by the Executive Board reflects that of the Minister of Education, who has made it clear that there are no legal grounds for such a fee. As of next academic year, late registration will simply no longer be permitted; stu...

Great interest in UCM

MAASTRICHT. No less than 870 enrolments for two hundred places. University College Maastricht is becoming more and more renowned throughout the world and that seems to be paying off. Dean Harm Hospers thinks that their first place in the KeuzeGids 2014 has also helped.
Breaking the international bubble

Breaking the international bubble

MAASTRICHT. How to get Dutch students interested in buddy programs?  How to promote the interaction between Dutch and foreign students? What’s the optimal duration of a buddy programme? During the Buddy Co-ordinator Day in Eindhoven last Monday, universities and schools of higher education asked many questions. But few answers were given...
Tips from experienced tutors

Tips from experienced tutors

MAASTRICHT. What do you do with a student who, for the umpteenth time, comes to a tutorial group meeting unprepared? How do you deal with a group that depends too much on the tutor? And what is the best approach to that quiet member in the group? The DVD Tips from experienced tutors - which is a Leading-in-Learning project that is being launched in...

Student party shut down prematurely

Student party shut down prematurely

MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht police closed down a student party on the Ruttensingel prematurely last Saturday after complaints about noise. The one hundred to one hundred and fifty partygoers, mainly German students, were sent home. Sometimes the police only give a warning and the party can continue after the music has been turned down. This time, h...

Free wireless Internet access on Vrijthof

Free wireless Internet access on Vrijthof

MAASTRICHT. Since this week, everyone can have free Internet access, with WhatsApp, e-mail or Facebook on the Vrijthof. The Maastricht city council, Vodafone and MUMC+ launched this one-year experiment last Tuesday. The project costs 100 thousand euro (50 thousand for the city, the remainder being shared between the other two partners). Maastricht ...

European employers appreciate experience abroad, but don’t overdo it

MAASTRICHT. A survey shows that employers prefer candidates who have studied abroad for a while. But those who have completed their entire study abroad, are a little less popular.
Researcher’s fifteen seconds of fame

Researcher’s fifteen seconds of fame

MAASTRICHT. Can you trust journalists? A researcher who is not used to dealing with the media, can become quite nervous about a newspaper, radio, or TV interview. The fear that the research project will not be presented well or is even distorted, is often huge, say the writers of Prepare for 15 seconds of fame. Media contacts for researchers.

‘Paying’ to participate in an exam is not allowed

MAASTRICHT. Universities are not allowed to fine students who are late registering for a module or exam, says the Dutch Education Inspectorate. Nevertheless, this is common practice in many places, including Maastricht University. Here late registrations cost 35 euro. The only thing is that it is not referred to as a fine in Maastricht, but as an a...

CZ accommodates cross-border workers

MAASTRICHT. The new collective health insurer CZ accommodates UM employees who live abroad now that it appears that this group (371 in Belgium, 102 in Germany) never received a letter with information in December. The foreign postal codes accidentally ended up on the ‘do not mail me’ list, as was discovered by the health insurer today a...

Extra hurdles for foreign employees at CZ

Extra hurdles for foreign employees at CZ

  MAASTRICHT. Foreign UM employees who have accessed the English version of the new collective health insurance company CZ’s website, and continue by clicking Calculate your premium, are shown a Dutch registration form. Those who live in Belgium, pay an additional 9.25 per cent tax for the supplementary insurance. And registering online...

No more problems with Dutch diplomas in Belgium

No more problems with Dutch diplomas in Belgium

MAASTRICHT. Dutch master’s diplomas give not always access to jobs in Flanders. But now it seems as if an end to the arguing about the recognition of diplomas between the Netherlands and Flanders is in sight. In spring of 2014, a treaty will come into force that will regulate academic equality, a spokesperson for the minister of educatio...
“Learn history and have fun at the same time”

“Learn history and have fun at the same time”

Who: Birsen Erdogan, political scientist at Faculty of Law Book: Q, by Luther Blissett Target group: all students, especially non-European students
Cum laude is not the same everywhere

Cum laude is not the same everywhere

MAASTRICHT. One cum laude is not the other, a master’s graduate of ‘Arts and Heritage: Policy, Management and Education’ wrote to Observant. She recently graduated with an average of 7.9 and did not receive the cum laude annotation on her diploma. Had she studied at University College Leiden, then a 7.7 average in years two and th...
“In the international arena, Israel bashing is a sport”

“In the international arena, Israel bashing is a sport”

MAASTRICHT. “He was very self-confident”, concludes a student leaving the lecture hall at University College Maastricht. “I think he has to be”, another replies. Last Monday morning, the Israeli ambassador Haim Divon visited Maastricht University for a debate with UCM students. His main point: the focus on the Israel–P...
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.
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...

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...

Much interest for free Dutch lessons

Much interest for free Dutch lessons

MAASTRICHT. The first 368 bachelor’s students completed the first module of their free Dutch course last week. It is not known yet whether they have all passed. Just before the summer, the Executive Board decided to give in to the long-cherished wish of various student groups: free Dutch language courses for foreign students. Knowledge of Du...

“Did you hear about the 3000 people who died this afternoon?”

“Did you hear about the 3000 people who died this afternoon?”

MAASTRICHT. “First question: are you happy?” Silence. “This is a very interactive audience”, Feike Sijbesma laughs. He looks up to the balcony of the Aula at the Minderbroedersberg: “Are you happy upstairs?”

Elsevier: UCM is the best by far in Maastricht

MAASTRICHT. According to students, University College Maastricht is the best liberal arts programme in the Netherlands.  Moreover, figures and tables published last week in the Elsevier weekly magazine show that it is the best-scoring programme in Maastricht. Every autumn, Elsevier lists the best studies in the Netherlands, based on students&...

Plan B 2018 a long way off

Plan B 2018 a long way off

MAASTRICHT. A slimmed-down revival of the Maastricht Cultural Capital 2018 initiative seems to be less and less likely. Three weeks ago, when it was announced that Leeuwarden was the winning city, project leaders Guido Wevers and Huub Smeets alluded to a plan B, for which twenty of the original eighty million would be made available. The initiative...

Misunderstanding about compulsory attendance at FaSoS

Misunderstanding about compulsory attendance at FaSoS

MAASTRICHT. A misapprehension, that’s all. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences has not introduced 100% compulsory attendance. Students are allowed to be absent twice in an eight-week block and once in a four-week block. Anyone who does not comply will be denied access to the block’s exam. Students may appeal to the hardship clause i...

Don't blame the evaluator!

Don't blame the evaluator!

MAASTRICHT. It wasn’t Maastricht, but Leeuwarden that was declared European Cultural Capital for 2018 last Friday. A great disappointment for the city, the thirteen partners and the leaders of the project. The jury was scourged in the media last weekend. They were supposedly “biased” and “cowardly”. Observant probed th...

Behind the scenes at the therapist

Behind the scenes at the therapist

Who: Dalena van Heugten-van der Kloet, PhD in Psychology Book: Lying on the Couch by Irvin Yalom Target group: students who have an affinity with clinical psychology
The chicken or the egg

The chicken or the egg

MAASTRICHT. It’s not his first prize. Olivier Marie has already been awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship that gives researchers the opportunity to gain experience abroad, and in 2012 he received the Veni grant from the Dutch research organisation NWO. Last Monday a jury unanimously awarded the Edmond Hustinx prize to the assistant professor at t...
Not the cheapest, not the most expensive city

Not the cheapest, not the most expensive city

MAASTRICHT. The rent of an average student room in Maastricht? 365 euros. The average price of a glass of beer in the capital of Limburg? €2,60. Only in Leiden (€2,90) students pay more for a beer. Maastricht isn’t the cheapest student town in the Netherlands, a recent survey from MasterCard and Nibud tells us. The cheapest town is ...

AquaDANCE popular

AquaDANCE popular

MAASTRICHT. The packed bike racks at the Geusseltbad are the first sign that AquaDANCE is a popular activity among freshmen. It’s also hard to find an empty place on the sunny lawn, this Thursday afternoon.  And the (brand new) swimming pools in the open air are full of students.  Inside the Geusseltbad people are gliding of the hug...

New record Inkom: 2,700 participants

New record Inkom: 2,700 participants

MAASTRICHT, 20 AUGUST. Yesterday, 2,700 freshmen registered for the Inkom 2013. That’s more than ever. In 2012 there were 2,500 participants, and that was a record too: 250 more than in 2011. The influx has probably to do with the abolishing of the Dutch basic study grant (€251,76 per month) in September 2014. Students that start their b...

Cosy and peaceful

Cosy and peaceful

MAASTRICHT. When the two Media Culture master’s students arrived in Maastricht last August, one thing struck both of them: “Walking through the streets, we saw many students and a lot of elderly people. The group in between is notably absent.” Curious about the people and the city, Christine Spiteri (who did a bachelor’s in ...
"We are both victims and culprits"

"We are both victims and culprits"

Who: Philip Vergauwen, economist, dean of SBE from September What: Midnight, by Mao Dun Target group: students of Economics and International Business “Regardless whether you are a globalist or an antiglobalist, for or against the neo-liberal market economy, you should read this book. Anyone who wants to take part in the discussion about t...

André Rieu as a research object

André Rieu as a research object

MAASTRICHT. Four Maastricht researchers are going to study the ‘phenomenon’ of André Rieu. They want to find out what the secret is behind this Maastricht violinist and orchestra conductor. Why does his music appeal to such a broad public? How does he manage to remove the divide between classical and popular music? And why does music fr...

Public transport to Belgium and Germany substandard

Public transport to Belgium and Germany substandard

MAASTRICHT. Obsolete, crowded trains, inebriated passengers, poor connections and extremely long travelling times. The complaints about public transport from Maastricht to Aachen and Liège are clear and plentiful, a survey by Young Democrats Limburg shows. They have recently asked 350 mainly foreign UM students for their views. The outcome was a m...

Little enthusiasm for election debate

Little enthusiasm for election debate

MAASTRICHT. It won’t be a real debate, warns the chair of the University Council, Herman Kingma, right before the doors of the Aula opened on Wednesday 15 May. There are no propositions to debate; instead, two student parties, DOPE and NovUM, will briefly introduce themselves, and “then I will pose some nasty questions”, he smiles...

Train, bus or car

MAASTRICHT. The province of Limburg wants to make public transport more appealing to German students – partly because of pressure from the democrats party D66.  At the moment, through sheer necessity, this group usually travels to Maastricht by car, thus adding to the parking problems in town. A study of their transport needs has been sc...

Knowledge of Dutch is essential on NL labour market

Knowledge of Dutch is essential on NL labour market

MAASTRICHT. Anyone who wants to work in the Netherlands - even if it is with an international company or institute - would do well to also learn the Dutch language. This is one of the outcomes of a study carried by Unipartners on behalf of the UM’s Language Centre.
Can wars be just?

Can wars be just?

Who: Roberta Haar, political scientist at University College Maastricht Book: Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut Target: UCM students
A mother tongue too sweet for a dark story

A mother tongue too sweet for a dark story

MAASTRICHT. The life of Ana Menendez is all about writing: she was a journalist for twenty years, has now published two novels, two short story collections and numerous essays and – last but not least – is the founder (“It wasn’t me alone; I did it with many colleagues, like Lies Wesseling, Rein de Wilde, Jan de Roder and Wi...

FaSoS council: Squabbling about the Dutch term PhD student

Council members from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are worried about the term ‘PhD student’ that has been included in the Dutch version of the draft regulation for obtaining one's doctoral degree by the new Graduate School FaSoS. “This could lead to a situation in which doctoral students are allowed in on a large sca...

FaSoS students want exchange and interaction

Monthly meetings where students, staff and alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences can discuss subjects that they have chosen, take workshops and/or listen to lectures. This is a proposal put forward by the student representatives. With this initiative they hope to strengthen the bond between the students from the various FaSoS programm...

EIPA library closed for UM students and staff

EIPA library closed for UM students and staff

Maastricht University students and staff can no longer use the EIPA (European Institute of Public Administration) library, situated on the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein. EIPA has to economise and does not have sufficient funds to maintain the collection and to ensure permanent supervision, says Joyce Groneschild, the institute's marketing co-ordinator...

All is not as it seems

All is not as it seems

Who: Karin Wenz, director of studies of the MA Media Culture Book: The sense of an ending, by Julian Barnes Target group: all students and employees
“I was scared as hell”

“I was scared as hell”

“It was the longest night of my life. I was scared as hell: the dark, the horrible noise – and I was all alone.” These are the words of Laura Lenz, a Maastricht student who is living in Manhattan while doing a four-month internship as a junior researcher at New York University. She survived Hurricane Sandy, which hit more than ten...

Cause of death of Circumflex board member: unfortunate combination of factors

The death of the Circumflex treasurer, Thijs Eberson, was caused by an unfortunate combination of factors related to his medical background, according to a statement released by Maastricht University this afternoon. Thijs Eberson was found dead on Saturday by a fellow board member in Sociëteit de Kaap. The cause of death has not been formally esta...

Circumflex board member found dead

Last Saturday the treasurer of the student association Circumflex, third-year International Business student Thijs Eberson, was found dead in the Sociëteit de Kaap on the Capucijnenstraat. The 22-year-old student from Oisterwijk slept over in the building after a party on Friday night. He was found there on Saturday by a fellow student. There was ...

'The pharmaceutical industry does not want people to be healthy”

'The pharmaceutical industry does not want people to be healthy”

Who: Geertjan Wesseling, professor of Pulmonology Book: Whistle Blower by Tess Gerritsen Target: students of Medicine, Health Sciences and Biomedical Sciences
A good reason to learn Dutch

A good reason to learn Dutch

Who: Rein de Wilde, Faculty dean at Arts and Social Sciences Book: Badal by Anil Ramdas Target: students of Arts and Social Sciences and European Studies
Cycling to knowledge

Cycling to knowledge

Cycling for about 11,000 kilometres with 40 other students, visiting 8 universities, travelling through  7 countries – from Istanbul to Beijing along the Silk Road – in 5.5 months. This is The Study Road, a project invented by UM graduate Joya van Hout which should kick off in March 2013. The initial idea for The Study Road popped...

New guest house at Pieter Willemsstraat has special history

New guest house at Pieter Willemsstraat has special history

A plaque at the gate commemorates the deportation of hundreds of Limburg Jews from the old school during the Second World War. The school has now been rebuilt as a guest house for students.
Maastricht Summer School: not busy, but good

Maastricht Summer School: not busy, but good

They had hoped for a hundred participants, they got 89. Nevertheless, the organisers of the Maastricht Summer School  - from 9 July until 17 August  - are pleased. “We could only start recruiting at a late stage, but the students who came, were full of praise.” The participants of the first Summer School at Maastricht Univers...

“If you get to know us you’ll see we’re very friendly”

“If you get to know us you’ll see we’re very friendly”

Madeleine Borgh, 23, from Sweden, doing an internship at CRISP/UM and Hogeschool Zuyd No, she’s not blonde, but she is from Sweden. Madeleine Borgh arrived in Maastricht two and half weeks ago and will stay for three months. An Occupational Therapy student, she is doing an internship at the Centre for Research Innovation, Support and Policy ...

Uncertainty is good

Uncertainty is good

Who: Rob de Vries, lecturer at the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences Book: Hamlet of William Shakespeare Targeted: psychology students
Faculty introduction in full swing

Faculty introduction in full swing

Thursday afternoon around 13:30. The faculty introduction is in full swing, in the inner city and at the other site of the Maas. The staff of the front desk of the Student Service Centre has to deal with a lot of questions. The official opening of the academic year will be on Monday 3 September 2012 (15:30) in the Theater a...

Dutch rapper Ali B opens INKOM 2012

Dutch rapper Ali B opens INKOM 2012

Singing and crowd surfing. That's how Dutch rapper Ali B opened the INKOM 2012 this afternoon. It was a full house, the Maastricht Market was crowded with freshmen, their papa's and mama's and a lot of members of the Maastricht fraternities. A record was broken today; for the first time there were more than 2500 freshmen who join the I...

Almost certain: Digital Society to start in September

Almost certain: Digital Society to start in September

MAASTRICHT. There is still one hurdle to take, but everything is pointing in the direction of the new bachelor's of Digital Society at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences starting in September. There is plenty of interest: 282 prospective students have already shown serious interest.