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Entries for March 2011

Maintaining the Top 3% Award

Keep handing out the Top 3% Award – even without the grant – as a token of recognition. This is what students from the School of Business and Economics proposed in the Faculty Council this week. The regulation on reimbursing the tuition fees of the best 3% of UM students will be abolished as of the next academic year. The Executive Board would pre...

Museum Weekend, Haïti and Marike Jager

In Haiti, hundreds of people are still homeless after the earthquake in January 2010. They have not been forgotten by the group of Maastricht students who together form the band Sono. They will therefore give a benefit concert for Haiti on Friday 8 April in café D’n Hiemel at 20.00. Jazz, gospel and pop music will be on the programme, and there wil...

Baltic writing contest

What is the role of a university in the 21st century? This was the subject of a writing contest for students from the Baltic countries. The three winners won a four-day stay in Maastricht, where they met the ambassadors from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania and got to know the city and Maastricht University. The contest was initiated by second-year UC...

Election journal after all

There will be an election journal after all, enclosed in Observant. This decision was taken by the Central Polling Committee after receiving a letter from the university council and “signals from various factions, of both students and employees,” says professor Philip Vergauwen, chairman of the polling committee. Initially the polling committee onl...

1000 cranes sold

1000 cranes sold

Last Saturday and Sunday, more than thirty students from Maastricht University and Hogeschool Zuyd, as well as eleven Japanese students who are at the moment teaching at the school of higher education, collected two thousand euros for the victims of the earthquake in Japan. They did this by selling the origami cranes that they had folded, on the Vr...

The right shirt for the right match

The right shirt for the right match

Adam Siemer (21), from Chicago, Illinois, studying for five months at the CES in Maastricht  

Harry Potter

Before coming overseas, I’d only thought of trains as old railroad systems used to transport coal or cattle. But trains as public transportation became a reality when I rode my first train from Amsterdam to Maastricht; in about two hours, I’d met five new people and was enchanted by all the different languages. A German man with a guitar serenaded ...

KCIS wins Expat Award

Maastricht University's Knowledge Centre for International Staff (KCIS) has won the Expat Service Provider Award 2011. The Expat Awards were handed out for the second time this year to the expat, the expat employer and the expat service provider who received a positive distinction within the international community in the Netherlands.
“People hated their identity as Arabs”

“People hated their identity as Arabs”

Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran. Who’s next? Which regime's days are numbered too? Two UM employees with their roots in Morocco and Jordan - two countries that have escaped so far -  give their views on the situation. “I am not afraid of fundamentalists in power. A good Muslim does not seek aggression, not with Europe either.”

Printer problems continue

Enough is enough for the students of the School of Business and Economics. They claim that the printers still have long queues, paper runs out all the time, and machines keep breaking down for whatever reason. All problems were supposed to have been solved by 1 February; this deadline has now been postponed to 1 April. The students have only one pr...

Typical NL: Travelling with pindakaas

One wonderful aspect of living in the midst of Europe is that it's so easy to brush up your cultural perspective by visiting other countries. Take a train for two or three hours and bath in a different culture, mentality and language. I once got invited by a Dutch friend to visit Paris together with some friends of hers. Oh, the excitement! Paris, ...

Jazz Masters, Maaska, Insane the Brain and Hope for Japan

The ninth Jazz Maastricht Masters festival will take place at the Theater aan het Vrijthof on 25 and 26 March. The line-up features famous artists like James Hunter and Bobby McFerrin as well as up-and-comers playing on several stages. Take a look at for information on tickets (you can buy day tickets or a passe-partout) and ...

Typical NL: Art and austerity

The men are in tweed with elbow patches, smoking cigars and stroking their beards. The women wear fur and extreme amounts of orange makeup. This is TEFAF, the annual Maastricht event founded in the 1980s and billing itself as ‘the world’s leading art and antiques fair’. One of this year’s main attractions: a Rembrandt dating from 1658. ‘Portrait o...

TEFAF is all about business

TEFAF is all about business

It's like a museum with the most unexpected valuables; with no student reduction

Flip flops

Before leaving America, our group of students was warned that, if we didn’t want to stand out as foreigners in Maastricht, we should pack more fashionable clothes than we might normally wear in Texas. At our school, it’s completely normal to see a student lounging around campus on a cold day in his sweatpants and hooded sweatshirt (and maybe even a...

Completely covered in colours

Completely covered in colours

“Happy Holi!” a girl exclaims while pelting another in the face with brightly coloured powder. The Indian student’s association ISA Maastricht welcomed the arrival of spring with a celebration of the traditional Hindu Holi festival this weekend. After enjoying an ample Indian lunch, association members and other attendees proceeded to cover one ano...
The 2001 Toyota Camry

The 2001 Toyota Camry

Justin Lane, 21, from Baltimore, US, studying a Bachelor of Arts (double major in history and political science)

UM student wins Join the Best competition

It will be his first internship, but it’s one most second-year students can only dream of. Nils Kornder, a German bachelor’s student of International Business, won the MLP Join the Best competition and will fly to Shanghai this June, for a 2.5 month internship at the Jilin Investment Group.

UniPartners Maastricht crosses borders

UniPartners – an academic consultancy run by Maastricht students – wants to expand into Germany. For the past twenty years, budding economists and managers have been doing research (market research, employee satisfaction surveys, et cetera) for Dutch companies, says Tom Bettelheim, chairman of UniPartners Maastricht and a bachelor’s graduate of Int...

Film festival coming to town

Forty movies from all over Europe, twenty of them spoken or dubbed in English. The Made in Europe Festival 2011 – from 5 to 10 April – is definitely also intended for non-Dutch speakers.

Halt on vacancies, no contract renewals

Temporary contracts will not be renewed and vacancies will not be filled. In addition to the total halt on vacancies announced by the Executive Board this week and effective immediately, more economy measures will follow. The Executive Board wants to save at least 10 million euros, preferably already by 2011, as government contributions appear to b...

Typical NL: Banking bliss

If you’ve ever played the computer game Age of Empires – that’s the sort of geek I am – you’ll know that the Dutch are always bankers. And I for one – hold on to your hats – love Dutch banks. Oh, how I adore and treasure them. Now that I’ve made the switch to Britain’s eternally backwards Lloyds TSB, I appreciate what I had with ABN AMRO. It was on...

Student Film Night and UM Pride

True Grit, The King's Speech, The Way Back, Black Swan and 127 Hours. These and 18 other movies will be shown on Thursday 24 March at the Lumière cinema as part of the Maastricht Student Film Night, organised by Saurus debating society Nynève in cooperation with Lumière. Doors will open at 21.30, and the ‘night’ will end around 6.30. The pre-premiè...

"A professor is not a friend"

"A professor is not a friend"

120. This is the average number of friends of a typical Facebook user on this social network site. Colleagues, fellow students, family, sports mates, and increasingly also your lecturers or students. The question is whether the latter is a good idea. UM lecturer: “I would not want to know with whom and how my students spend their weekends.”

Finger food

As a Texas student who’d never left the US before venturing to the Netherlands, I was accustomed to having pizza delivered and eating it with my hands at home. But this lifelong understanding that pizza is a finger food and goes best with Coke has recently been demolished; apparently it is impolite not to cut your pizza with a knife and fork, and i...

"Discrimination makes me mad"

"Discrimination makes me mad"

Mervie Likouete, (20, born in Congo) a second-year student of European Studies from Belgium
Bridge of solidarity

Bridge of solidarity

It was not your typical flashmob at the St Servaas bridge on Tuesday afternoon. A flashmob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place and perform some sort of unusual act for a brief time. But this time, there was no singing or dancing. Instead, around 100 students simply formed a line holding hands. Hanging around their necks wer...

Carnival and Kensington

This weekend will mark the start of Carnival, a festival to celebrate the start of the fasting before Easter. For three days, the whole town will go crazy with people dressing up as anything they want. You could go as Bambi or even Yogi Bear – it’s up to you. All sorts of activities take place during Carnival. Here, we highlight two for you: On Sun...

Ten Tunas in Maastricht

If you happen to be in the Maastricht city centre on the weekend of 23, 24 and 25 September, you cannot miss them. More than two hundred members of Tuna groups from the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and probably South America – clearly recognisable by their clothing – will perform their traditional Spanish music on every square, terrace and street. ...

New look for Observant

A bilingual front page, a new font and a different logo. In short, after carnival, Observant will be published in a new layout, designed by Simone Golob.
The absurd humour

The absurd humour

Ross MacRae, 20, from Edinburgh, Scotland, third-year law student (on Erasmus exchange)

Not 33 but 42 ECTS points

If you obtain fewer than 42 ECTS points in one year, you may have to quit your bachelor’s programme at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. This is one of the proposals in the Education and Examination Regulations (OERs) for 2011/12 of European Studies, Arts and Culture, and Cultuurwetenschappen. 

Top 3% regulation scrapped

The regulation that meant that the best 3 per cent of UM students had their lecture fees reimbursed, has been abolished. The Executive Board wants to spend the money differently. The Top 3 per cent regulation will be cancelled as of the next academic year. Students who started this year, including those from February 2011, will still qualify. The ...

Sports hall not before autumn 2013

At the earliest, a new sports complex will be completed after the summer of 2013. But first, a feasibility study will have to be completed before July this year.

Christmas exams

Next year, no exams will be planned just before Christmas, rector Gerard Mols promised the University Council last week. During question time, Polish European Law School student Aleksandra Kwiek made a strong appeal to the UM management not make the same mistake as last year, when there were exams on 23 December. This was a day when many foreign st...

Mixed Inkom not abolished yet

The Inkom working group is still in favour of mixed introduction groups for the next Inkom, but they do not rule out that things are changing. This became clear during a meeting of a University Council committee.