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Entries for April 2011

Pure Alpha best student company

Pure Alpha, a company of six SBE students, has won the regional finals of Jong Ondernemen, a non-profit organisation that aims to help as many young people as possible to become aware of entrepreneurship. The national semifinals and finals will be held in May and June.
Learn about the city while jogging

Learn about the city while jogging

It’s 19.00 on a sunny Tuesday. A group of people is gathering at Plein 1992 in front of the restaurant Beluga. These are the participants in the first guided jogging tour for the international community in Maastricht, organised by Maastricht Running Tours and the Knowledge Centre for International Staff (KCIS). For €10 they will jog for about an ho...

Queen's Day and Student Playback Show

Queen’s Day You might want to search your closet for an orange outfit: 30 April is Queen’s Day in the Netherlands. Activities and parties will be held in Maastricht the entire weekend. The events kick off with MY-Day on the 29th, an ‘interactive, informative market’ in the park. That evening, several cover bands and DJs will also be playing in the...

“Turn the UM into a European university”

Create a few European universities, financed with EU money. Maastricht University could be one of them. That would put an end to the grumbling about German students getting their diplomas at the expense of the Dutch taxpayer.  

“There is more to Europe than making money and creating jobs”

In Finland, the Euro-sceptical party True Finns won 19 per cent of the votes last weekend. Their main point: Finland pays Brussels too much. And the aid for Portugal – a multi-billion loan to give the country some breathing space to straighten out their economy – should not be given. Elsewhere in Europe, Euro-scepticism is on the up and up too (inc...
"Life can be pretty absurd"

"Life can be pretty absurd"

Lucian Watkins, 19, from Perth, Australia, exchange student at University College

Cowboys and shotguns

As a child in Texas, it was normal to spend a weeknight watching bull-riders and barrel-racers ride on the dirt-floored rodeo arena. I even joined in on the kiddy activities of chasing lambs for cash prizes when I was old enough. I never realised that all this wasn’t a typical family outing everywhere until I came to Europe, where when I mention to...

Free advice for A2 residents

Free advice for A2 residents

Students are going to help residents living in the neighbourhood of the A2 submitting complaints or claiming damages

English Unless?

Our Executive Board finds itself, with an intake of 43% international students in 2009, in a bit of an uncomfortable position. Stick to Dutch, or present the icing on Jo Ritzen's farewell cake and switch to English? The new Strategic Programme speaks of the 'English unless' approach. For example, will this be the end of pla...

Green tea to lose weight

Green tea to lose weight

Green tea has a preventative effect on cardiovascular diseases, cancer, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. But it is also a perfect drink for those who want to lose weight.
“You don’t just send away one of the clients”

“You don’t just send away one of the clients”

Last Saturday, the Faculty of Law hosted the finals of the International Client Consultation Competition (ICCC), in which teams of law students from all over the world tried to best one another during simulations of legal counsel. The pairs were confronted with actors playing prospective clients in need of legal services, and it was up to the stude...

One idea, twenty slides, 400 seconds

Present a new idea with the help of twenty slides, each of which you can comment on for twenty seconds. This – in a nutshell – is the idea behind PechaKucha (Japanese for chit-chat). Twelve people give such a presentation at each PechaKucha night. The idea came originally from two Tokyo architects, and PechaKucha nights have been held in Maastricht...

Smartlappen, Upload Cinema and Niki de Saint Phalle

On Friday 15 April, the Smartlappenfestival in Maastricht will be a great occasion to interact with Dutch culture. Artists will be performing tearjerkers, some with a funny twist, in a dozen crowded cafes in the city centre, including Edd’s Café and In den Ouden Vogelstruys. You can find the full programme here: The festival s...

Typical NL: Gezelligheid

The coolest Dutch words are those that don’t exist in English at all. The general concept might exist, but the Dutch flavour just gives it that something extra. Sure, everyone drinks. We all party. But only the Dutch have borrels. Likewise, we all get sick of having to peck the chalky cheeks of ageing relatives every time we see them. But the Dutch...


When I first saw a dog inside a restaurant in Maastricht, my eyes darted around the room to see everyone’s surprised reactions, but to my surprise nobody thought the dog was out of place. Almost every building in Texas has “no pets allowed” signs, and seeing an animal on a bus or in a restaurant means it’s a seeing-eye dog. In Europe, though, I faw...

UM Faculty Fight

Always wanted to battle it out with lawyers, economists, psychologists or medics? Now is your chance, at the first Faculty Fight organised by UM Sport to celebrate its anniversary on Wednesday, 25 May, together with the MUSST Sports Council and study and student sport associations.
Students attacked in Ghana

Students attacked in Ghana

Three Maastricht medical students were attacked by a group of armed men in Ghana at the end of March. The men took their telephones, money, bank cards, laptop, and a photo camera, but the students remained unharmed. The three women have returned to the Netherlands. The medical students were doing an internship in West Gonja Hospital, in the villag...

"I'm a very bad Dutch person"

"I'm a very bad Dutch person"

Merel Feije, 20, from Hoofddorp, Netherlands, student at the University College

The correlation between cooperation and integration

While sipping my coffee on a beautiful Monday morning disbelief stroke me when reading the Observant (28). I read an opinion article called The fraternity and nothing else, which implied that membership of an association leads to a more asocial attitude towards others. A huge photo of Tragos members during the Inkom showed whom this meant. Unbelie...

No position yet

No position yet

The fact that René Verspeek, director of Student Services (SSC), must leave, has to do with dissatisfaction about his performance and the Executive Board's idea that directors should change jobs from time to time. This was the explanation given by Executive Board member André Postema last Monday to the collected SSC employees. According to Postema,...


April 2011. The student parties are out again in order to warm-up for the up-coming elections. The challenge for everybody again: let's work on our legitimacy! With only around 30% participation in the elections, most students seem to be very reluctant to have confidence in their students parties. Where is the master topic to get the students to th...

English as official UM language

If the Executive Board gets its way, English will become the university’s official language. During the last university council meeting, Executive Board member André Postema announced that the next Strategic Programme speaks of ‘English, unless’, which means that Dutch more or less takes second place. “But this is still to be discussed,” he added. ...

Halt on vacancies criticised

There was a lot of criticism for the measure itself and certainly for the way in which it was announced in the university. The university council was not happy with the halt on vacancies and the ban on extending temporary contracts, last Wednesday. The Executive Board nevertheless strongly defended its necessity. 

Typical NL: Milk and butter

“Can you please write about the milk?” “What about it?” “Didn't you notice? There is milk everywhere in the Netherlands. It's so annoying!” To tell you the truth, I hadn't noticed, but once my friend had mentioned it, I became more observant and realized she is right. The Netherlands is probably the only country where you can order a glass of mi...

Starting a company in one weekend

How to enthuse students for entrepreneurship? Instead of holding another lecture, the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship (MC4E) is hosting an event called 3 Day Startup (3DS). The concept consists of gathering forty students who will try to set up a technology company in 60 hours, from Friday (May 6th) to Sunday night, and present their busines...

Canteen food changed after complaints

Canteen food changed after complaints

Smaller rolls with less filling, different prices for the same product, and less tasty salads. This is a selection of the complaints that students and staff had about the food in the university canteen. Account manager Cees Vink from catering company Albron had a good talk with a group of students. He promised to take action. So now there will be l...

The Resident

Every year, three million single women in America move into an apartment for the first time. They do not know who lived in the apartment before them, they do not know their landlords, and they don’t bother to change the locks. This is the story of one such woman. After separating from her husband, pretty young doctor Juliet Dermer moves to Brooklyn...

Education attaché in Saudi Arabia

The Lower House has asked State Secretary of Education Halbe Zijlstra questions about the recruitment of students in Saudi Arabia. The Labour Party and the Socialist Party feel that this should not be a chief concern for Dutch universities.

Spoiled children

The first time I saw a European mini car from a distance, I mistook it as one of those American battery-operated toy cars; I use this funny memory as a reminder of the vast cultural and environmental differences between the U.S. and Europe. Like a coddling grandparent, America enjoys spoiling its residents like rotten grandchildren. As one of those...

The best way to relax: biking

The best way to relax: biking

Otto Couwenberg (23), from Naarden, the Netherlands, master’s student of Marketing and Finance (IB)
Typical Dutch: The fraternity and nothing else

Typical Dutch: The fraternity and nothing else

Where does being a member of a fraternity, including the rule of ‘having to socialize’, lead to, asks Nicola Cramarossa, who’s studying psychology. Taking less initiative in making contact with people outside the fraternity?