Most PVV parliamentary candidates have another political job

THE NETHERLANDS. Nearly all the 50 parliamentary hopefuls on the PVV’s election list have another political job, according to research by the Volkskrant.

 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.

Pressure mounts on university lecturers as student numbers rise

THE NETHERLANDS. Almost seven in 10 university academic staff say they have to work under a lot of pressure and 70% do at least six hours overtime a week, according to a survey by trade union federation FNV.

Eating out is in as young generation embraces conspicuous consumption

THE NETHERLANDS. Dining out is the latest word in conspicuous consumption, according to a survey that shows spending in cafes and restaurants increased by 4.5% in 2016.

“The EU is like Noah’s ark. You can jump out, but you’ll drown”

“The EU is like Noah’s ark. You can jump out, but you’ll drown”

Twenty five years later, a number of the key players are back. On 9 and 10 December 1991, the Maastricht MECC hosted the European summit that led to the signing of Maastricht Treaty and, ten years after that, the introduction of the euro. The commemorative celebrations took place last Friday, with mixed feelings – but mostly the urge to fight on.

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 theses.

A good cause and music: “It’s magic”

A good cause and music: “It’s magic”

MAASTRICHT. An intimate crowd gathers inside the Innbetween, which is decorated with warm lighting and a traditional Christmas tree, for the Unicef Charity Concert Thursday night. People chat and eat Mexican milk cake before the concert begins, which...

Dutch overestimate size of the Netherlands’ Muslim population

THE NETHERLANDS. Members of the public in the Netherlands and other European states widely overestimate the size of their Muslim populations, according to an Ipsos Mori poll.

Separate train between Central station and Randwyck following transition chaos

MAASTRICHT – A separate train will be transporting passengers between Maastricht central station and Maastricht Randwyck at least until the next week. The additional train departs four times per hour in both directions. Public transporter ...

“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, debated with students and other interested parties on the future of the European Union.

Congestion and delays as commuters adjust to new train timetable

THE NETHERLANDS. Rail passengers are getting used to the most wide-ranging overhaul of the national train timetable in nearly 10 years, with 98% of commuters facing a change to their routine.

Dutch to ban cyclists from using mobile phones, apart from hands-free

THE NETHERLANDS. Transport minister Melanie Schultz is to introduce new legislation banning cyclists from using their mobile phones unless they telephone hands-free and using headphones.

How to cope with the workload and find Cato by Cato

How to cope with the workload and find Cato by Cato

MAASTRICHT. “You meet new people and learn more about the university yourself, it’s a win-win situation”, that’s how the buddies of the International Student Ambassador Programme described their time showing new internati...

Debate on teaching load dies away in numerical mess

MAASTRICHT. Where is the extra staff meant to relieve the pressure of work but especially ‘teaching load’ for academic staff? Members of the University Council are racking their brains over the continually changing figures and are bickering with the Executive Board about ‘standard hours’ and ‘task loads’. A workgroup will be set up to provide some clarity in the coming months.

Fewer Dutch students choose a UM programme

Fewer Dutch students choose a UM programme

MAASTRICHT. For the first time in the history of Maastricht University, fewer than half of the students are from the Netherlands (48.2 per cent). The number of Dutch students coming here for the first time to study, is even lower than that: 35.5 per cent. In particular Dutch bachelor students are less inclined to choose the South Limburg university. A quarter of the newcomers are from Germany, 8 per cent from Belgium and almost 22 per cent is from elsewhere in the European Union. These results come from the final enrolment figures as of 1 December.

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 Bro...

Access to wireless internet is a basic necessity: Dutch minister

THE NETHERLANDS. Access to wireless internet is a basic necessity for everyone in the Netherlands, according to Dutch economic affairs minister Henk Kamp.

Ministers want more controls on foreign funding of foundations

THE NETHERLANDS. The cabinet wants to bring in new rules about foreign finance for foundations, following concerns about the source of some cash sent to mosques and other Islamic institutions.

Dutch prime minister says migrant boats should be sent back to Africa

THE NETHERLANDS. Prime minister Mark Rutte has called for migrant boats intercepted off the coast of Italy to be towed back to safe countries in northern Africa.

Dutch foreign minister ‘will argue’ for a freeze on accession talks with Turkey

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders has told parliament he is prepared to argue in favour of temporarily suspending talks with Turkey about EU membership following pressure from MPs.

BMJ editor in chief becomes UM professor

BMJ editor in chief becomes UM professor

MAASTRICHT. Fiona Godlee, editor in chief of the top medical journal BMJ (British Medical Journal), will become a professor at Maastricht University. The chair was set up by the national research school CaRe, of which the Maastricht institute Caphri is a part. “I think our PhD candidates now have a greater chance of writing a top publication.”

City centre and Wyck most popular amongst bicycle thieves

MAASTRICHT. Over the past six years, more than ten thousand bicycles have been stolen in Maastricht. That is 88 for every thousand inhabitants (in relative terms, this is more than in Amsterdam or Utrecht). The favourite spot for thieves is the city ...

Robots to replace lecturers?

Robots to replace lecturers?

MAASTRICHT. You enter the classroom and there is no lecturer in sight. Instead, a robot whizzes around and teaches at the whiteboard. The lectures turn into mass events with thousands of students listening in via a video link-up or some other technological device. Maastricht’s famous PBL sessions diminish slowly and online courses become part of everyday life. This scenario could be Maastricht’s future in 50 years or even less.

More threats and violence directed at local politicians due to refugee controversies

THE NETHERLANDS. There has been a ‘worrying’ increase in threats and violence directed at local politicians, home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk has told parliament.

Council of Europe warns Dutch about counter-terrorism plans

THE NETHERLANDS. The Council of Europe is concerned about Dutch draft legislation to stop people traveling to join jihadi movements in Syria and has asked the government to explain its proposals, the NRC said on Tuesday.

The Netherlands is about to become 10 hectares bigger

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands and Belgium will today sign a formal treaty swapping pieces of land along their border at the Maas river.

"ISN will have to show that they are capable"

MAASTRICHT. The International Students Club that will be housed in the Timmerfabriek halfway through 2019, has been given a name: Kaleido. In addition the setup has been changed. The International Student Network (ISN), the intended primary operator of the club, is no longer the biggest player.

Foreign students generate billions of euros for the Dutch economy

THE NETHERLANDS. International students who stay in the Netherlands after completing their studies generate some €1.6bn for the treasury every year, according to research by EP-Nuffic.

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 wa...

Good matching and a mentor

MAASTRICHT. Adequate information beforehand and more supervision during the course. These are the measures that faculties plan to implement in order to reduce the number of first-year dropouts or keep dropout numbers low. At the request of the Executive Board, every faculty investigated why students drop out and what they could do to prevent this.

A landing spot for students

A landing spot for students

MAASTRICHT. The Eiffel building on the Boschstraat is undergoing a metamorphosis. A large section of the striking old factory buildings will be occupied as of September by The Student Hotel. During yesterday’s kick-off, it was described as a &l...

Privacy and cybersecurity research centre

Privacy and cybersecurity research centre

MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht European Centre on Privacy and Cybersecurity (ECPC) is a new research institute at the Faculty of Law.

B-Glocal: the new bachelor’s in law

MAASTRICHT. The law faculty has plans for a new, multidisciplinary bachelor’s programme, Global Challenges and Law. With the approval of the Executive Board, the faculty is now conducting market research. The new programme is likely to run alongside the existing Dutch Law and European Law School (ELS) programmes as of September 2018.

Pay gap continues to close, young women earn more than men

THE NETHERLANDS. The pay gap between men and women is closing and young women are actually overtaking men in some sectors, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday.

Wilders to address ‘fewer Moroccans’ trial later this week

THE NETHERLANDS. Freedom Party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders has said he will attend court for the first time later this week to defend himself against charges of inciting hatred against Moroccans.

Srebrenica: did the UN tell Dutch troops there would be no air support?

THE NETHERLANDS. New research into the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 is likely to cast fresh doubt on whether the Dutch troops guarding the safe area were given adequate cover by the UN.

More dead birds confirmed to have infectious avian flu

THE NETHERLANDS. More dead birds have been found in the Netherlands which were killed by the highly infectious avian flu variant H5N8, the food and product safety board said on Wednesday.

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 ...

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.

Praise for the Sports Centre, criticism for the university restaurants and feedback

Praise for the Sports Centre, criticism for the university restaurants and feedback

MAASTRICHT. The new UM Sports Centre, officially opened in April, is very popular among Maastricht students. No less than 92 per cent is pleased with the sports facilities, shows the latest UM Student Monitor, which was distributed in April and May. Students are more critical about the price-quality ratio of the university restaurants, just as they are with the test results, which should be available more quickly. Besides that, students want better feedback from their lecturers.

Living in a doghouse

Living in a doghouse

MAASTRICHT. Last Thursday four Italian UM students who had raised funds for the refugees headed for the ‘Jungle’ in Calais and the smaller camp at Dunkirk. Calais has been completely wiped out, says third-year law student Angelica Giombin...

Britain can’t leave EU customs union and trade freely: Dutch finance minister

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has told the BBC that it would be ‘impossible’ for Britain to leave the EU customs union and keep trading freely with Europe.

“Sometimes you’re not smart enough on your own”

“Sometimes you’re not smart enough on your own”

MAASTRICHT. Oats, nanomedicines, and young entrepreneurs – the kick-off event of the annual Maastricht edition of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) leaves participants with a range of new insights into scientific entrepreneurship.

"We all have a stake in this problem and its solution"

"We all have a stake in this problem and its solution"

MAASTRICHT. "Don't use any phones please" quizmaster Tom Phillips says through his microphone. “Whoever uses a phone risks being disqualified”. Despite the cold and the rain, around one-hundred people, mainly students partook in a slightly different version of the usual Monday evening pub quiz at Peter’s Irish Pub.

‘More money needed for cultural sector freelancers’

THE NETHERLANDS. Culture subsidies must be raised if cultural institutions are to pay actors, musicians and other self-employed artists a proper wage, according to Joop Daalmeijer who is stepping down as chairman of the Council for Culture this week.

Nearly 200 arrested in anti-Piet protest, no trouble at Sinterklaas arrival

THE NETHERLANDS. Sinterklaas parades took place all over the Netherlands at the weekend following the official ‘arrival’ of the saint in Maassluis on Saturday, three weeks ahead of the December 5 festivities.

What does Donald Trump’s presidential win mean for the Netherlands?

THE NETHERLANDS. While Dutch politicians and commentators reacted cautiously to Donald Trump’s win in the US presidential race, many of them saw parallels to the situation in the Netherlands, where voters are deserting traditional parties and putting their faith in populist candidates.

“Russia and China will test Trump”

“Russia and China will test Trump”

MAASTRICHT. As president of the United States, Donald Trump will press the NATO partners to spend more money on defense, but also: to deal more adequately with immigrants and refugees. “This has nothing to do with the number of refugees the Eur...

Staff and student about Trump’s victory

Staff and student about Trump’s victory

MAASTRICHT. Donald Trump has won the US election. Did he pull of a shock at Maastricht University?
 

Award for study on vegetable consumption among toddlers

Award for study on vegetable consumption among toddlers

MAASTRICHT. The Catharina Pijls Encouragement Award 2016 goes to former student Michelle Vellinga. Her prize-winning master thesis examines how teachers can encourage kindergarten pupils to eat more vegetables. The prize is awarded annually to a recent UM graduate in the health sciences and is accompanied by a €2,000 cheque.
 

Dutch Association of Psychologists: ‘Invest more in student guidance’

THE NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. Interstedelijk Studentenoverleg (ISO) and the Dutch Association of Psychologists (Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen, NIP) have concluded that there are too few psychological counsellors for students at a number of Dutch universities and other institutes of higher education. There are long waiting lists especially at universities of applied sciences, sometimes even as long as three months. A Maastricht student has to wait several weeks for a talk with a counsellor. At the moment, the number of UM counsellors in the team is being increased.

Trump will be ‘judged by his deeds’, says Dutch foreign minister

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders has issued the first Dutch government reaction to Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, by saying he will be judged by his actions.

Schiphol experiments with new scanner to speed up security checks

THE NETHERLANDS. Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has begun testing a new form of security scanner which removes the need for passengers to take liquids and laptops out of their luggage.

Labour party leadership contest between two hopefuls: Samsom and Asscher

THE NETHERLANDS. Labour MP Jacques Monasch has accused the party of stopping him from contesting the party leadership because he disagrees with the rules agreed for the vote.

Tragos penalised for violating code of conduct

MAASTRICHT. The Executive Board has put the student association Tragos on probation for contravening the code of conduct for the initiation period signed by all associations. If it violates the code of conduct again, one third of the grant Tragos receives from the university will be withdrawn.

New university professor and institute for Data Sciences

New university professor and institute for Data Sciences

MAASTRICHT. UM has appointed a fourth university professor in the field of Data Science. Canadian Michel Dumontier (1975) is senior lecturer at Stanford University and will also lead a new Maastricht institute for Data Sciences.

Lifesaver for two weeks

Lifesaver for two weeks

Spending two weeks aboard a ship with a tiny, poorly ventilated hut, helping refugees as they grow weaker by the minute in their rickety boats, trying to avoid the trigger-happy Libyan coastguard – these are not the usual experiences of a third-year UM medical student. Jendrik Dedow (24, international track), originally from Hamburg, spent the first half of July working with Sea-Watch, a German non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to assisting refugee boats along the Libyan coast.

Wadden Sea tops most beautiful Dutch nature reserve poll

THE NETHERLANDS. The Wadden nature reserve is the most beautiful nature reserve in the Netherlands, broadcaster NOS  reports.

A “sketchy” drawing session

A “sketchy” drawing session

MAASTRICHT. In a well-hidden corner of the Bonnefanten museum, a group of about thirty people gathers. As they collect their paper and charcoal, pencil or pen, the near-nude models take their places at the front. Hungarian artist Sándor Sinkó will le...

Government agencies to stop using ‘allochtoon’ to describe immigrants

THE NETHERLANDS. Two major government-funded agencies are to stop using the word allochtoon to describe people with ‘alien’ origins with immediate effect, the Volkskrant said on Tuesday.

Minister puts €87m in extra cash into eradicating inequality in education

THE NETHERLANDS. Education minister Jet Bussemaker has earmarked an extra €87m over three years to be spent on reducing inequality in education.

UM councils in the dark

UM councils in the dark

MAASTRICHT. Sixty people from the various representative bodies recently came together for a day to discuss participation at the university. Their biggest complaint? That the information provision and communication within UM leaves a lot to be desired.

Maastricht student housing companies see no drop in rentals to first-year students

MAASTRICHT. Last academic year, a mere 16 per cent of all Maastricht first-year students went to live in digs straight away, according to a recent report by Kenniscentrum studentenhuisvesting (Kences, Knowledge Centre for Student Housing). Maastricht student housing companies have not noticed anything like that so far and have doubts about the figures.

Controversial ‘tick’ food label to be replaced by an app

THE NETHERLANDS. The blue and green ticks on food labels are to be replaced by a smart phone app, allowing consumers to access personalised information about products they are thinking of buying, health minister Edith Schippers has told MPs.

Anti-gay leaflets spread around Amsterdam

THE NETHERLANDS. Police in Amsterdam say they have received over 20 complaints about an anti-gay leaflet which has been distributed door to door in western parts of the city.

Recorded crime drops by 25% in nine years; all types show a decline

THE NETHERLANDS. There has been a 25% drop in the number of recorded crimes over the past nine years, national statistics office CBS said on Monday.

Ministers back assisted suicide for people who feel their life has been completed

THE NETHERLANDS. People who feel their ‘life has been completed’ should get the legal right to die with the help of a specialist care worker, health minister Edith Schippers and justice minister Ard van de Steur have told MPs in a briefing.

Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

With all the blankets, pillows, clothes and shoes they’ve collected, at least one student room is already overflowing. In addition, they managed to raise some 2500 euros in two weeks. They can hardly believe it; so touched were they that they e...

Stealing student: “It was a joke”

MAASTRICHT. A certain ‘Na Cho’ put a photo on Facebook, in which he – we only see an arm and a hand, which appear to be male – is helping himself to tea bags and sugar while announcing that he is stealing the stuff, in the Randwijck library. Albron caterers say that they have no idea how great the company’s losses are due to such actions.

“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 down in Smart Choices, the new strategic plan of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Four Italians head to the ‘Jungle’

MAASTRICHT. With all the blankets, pillows, clothes and shoes they’ve collected, at least one student room is already overflowing. In addition, they managed to raise some 2500 euros in two weeks. They can hardly believe it; so touched were they...

Finance ministry takes back control of the tax office

THE NETHERLANDS. Junior finance minister Eric Wiebes has placed the tax office under direct ministerial control and plans to replace the organisation’s board with a senior civil servant reporting directly to him.

Amsterdam professor is most influential Dutch woman in latest Opzij ranking

THE NETHERLANDS. Jose van Dijck, an Amsterdam University professor and head of the Dutch scientific academy KNAW, has been chosen as most influential woman of 2016 by feminist magazine Opzij.

Commuters hit by changes to off-peak travel rules

THE NETHERLANDS. Rail users have been hit by changes to the rules for using the NS off-peak discount card that prevent them splitting their journey between full-price and discounted travel.

Nobel chemistry prize sparks delight from mini-motor maker

Nobel chemistry prize sparks delight from mini-motor maker

THE NETHERLANDS. Sparks of delight flew as Dutch scientist Ben Feringa jointly won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for his work in creating miniscule motors.

Maastricht code of conduct for hazing seems to work

Maastricht code of conduct for hazing seems to work

MAASTRICHT. The practice of hazing new students is again under fire following incidents in Groningen and Amsterdam. But so far all is quiet on the home front: the Maastricht student associations claim to be following the Introduction Period Code of Conduct to the letter. Rector Rianne Letschert is monitoring the situation: “If something goes wrong, I want to know about it. There’s no cause for secrecy. Otherwise I’m put in the position of telling my colleagues around the country that things were fine here when they weren’t.”

New smoking policy at FASoS

MAASTRICHT. Smoking is set to be banned at the entrance to the Turnzaal, on the terrace behind Bandito and around the entrance to the Grote Gracht 76. Smokers will have to go to the area near the fire escape stairs of Grote Gracht 76, where a new cov...

Criminal investigation into Vindicat initiation rite

THE NETHERLANDS. A criminal investigation has begun into an initiation rite at Groningen student university society Vindicat that left a young man in hospital with a severe head injury, reports the Volkskrant.

Three Amsterdam students hospitalised after initiation rituals

THE NETHERLANDS. Three first year students in Amsterdam were hospitalised last month after taking part in initiation rituals to join a student society, broadcaster NOS reports.

Police chief: ethnic profiling in stop-checks ‘undermines trust’

THE NETHERLANDS. More than half of people stopped during police roadside checks have an ethnic minority background, a new study has found.

Dutch more positive about EU, just one in five back a Nexit

THE NETHERLANDS.The Dutch have become more positive about the European Union, with 46% now thinking membership is ‘a good thing’, according to new research by the government’s social policy advisory unit SCP.

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 Rotter...

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.

Student associations stable

Student associations stable

MAASTRICHT. All Maastricht student associations have recruited approximately the same number of new members this year. Just like in previous years, Saurus attracted the largest number of foreign students (23), followed by Koko (18), Tragos (10), and ...

‘Let’s get wasted’

‘Let’s get wasted’

MAASTRICHT. Rubbish was an item on the agenda at the School of Business and Economics (SBE) council meeting last summer. The following dialogue developed:  “I have heard a rumour that wastepaper baskets are going to disappear from offic...

Groningen student hospitalised after being hit during initiation ritual

THE NETHERLANDS. A first year student at Groningen University was hospitalised after he was hit on the head during an initiation ritual last month and developed a cerebral oedema, the NRC said on Wednesday.

DSW sets the pace with health premium price rise of nearly 10%

THE NETHERLANDS. Health insurance company DSW, traditionally the first to announce the price of a basic policy for the following year, is to raise its premiums by €110 in 2017, or around 10%.

Train conductors suspend ticket checks to protest staff reduction plan

THE NETHERLANDS. Some train conductors are refusing to check tickets on Monday in protest at plans to cut the number of staff on double-decker trains.

2030 starts now

2030 starts now

MAASTRICHT. ‘No poverty’, ‘Quality education’, ‘Affordable and clean energy’, ‘Gender equality’. These are just four out of the seventeen colourful signs held by students last Wednesday at the Peter Debyeplein. About forty students from Health Studies, Global Health, and European Public Health had group pictures taken. Objective: spreading the word about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) for 2030, which were adopted about a year ago.

Cause of death of Finnish student will not be disclosed

MAASTRICHT. At the request of the parents, the police will not disclose how Jassim Aba Al-Khail, first-year student at the European Law School, died. The police have positively ruled out foul play. The 22-year-old Finn was found dead by his housemate...

UM scores better but drops in THE ranking

UM scores better but drops in THE ranking

MAASTRICHT. A minor drop this time for Maastricht University in the new annual world wide ranking of universities by Times Higher Education. Place 88 was exchanged for place 94, even though the UM score for various criteria was higher than last year&...

Quality label for student accommodation as of January

Quality label for student accommodation as of January

MAASTRICHT. House owners who want to be able to put the quality label Prettig Wonen in their window have to meet all kinds of conditions, such as having linked smoke detectors, bilingual fire extinguisher signs and pictograms, door frame reinforcers on all external doors and approved tenancy contracts. The first student houses are due to receive the quality label in January 2017.

More understanding, poorer facilities

THE NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. While lecturers do have more understanding for students with dyslexia, chronic diseases, depression, or other disorders, the information provided about studying with a handicap is still not as it should be. In fact facilit...

Higher education: no money for equality of opportunity

THE NETHERLANDS. The government is failing to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to providing equal opportunities for everyone, according to students and educational institutions. The budget for the coming year was presented on Tuesday – it is always announced on Prinsjesdag, the third Tuesday of September – with the new plans being unveiled by King Willem-Alexander. The topic of education received only the briefest of mentions.

Crowds gather in The Hague ahead of the annual budget presentation

THE NETHERLANDS. Royalty fans are lining the streets of The Hague on Tuesday morning, hoping to get a good view of the king and queen as they travel by horse-drawn coach to officially open the parliamentary year.

Dutch Paralympic team win 62 medals

THE NETHERLANDS. The Dutch Paralympic team is returning home from the Rio games after finishing in seventh place in the medals table, with 62 medals including 17 golds.

From coal mining to data mining

From coal mining to data mining

Mandela, Einstein, cycling, nature, the physicist Robert Dijkgraaf and finally a shot from space. The intended effect of the promotional film that kicked off the opening programme of the Smart Services Campus in Heerlen may not be immediately obvious...

Student Union denounces student hotels

Student Union denounces student hotels

THE NETHERLANDS. City councils must force student hotels to comply with tenancy law, according to the Dutch Student Union (LSVb). At present, students who rent rooms in such hotels have no tenancy protection and the hotels reserve the right to enter the rooms at any time.

From coal mining to data mining

From coal mining to data mining

MAASTRICHT. Mandela, Einstein, cycling, nature, the physicist Robert Dijkgraaf and finally a shot from space. The intended effect of the promotional film that kicked off the opening programme of the Smart Services Campus in Heerlen may not be immediately obvious, but the link with smart services should become clear soon enough.

“A 15 per cent street quota won’t solve the problem”

“A 15 per cent street quota won’t solve the problem”

MAASTRICHT. The reactions from neighbourhoods to the new rules for room rentals proposed by the Maastricht City Council this summer, vary. After a host of complaints, heated discussion evenings and a call for ‘balance’ – especially from the neighbourhoods of Belfort, Brusselsepoort, and Limmel – there are now measures, of which the street quota is the most remarkable.

Extended BSA definitively scrapped

THE NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT.Universities may not force second-year students with negative binding study advice (BSA) to leave their study programme, confirmed education minister Jet Bussemaker in a letter to parliament. Last academic year, the Maastricht psychology faculty considered introducing a so-called ‘extended’ BSA.

Petten reactor is safe, says minister, but inspectors will talk to staff

THE NETHERLANDS. Environment ministry inspectors are to hold meetings with people working at the Putten nuclear reactor after whistleblowers raised fears that spending cuts were compromising safety.

Young adults more likely to be financially dependent: CBS

THE NETHERLANDS. Young people are ever more likely to be financially dependent on others, reports Trouw on Friday.

“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 f...

Both top students and average students to receive more attention

MAASTRICHT. More co-operation across faculty, department and discipline borders, and students being introduced to research from day one. These are the two most striking resolutions from Maastricht University’s 2017-2021 Strategic Programme, presented this week.

Towards empathic health care

Towards empathic health care

MAASTRICHT. More empathy in health care. That is the ultimate aim of medical student Matthijs Bosveld and health sciences student Sjim Romme, who received the Student Award 2016 last Monday. Their project ‘Mens Achter de Patiënt’ (MAP, the Person Behind the Patient) connects fellow-students to patients, who are given the opportunity to tell their story at their own pace during the course of three sessions (both joint and individual ones) – something they often have no opportunity to do during their treatment.

An ambitious physicist, a “hard ass”

An ambitious physicist, a “hard ass”

The exclamation ‘Eureka’ would be appropriate, having invented a small, portable tester that can be used to prevent bacterial outbreaks in hospitals. But physicist and assistant professor Bart van Grinsven is more like ‘mmm that’s funny’, as he quotes American writer and biochemist Isaac Asimov. Van Grinsven received the Edmond Hustinx Prize last Monday during the opening ceremony of the academic year. “As a scientist, I have a goal in mind, I’m very much a believer in science for society.”

Technology universities ‘unable to take in more students’ without extra funding

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands’ universities of technology have warned they may have to restrict new admissions to their current level unless the government increases its funding.

Brexit may cost Dutch taxpayers €750m in extra EU contributions

THE NETHERLANDS. Britain’s departure from the European Union may cost the Netherlands hundreds of millions of euros in extra EU contributions, according to broadcaster NOS.

Tribute to a ‘disobedient’ Maastricht native

Tribute to a ‘disobedient’ Maastricht native

Without him there would have been no university, no hospital, perhaps not even a city to gradually awaken from its provincial slumber. So if any Maastrichtenaar deserves a statue, it’s Sjeng Tans. He was a true daredevil, a Labour Party (PvdA) ...

Psychology tutorial groups reduced to twelve students

MAASTRICHT. The psychology faculty will reduce the size of its tutorial groups from fourteen students to twelve. Last year, the high number of new students meant the first-year groups were larger than usual. As a result the Problem-Based Learning sys...

Three Veni's for Maastricht, thirty for Utrecht

Three Veni's for Maastricht, thirty for Utrecht

MAASTRICHT. In every round of grants awarded by the Dutch funding body NWO, some universities are more successful than others. This time the discrepancies are considerable: while Utrecht landed some thirty Veni grants, Maastricht managed only three. ...

Bet with boyfriend: no drinking for three days

Bet with boyfriend: no drinking for three days

Name: Anni Schleicher

Nationality: German

Age: 19

Study: European Studies

Time & place: Thursday, 14:30 hrs, Griend SportsEvent

“There are only three boys in our group: not much to choose from”

“There are only three boys in our group: not much to choose from”

Names: Nadine Berners and Anna Pietsch

Nationality: German

Studies: Psychology and European Public Health

Time&place: Thursday 15:30 hrs., Sports Event at the Griend

“It’s a little too hot”

“It’s a little too hot”

Name: Stephanie Ibe

Nationality: German

Study: Psychology

Time&place: Wednesday, 19:30 hrs., CultiFest at the Stadspark

“I spontaneously bought a bike yesterday”

“I spontaneously bought a bike yesterday”

Name: Kimberly Schäperklaus

Nationality: German

Study: European Law

Time&place: Wednesday, 19:30 hrs., CultiFest at the Stadspark

“My house is still clean; I’m pretty proud of myself”

“My house is still clean; I’m pretty proud of myself”

Name: Charlie Böhm

Nationality: German

Study: International Business

Time&place:  Wednesday, 19:15 hrs., CultiFest at the Stadspark

Disco room for a "nerd"

Disco room for a "nerd"

Name: Arthur Graton

Nationality: Belgian

Age: 19

Study: Data Science & Knowledge Engineering

Time & place: Wednesday, 15.30 hrs., Stadspark

"I forgot my pillow"

"I forgot my pillow"

Name: Josina Jansen

Nationality: German

Study: Psychology

Time & place: Wednesday 13.00 hrs., Tapijnkazerne

"I heard the yellow ones are more international"

"I heard the yellow ones are more international"

Name: Aliona Normandin

Nationality: French

Study: European Law School

Time & place: Tuesday 16.00 hrs., Griend Festival

Dire Straits' Telegraph Road: anyone?

Dire Straits' Telegraph Road: anyone?

Name: Eve Millerot

Nationality: Belgian/French

Study: Biomedical Sciences

Time & place: Tuesday 15.30 hrs., Griend Festival

"Girl power!"

"Girl power!"

Name: Nora Andelfinger

Nationality: Canadian

Age: 20

Study: bachelor Biomedical sciences

Time and place: Tuesday 12:30 hrs, Day at the Uni, School of Business and Economics

Parent’s advice: keep the bathroom clean

Parent’s advice: keep the bathroom clean

Names: Loïc Feis and Alexander Renno

Nationality: Luxembourg

Study: Economics and Business

Time&place: Tuesday 16:00 hrs, Festival at the Griend

“We don’t have parties like that in Korea”

“We don’t have parties like that in Korea”

Name: Jay Park

Nationality: South-Korean

Study: Business

Time&place: Tuesday 15:30 hrs, Festival at the Griend

Not to get hit by bikes

Not to get hit by bikes

Name: Lourane Sahraoui (18)

Nationality: French

Study: European & International Law

Time & place: Tuesday, 13.00 hrs., Day @ the uni (garden SBE)

Beer, confetti and Fabrizio

Beer, confetti and Fabrizio

‘Need beer?’ asks a Koko member on a large sign he holds up into the air. Most students seem to be well equipped at the Market, where the opening of the Inkom 2016 took place Monday evening. Some beer has even found its way through the ai...

A record for Inkom 2016: 2,735 freshmen

A record for Inkom 2016: 2,735 freshmen

MAASTRICHT. Yesterday 2,735 freshmen registered for the INKOM, the introduction week for first-year students from Maastricht University and Zuyd. That’s more than ever. The Inkom 2015 had 2,360 participants. “We are sold out”,...

Just enjoy

Just enjoy

Name: Konny Flämig

Nationality: German

Study: Global Health

Time & place: Monday 16.30 hrs, Stadspark

"Maastricht is cheaper than Scotland"

"Maastricht is cheaper than Scotland"

Name: Stefan Konichev (24)

Nationality: Bulgarian

Study: master work and organisation psychology

Time&place: Monday 15.30hrs, Stadspark

“I’ll miss my mom’s schnitzel”

“I’ll miss my mom’s schnitzel”

Name: Laila El Gindi

Nationality: German

Study: Economics

Time & place: Monday 15.30 hrs., Centrale Post Inkom

Maastricht hares and Rotterdam snails

Maastricht hares and Rotterdam snails

MAASTRICHT. Master’s students at the UM graduate much quicker than students at other universities. New figures show that the differences are enormous. “Maybe our master’s programmes select students more strictly,” says rector Luc Soete.

Inkom: Time Travel Tuesday

Inkom: Time Travel Tuesday

MAASTRICHT. Where last year the Spanish-Belgian singer Belle Pérez performed on the Markt during the Inkom opening, this year the choice falls on a duo working the turntables: Manuel Broekman and Géza Weisz. Who is making a repeat performance? Maastr...

Psychology students also want recorded lecturers

Psychology students also want recorded lecturers

MAASTRICHT. Students in the Psychology faculty council want lectures to be recorded in the future. They have written a proposal on the matter that will be dealt with on Thursday afternoon in the faculty council meeting. “There is a need,”...

EasyJet pilots strike in Amsterdam, but most flights unaffected

THE NETHERLANDS. EasyJet pilots who are based at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport went on strike on Tuesday in support of their demands for better working conditions.

Amsterdam university’s supervisory board resigns amid disagreements

THE NETHERLANDS. All the members of Amsterdam university’s supervisory board resigned on Friday, blaming the difficult working relationship between the representative advisory bodies and the supervisory board.

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, English and Limburgish; free entry.

Netherlands need not give foreign students public transport pass

Netherlands need not give foreign students public transport pass

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands is not guilty of unfair treatment. It has the right to only provide its own students with a public transport pass and need not give students from other European member states a similar pass.

Dutch students speed up their studies and are less likely to drop out

THE NETHERLANDS. Almost seven in 10 Dutch students now pass a bachelor’s degree within four years, compared with just 56% four years ago, according to new figures from the university association VSNU.

Support for anti-Islam PVV continues to fall, poll of poll shows

THE NETHERLANDS. The anti-immigration PVV remains the biggest party in the latest Peilingwijzer poll of polls but its support is down 3.3%, or five seats, on its January record high.

“Excessive” secrecy imposed on researchers

“Excessive” secrecy imposed on researchers

MAASTRICHT. A potential research project by SBE together with NWO and two large businesses has fallen through because of demands that would drastically restrict academic freedom. Secrecy was demanded with severe liability if breached. The Executive Board has complained to NWO about these practices.

New Student Portal is live

New Student Portal is live

MAASTRICHT. The new Student Portal has been live since Monday. Students from Humanities and Sciences and the School of Business and Economics are the first to be able use it. This new source of information, which lists timetables, deadlines, grades, course material, and helpful links, was developed over a period of two years in close collaboration with students. An important change is that users no longer need to log in dozens of times for services such as EleUM and SAP. The layout adapts itself to the use of a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Evening tutorials at Psychology

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty of Psychology is going to introduce evening tutorial groups on a voluntary basis. From the next academic year, students who register for a block may indicate a preference for morning, afternoon or evening sessions. If there ar...

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...

Wageningen again most sustainable university

Wageningen again most sustainable university

MAASTRICHT. For the fourth year in a row, Wageningen University has been declared most sustainable institute of higher education. The university is practically unassailable in the annual SustainaBul ranking. The UM dangles at the bottom.

Move to the groove

Move to the groove

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty of Law celebrates its 35th anniversary this year. Last Friday, 27 May, a party was held for students and staff in Rebelle, the entertainment centre in the former Augustinian church on the Kesselskade. Some six hundred guests (...

Utrecht students say ‘dare to be grey’ to combat extremism

THE NETHERLANDS. A group of students from Utrecht University are through to the last six of an international competition launched by the US government and Facebook to counteract extremism.

‘Legal cannabis cultivation would boost human rights’ – study

THE NETHERLANDS. Legalising cannabis production would have benefits for public health and human rights, according to a study commissioned by Dutch local authorities.

“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 this should result in the creation of a new Centre for Employability at the Tapijn Barracks.

Overcrowding in university library is main complaint. And mice

Overcrowding in university library is main complaint. And mice

MAASTRICHT. Too few study spaces, sockets with no power, broken chairs and mice in the inner city building: students continue to complain about the library facilities at Maastricht University.

A thousand people on yoga mats

A thousand people on yoga mats

MAASTRICHT. A thousand people on yoga mats at the Tapijn barracks. That is the aim of the Good Life Yoga Maastricht foundation. On 21 June, International Yoga Day, the organisers want to show that yoga is not “woolly, boring or just sitting dow...

Library access restrictions

Library access restrictions

MAASTRICHT. Until 8 June only UM cardholders will be permitted to enter the University Library in the inner city. Students who don’t have a UM card can gain entry on presentation of their ID and certificate of registration. “We are workin...

"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 corporate scandals in history. Last Wednesday evening, Fastow spoke at Maastricht University.

Freelancers less likely to suffer from burnout; are happier at work

THE NETHERLANDS. Freelancers are less likely to suffer from burnouts than people who work for a boss, even though they often do physically more difficult work, according to a new report by the national statistics office CBS and TNO research institute.

Billions of euros needed to boost mobility, government is told

THE NETHERLANDS. Billions of euros needs investing in Dutch roads and transport to stop the Netherlands grinding to a halt, the government was told on Monday.

“You are going to experience exciting things with me”

“You are going to experience exciting things with me”

She didn’t believe it, when Ursula Nelles, a member of the supervisory board and chairperson of the advisory selection committee, called her on 18 March. “Ha ha, I asked if she was sure she had the right number.” Yes, Nelles had the right number. Rianne Letschert (39) “was completely taken by surprise, had never thought about a rectorship, yes, maybe later, but certainly not now. But I thought it was interesting and because I am fairly intuitive, I immediately said that I would come for a chat.”

www.maastrichtuniversity.nl is live

www.maastrichtuniversity.nl is live

MAASTRICHT. “You will see, we are about to go live and five minutes later the shit storm will break loose.” It won’t be nice, all that criticism, but “they care”. Bernadette Jansma addresses the audience in Brasserie Tap...

No data manipulation in Maastricht article

No data manipulation in Maastricht article

MAASTRICHT. “There is absolutely no problem whatsoever” with publications and other forms of collaboration between James Hunton, who has been found to have committed fraud, and Maastricht researchers. This is the verdict of Philip Vergauwen, dean of the School of Business and Economics, on the American professor of accountancy who held a part-time post at Maastricht University from December 2002 until March 2009. The department head Roger Meuwissen, too, concluded that Hunton’s Maastricht output is limited and “uncontaminated”.

Eleven percent more students apply for Dutch university

THE NETHERLANDS. Applications to Dutch universities for the year starting in September have risen by 11%, according to new figures from the VSNU higher education body.

Former UM professor’s articles withdrawn

Former UM professor’s articles withdrawn

MAASTRICHT. There are doubts about the scientific reliability of three articles by James Hunton, a former American professor of Accountancy who was also a professor at Maastricht University during the first decade of this century. This was announced by the Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) last Tuesday after an investigation by a Scientific Integrity Committee. The articles concerned relate to Erasmus University Rotterdam, where Hunton worked part time from 2009 until 2012.

Playing table tennis in the SBE Bar

Playing table tennis in the SBE Bar

No, there have been no stories about students or employees drifting along the Tongersestraat after closing time. That is probably also due to the fact that the SBE Bar closes at 20:00hrs. The initiative for a faculty pub in the Kruithuis came from th...

Watch out for the PPF factor: pain, panic and fear

Watch out for the PPF factor: pain, panic and fear

MAASTRICHT. “Don’t listen to people like us, it’s your own path,” said Alejandro Barrera, owner of technology news site tech.eu, at the Centre Céramique last Monday. Nevertheless, many people had come to listen to entrepreneurs giving talks and workshops at the Maastricht Entrepreneurship Week 2016, from 9 until 12 May.

Blogging about PhD life

Blogging about PhD life

MAASTRICHT. When Irina Burlacu from Moldova finished her Ph.D. at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, she realized something. “Only a few people will ever read my thesis. It’s technical and there are so many Ph.D. theses; who has time to read them all. I didn’t want that to happen. It was the outcome of years of work.” So how could she – and other researchers – reach a broader audience? The answer: Researchista, a blog about life as a researcher.

Jules to manage Carré accommodations

MAASTRICHT. Students service company Jules will be in charge of the management of 143 studios in the Carré building on the Tongerseweg. The owner is Belgian project developer LIFE. The studios – between 23 and 38 square metres and intended for ...

Council scheme exposed jobless to toxic paint, almost 600 affected

THE NETHERLANDS. Almost 600 jobless people from Tilburg who worked for the city council’s reintegration company removing paint from old trains may have been exposed to the toxin Chromium 6, Dutch media said on Tuesday.

Dutch innovation policy scattered between valleys, deltas and campuses

THE NETHERLANDS. There are over 220 different initiatives under way to put either the Netherlands or a specific region on the map as an innovation hot spot, the Financieele Dagblad said on Monday.

“The EU has to work on getting young people to feel connected again”

MAASTRICHT. A standardized post-traumatic stress syndrome test for refugees and a birthday card from the EU for 18-year-olds. These are two of the proposals that came out of Student Forum Maastricht, a student conference about European policies in Brussels that was held from 13 until 17 April. All proposals will be presented to European Commission representatives.

Royals Cup 2016: “Actually, the matches are secondary”

Royals Cup 2016: “Actually, the matches are secondary”

MAASTRICHT. A trophy hung with black and white ribbons stands amongst sliced sandwich buns and a drone in the ‘Board Only’ room at the Sporthal Geusselt on the East side of the Maas on Friday 15 April. It is here that business students fr...

UM sounds the alarm for house parties

UM sounds the alarm for house parties

MAASTRICHT. “What if a fire were to break out in a house where two hundred people have gathered,” says Pascal Breuls, director of Student Services. The police regularly receive reports about illegal house parties, in particular at the end of block periods. Maastricht University makes students aware of the risks.

WE Festival expands

MAASTRICHT. A film festival, a kick-off in the Stadspark and of course lots and lots of workshops: the seventh annual WE Festival, from 24 April to 1 May, will be the most extensive one yet. The festival is organised by volunteers – many of the...

Fewer students from poor homes since Dutch scrapped grants

THE NETHERLANDS. Fewer students from poorer homes have started university and college degrees since grants were abolished last year, according to education ministry figures.

Dutch MPs want to scrap law banning insults to a ‘friendly head of state’

THE NETHERLANDS. MPs from the two Dutch liberal parties VVD and D66 have called on the government to scrap a law making it a criminal offence to insult a ‘friendly’ head of state, broadcaster Nos reported at the weekend.

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 fractio...

“Set requirements for landlords, agencies and managers”

“Set requirements for landlords, agencies and managers”

MAASTRICHT. A liveability test, better enforcement by the city council, the introduction of a quality mark, the arrival of the International Student Club, and especially ‘open communication’: measures to curb the proliferation of students rooms and the disturbance, as experienced by some inhabitants of Maastricht. The Maastricht Labour Party organised a debate with inhabitants, letters and students at the Stay Okay on Tuesday evening 12 April.

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.

MECC rewards best idea with €1,000

MECC rewards best idea with €1,000

MAASTRICHT. How to make MECC more attractive to young people? With a MECCSpace, a community around start-ups, according to Alit Sudarsana and Stefani Christianti, an alumnus and a student of Maastricht University. And with that concept, they won &eur...

Travel firms to brief holidaymakers on their trip’s environmental footprint

Travel firms to brief holidaymakers on their trip’s environmental footprint

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch travel firms are to start informing holidaymakers how much environmental damage their trip is doing by listing ‘holiday footprints’ in brochures and on websites, travel sector organisation ANVR says in Tuesday’s Volkskrant.

ABN Amro helps clients hide assets in tax havens, Dutch media claim

THE NETHERLANDS. ABN Amro is helping clients keep their assets hidden in tax havens via nominee shareholdership schemes, the Financieele Dagblad and Trouw say on Monday.

Plea for more languages

Plea for more languages

MAASTRICHT. It looks like more languages than just English and Dutch will soon be promoted at this university. A few weeks ago, the Executive Board, through its chairman Martin Paul, already stated that the UM may be bilingual, “but it is usefu...

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.

Swing Station on the Tapijn grounds

Swing Station on the Tapijn grounds

MAASTRICHT. A Swing Station was opened on the Tapijn grounds on Sunday 3 April. Five swings have been suspended from a steel tube under a canopy, at the location of the former army filling station. Underfoot, a soft green carpet of artificial grass. ...

No general master’s selection

MAASTRICHT. There will be no general selection for master’s students at this university, says a written statement from the Executive Board to the University Council. The Council agrees with the position taken by the Board.

Ukraine referendum not about Europe, just over half of voters say

THE NETHERLANDS. Almost half of Dutch voters are convinced the EU’s treaty of association with Ukraine paves the way for membership of the European Union, according to an Ipsos poll on Tuesday.

Soete: “Have papers corrected in India”

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

Possible delay for extended BSA at Psychology

MAASTRICHT. The Faculty Council at Psychology and Neuroscience does not support the extended Binding Study Advice (BSA) as currently proposed by the Faculty Board.

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 to four out of six.

UPDATE Attacks in Brussels, UM Campus closed

UPDATE Attacks in Brussels, UM Campus closed

MAASTRICHT/BRUSSELS. Maastricht University’s campus in Brussel has been closed for the time being because of the attacks at Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek metro station, Tuesday 22 March. School children from the Montessori Lyceum in Zeist,...

Security stepped up across the Netherlands following Brussels explosions

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

17 millionth Dutch resident likely to be a migrant

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

“Down with the lecturer as process supervisor”

“Down with the lecturer as process supervisor”

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

The million dollar question: how to overcome the hatred?

The million dollar question: how to overcome the hatred?

MAASTRICHT. “Think of Europe 70 years ago,” says Haim Divon, Israel’s ambassador to the Netherlands, in his introductory talk. “Who believed then that France, Germany and England would now live so peacefully together? In other words, anything is possible. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is solvable too, in my opinion. Otherwise I wouldn’t be sitting here, representing my country. I’m an optimist.”

It’s been a hard day’s night

It’s been a hard day’s night

MAASTRICHT. “A social life?!?” Snorting, laughter and amazement follow the suggestion that students have plenty of leisure time. There might not be too many contact hours, but the workload at Maastricht University is much higher than at other universities, claim exchange students and other internationals. “Excellent”, says Erik Driessen, professor of Medical Education and chair of the Department of Educational Development and Research at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. “That’s exactly what we want.”

Uber paid €450,000 in Dutch fines last year

Uber paid €450,000 in Dutch fines last year

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

‘No’ vote makes gains ahead of Dutch Ukraine referendum

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

Collecting Support for Amnesty International

MAASTRICHT. 1.59 million euros. That is what Amnesty International Netherlands gathered during Collection Week in 2015. This year, Collection Week will be held from Sunday the 13th until Saturday the 19th of March. The student group of Amnest...

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 ...

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

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

MAASTRICHT. During his last meeting as chair of the University Council, in late February, he was given a framed print of Maastricht’s St Servatius Bridge. “Herman builds bridges”, explained the university president Martin Paul, who presented the gift. This is indeed how Professor Herman Kingma (65) has approached the role over the last six years: as a mediator. As someone who ensures that the Executive Board and the University Council can focus on their work as effectively as possible – if not transparently.

With your nose pressed against the glass

With your nose pressed against the glass

MAASTRICHT. He gained worldwide fame with a rubber duck. A gigantic inflatable whopper, called Rubber Duck, has splashed around in Amsterdam, Sydney, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and at the end of last year off the coast of Long Island near New York. Its cre...

Forty per cent of economic experiments cannot be replicated

Forty per cent of economic experiments cannot be replicated

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

An American in Maastricht wins $100,000

An American in Maastricht wins $100,000

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

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

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

€12m allocated to researching gender differences in healthcare

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

Fire in student house; police investigate possible arson

Fire in student house; police investigate possible arson

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

No turnstiles in city centre university library

MAASTRICHT. There will be no access restrictions at the university library in the city centre. Although formally this library does not have a public function, the Executive Board and the deans wants to keep the building open for outsiders. They also ...

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 – not to mention the fact that he was born and raised in Maastricht. As of 1 June, Mathieu Segers (1976) will take the reins as the new dean of University College Maastricht.

Eight Dutch jihadis executed after dispute with IS: report

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

"Migrants bring more cake"

MAASTRICHT. Migration and violent extremism. A politically sensitive and controversial topic, agreed Khalid Koser, professor in Conflict, Peace and Security at UNU-MERIT/Maastricht School of Governance. Still, he emphasised continuously during his lecture, organised on Monday 22 February by Studium Generale, its importance. “The discussion about migration and violent extremism is more intense, more dangerous and more ill-informed in Europe than anywhere else in the world.”

NS set to sell off sidelines and focus on running trains

THE NETHERLANDS. State-owned train operator NS plans to sell off its station shops and local bus services to concentrate on its core business of running main line trains, the Telegraaf reports.

“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.

The Vagina Monologues at UCM

The Vagina Monologues at UCM

MAASTRICHT. Vagina, vagina, vagina. It wasn’t too long ago that uttering this word in the public sphere could induce sharp rebuke or embarrassment. Eve Ensler’s play The Vagina Monologues, doesn’t just say the word - it’s enti...

Connecting in the kitchen

Connecting in the kitchen

MAASTRICHT. Arabic music is blaring from the kitchen at the Jan Van Eyck Academy an hour before the doors are to open. Around twenty people from the Maastricht refugee centre (AZC) and a chef from Cato by Cato are manoeuvring their way around the cou...

Train driver killed in crash with crane

THE NETHERLANDS. The driver of a passenger train was killed on Tuesday morning when he hit a crane at a level crossing at full speed en route from Zwolle to Emmen.

Man jailed for killing neighbour during suicide attempt

MAASTRICHT. A man who tried to gas himself, only to kill his upstairs neighbour instead, has been jailed for 10 years by judges in Maastricht.

What’s that hanging on my bicycle?

What’s that hanging on my bicycle?

MAASTRICHT. You will find them everywhere in the city: yellow handlebar hangers. It's an initiative of Maastricht Bereikbaar (Maastricht Accessible) that wants to know if there are enough bicycle parking spaces in Maastricht. The handlebar ...

President Martin Paul: “We collaborate with institutions, not governments”

MAASTRICHT. How should Maastricht University deal with ‘bad’ countries where the regimes in power do not exactly share Western humanitarian values? What should UM’s stance be when it comes to cooperating with institutions in Russia, say, or Saudi Arabia – countries that have increasingly been coming under fire in recent months?

Vici grant for neuroscientist Sack

Vici grant for neuroscientist Sack

MAASTRICHT. Alexander Sack, professor of Functional Brain Stimulation and Neurocognitive Psychology, has received a Vici grant worth €1.5 million for his research on brain stimulation. Sack focuses on brain-stimulation techniques for treating me...

International Students Club: not in 2017, but in 2019

International Students Club: not in 2017, but in 2019

MAASTRICHT. The International Students Club will move into the Timmerfabriek in 2019, not in 2017 as originally planned. Renovation issues are the main cause of the delay, but it also appears that the International Student Network, the main operator of the club, is not yet ripe for the mammoth task that awaits it.

“For the love of my life”

“For the love of my life”

“I actually wanted to send myself one, but I didn’t in the end.” Two students from University College Maastricht are snooping through the handwritten notes on one of the common room’s walls. The cards are attached to heart-sha...

Dutch taxpayers’ cash funds toilet paper printed with anti-Ukraine in EU info

Dutch taxpayers’ cash funds toilet paper printed with anti-Ukraine in EU info

THE NETHERLANDS. Almost €50,000 of Dutch taxpayers’ money is to be given to a private company which plans to make and distribute toilet rolls printed with arguments against the EU’s treaty with Ukraine.

Smoking costs Dutch society up to €43bn a year: report

Smoking costs Dutch society up to €43bn a year: report

THE NETHERLANDS. Smoking costs Dutch society between €21bn and €43bn a year, or €2,000 per head of the population, a report by the SEO economic research institute has concluded.

Support UM for threatened academics in Turkey

Support UM for threatened academics in Turkey

MAASTRICHT. Threatened academics in Turkey now also have the support of Maastricht University. Rector Luc Soete has written to European colleagues after Turkish academics turned against their government in the form of a petition and were subsequently threatened with legal action by the same government.

Wanted: intellectual with managerial experience

Wanted: intellectual with managerial experience

MAASTRICHT. The next rector should be “an intellectual” and “a team player who likes to work with others”. This is stated in the profile description for the rector magnificus that was made public by the supervisory board at Observant’s request.

Tapijn grounds to become an open and hilly park

Tapijn grounds to become an open and hilly park

MAASTRICHT. Open ‘sight lines’, a building partly submerged in the ground with a deck, undulating hills in a sea of green: the reactions to the winning plan for the Tapijn Barracks makeover range from positive to enthusiastic. If all goes according to plan, it will be completed by 2020.

“We live like professional musicians”

“We live like professional musicians”

MAASTRICHT. The students of the Dutch National Student Orchestra rehearse ten hours a day during the days prior to their eleven-day tour ‘Vrij’. Together with pianist Arthur Jussen, the ninety members play pieces by Claude Debussy, Trevor Grahl, Ravel and Béla Bartók in various cities (in Maastricht on 14 February). Second-year Biomedical Sciences student Pieter Dijkstra (percussion) is one of them.

Contract or administration fees: a new grey area

Contract or administration fees: a new grey area

MAASTRICHT. Mediation fees should largely be a thing of the past, especially after the Dutch Supreme Court made its verdict concerning agency fees, four months ago. The judge ruled that housing agencies are not allowed to charge mediation fees to bot...

Dutch police are training eagles to take out drones

Dutch police are training eagles to take out drones

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch police are involved in training birds of prey to take out drones flown by criminals and terrorists.

Support grows for Ukraine referendum yes campaigners

THE NETHERLANDS. The number of people intending to vote ‘yes’ in April’s referendum on the EU treaty with Ukraine has risen from 38% to 44.5%, according to a new opinion poll.

“We don’t use scientists as a propaganda machine”

“We don’t use scientists as a propaganda machine”

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht professors are untraceable in the top ten ‘professors in the Dutch online news’. It is the professors from the Randstad, and then mainly those with an economic background, who were frequently approached by newspapers TrouwNRC and de Volkskrant in 2015. This is the outcome of an analysis carried out by Amsterdam agency Buzzcapture. In particular cases of fraud, appointments and prizes are opportunities for publication.

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.

“Every paedophile in a TV series is a calculated child molester”

“Every paedophile in a TV series is a calculated child molester”

MAASTRICHT. “Imagine having your sexual preference always portrayed as criminal.” It’s Thursday evening, Gabriel overlooks the Maastrichtzaal where four hundred students have gathered for the lecture on paedophilia, organised by UM students. Gabriel – a pseudonym – is a non-active paedophile. He just told his life story to the audience, who showed their appreciation by applauding long and loud. “The real issue for most paedophiles is not being aroused by children, it’s living with a secret.”

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 o...

University Council students against selection for masters

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht students have also signed the recent ‘pressing letter’ from the Interstedelijk Studentenoverleg ISO (national student union) to the education minister and university association VSNU. That is, some of the students - those representing Dope, the party that is linked to ISO.

‘Arab Nobel Prize’ for genetics

‘Arab Nobel Prize’ for genetics

MAASTRICHT. Professors Han Brunner and Joris Veltman have won the King Faisal Prize in the category of Medicine, referred to by some as the ‘Arab Nobel Prize’. The researchers, who play a leading role in clinical genetics, will travel to Saudi Arabia to receive the prize from the king in March.

Dutch police may soon patrol public spaces with submachine guns

Dutch police may soon patrol public spaces with submachine guns

THE NETHERLANDS. Heavily armed police will soon be able to patrol Dutch shopping centres, railway stations and other busy public places, the AD said on Tuesday.

Advisory group drops plea to start English lessons at four

THE NETHERLANDS. A government advisory body on education has backtracked on its initial report which said children should start learning English as soon as they begin at a Dutch primary school at the age of four.

Valorisation is “outstanding, number of top publications limited”

Valorisation is “outstanding, number of top publications limited”

MAASTRICHT. Grants and top publications are somewhat lacking, but all in all economic and business administration research at SBE is of a high level. Just like in the rest of the Netherlands, according to the latest QANU assessment report. But faculties that want to be at the top, must pay higher salaries.

German and Dutch cities form alliance against Tihange

German and Dutch cities form alliance against Tihange

MAASTRICHT. The city of Maastricht, several other municipalities in South Limburg and the German city of Aachen want to take legal steps against the antiquated Tihange nuclear power station in Belgium, just 36 kilometres from the Dutch border. Last ...

"All the options are driving me crazy"

"All the options are driving me crazy"

MAASTRICHT. How many people are they expecting tonight? Luc van den Akker, coordinator of the International Desk and refugees contact person at Maastricht University, isn’t sure. But that’s precisely the purpose of this first information evening organised jointly by Maastricht University and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences at the Maastricht refugee centre: to take stock of how many people are interested in further education and what their needs are.

UM 14th in THE ranking of Most International Universities

UM 14th in THE ranking of Most International Universities

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University is the highest Dutch university on the latest Most International Universities ranking, published last week. The British Times Higher Education (THE) journal places Maastricht in fourteenth position – last year ...

Rabobank ordered to compensate phishing victims

Rabobank ordered to compensate phishing victims

THE NETHERLANDS. Rabobank has been ordered to compensate two customers who lost their savings in separate phone scams in 2013.

Human traffickers operate near refugee centres, target young girls

THE NETHERLANDS. There are clear signs that human traffickers are active close to refugee centres in the Netherlands and attempting to recruit young women as prostitutes, the Volkskrant said at the weekend.

Dies: in celebration of adventure

Dies: in celebration of adventure

MAASTRICHT. With the columns and the vaulted ceiling lit up in show-stopping bright purple, you couldn’t help but sense that this Dies Natalis – the celebration of Maastricht University’s 40th anniversary at the St Janskerk on Monday afternoon – was going to be different. Not least because of the liberal use of websites like YouTube.

The study of a mysterious phenomenon

The study of a mysterious phenomenon

MAASTRICHT. Certainly, he is elated and grateful for the Thesis Prize that he was awarded during the founding day celebrations. But neuroscientist Tom de Graaf also has some mixed feelings, because many of his colleagues produce interesting work too....

Career measures for female PhDs

Career measures for female PhDs

MAASTRICHT. The Executive Board is considering special measures to prevent women quitting after they have completed their PhD. Rector Soete feels that something has to be done, also because it is even more difficult for a peripheral university to recruit women. A remarkable number of researchers completed a PhD in Maastricht in 2015 – many more women than men by the way.

Completely ruined

Completely ruined

MAASTRICHT. Holocene, Pleistocene, Palaeocene. All well known, but have you ever heard of Anthropocene? According to Christian Schwägerl, we are in the middle of that right now. The German biologist and journalist claims that there is actually no single place on earth that has not been ‘ruined’ by man. Schwägerl will give a Studium Generale lecture on this subject in January, on the same day as the FASoS congress on the history of nature conservation.

“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 hobbyhorse - the euro - this morning. Honorary supervisor Joan Muijsken has invited him to speak about his career as an economist: what made him who he is today? What changed his views? Who inspired him? In other words, The making of an economist.

Four MPs target parliamentary chairman’s job

Four MPs target parliamentary chairman’s job

THE NETHERLANDS. Four MPs are hoping to become the lower house of parliament’s new chairman in Wednesday’s vote: Ton Elias of the ruling VVD; Martin Bosma (PVV), Khadija Arib (PvdA) and Madeleine van Toorenburg (CDA).

‘No’ vote in Dutch Ukraine referendum could lead to crisis: Juncker

‘No’ vote in Dutch Ukraine referendum could lead to crisis: Juncker

THE NETHERLANDS. A no vote in the Dutch referendum on a key treaty between Ukraine and the EU could lead the way to a ‘major continental crisis’, European Commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker has told the NRC.

Dutch only

Dutch only

MAASTRICHT. They were some of the first foreign students to attend Maastricht University. They have at least two things in common: they learned Dutch in no time and they took to Problem-Based Learning like ducks to water. 

Maastricht firework attack suspects will get compensation

THE NETHERLANDS. Two people from Maastricht, arrested on New Year’s Eve in connection with an alleged plot to launch a terror attack in Rotterdam during the official fireworks display, are to receive compensation, the public prosecution department has said.

Ministers consider merging state job centres and social insurance bank

THE NETHERLANDS. The cabinet is looking into merging the state job centre UVW with the social insurance bank SVB as an efficiency measure, Trouw reports on Monday.

“We take education for granted”

“We take education for granted”

MAASTRICHT. “The alarm wakes me up. Bah, I have to go to university today.” This is how Amnesty International Maastricht Students (AIMS) started their presentation last Thursday during the first Maastricht Human Rights Prize competition. ...

Housing corporations sound alarm over ‘care in the community’

Housing corporations sound alarm over ‘care in the community’

THE NETHERLANDS. One in three housing corporations say they are experiencing more problems with difficult or troubled tenants since the government began decentralising mental health services and encouraging ‘care in the community’.

MPs call for flexible approach to funding degrees

THE NETHERLANDS. MPs from the ruling VVD and Labour coalition say students should be allowed to pay tuition fees for their university or college degree on a subject-by-subject basis.

Deal between Elsevier and universities after all

Deal between Elsevier and universities after all

THE NETHERLANDS. The Association of Universities (VSNU) and publisher Reed Elsevier have reached an agreement in principle. At the very last minute. Because if no agreement had been reached by 31 December on the renewal of subscriptions and open...

Psychology maintains numerus clausus

MAASTRICHT. From the next academic year, seven of the ten university bachelor’s programmes in Psychology will no longer have a numerus clausus. Maastricht University will maintain the restriction because of the huge number of applications and the wish to provide the small-scale education. The universities of Leiden and Groningen are still discussing the matter.

The Netherlands scores many starting grants again, one for the UM

MAASTRICHT. The Netherlands secured no less than 32 European starting grants for young researchers this year. Only the United Kingdom and Germany received more. Maastricht obtained one grant; this will go to Dr. Anna Harris, who works at the Faculty ...

Running for resuscitation training

Running for resuscitation training

MAASTRICHT. Resuscitation training for secondary-school pupils is what UM runners will be sweating for on 17 January during the ‘Zweit veur Leid’ run. It is the third time that the University Fund/SWOL participates in a sponsored run with...

Lustrum with three honorary doctors

Lustrum with three honorary doctors

MAASTRICHT. On the occasion of its fortieth anniversary, the UM is awarding three honorary doctorates during the foundation day celebrations. One goes to German pharmacologist Detlev Ganten, who has lectured his critics on more than one occasion. Another to American legal and political scientist Susan Rose-Ackerman, who is so versatile that almost every legal scientist knows her. And to Belgian economist Paul De Grauwe, who is a magnet for the media.

Science students win NWO competition

Science students win NWO competition

MAASTRICHT. Three students from the Maastricht Science Programme won the NWO Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition last week. Onno Akkermans, Mitch Spronck and Pegah Keshaniyan went home with one thousand euro each. They created a bit with a built...

Walking 9 km for the kids

Walking 9 km for the kids

MAASTRICHT. ‘The next generation’ is the theme of this year’s Serious Request event, during which three popular radio DJs are locked up for six days in a small, temporary studio. Donations will go to children in conflict areas. &ldq...

The Netherlands scores many starting grants again, one for the UM

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands secured no less than 32 European starting grants for young researchers this year. Only the United Kingdom and Germany received more. Maastricht obtained one grant; this will go to Dr. Anna Harris, who works at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

"Will I be able to correctly play that high bar in the Schubert piece?"

MAASTRICHT. On December 6th the Maastricht University Orchestra performed at Maastricht’s Christmas celebration ‘Magisch Maastricht’. Leading up to this, Sophie Silverstein, second violist and second year UCM-student, kept a diary.

Truffle pasta with 0.0006 truffle nominated for food con of the year

Truffle pasta with 0.0006 truffle nominated for food con of the year

THE NETHERLANDS. Aldi’s ‘richly filled” truffle pasta containing 0.0006% truffle and orange juice that has been made less sweet by adding water are just two of this year’s nominations for misleading food product of the year.

Youngsters more likely to earn minimum wage

Youngsters more likely to earn minimum wage

THE NETHERLANDS. At least 80% of Dutch workers earn more than the minimum wage but the under-23s are more likely to work for rock-bottom rates, according to new figures from the national statistics office CBS.

Jasper van Dijk (SP): “Too much English in higher education”

Jasper van Dijk (SP): “Too much English in higher education”

THE NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. Again the advance of English in higher education is a topic of discussion in Dutch parliament. Political parties SP (Socialist Party) and CDA (Christian Democrats) are worried and their education spokespersons have therefore organised a hearing on 10 December. One of those invited is Maastricht President of the Executive Board Martin Paul.

Creating a play from individual scenes

Creating a play from individual scenes

MAASTRICHT. The American Dream was their point of departure: what is it in fact, why does everyone want it? The students from drama association Alles is Drama subsequently improvised and elaborated on the theme. This resulted in a mix of made-up scen...

Who does education, who does research; the board wants to know

MAASTRICHT. “Let the faculty councils put pressure on their boards to come up with the figures. We are waiting on the figures too.” It was not a radical student party that launched this appeal last week during the University Council meeting, nor a dissatisfied employees’ collective; remarkably, it was the Executive Board.

Countless tables laden with books

Countless tables laden with books

MAASTRICHT. Every year the Boekenfestijn, a travelling event selling books at reduced prices that failed to be sold in stores, makes a stop in Maastricht. From November 26-29 the fair took place in the MECC, its yearly reoccurring venue.

100,000 bikes in Dutch council depots are never reclaimed

100,000 bikes in Dutch council depots are never reclaimed

THE NETHERLANDS. Of the 161,000 bikes confiscated by officials in the Netherlands’ biggest 20 cities last year, over 100,000 were never picked up by their owners, the AD said on Tuesday.

Overcrowded trains attract record number of complaints

Overcrowded trains attract record number of complaints

THE NETHERLANDS. Record numbers of rail travellers have complained about overcrowded trains in the past month, passengers’ organisation Rover said.

Bonuses maybe made public

MAASTRICHT. The highest bonus was awarded to an employee at the ‘Berg’ last year. And most of the bonuses went to the Finance department. The topic of bonuses – who, what, to be made public or not – is on the agenda again.

 UM lecturer wins Polish Person of the Year election

UM lecturer wins Polish Person of the Year election

MAASTRICHT. Kasia Czabanowska, senior lecturer of Health Sciences, was declared Polish Person of the Year 2015 in the category Science and Technology during a gala in a TV studio in Hilversum last Saturday. The gala was organised by the Polonus Found...

UM opens its doors at 40th anniversary next year

MAASTRICHT. A jubilee that focuses on the city of Maastricht and the surrounding region. That is the idea behind the festivities next year, in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of this university. “After that,” said President Martin Paul during a press conference on the jubilee this week, “we hope that we have put an end to the idea that the university has its back to this city and region.”

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 livi...

Torchlight procession for Serious Request

Torchlight procession for Serious Request

MAASTRICHT. Walking nine kilometres for a good cause. On Tuesday 8 December at 18:30hrs., a torchlight procession for employees and students will start from the Minderbroedersberg. The procession will pass the Sint Pietersberg and continue on to the ...

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.

EU gives foreign students nine months to find a job

EU gives foreign students nine months to find a job

THE NETHERLANDS. Americans, Chinese or Kenyans who have graduated in Europe, will be given the time to look for a job within the European Union. The European Students Union is satisfied, but had hoped for more time.

A quarter of foreign students find jobs

A quarter of foreign students find jobs

THE NETHERLANDS. Foreign students often remain in the Netherlands to work after they have graduated. More than one in four has a job five years later, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports.

Arbo Unie contract under pressure

MAASTRICHT. The contract with Arbo Unie, which provides company medical care for the UM, will only be extended for one year. Arbo Unie started in 2012 and the contract was until 1 January 2016, with an option of an extension of two years before a public call for tenders would be issued again. The UM directors, however, felt that this period was too long.

More children live in families which rely on welfare benefits

More children live in families which rely on welfare benefits

THE NETHERLANDS. The number of children growing up in families which rely on welfare benefits (bijstand) rose to 223,000 last year, according to the national statistics office CBS.

Shut all Dutch coal-fired power stations, say professors

Shut all Dutch coal-fired power stations, say professors

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands should close down all 11 coal-fired power stations in a clear signal of commitment to combating climate change, 64 professors - six from University Maastricht - say in an open letter in Monday’s Trouw.

External advisor to bring peace back to Facility Services

MAASTRICHT. An intended plan to organise the reception services differently at this university has led to upheaval within the General and Technical Services. The Executive Board has now hired an external advisor to map out the situation within the department “objectively and with the proper degree of subtlety”.

‘Yes’ to The Student Hotel

‘Yes’ to The Student Hotel

MAASTRICHT. Tuesday evening, the Maastricht city council said ‘yes’ to the plans for the establishment of The Student Hotel in the Eiffel building at the top of the Boschstraat. The following morning, Gerdo van Grootheest, the alderman c...

Questions about BISS education

MAASTRICHT. The technical universities of Twente and Eindhoven have raised concerns about the study programmes at the BISS institute Business Intelligence and Smart Services (BISS) institute in Heerlen. The institute, established by the School of Bus...

“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 feel when you see lives terminated in all those places that you know.”

Human border for refugees

Human border for refugees

MAASTRICHT. Sunday 15th marked Amnesty International Maastricht Students (AIMS) creating a small scale blockade on the Sint Servaasbrug. The goal? To raise awareness about the difficulties refugees face on their way to a safer life in Europe.

Peekaboo wins Local Hero Award

Peekaboo wins Local Hero Award

MAASTRICHT. Nine months until you can hold your baby in your arms – for some parents the wait is unbearable. Enter Peekaboo, a startup that aims to convert ultrasound scans into virtual reality so soon-to-be parents can have a 360 degree look a...

Rearranging money and powers

Rearranging money and powers

MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics (SBE) has changed course: future decisions on education will be made not by the departments, but by special project teams. Powers will be transferred from the departments to these teams, and the departments will be expected to invest their ample savings. These changes should remove major barriers to overhauling the education on offer at SBE.

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) were Dutch, up from 1300 at last year’s event. Like last year, around 300 German visitors were also in attendance.

A record 90,000 foreign students are studying in the Netherlands

THE NETHERLANDS. Almost 90,000 foreign students are studying in the Netherlands this year, of whom 23,000 come from outside Europe, according to international education body EP-Nuffic.

The Netherlands holds a minute’s silence for Paris attack victims

The Netherlands holds a minute’s silence for Paris attack victims

THE NETHERLANDS. One minute’s silence for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks will be held across the Netherlands on Monday as part of a Europe-wide memorial for the dead.

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 meeting of Make it in the Netherlands in the Tapijn barracks, they were given an opportunity to present themselves.

Website delay

MAASTRICHT. The launch of the new Maastricht University website has been delayed. The site will not go live in December, as Manon Gorissen, head of digital communication, reported a month ago in Observant, but after New Year. No new date has been fixed yet.

“Somaliland’s constitution is beautiful, but mostly theoretical”

“Somaliland’s constitution is beautiful, but mostly theoretical”

MAASTRICHT. What is more important: targeting poverty or human rights? This is the question that occupied Guleid, chairman of the Somali Human Rights Centre and participant in Maastricht’s Shelter Programme, at the Somaliland Human Rights Info ...

Prize for Maastricht Green Office model

MAASTRICHT. RootAbility, the organisation behind the Maastricht Green Office movement, last week received the UNESCO–Japan Prize for education in sustainable development. This is the first time the prize has been awarded. The $50,000 award...

Faculty of Law goes to Aruba

Faculty of Law goes to Aruba

MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht Faculty of Law is going to work together with the University of Aruba. From the next academic year, they hope to welcome the first students for the double degree programme, an American Specialisation, within the existing master’s programme of International and European Tax Law. Eventually, the participants will receive two diplomas (an Aruban and a Dutch one).

Jansma appointed dean of FHS

MAASTRICHT. Professor Bernadette Jansma (50) will be the new dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences (FHS). Currently dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences (FPN), she will take up the new role in mid-2016. Professor Franz Palm will remain in place as interim dean until then.

Police investigate leak in parliament’s top security committee

THE NETHERLANDS. The police are investing a potential leak in parliament which led to secret information about national security issues being leaked to a journalist, the Telegraaf says on Tuesday.

Prime minister cuts short Japan mission for EU refugee summit

THE NETHERLANDS. Prime minister Mark Rutte is cutting short his visit to Japan as part of a trade mission to attend a European summit on the refugee crisis, the Volkskrant says on Monday.

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...

A dancing pumpkin

A dancing pumpkin

MAASTRICHT. Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, witches, mind-blowing costumes, trick-or-treating, ringing doorbells, candy, chocolate, caramel apples, parties, late October… It is Halloween . Fuelled by an unbridled Halloween obsession, enthusiasm for c...

“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 president of the Moral Courage Project at New York University, a course “that aims to teach young leaders to make values-driven decisions for the sake of their integrity – professional and personal.” Observant interviewed Prof. Manji by email.

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 Engineering (7.8) and the recently established Maastricht Science Programme (7.4) also performed well in the ranking.

VVD senator quits over home nursing firm bankruptcy report

VVD senator quits over home nursing firm bankruptcy report

THE NETHERLANDS. VVD senator Loek Hermans resigned on Monday after the bankruptcy of a massive home nursing group was partly blamed on his failings.

Dutch government initiates animal-free testing fund

Dutch government initiates animal-free testing fund

THE NETHERLANDS. The Dutch government wants to set up a new investment fund which will put money into developing animal-free research.

Research in an aquarium

Research in an aquarium

More often than not, a lab consists of isolated ‘corners’ where research groups work with their own equipment. This kind of fragmentation is a thing of the past in the new lab run by the department of surgery and the M4I institute, respec...

The Student Hotel: concerns among politicians and Maastricht hotels

The Student Hotel: concerns among politicians and Maastricht hotels

MAASTRICHT. Of the 378 rooms in The Student Hotel, planned in the Eiffel building at the Boschstraat, on average a maximum of 98 rooms may be let as hotel rooms each year. The majority should serve as accommodation for students. This is what the Maastricht city authorities wrote to two political parties (CDA and Maastrichtse Volkspartij), who were concerned about competition for existing Maastricht hotels.

Nineteen bicycles stolen in Randwijck

Nineteen bicycles stolen in Randwijck

MAASTRICHT. Randwijck is suffering a wave of bicycle thefts. Nineteen bicycles have disappeared from the locked bicycle storage under the university library since July. “A very disturbing case, we don’t know what to do,” says location manager Allert Andela.

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.

Students help refugees

Students help refugees

MAASTRICHT. Students from the Refugee Project helped to receive new refugees in the Netherlands last week. On 13 October, the Maastricht city council decided to accept hundreds of additional asylum seekers in the Limmel refugee centre. “I recei...

Recorded crime drops for seventh successive year

Recorded crime drops for seventh successive year

THE NETHERLANDS. Recorded crime dropped 23% in 2014, the seventh successive year to show a decrease, according to figures from the central statistics agency CBS on Monday.

Employers concerned as anti-immigration PVV rises in the polls

Employers concerned as anti-immigration PVV rises in the polls

THE NETHERLANDS. The rise of the anti-immigration PVV in the opinion polls could damage the Netherlands’ reputation abroad, employers’ chief Hans de Boer told a television current affairs show on Sunday.

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.

PBL in Qatar

MAASTRICHT/QATAR.The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences is going to contribute to the medical curriculum of Qatar University, which has started this year. Maastricht University and Qatar University have signed an agreement that focuses in ...

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.

2,000 euro for UM thesis

MAASTRICHT. Ingrid Kremer, a recent graduate from the research master’s of Health Sciences, has won the Catharina Pijls Aanmoedigingsprijs (Catharina Pijls encouragement prize) for her thesis on MS medication. This annual prize, specifically for Maastricht Health Sciences graduates, consists of two thousand euro, to be spent at the winner’s discretion.

Councils to get more powers to ban troublemakers

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch local authorities are to be given more powers to ban people with a criminal background from moving to specific areas, according to draft legislation sent for review by housing minister Stef Blok on Monday.

One in five Dutch hospitals in financial trouble

THE NETHERLANDS. One in five Dutch hospitals is in serious financial trouble, according to the annual survey of hospital finances carried out by accountants group BDO.

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 KeuzeGids as one of the bases for its conclusions) show that FASoS students are dissatisfied with a number of issues. A plan of action that was discussed in the council meeting yesterday should change all of this.

Wind of change blowing through communication departments

MAASTRICHT. The marketing and communication arm of Maastricht University is in for a change. “Student recruitment is something we are good at,” says director Fons Elbersen, “but we are vulnerable in reputation and crisis management. And not just there.”

New UM website online in December

New UM website online in December

MAASTRICHT. It will finally go live in December: Maastricht University’s new website. After a year-and-a-half of discussions, writing, designing, and constructing, the worst irritations have hopefully been dealt with. No more rambling, a search machine that works properly, and a lot of images and videos.

Four Maastricht scientists in VIVA400

Four Maastricht scientists in VIVA400

MAASTRICHT. Four Maastricht scientists have been nominated for the Dutch VIVA400 award. Last year, the honour fell upon UM postdoc Anne Leferink, in the ‘Knappe Koppen’ (Whizz Kid) category.

“Jordanians are proud that their country is stable”

“Jordanians are proud that their country is stable”

MAASTRICHT. One person is making a tour of Oman and writes a blog about it, the other teaches English to children for ‘SOS Kinderdorpen’. AIESEC, a student organisation that arranges work placements abroad, sends thirty students to the Middle East every year. This is done within the framework of the extra-curricular Nour Project, for which registrations start this week. Floortje Rawee, master’s student of European and International Law, studied the impact of Syrian refugees on the country of Jordan, last summer.

Scrapping student grants means more stay at home

Scrapping student grants means more stay at home

THE NETHERLANDS. More students are likely to study in their home towns and continue living with their parents now the government has scrapped student grants, according to research by student housing monitor group Kences.

Dutch police seize 24,000 guns in 2.5 years

THE NETHERLANDS. Dutch police have confiscated 24,000 guns and pistols over the past 2.5 years, broadcaster Nos said at the weekend.

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 the Vrijthof Theatre. Observant asked former and current participants and organisers about their favourite TEDtalk.

University library considers installing turnstiles

University library considers installing turnstiles

MAASTRICHT. Again students are complaining about the over-crowded library in the city centre. This time, they did so in the Law Faculty Council meeting last Wednesday, in which the idea of the university library to install turnstiles again was discussed.

“For years the Netherlands has had its back to Germany”

“For years the Netherlands has had its back to Germany”

MAASTRICHT. Five thousand German students in Maastricht, against three hundred Dutch students in Aachen. Where does this difference come from? This was the theme of a discussion held in the Feestzaal at the Faculty of Law last Monday.

MOOC UM about to start

MOOC UM about to start

MAASTRICHT. Next Monday will see the start of the Maastricht University’s first MOOC (Massive Online Open Course). A internal pilot project was run in May. This course is unique in its set-up: where MOOCs are normally set up according to a trad...

Students want more video recordings

Students want more video recordings

​MAASTRICHT. Law students want more lectures to be made available digitally. They argued for this during the Faculty Council meeting last Wednesday. Especially in the bachelor’s and master’s of Tax Law most lectures are not recorded. “It is an easy way to make education more effective and eventually improve test results,” says student Elodie Cocheteux. The law faculty board will take the matter into consideration.

Pick-up-your-permit day

Pick-up-your-permit day

MAASTRICHT. Whether they had come to Maastricht for a semester, a year or a full three-year study programme, all non-EU students stood in line last Tuesday at the Student Service Centre to collect their residence permits. Since 2010 the Maastricht Un...

Glitz and glamour at the Law Ball

Glitz and glamour at the Law Ball

MAASTRICHT. The Annual Faculty of Law Ball contained all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood red carpet event. It was sold out already weeks before the event and held at Maastricht's Ipanema venue. A range of different music genres were played t...

Telegraaf publishes secret ProRail reports

Telegraaf publishes secret ProRail reports

THE NETHERLANDS. The Telegraaf newspaper on Tuesday published confidential transport ministry documents about railway operator ProRail which junior transport minister Wilma Mansveld had refused to hand over to parliament.

Over 440,000 Dutch call for referendum on Ukraine EU treaty

Over 440,000 Dutch call for referendum on Ukraine EU treaty

THE NETHERLANDS. A Dutch citizens’ initiative to force a non-binding referendum on a far-reaching treaty between Brussels and Ukraine had gathered 446,000 signatures by early Sunday evening.

500 euro to work on yourself

MAASTRICHT. Fewer temporary staff, better career policies, fewer differences between the faculties. These are a few of the outlines of Maastricht University’s new human resources policy. And everyone is to receive 500 euro for ‘personal development’.

Raising awareness with tea and cookies

Raising awareness with tea and cookies

A group of seven gathers in a tight circle, balancing coffee mugs and cookies on their laps, on Monday evening in the new building of the InnBetween Student Chaplaincy on Capucijnenstraat 122. Beneath paintings entitled Life, Process of Life, and Flo...

UM will meet (almost) all performance agreements

UM will meet (almost) all performance agreements

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University will soon fulfil practically all performance agreements made with the education minister. This was confirmed by Vice-President of the Executive Board, Nick Bos, in a University Council committee meeting last Wednesday.

Law staff flex and stretches too little at their desks

Law staff flex and stretches too little at their desks

MAASTRICHT. A large number of employees at the Faculty of Law sit at their computer for longer than six hours a day and many end up with painful or fatigued fingers, wrists, shoulders or neck. This was the outcome of the ‘risk inventory’ ...

Re-routing for cyclists on Kennedy Bridge

Re-routing for cyclists on Kennedy Bridge

MAASTRICHT. In the next few months, work will be carried out on an important arterial road in Maastricht: the Kennedy Bridge. Mopeds and cyclists – including students and members of staff, travelling from the faculties in Randwyck to the city c...

‘Dutch no to Guantanamo Bay prisoners threatens relationship with US’

‘Dutch no to Guantanamo Bay prisoners threatens relationship with US’

THE NETHERLANDS. The Dutch government’s reluctance to take any prisoners from Guantanamo Bay is threatening the relationship between the Netherlands and the US, the Volkskrant reports on Tuesday.

Nijmegen researchers win prize for research into ‘Huh’

THE NETHERLANDS. Three researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen have won one of this year’s Ig Nobel prizes – for discovering that the word ‘huh’ or similar sounding words are used in almost every language.

Tutors to sit exams first

Tutors to sit exams first

MAASTRICHT. To improve the quality of exams, the School of Business and Economics (SBE) has come up with a novel measure: before students sit an exam, the tutor who developed it should first have a fellow tutor take the exam. Depending on the mark obtained, the exam questions will then be critically evaluated.

UM drops in QS ranking

MAASTRICHT. Dutch universities still count among the world’s top institutions, according to the international ranking agency QS. Just not among the top fifty – not this year at least. And it is Maastricht University that has suffered the biggest drop.

“You have to join the Ba’ath party in tenth grade”

“You have to join the Ba’ath party in tenth grade”

MAASTRICHT. "Refugees don’t exist.
There are only people blown away,
people blown by the wind all over the world."

With this poem, the drama group Het Geluid closed the Sphinx debate on Thursday 10 September in De Brandweer. Over the course of the evening the audience had listened to fascinating anecdotes about life in a dictatorship like Syria, and how refugees are building new lives in Europe.

Tom Dumoulin: Near Vuelta winner and would-be UM icon

Tom Dumoulin: Near Vuelta winner and would-be UM icon

MAASTRICHT. He was breathtakingly close to winning the Tour of Spain. And if the 24-year-old Maastricht native had managed it, it wouldn’t have mattered whether Maastricht University was able to flaunt its own student-cum-champion cyclist.

Give refugees opportunity for a meaningful stay

Give refugees opportunity for a meaningful stay

NETHERLANDS/MAASTRICHT. Six Dutch academics, including the Maastricht professor Wiebe Bijker and Amsterdam political scientist Rob Hagendijk, have started a petition urging for more refugees to be absorbed as students or visiting researchers in higher education. “Everyone wants to help. Our idea is: do something you’re good at. As university employees we want to help people land on their feet in Dutch society”, explains Bijker. He emphasises that it’s “not an elitist attempt to help only the well-educated”, but rather a call to administrators, students and scholars to come up with good ideas.

 

More Dutch universities start selecting students

NETHERLANDS. Over 25% of hbo college degree courses and one in five university degrees have some form of selection, according to the latest edition of the higher education handbook Keuzegids.

Over 3,000 refugees reached the Netherlands

NETHERLANDS. An estimated 3,100 asylum seekers have arrived in the Netherlands over the past week and have reported to the registration centre in Ter Apel, a spokesman for the refugee settlement agency COA said on Sunday.

Sleeping in a hostel due to lack of suitable rooms

Sleeping in a hostel due to lack of suitable rooms

MAASTRICHT. There are dozens of, mainly foreign, students who cannot find a suitable room in Maastricht. True, there is not a lot on offer, certainly not in the city centre. Belgium? Rather not, too much administrative red tape, they say. Stayokay, the hostel on the Maasboulevard, is doing well due to this student accommodation shortage: students have booked more than 60 per cent of the 200 beds. Others stay with friends and sleep on the sofa. Or in a tent, if necessary.

A bit with Bluetooth to combat tooth grinding

A bit with Bluetooth to combat tooth grinding

MAASTRICHT. It hardly ever happens: bachelor’s students obtaining a NWO grant. Nevertheless, this is exactly what three students from the Maastricht Science Program managed to do. Before the summer, they received 27 thousand euro, for a subject that doesn’t immediately make you think ‘science’: bruxism. Otherwise known as tooth grinding.

Not your typical “boom boom party”

Not your typical “boom boom party”

MAASTRICHT. “I want to play roulette though!” It’s Monday evening at the Muziekgieterij, where the International Student Network (ISN) is hosting Social Monday for the second time since the start of this academic year. Striped, spot...

“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.

Supermarkets cutting back on fast-reared chicken

Supermarkets cutting back on fast-reared chicken

NETHERLANDS. Dutch supermarkets are stocking less fast-reared factory chicken, known as ‘plofkip’ or ‘exploding chicken’ in popular Dutch.

Dutch government to press ahead with ‘Big Brother’ legislation

Dutch government to press ahead with ‘Big Brother’ legislation

NETHERLANDS. Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk is to press ahead with controversial ‘Big Brother’ legislation on phone and internet tapping, despite criticism from telecom firms and privacy experts.

Slight increase of first-years

MAASTRICHT. It appears that there is a slight increase in the number of first-year students. This is shown by the provisional enrolment figures. Maastricht University received 24,028 first-year pre-enrolments this year. Of them, 6,183 have already re...

Start of science master’s programmes

Start of science master’s programmes

MAASTRICHT. The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) gave the go-ahead for two new science master’s programmes during the summer: Biobased Materials and Systems Biology. The minister had already given approval in Ja...

Do the Dabke

Do the Dabke

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht’s Stadspark was transformed into a hub of oriental dance, music, and energy by Not Just A Number, a new NGO in Maastricht, dedicated to the “re-humanisation of refugees”. On Wednesday, the 26th of August, the ...

University must remain liveable and workable

University must remain liveable and workable

MAASTRICHT. Community building, building a community. And not just the academic community of students and staff, but also focusing on stronger relations with the surroundings: the city of Maastricht, the region. This will be included in the UM’s new strategic programme.

Student Award for Refugee Project

Student Award for Refugee Project

MAASTRICHT. Aurelia Streit, of the Student and Society Initiative (SSI), has won the Student Award 2015 for her work coordinating the Refugee Project Maastricht. The aim of the project is to bring students and refugees from the Maastricht asylum cent...

“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 alderman. The speakers were there to share their ideas on how to build a community.

Dutch government to appeal against climate ruling

Dutch government to appeal against climate ruling

NETHERLANDS. The Dutch government is to appeal against a landmark court ruling which ordered it to do more to reduce CO2 emissions.

Drinking water won’t cure a hangover say Dutch researchers

Drinking water won’t cure a hangover say Dutch researchers

MAASTRICHT. Dutch scientists studying the consequences of drinking too much have concluded that eating food and drinking water make no difference to a hangover, despite the popular belief that they do.

The higher the education, the more drugs used

The higher the education, the more drugs used

MAASTRICHT. The higher the education, the more drugs used Have you ever smoked a joint? Yes, say one in three with higher education. They have experimented much more often with drugs than others, Statistics Netherlands reports. Graduates from s...

Spot the difference

Spot the difference

MAASTRICHT. The lecture hall of the School of Business and Economics has gone through some significant changes over the summer. Gone are the long benches; they have been replaced by individual chairs with their own folding table and po...

AZM top claims more exuberant expenses than UM managers

AZM top claims more exuberant expenses than UM managers

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht university managers are a lot more frugal when claiming expenses than the managers of the nearby university hospital MUMC/AZM. UM managers regularly have no wine with their lunch in a restaurant.

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...

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 th...

One in five graduates in arrears with student debt

One in five graduates in arrears with student debt

Around one in five graduates with a student debt is behind with repayments, broadcaster Nos said at the weekend. Of these, two-thirds get a visit from a bailiff, the Nos said. The figures are based on information from the education ministry.

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 di...

Dancing the night away

Dancing the night away

MAASTRICHT. There were loads of opportunities to dance at Cultural Valley in the Stadspark on Wednesday evening during the Inkom. The pop songs of the bands, the bass tunes of the DJ’s and the beats of the drum band – they all got people ...

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...

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...

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 v...

“Bad English still problem”

“Bad English still problem”

“SBE is a cool place to study”, several students said reassuringly during the first of a series of debates with the Faculty Board. But that’s not to say things are perfect. The students criticised the level of English, the lack of reflection, and the absence of a sense of community.

Gallery filled with megaphones, vuvuzelas and drums

Gallery filled with megaphones, vuvuzelas and drums

MAASTRICHT. Even before you cycle into the car park at the Geusselt as a visitor on Saturday 13 June, you are met by a wave of sound. One bad German hit song after the other blares from the loudspeakers, participants of the Royals Cup joining in at 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 focusing on research projects that fit in with the UM’s existing themes. For the Dutch embassy in New Delhi, the ‘Maastricht Method’ – having led to some thirty PhD research projects, the first award ceremony of 2015  being next Thursday – is an example for Dutch institutes that want to do business with India.

Advising and challenging

Advising and challenging

MAASTRICHT. The discipline of student adviser is more than just “providing first aid” these days. It is also about 21st-century skills, employability and reflection on the study programme, career and oneself. Last week, the Maastricht student advisers organised a seminar on modern student advising. 

Hazy HR policy at SBE

Hazy HR policy at SBE

MAASTRICHT. The male-female ratio among PhD candidates is balanced, but of all the lecturers, only one in five is female. This dropout is typical for SBE in Maastricht. The Service Science Factory tried to identify causes and solutions and presented its findings on Tuesday.

The time is right: 31 men are retiring

The time is right: 31 men are retiring

MAASTRICHT. “A mind-shift is needed, and in certain cases it may be necessary to appoint an external female candidate, even when suitable internal male candidates are available.” That is what the memo about Women in Academia by the Execut...

Artists Inkom announced

Artists Inkom announced

MAASTRICHT. Inkom wouldn’t be the same without Fabrizio. The Maastricht singer will make his appearance again during the Inkom opening event on the market this year. Spanish-Belgian singer Belle Pérez will follow him. No Dutch main act t...

Sustainability prize for 3D printing idea

Sustainability prize for 3D printing idea

MAASTRICHT. What can 3D printing mean to the MTB, the sheltered workshops in Maastricht. In asking themselves this question, a group of students from the School of Business and Economics won the Maastricht Student Sustainability Competition last Frid...

Is it really that bad on the Grote Gracht?

Is it really that bad on the Grote Gracht?

MAASTRICHT. What is going on with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, a.k.a FASoS? Within a year, seven 'yellow cards' were issued by the national inspectorate NVAO ("a beating, we were terribly shocked," says an employee) and then the stories come out. Some are told in all openness and some literally pushed under the door of the Observant editorial office. That the faculty is divided into camps, that staff are on the brink of being overworked, that you could cut the atmosphere with a knife, that people are afraid to express themselves mainly because the management style is top-down, and so on. And also that this was “bound to happen,” that education has been neglected for years.

What is the truth in all these stories? Is it really that bad on the Grote Gracht?

€300,000 for Student and City

MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht city council aims to invest €300,000 in the Student and City programme, focused on improving the integration of students in the city. The plan is outlined in the Kaderbrief, a memo setting out the key points of the council’...

All information through single Student Portal

All information through single Student Portal

MAASTRICHT. There is going to be a new student portal. The present MyUM for students will be replaced. Whereas students now have to find information about their subjects, grades and timetables through different channels, they will soon be able to do so through a single portal.

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 Legal Decision-Making, legal experts, psychologists, neuroscientists, economists, and philosophers join forces. “This is unique in the Netherlands”, emphasises professor Frans Leeuw and Dr. David Roef, two of the initiators.

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 faculty councils. Novum dropped back from 22 to fourteen seats.

“Language is in control of us”

“Language is in control of us”

“Writing starts with a sense of a tension, which gets into my head. A friend and writer once said to me: ‘I have that scream in my head and I need to get rid of it, in a manner that is as beautiful and elegant as possible.’” ...

Group sizes: great, faculty housing: could be better

Group sizes: great, faculty housing: could be better

MAAASTRICHT. Maastricht students are satisfied with their bachelor’s and master’s programmes, is the conclusion from the results of the National Student Survey published last week. The most enthusiastic students can be found at University College Maastricht, Knowledge Engineering and Tax Law. Students throughout the UM are the least satisfied – but still sufficiently so – about the preparation for a career and the faculty housing.
No more Saudi Arabian medical students to come to Maastricht

No more Saudi Arabian medical students to come to Maastricht

MAASTRICHT. There will be no more Saudi Arabian medical students coming to Maastricht. The decision was taken by the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. The Saudi government set too many requirements to which the faculty did not wish to adhere.A committee will be formed to investigate how this happened. “We want to learn from the mistakes,” says Jan-Joost Rethans, programme director at the medical faculty.

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 ar...

Enormous influx for Psychology bachelor’s

MAASTRICHT. The number of applications for the bachelor’s of Psychology has doubled this year. Last year, some 800 prospective students showed an interest in the study programme, this year the figure was about 1,600. Of those, 1,022 have gone through the decentralised selection process. The reason for the increase is the new track in English.

WE-festival: A week full of magic

WE-festival: A week full of magic

MAASTRICHT. “Progress, ah! Progress, ah!” Performance artist Rachel Solomon is performing her interactive poem about politics on the little stage next to the campfire at the St Michel farm, just outside Maastricht. Her performance is part...

"Splitting up Ukraine is misplaced"

"Splitting up Ukraine is misplaced"

MAASTRICHT. It wouldn’t surprise him if the conflict in Ukraine rekindled. In the latest Minsk Treaty, the aggressors (the separatists) came out best, which implies: aggression pays off. This is the opinion of Arkady Moshes, an expert on the relations between the EU and Russia. Next week, he will give the Schuman lecture, organised by Studium Generale, on the conflict in Ukraine and the growing gulf between Russia and the EU.

The taste is good, the mouthfeel is less

The taste is good, the mouthfeel is less

MAASTRICHT. The life of a university caterer is no bed of roses. You change the lay-out, you bring in new coffee machines: always comments. You introduce new ‘catering concepts’ throughout the buildings with trendy names like FFWD>> en M.RK.T. and look: questions are asked at a faculty council meeting, this time it’s about the new disposable cutlery. No, UM employees and students are not easily pleased.

Student Idea Competition has two winners

MAASTRICHT. Getting students up off their chairs now and again during their studies and informing youths about human trafficking. These two ideas won the Student Idea Competition last Wednesday. The five finalists had come to the Karl Dittrich hall at the Student Services Centre to present their plans to the jury, who included Astrid Boeijen (director of SSC) and Tobias Heldt (University Council member).

Maastricht is to have an independent, female mayor

Maastricht is to have an independent, female mayor

MAASTRICHT. Annemarie Penn-Te Strake (61) will become the new mayor of Maastricht on 1 July. She will take over from VVD mayor Onno Hoes, who resigned after a commotion about a stealthily recorded private meeting. Penn-Te Strake was born in Helmond ...

Monday 27 April: Birthday King Willem-Alexander

Monday 27 April: Birthday King Willem-Alexander

King’s day! On Monday 27 April Maastricht celebrates the birthday of King Willem-Alexander with music on the Maastricht Markt and Stadspark (start 14.00 hours), and a free market for children and families in the Stadspark. And of course a lot o...

Denying Armenian genocide no longer possible

Denying Armenian genocide no longer possible

MAASTRICHT. In many countries, the Armenian genocide of 1915 will be commemorated on 24 April. However, the facts and especially the use of the term, are still extremely controversial. Professor of Turkish Studies Erik-Jan Zürcher, from Leiden, argues that more attention should be given to the matter.

Learning about Problem-Based Learning in the style of Problem-Based Learning

Learning about Problem-Based Learning in the style of Problem-Based Learning

MAASTRICHT. It is a worldwide first; MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) by Maastricht University, to be launched after the summer, is the first online course to be given in the style of problem-based learning. UM employees can try MOOC out from 11 May.

Study places: more and more, never enough

Study places: more and more, never enough

MAASTRICHT. The number of study places is increasing constantly, but it seems like there are never enough. Especially the library in the city centre seems to suffer from overcrowding. A building on the Tapijn grounds will soon open and most likely stay open around the clock; next year it will also be possible to study at the new sports hall.

ISN sponsors first day of Bruis festival

ISN sponsors first day of Bruis festival

MAASTRICHT. ISN, the International Student Network, is sponsoring Bruis this year. The pop festival will take place at the Koompe, the sport’s area of the former Tapijn barracks on 4, 5, and 6 September 2015. Entrance is free.

Inkom at Tapijn and in the Sphinxkwartier

Inkom at Tapijn and in the Sphinxkwartier

MAASTRICHT. The Inkom Working Group has chosen new activities and new (historical) locations this year. Most of the activities on the first day of the introduction week for first-year students - Monday 17 to Friday 21 August - will take place at the ...

Divide refugees equally over European countries

Divide refugees equally over European countries

MAASTRICHT. What do to with the thousands of people seeking asylum in the European Union? This is a hot topic not only for Europe’s leaders, but also for the students who took part in the Student Forum Maastricht (SFM) at the Maastricht University Campus in Brussels from 15 to 19 April.

Not Maastricht but Leuven wins European Law Moot Court

MAASTRICHT. Leuven University won the European Law Moot Court Competition at the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg, this weekend. The Maastricht University team, composed of Anca Bliort, Eugenie Coche and Andrea Rigamonti, came in second. The EL...

Bad English: ah well, as long as we understand each other

Bad English: ah well, as long as we understand each other

MAASTRICHT. Keeping the discussion about Maastricht as a student city going: okay. As a political party, being interested in the ideas in society: understandable. As far as that was concerned, the Labour Party (PvdA) meeting and the Student & Society Initiative, on Monday evening in the Muziekgieterij, can only be applauded. But are we hearing new or exciting plans? No, not really.

Making a choice from sixteen student lists

Making a choice from sixteen student lists

MAASTRICHT. The lists of candidates for the University Council and faculty councils were finalised at the beginning of this week. There is clearly more choice than two years ago, both among students and employees. Only at the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, the support staff seat remains unoccupied. The Faculty of Law is finally getting academic staff members in its council after four years. And a new NUM type party? No, they appear not to have registered.

Opinion: “Elected boards? Will that benefit science?”

MAASTRICHT. Should students and staff elect their boards, as René Gabriëls on behalf of the NUM wrote in the last Observant? Gerard van Breukelen, professor of Methodology & Statistics, is not at all convinced. Gabriëls’ proposal  “sounds  a bit too much like ‘all power to the Sovjets’”, he argues.

Outbreak of scabies among UM students

Outbreak of scabies among UM students

MAASTRICHT. Student Services has warned students against scabies. Various student organisations reported to local health authority GGD South Limburg that members suffered from this skin disease. “Scabies is caused by a tiny mite that burrows un...

Opinion: “Full of false accusations and naïve”

MAASTRICHT. David Bernstein’s opinion on the New University Maastricht (Observant 27), is full of false accusations and from an academic and political point of view naïve, says René Gabriëls. Falsely he accuses the NUM of not being in for a dialogue, not knowing what democracy is and who is represented. His suggestion that what he says is not ideological is very naïve.

Sophie Vanhoonacker: kind, modest, but she marks her boundaries

Sophie Vanhoonacker: kind, modest, but she marks her boundaries

MAASTRICHT. She will be the first female dean at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS): professor Sophie Vanhoonacker accepted when the Executive Board asked her for the position.

ESN to become ISN

ESN to become ISN

MAASTRICHT. The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) will change its name to International Student Network (ISN). “We want to make it clear that we are here for all international students, not just for exchange students. It is something that the unive...

SBE revises thesis policy

SBE revises thesis policy

MAASTRICHT. After the yellow cards issued by NVAO for the FASoS theses, the School of Business and Economics (SBE) has decided to seriously upgrade its final project in the bachelor’s programme from four to eight credits. Another reason is that its own students and staff increasingly regarded the so-called capstone as a 'necessary hurdle'.

From Maastricht with Love

From Maastricht with Love

MAASTRICHT. Long-distance relationships. Some say they’re perfect. They keep things interesting; you’re always excited about seeing each other, and the time you do spend together is special. The flip side of the coin is that you spend mos...

Opinion: The New University Roadshow Comes to Maastricht

MAASTRICHT. The problem with the New University is that ideologues of all stripes are the same. They are only interested in one voice: their own. That is what David Bernstein, professor of Forensic Psychotherapy, argues.

 
Pick up point for sustainable study materials at Green Office

Pick up point for sustainable study materials at Green Office

MAASTRICHT. Those who order writing materials at aGreenStory, a webshop started by University College Maastricht student Yağmur Masmas, are now able to pick the order up for free at the Green Office. Masmas started a shop with sustainable study mater...

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 best studies.

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 University Council. The Executive Board takes the concerns seriously and will answer as quickly as possible.

Students socialise with refugees in new project

Students socialise with refugees in new project

MAASTRICHT. “Here, take some ice cream.” It’s Thursday evening at Innbetween, the new location and name of the Ecumenical Student Chaplaincy Tafelstraat 13, and the room is buzzing with chatter and laughter. About thirty students an...

"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 other members of staff, has been going on for some time already.

No ‘monoculture’ at SBE

MAASTRICHT. Criticism about Economics education at Dutch universities is accumulating. Just like (Maastricht) students have done before, a group of sixteen professors are now calling for more diversity in academic education.

SBE team wins Maastricht University Debating Championship

SBE team wins Maastricht University Debating Championship

MAASTRICHT. Is it a good idea to increase the funding for so-called STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and dramatically decrease the funding for non-STEM fields, such as Arts and Social Sciences, Economics and Politics? T...

“Current physics is a mess”

“Current physics is a mess”

A mess, or less slightingly, a cookery book: physics is a collection of recipes from a variety of cuisines. This is the view of physicist Ronald Westra, who organised the two-day masterclass New physics, beyond the standard model, together with the Science Programme, and brought a number of big shots to the UM. Is there or is there not going to be an Einstein telescope at a depth of 100 metres in South Limburg?

UM satisfied with the number of master’s students

MAASTRICHT. The open day for master’s programmes, last Saturday, attracted more visitors this year than last year. Then 1389 potential students came to take a look, this year that number was approximately 1500 (the definite figure will be annou...

The many faces of vice rector Harm Hospers

The many faces of vice rector Harm Hospers

MAASTRICHT. Who is the man who is described by some as having “great resilience” and by others as “he cannot handle criticism”? That he creates a “warm environment” while the next person calls it “an atmosphere of suspicion”? Someone with whom you “can have a great laugh”, another claiming that he has a “choleric character”? Is he a “Panicking Peter” or someone who “provides space for initiatives”? Who is this enigmatic Harm Hospers, the first vice rector of this university?

OPINION: Maagdenhuis occupation: A national assault on education requires a national defence

MAASTRICHT. The true source of the dispute between students and the university board in Amsterdam, lies in national education policy and efficiency measures, says Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences-student David Darler, on behalf of the New University Maastricht, in this opinion article.

“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...

Student information portal in English

Student information portal in English

MAASTRICHT. Where can I find the closest GP? What do I do with my rubbish? How do I find a room to rent? For answers to questions like these and more, students can now go to mymaastricht.nl, an English-language portal with information on transportati...

No ‘PhD students’ at the UM

No ‘PhD students’ at the UM

MAASTRICHT. Maastricht University will not participate in Education minister Bussemaker’s national experiment to appoint ‘PhD students’. The Executive Board does not support the idea, and the University Council feels the same.

Albron lowers fruit prices after students’ criticism

Albron lowers fruit prices after students’ criticism

MAASTRICHT. Chris Snellen, responsible for catering on behalf of the Facility Services, had to attend another University Council meeting to explain about in-house caterer Albron.

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 the number of study programmes.

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.

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.

International Students Club in the Timmerfabriek

International Students Club in the Timmerfabriek

MAASTRICHT. The International Students Club is to be housed in the Timmerfabriek on the Boschstraat. This will not be until 2017, but the decision has been made after years of discussions about a suitable meeting place for international students. Maastricht University and the city council signed a declaration of intent today.

Helpdesk will help students set up initiatives

Helpdesk will help students set up initiatives

MAASTRICHT. Students who want to set up an initiative or organisation often find themselves facing all sorts of issues: where to get funding, how to book an office space and so on. To answer these questions, the Student Project Team (SPT) will launch...

“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 occasions that our programmes were an example, there were no comments on our exams and blocks, some of our theses were deemed fantastic.”

European Law Moot Court Competition

MAASTRICHT. Four Maastricht law students will soon head to the semifinals of the European Law Moot Court Competition (ELMC) at the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg. The ELMC is one of the world’s most important pleading competitions, in w...

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&rs...

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 Maastricht Student Council was officially opened last Tuesday. Neighbourhood platform Sint Maartenspoort will also use the space for meetings.

Exotic diseases are also prevalent in small provincial towns

Exotic diseases are also prevalent in small provincial towns

MAASTRICHT. Ebola doesn’t stop at national borders; diseases and patients travel around the world more than ever before. That in itself, the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences thinks, is an important reason for making education at the faculty more international. For this process, there will be a special International Education Co-ordinator.

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 th...

Better results but still dropped

Better results but still dropped

MAASTRICHT. Dropped slightly but not dramatically: the UM went from 15th to 17th place in the Times Higher Education Top 100 Most International Universities in the World. In this ranking - published for the first time last year - the “internati...

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 give a lecture at Studium Generale next Monday.

Tafelstraat 13 becomes The InnBetween

Tafelstraat 13 becomes The InnBetween

MAASTRICHT. Tafelstraat 13, the University Chaplaincy, is leaving the building that bears its name. The new location will be Capucijnenstraat 122. “A huge step for us, as we have been at Tafelstraat 13 since we started in the nineteen-seventies...

Creating a safe atmosphere for gay students

Creating a safe atmosphere for gay students

MAASTRICHT. "Is there anything for gay students to do in Maastricht?” When this question was asked two months ago, the answer was close to no. Every now and then the COC organised a party and there is of course the Sway Café, but that was ...

One-million euro magnet

One-million euro magnet

MAASTRICHT. Tuesday morning, just before 9 o’clock, the truck from Amsterdam arrives at the grounds of UNS 50. It has a 9.4 Tesla magnet on board, the showpiece in professor Ron Heeren’s lab. The magnet, which cost a million euro, was tra...

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...

“People are friendly towards us”

“People are friendly towards us”

MAASTRICHT. A few feeble jokes and “people sometimes stare a little more,” but other than that, Islamic students in Maastricht have experienced no extra trouble in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris. At least that is what a small sampl...

“There are no good or bad students”

“There are no good or bad students”

MAASTRICHT. The jury was impressed by the efforts that she had made to promote educational innovation at the UM, in addition to her job as a PhD candidate. Catalina Goanta won the Wynand Wijnen Education Prize, a sculpture and 5,000 euro.

“Failure – Jimmy Wales is good at it”

“Failure – Jimmy Wales is good at it”

MAASTRICHT. Wikipedia wasn’t his best idea, Jimmy Wales (48) told the approximately 1500 students at his lecture in the MECC last Friday. That was an online food ordering service. Nowadays every country has one, “but in 1996, restaurant owners were looking at me like I was from Mars.” He delivered his lecture ‘Failure as a route to success’ before the Dies Natalis celebration, during which he received an honorary doctorate.

Dissertation prize for Ann-Kristin Zobel

MAASTRICHT. Her work as a postdoc at Berkeley did not make it easy for her to ‘just pop over’ to Maastricht in order to accept the dissertation prize during the Dies celebration, last Friday. But a recently born baby made planning even more difficult. Ann-Kristin Zobel (27), originally from Germany, received full praise for her dissertation on innovation in businesses, which she defended in December 2013. She received €3,500 on behalf of the Professors’ Fund.

Commentary: Courageous

Commentary: Courageous

No, of course we’re not all Charlie. At least not in the literal sense in which some people interpret it: just as courageous, just as unapproachable as the artists who create Charlie Hebdo. Who persevered in spite of all threats – and for...

Two economists in top 40

MAASTRICHT. The latest Dutch ‘Economentop 40’ (Top 40 Economists), which was recently published by the journal Economisch Statistische Berichten (ESB), only includes two researchers from Maastricht University. Senior lecturer Nils Kok, who obtained an NWO vidi grant last year, is in 32nd place, and Jean-Jacques Herings, professor of Microeconomics, in 38th place.

Vitally important: latex gloves

Vitally important: latex gloves

MAASTRICHT. The Executive Board supports a midwifery school (as well as a maternity ward) in Sierra Leone that is suffering because of the Ebola crisis. There are flyers with information on how to donate at the Foundation Day event. Mundo, the UM development office, worked together with the midwifery school some years ago.

Film: Thesis Prize winners on their topics

MAASTRICHT. Sven Klijn (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, on the left) and Matthias Vos (Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience) are two of the seventeen bachelor Thesis Prize winners. In this film they explain what their research is abo...

Almost 100 programmes require quality improvements

Almost 100 programmes require quality improvements

NETHERLANDS. About one hundred study programmes in the Netherlands and Flanders have been forced to improve their quality since 2011. They received a so-called yellow card from education inspector NVAO. Theses appeared to be below standard, examinati...

“The voice of reason must drown out the screamers.”

“The voice of reason must drown out the screamers.”

MAASTRICHT. What incites Muslim youths to radicalise? The debate about the consequences of the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, held last Monday in a full and heavily protected university cafeteria, quickly centres around extremism and how to deal with it. “Youths often think: if a Muslim does something wrong, it is blown out of proportion and if a Muslim does something right you don’t hear about it.”

More free Wi-Fi in Maastricht

More free Wi-Fi in Maastricht

MAASTRICHT. Since a few days ago, the city of Maastricht has been offering free Wi-Fi on the Markt, the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein, Amorsplein, Stationsplein and the area around the Health Campus and the Maastricht University Medical Centre in Randwijck....

Twelve lectures, twelve professors, twelve cities

Twelve lectures, twelve professors, twelve cities

MAASTRICHT. Almost a week after Maastricht University’s Dies celebration on Friday, 16 January, a new tradition will be introduced: the UM Star Lectures. For the first time, twelve professors will start their lectures simultaneously in twelve ...

“Kobani has unified the Kurds”

“Kobani has unified the Kurds”

MAASTRICHT. This week, after months of fighting, Kurdish fighters claim to have regained 80 per cent of Kobani from the Islamic State (IS) that invaded the city in the Syrian part of Kurdistan, near the Turkish border in September 2014.  As a result of the conflict, Kurdish citizens from the region as well as elsewhere have been mobilised. Two Maastricht students, with relatives in Iran and Iraq, and the chair of the Kurdish student organisation in the Netherlands talk about the conflict.

Employee award for philosopher and research technician

Employee award for philosopher and research technician

MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht University employee award this year goes to senior research technician Roel Spätjens and philosopher René Gabriëls. During the New Year’s drink, last Monday 5 January in Randwijck, the latter took the time, somewhat suspiciously about his selection from a list of 22 candidates, to vent his criticism of Maastricht University and the present academic climate in the Netherlands.

A virtual campus tour

A virtual campus tour

MAASTRICHT. During the New Year’s reception in Randwijck, on Monday 5 January, Executive President Martin Paul gave the starting shot for an online campus tour, a web-based guide to Maastricht University. The interactive map contains all the UM...

Compulsory language courses for foreign students

THE NETHERLANDS. An MP from the liberal political party VVD wants all foreign students to take a Dutch language course. Minister of Education Bussemaker is doubtful, but will look into the possibilities. 

Additional study spaces at Tapijn

Additional study spaces at Tapijn

MAASTRICHT. In Spring 2015, the University Library intends to launch an experimental learning environment for students in shed V at the Tapijn barracks. In due course, the shed is scheduled to be demolished, but for the coming three years the library wants to use it to create approximately 200 additional study spaces. 

Student club’s location still unknown

MAASTRICHT. There will be no definite answer before Christmas about the building that will house the international student club. This is contrary to what the director of Student Services, Astrid Boeijen, declared on Wednesday 12 November in a meeting...

‘Vice rector’ to drive educational innovations

‘Vice rector’ to drive educational innovations

MAASTRICHT. To speed up educational innovation, the Executive Board has appointed a 'vice rector of education' in the person of FHS dean Harm Hospers, also director of Edlab. "We have been talking about 'PGO 2.0' for five years, but we haven’t made enough progress."

Collective labour agreement for universities: more wages, more permanent contracts

THE NETHERLANDS. The negotiators from the unions and universities have reached an agreement on the new collective labour agreement. Wages will rise by 3 per cent and there will be a one-off bonus of 350 euro gross in July 2016. The agreement is now ...

Slapstick, light effects and 1960s clothing

Slapstick, light effects and 1960s clothing

MAASTRICHT. Brindsley Miller, a young artist, and his fiancée Carol Melkett want to impress a rich art collector who has come to look at Brindsley’s work. That is why they steal their neighbour’s expensive antique furniture. Things do not...

Carbon monoxide poisoning in Guesthouse

MAASTRICHT. Two students – from Korea and Italy - became unwell in a Maastricht University Guesthouse on the Raccordement/Heugemerweg because of carbon monoxide poisoning. Still conscious, they were taken to the hospital. The two inhabitants h...

Do you accept a beer when the glass in your hand is half full?

Do you accept a beer when the glass in your hand is half full?

MAASTRICHT. If you drink more than twenty glasses of alcoholic beverages a week, are you a problem drinker? The students in the Karl Dittrich hall at Student Services, where there was a discussion evening on drugs and alcohol last Tuesday, are of dif...

‘Dear Mr Badawi’

‘Dear Mr Badawi’

Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi’s name must have been written down many times yesterday. Like that of Elkin Musaev, a former Uzbekistani Ministry of Defence official, or United States army soldier Chelsea Manning. They are serving 10, 20 and ...

Thirty new jobs at SBE

Thirty new jobs at SBE

MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics (SBE) is about to recruit dozens of academics for a total of thirty FTEs. Staff numbers have not increased in proportion to the growing student population. More than that: SBE now has 61 fewer academic FTEs than in 2010, while the number of students has risen.

Access to thousands of journals in danger of being blocked

Access to thousands of journals in danger of being blocked

MAASTRICHT. A sinister radio silence is all that is left, after negotiations between Dutch universities and Reed Elsevier publishers have failed. Licences are due to run out on 1 January and researchers will no longer be able to read the latest editions of many journals, including The Lancet.

Black Peter discussion: “We should take a critical look at our tradition”

Black Peter discussion: “We should take a critical look at our tradition”

MAASTRICHT. Is Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) a racist phenomenon or not? The discussion on this issue has become more heated during the past year. A discussion in which universities should involve themselves more, wrote five academics in a column in dail...

PhD bonus scrapped

MAASTRICHT/THE NETHERLANDS> Universities will no longer receive a fixed amount for every PhD. thesis. An end will be put to the so-called PhD bonus, education minister Jet Bussemaker and state secretary Sander Dekker announced today. At the ...

“I had already collapsed under the peer pressure”

“I had already collapsed under the peer pressure”

MAASTRICHT. “Are you hungry?” Admittedly, it’s a bit cynical to ask this question of students who have just started the challenge to live under the poverty line of €2.90 a day for five days. “Not at all”, says Beriv...

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 o...

“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 College Maastricht recently founded the first such group in the Netherlands: PINE UCM.

Students choose an honorary doctor for the first time

Students choose an honorary doctor for the first time

MAASTRICHT. Four honorary doctorates will be awarded at the coming celebration of the university’s founding day. Remarkably, half of them are for social rather than academic merits: Frans Timmermans and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. Another novelty is the fact that students nominated the latter.

Three quarters are considering a study in the Netherlands

Three quarters are considering a study in the Netherlands

MAASTRICHT. Foreign students regard the Netherlands as an open, internationally orientated society with high-quality education. This is one of the outcomes of the Student Pulse research that was recently carried out on behalf of Nuffic, the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education.

SBE to radically innovate education

MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics has elaborate plans for a thorough reorganisation of its education system and is setting aside one million euro a year for this purpose. Problem-based learning has become stale, almost a cliché, says dean Vergauwen, and requires renewing. The faculty has set up five strategic teams that will put forward definite proposals before the summer.

International Student Club: a definite answer before Christmas

MAASTRICHT. There will be a definite answer before Christmas about the building in which the international student club will be housed. There are three options. This is what the director of Student Services (SSC), Astrid Boeijen, declared on Wednesda...

“You not only get experience abroad – you also experience yourself abroad”

“You not only get experience abroad – you also experience yourself abroad”

MAASTRICHT. “Life starts at the edge of your comfort zone.” This is what Kate Surala, a third-year student of European Law, took from her time in Hong Kong for the Netherlands–Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS). With four students from Maastricht and 95 students from other Dutch universities, she visited different cities in Asia last summer to conduct research for several public and private partners as well as the Dutch Financial Times. As of this month, students can apply for the NAHSS 2015.

The Selbsthass of the Germans

The Selbsthass of the Germans

MAASTRICHT. Who is to blame? That is the question that professor Christopher Clark raises in his latest book The sleepwalkers: how Europe went to war in 1914. According to the Australian historian, an unequivocal answer cannot be given. His Maastricht colleague Georgi Verbeeck does not quite agree. Clark is scheduled to give the Tans lecture, organised by Studium Generale, next week.

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 bachelo...

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.

Ebola debate: “Why do ‘we’ care so little for ‘them’?”

Ebola debate: “Why do ‘we’ care so little for ‘them’?”

MAASTRICHT. “How real is the threat for us?” This was one of the questions asked at the Faculty of Law during Tuesday’s debate on Ebola, part of the European Access to Medicine week. A sigh of relief rippled through the audience when Remco van de Pas, researcher at the Institute for Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, answered “nil”.

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 internationalisation in higher education Nuffic, the Erasmus Student Network, the student union LSVb and Eindhoven University of Technology.

Part of the new sports centre open in July

Part of the new sports centre open in July

MAASTRICHT. The first part of the new university sports centre in Randwyck will open next summer. The official kick-off for the construction took place yesterday afternoon, Wednesday 29 October, in the presence of alderman Gerdo van Grootheest and Ma...

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 Biomedical Sciences did less so.

iArts exhibition: Are you afraid of dying?

iArts exhibition: Are you afraid of dying?

MAASTRICHT. What would be your ideal place to grow old and die? This was the starting question for the second-year iArts students when they began work on their exhibition Senescence, from 6 to 8 November in the Kunstkwartier. “Quite a broad top...

“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 doctor.” Hannah is Hannah Patterson, one of the 31 ‘buddies’ who help non-EU first-year students to integrate in Maastricht and solve any practical problems they may face. Today, Thursday 30 October, there will be a conference - The first National Buddy Day - about this topic in Maastricht.

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 staggeri...

Maastricht medical student on TEDxMaastricht main stage

Maastricht medical student on TEDxMaastricht main stage

MAASTRICHT. Three years ago, Anna Verhulst watched a TED talk online session for the first time. Last Monday this Maastricht medical student was on the main stage of TEDxMaastricht.

EU unemployment: Dutch and German graduates do well

EU unemployment: Dutch and German graduates do well

THE NETHERLANDS. The Netherlands is still one of the EU countries with the lowest rate of unemployment among recently graduated students. In Greece more than half have no job and youths in Italy and Croatia are struggling too. This is indicated by the latest figures from the European statistics body.

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 f...

Watches banned during exams

Watches banned during exams

MAASTRICHT. Since 1 September, Maastricht students are no longer allowed to wear watches during exams. The new regulation was introduced to prevent fraud with smart watches, which are capable of connecting with the Internet. The ban is on all watches...

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Commotion at FASoS concerning candidates for the University Council

Commotion at FASoS concerning candidates for the University Council

MAASTRICHT. Two members of the academic staff at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are eligible for election for the University Council. But in the FASoS Weekly of 6 May, the online faculty announcements, the candidacy for only one of them was mentioned. The result was a series of bulk e-mails with rumours and insinuations.