News of the week: 02 – 08 October

What's happened in week 41? Arts PhDs are denied parental leave, RUG drops in THE ranking, Saudis are stable now and more

Arts PhDs denied parental leave

thumb-zwangerPhDs who get pregnant regularly have parental leave – working fewer days in the week – requests denied, although the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities mandates that it be available. By going on maternity leave – a short-term absence around giving birth – female PhD candidates have the right to an extension, but universities decide for themselves whether or not to grant that.

In the Faculty of the Arts, requests for extensions are invariably denied. Head of finances Egon Dietrich says that approving an extension is very expensive, and besides, ‘becoming a parent is often something that a PhD candidate can plan.’

RUG out of top 100

thumb-rankingsThe RUG has sunk 19 positions on the important Times Higher Education Ranking. That means that the university is no longer in the top 100 in all three of the leading international rankings. Last year, the University was in 98th place, but has tumbled to 117th.

It’s an unpleasant surprise for President Poppema. ‘I really can’t understand it. We are going to carefully study the results of THE and work together to identify the weak points that are the explanation for this fall.’ In the other two rankings – Shanghai and QS – the RUG actually rose this year.

Enrolment cap at FEB

thumb-numerusfixusAll bachelor programmes at the Faculty of Economics and Business will implement a cap on the number of students they can enroll. Currently, there is a lottery in the business and international business programmes, and soon, econometrics and operations research (EOR) and economics and business economics (EBE) will have one as well.

The lottery will be set based on the current enrolment levels, which is 100 students at EOR and 300 at EBE. A lottery provides an opportunity to adjust the selection process, and the faculty hopes to attract better students in doing so.

Vegan options now available

thumb-academiegebouwrestaurantGood news for vegans at the RUG. As of now, students who don’t eat any animal products can order dishes such as vegetable casserole, quinoa with sweet potatoes and Indian peanut curry at university restaurants Academia and Kapteynborg.

The options have been added for international students in particular: in 2013, when Ritwik Swain was the international student representative on the University Council, adding vegan options to university dining was one of his main goals. He established the Food Committee in order to bring more variety to the RUG’s palate.

Stable Saudis

thumb-saoudisThe financial buffer of 7 million euros for Saudi students at UMCG will be decreased by 2 million. Since 2007, dozens of students have come to Groningen from Saudi Arabia through a programme for their students to attend foreign universities. The medical faculty had the buffer because, in the past, fewer students had shown up than were promised, according to international affairs advisor Madeleine Gardeur.

The RUG has also raised admissions requirements, including language skills, meaning more students drop out. The buffer was intended to cover such losses in income, but the number of incoming students is now stable.

Experience Groningen

Het Groninger Museum te GroningenGroningen – the city and the province – wants to give international students a chance to get acquainted. On 21 and 22 November, first-year foreign students can sample everything that the city has to offer during Experience Groningen.

With a focus on sports, culture, business and science, up to 500 international students will visit FC Groningen stadium, the Groninger Museum and learn about job opportunities. In the evenings, you can pull up a chair at a city resident’s table to share a meal. And bring your bike – the event will take place both inside and outside of the city limits.