News of the Week: 23 – 30 October
RUG programme scores ‘not bad’
According to the Keuzegids Universiteiten 2015, the RUG is in eighth place among Dutch full-time universities. Several programmes did especially well: theology came out on top with 88 points in the assessments, based on student evaluations, graduation success rates and visiting the campus.
Math also scored well with 82 points. Other highlights: English language and culture (72), philosophy (74), religious studies (76), archeology (78), human movement science (74), pharmacy (70), chemical technology (70), physics (70) and chemistry (70). But one programme did noticeably badly: international relations and international organization, scoring only 40 points.
Nestor and My University in one
By March 2015, Nestor and My University will become one, meaning no more double logging in. A taskforce, headed by RUG ICT professional Ype Poortinga, is reformulating the programme. ‘We have brought students and communications staff together in small work groups and asked them: “What do you need?”’, Poortinga says.
The new programme will have four simple tabs: a page for grades and news, career services, rosters and instructions. Google Calendar will be used for rosters, including directions to the buildings. Providing directions to classrooms inside the buildings is also planned.
Exam on Friday evening
In the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Science, a psychology exam for Introduction to Research Methods will be held on a Friday evening. According to professor Greetje van der Werf, the department didn’t have much choice. ‘English-language and Dutch-language students both have to take it, and it’s not easy to find a big enough exam space.’
The faculties of law, as well as business and economics, are also struggling with a lack of space for exams. As of now, the board of directors is inclined to permit giving exams on Friday and Saturday.
Alcohol and student organisations
Fraternities are relieved: plans to dramatically restrict when alcohol can be served have been dropped. The only change is, from now on, taps can open at noon. Although the change is meant to offset unfair competition between bars and student organisations, fraternities worried about the ramifications for their social activities.
By the law, sports clubs also count as normal student organisations, so the same rules apply. But Sander Ossenkoppele, chairman for the student football club Forward, says his club is dependent on alcohol sales to cover expenses. Many students see drinking as an important social aspect of athletics.
Rosalind Franklin for women only – again
The RUG can get back to exclusively recruiting women for the Rosalind Franklin Fellowships, thanks to a European subsidy. Three years ago, the university was accused of discriminating against men by creating twelve special professorship positions for female researchers.
President Poppema thought the accusation was ridiculous, but the vacancies still had to be offered as gender neutral. But that’s all over now, due to funding from a European subsidy to counteract underrepresentation of one gender in higher positions. Applications will be accepted until 1 December.
Employees feeling safer
The measures taken to keep trespassers away from the arts and law departments’ grounds have been effective. An intercom at Oude Boteringestraat 34, gates at the Harmonieplein, and an extra watch by a security guard at Rode Weeshuisstraat have helped employees in the facilities to feel safer at work.
Facilities manager Rein van den Bos says that people would regularly walk into the buildings, saying that they were lost – an unlikely claim in the city centre. Such incidents left some employees with an unsafe feeling. Reports of trespassers have decreased, but Van Den Bos encourages staff to remain alert.