News of the week 41

What's happened in week 41? Research master's unpopular, students living at home, UCG changes admissions and more.

Research masters unpopular

According to the university board, the number of students enrolling in research masters is too low. The board is in talks with the faculties concerning which steps need to be taken to attract more students.

RUG president Sibrand Poppema also believes more advertising is needed. Nearly every research master across the university is faced with this problem, except for the Behavioural & Cognitive Neurosciences programme which managed to increase their intake from 17 students between 2008 and 2011 to 25 and 31 in the cohorts for the following years.

More students living at home

Progressively more students are choosing to live at home with their families, likely in an effort to save money now that the new student loan system has been implemented. In the next eight years, the number of students living away from home could decrease by 13,000, according to the studentenhuisvesting monitor.

Prior to the financial aid changes, it was predicted that student room rentals would increase by 22,000. Students who choose to live away from home pay 470 euros more per month on average.

University College Groningen adapting admissions

The University College Groningen (UCG) started this year with too few students at a great financial loss. The faculty needed 100 freshmen and only took in 30, the same number as last year.

As such, UCG will begin to make the selection process quicker and simpler, as well as making more room for free choice modules in the first year. The recruitment campaign will also be reviewed. The UCG board will discuss strategies and financing with the university board in November.

Shooting threat at University of Leiden

A user on the website 4Chan had posted a threat on Monday about opening fire on campus at the University of Leiden. ‘Not gonna tell you which faculty, that’s up to you to guess. Shit’s gonna go down, then I’m gonna go down.’

Police agents were dispatched to all university buildings but the campus was not evacuated. A 21-year-old University of Leiden student from Valkenburg was arrested on Wednesday. The police are also investigating whether he is responsible for another online threat posted on Tuesday. The university was also the target of a cyber attack on Tuesday.

Bike lights unpopular

Most people can’t be bothered to use bike lights and often travel at night without using them. Nearly three-quarters of people are virtually invisible when they go out at night, according to research by ANWB, BOVAG, Veilig Verkeer Nederland and the Fietsersbond among others.

On average, only 27 per cent of cyclists have a tail- and headlight, but only 18 per cent of people in Amsterdam use bike lights at all. The difference between student cities and villages was also dramatic. The research was carried out on June 25 in Groningen, and 648 bikes were tallied.

Little support for internal evaluations

During a debate in the House of Representatives, it came to light that not only the VVD and D66 were against the plans for institutional accreditation, but also SP, PVV and GroenLinks. However, all the parties concede that the current external evaluations are too bureaucratic.

Minister Bussemaker is prepared to go back to the drawing board to create a plan that will receive adequate support informed by ideas and the objections of the political parties.

Lumpectomies are safe

Breast cancer in women younger than 50 is more dangerous because the likelihood of recurrence is higher, along with the odds of metastasizing in the rest of the body. But these women should not fear having a lumpectomy: the procedure is just as safe as a complete mastectomy, according to PhD research by Enja Bantema-Joppe.

Bantema-Joppe compared the chances of survival among young women whose cancer was diagnosed at an early stage and underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy with the results for women who had a complete mastectomy. Chemotherapy following a lumpectomy appeared to be particularly effective.

City of Groningen befriending Yantai

The city of Groningen wants to sign a treaty of friendship with the Chinese city of Yantai in light of the RUG’s plans to begin a sister campus there. The board of the mayor and aldermen want to support the RUG’s plans in any way that they can.

The treaty will be discussed on Wednesday per request from the Socialist Party, which is critical of the proposal. According to SP, the collaboration between the RUG and Yantai should not suggest that a friendship treaty between the cities is a given.