News of the week 13: 19 – 25 March
Energy Academy construction begins
Construction on Energy Academy Europe, the ‘energy faculty’ of the RUG, begins this week. The 10,000 square meter building, which will be located next to the Bernoulliborg, must be finished next summer. It will be the home base for all Groningen energy education and research and is intended as an example for modern construction projects worldwide.
The institute uses earth, water, air and sunlight to heat and cool the building. A 200-meter long air tunnel under the building will be used for climate control, and a ‘solar chimney’ that captures warm air will form part of the ventilation system.
University College calls on SSH
The RUG needs SSH to arrange housing for the University College Groningen students. ‘Housing is not the core business of University College, and it is a task that places a considerable burden on the organizational capacity of the relatively small faculty’, says dean Hans van Ees.
UCG needs 132 rooms near the Hoendiepskade for the 32 current students and 100 first year students in September. The students presently live on the Steenhouwerskade, which is also temporary and more expensive than predicted. Container housing in the Ebbinge quarter was not ready for this academic year, but construction should begin soon.
Green light for Media Studies, finally
The focus of the three-year, English-taught bachelor beginning on 1 September will be the changing role of media in society. The arts faculty hopes it will attract more students and generate much needed income. It was prevented from starting last year by the Commission for Macro-efficiency (CDHO) because it didn’t fit the RUG’s academic profile for sustainable society. The faculty objected, with success: the programme has finally gotten the green light.
Media Studies focuses on the social and informative function of the media, according to journalism professor Marcel Broersma. An open day will be held for the programme on 11 April.
Parents concerned about dentistry programme
Parents of two first year dentistry students sent an anonymous letter of complaint to the Governing Council of UMCG, citing concerns about course load and learning environment within the programme. Several months ago, the board of UMCG took drastic measures after complaints from students about the culture of fear within the dentistry programme.
The head of the centre for dentistry and orthodontics and a bachelor coordinator resigned, but the anonymous letter suggests problems remain. According to UMCG spokesperson Joost Wessels, two-thirds of first year students passed their classes and spent 38 hours a week studying on average. ‘It’s well known that it is a difficult programme, but 38 hours is also a normal work week.’