The news of the week: 19 – 25 June

What's happening at the university? Afraid you missed anything? Here is your weekly update from 19 - 25 June.

Four RUG-programmes insufficient

thumb-tentamenFour academic programmes at the RUG were deemed insufficient by NVAO, the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation. The level of the final theses was unsatisfactory.

To establish the level of the theses, a visitation committee randomly picked 15 dissertations of the programmes they were reviewing to see how they were graded. If they were consistently graded too high, the committee dug deeper to see if the problem was structural. This was the case with the history bachelor and master, the international relations and international organization master, and the religious studies bachelor of the University of Groningen. 

RUG spokesman Gernant Deekens says that diplomas awarded by the programmes during that time period will remain valid. Across the Netherlands, 26 university programmes were given an insufficient mark. Plans to improve the situation have already been put into action.

Double date app

thumb-gertjanenkeesdoublerRUG students Kees Wallis (law) and Gertjan Jansen (business) have developed a double date app called Doubler. In four weeks in the Appstore, Doubler attracted 1,500 users. Like Tinder, users swipe through to find a match, but it’s for couples rather than individuals. All four partners involved have to approve of the match.

The developers insist it’s not a hook up app. ‘It’s intended for couples to find each other and do fun stuff together’, says Wallis. Doubler is currently only available in the Netherlands, but the developers hope to launch it worldwide.

Students protest loans

thumb-sociaalleenstelsel-protestA crowd of 120 students marched through the city center last Friday in protest of the proposed loan system. Many of the demonstrators held aloft signs for the Socialist Party: ROOD, the youth club of the SP, organized the protest, along with the Groningen Student Union.

After ending at the Ossenmarkt, Paul Ulenbent, an SP member of the House of Representatives, addressed the students. ‘It’s about more than money. Studying is about self-development, and that has to remain something that everyone can access.’

Dentistry students cry for help

thumb-TandheelkundeMaster’s students of dentistry have expressed concerns about the programme in a letter addressed to the UMCG Board of Directors. The Board says they take the cry for help seriously and have already met with the students. Dentistry student organisation Archigenes is remaining tight lipped about the letter.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the faculty has a hard time attracting new teachers – in 2011, two students drew attention to the department’s inability to offer competitive salaries. UMCG spokesperson Joost Wessels says a committee has been formed to investigate the complaints with a report expected in the fall.

Koen goes Mormon

thumb-koenHe is gaining religion but losing coffee and beer – RUG philosophy student Koen van de Glind recently chose to be baptised as a Mormon. Van de Glind has struggled his whole life with the big questions and found some of the answers he sought in the religion. ‘My search isn’t over, though. That will continue my whole life.’

He learned about Mormonism a few months ago when two ‘sisters’ – female missionaries of the Mormon church – came to his door. Now, he is Brother Van de Glind, but to his friends, he’s still just Koen.