The news of the week: 8 – 14 May
English required for everyone
Hoping to attract more internationals, a new University language policy requiring staff and students to speak English will begin on 1 September. Former vice-chancellor Frans Zwarts says everyone at the RUG should be able to speak English, as well as Dutch, sufficiently enough to do their work and follow their courses.
Parties in the university council support the policy, but the personnel faction worries staff may struggle with the speed of the changes. Additionally, they wonder if Dutch tax payers will be comfortable paying for research conducted in a language they themselves may not speak.
UB burglar was probably already inside
Police are considering the possibility that a burglar who cracked a vault in the UB intentionally got locked inside the building when it closed on Saturday night. The police think the burglar may have climbed inside through a window on the roof, but student police agent Matthijs Beukema says it is also possible that the suspect remained inside the building after it closed.
‘The break in was organized by someone who was well-prepared and knew the lay out of the building’, says Beukema. The police are also reviewing footage from the two security cameras in the library.
Stupid mistake means a year delay
Two unchecked boxes in Progress – for psychology student Miranda Laanstra, that means a year delay in her studies. She missed her exams and had to register online for the re-examination, but missed the deadline. ‘It’s dumb, but I think the consequences are disproportionate’, Laanstra says.
Automatic registration will eventually be the University-wide policy, but students will still have to register for re-examination. Frank Steyvers of the psychology exam commission explains: ‘If you don’t take the exam the first time, it’s not clear to us that you intend to take the re-examination. So, you have to sign up again.’
Nearly 8,000 will enroll
In total,7,816 incoming students are enrolled to attend the RUG next year. Out of this group, 1,541 international students have already enrolled, but not all of them are expected to actually show up.
This year, students were required to enroll at all Dutch universities by 1 May, but students who enrolled after that date will still be accepted. In the coming weeks, new students will be assessed by the departments where they want to study to determine whether or not they will actually be accepted into the programme.
Shelter for University College
Students at the University College will be housed on the Steenhouwerskade, nearby the Westerhaven. The students were supposed to live in container houses in the Ebbingekwartier, but those plans fell through due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’.
The alternative housing at Steenhouwerskade 7 is closer to the station and the center, and it’s only 200 meters away from their campus on the Hoendiepskade. The apartments each have their own bathroom and kitchen. Students are required to live there during the first two years of their studies. The container houses are scheduled for completion in 2015.
New masters isn’t so new
The Ministry of Education refused the Faculty of Arts’ request to relocate the year-old Multilingualism master to the University Campus Fryslân. The RUG wants to offer programmes that are relevant to the province of Friesland at the UCF in Leeuwarden.
When the request to move Multilingualism was submitted to the Ministry, it was denied. The Ministry mistook it for a proposal to offer a new programme in two places rather than just to moving the existing programme to Leeuwarden. Wolffram and Goffe Jensma, coordinator of the bachelor programme, object to the decision. The Ministry is currently reconsidering the request.