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Winter 2010-2011

Annemieke Hendriks (picture David Ausserhofer)
Annemieke Hendriks (picture David Ausserhofer)

Annemieke Hendriks in Berlin: writer, journalist and alumna of the University of Groningen

Dear fellow alumni and friends of the University of Groningen,

From Berlin I happily open the winter edition of this Worldwide newsletter. I was asked to do so, because this autumn the yearly Dutch Universities Alumni Reunion took place at the Dutch Embassy here in the German capital. And not only our ambassador Marnix Krop studied in Groningen, so did I: in the next best city of the world after Berlin – the city where I work as a journalist since very many years.

More than 70 alumni attended this reunion, with the University of Amsterdam and the University of Groningen wonderfully overrepresented. I was quite surprised, I must admit, to meet an English speaking community – in Germany, from Dutch universities! When I studied sociology and linguistics in the seventies, there were only a few students from abroad, and they had to speak Dutch. But in those days the University of Groningen's present Rector Magnificus, Prof. Frans Zwarts, was wearing long dark hair – being a charming teacher of linguistics. Many things have changed indeed...

> more about Annemieke Hendriks and her report of the event

> contact Annemieke Hendriks

CHE label Chemistry 2010

CHE Excellence Ranking: Chemistry among top in Europe now too

The University of Groningen is part of the so-called Excellence Group of the German Centre for Higher Education Development (CHE) in the subjects biology, physics and now chemistry too. According to the CHE, the members of this Excellence Group offer Master’s students and PhD students exceptionally strong research and international orientation. The CHE is an independent German institute which draws up ranking lists of European institutions of higher education.

President Washida of Osaka University and president Poppema of the University of Groningen
President Washida of Osaka University and president Poppema of the University of Groningen

Fruitful discussions during Osaka University Forum 2010

Each year Osaka University organizes an Osaka University Forum with one of its strategic partners in order to share the findings of their researchers with the world. From 28-30 September, the Osaka University Forum 2010 was held in the Academy Building in Groningen. The theme of the conference was 'Globalization and Conflict'.

In cooperation with the newly founded Institute for Globalization Studies Groningen, Osaka University organized a conference where about 75 prominent speakers from Japan and Europe entered into discussion with each other. The University of Groningen has been cooperating with Osaka University since 2002.

Groningen is becoming a Polar city

banner Polar Night

This winter the city of Groningen will turn into a Polar city. The University of Groningen Arctic Centre is celebrating its 40th anniversary and has organized the 'Polar Night of Groningen'. During this event, which will last from 15 November until 15 January, you can visit photo exhibitions, attend lectures, meet polar scientists, see polar movies, and lots more. The aim of the Groningen Polar Night is to inform a broader public about the Polar Regions and Polar science.

> website Arctic Centre

University Museum also takes part in the Groningen Polar Night

Go on a polar expedition at the University Museum. Take a look at the artefacts that polar travellers have collected over the course of time, each of which has its own story about the polar regions. You can also see Willem Barentsz’s sloop and experience the sights and sounds of a Polar Night in the Polar Room! Before you leave the Museum, make sure you also visit the impressive ‘Inside Out’ exhibition, which makes the processes within the human body visible with unique sections and models (until 24 January).

> website University Museum Groningen  

Four prestigious European research grants for University of Groningen researchers

Dr Emar Maier, one of the ERC grant winners
Dr Emar Maier, one of the ERC grant winners

For the second year in a row, the University of Groningen has been awarded four prestigious research grants by the European Research Council (ERC). In 2010 the ERC has awarded a total of EUR 580 million in Starting Independent Researcher Grants (ERC Starting Grants) to 427 top European researchers. Twenty-five grants have gone to researchers working for Dutch research institutions. The ERC was founded in 2005 by the European Union with the aim of promoting innovative, academic research in Europe and to make Europe more attractive to outstanding scholars. The ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish or consolidate a proper research team.

> read an interview with Dr Emar Maier, one of the grant winners

> more information about the ERC

University of Groningen in Top 100 of Taiwan Ranking

The University of Groningen has climbed in the Taiwan Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities and is now in 96th place, 7 places higher than last year. The University of Groningen figures in the Top 100 together with four other Dutch universities.

Special event for alumni in Tokyo: Van Gogh - The adventure of becoming an artist

picture alumni event in Tokyo
Our alumni in Tokyo (courtesy of Mr Van Gogh)

Mr Van Gogh, an alumnus of the University of Groningen and yes he is related to the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, gave a special lecture and guided tour to alumni of the University of Groningen living in Tokyo. The alumni were welcomed at the Dutch Embassy in Tokyo, where Mr Van Gogh gave an interesting lecture about the work and life of his great-granduncle. The lecture was followed by a guided tour around the Tokyo National Art Centre where the exhibition 'Van Gogh - The adventure of becoming an artist' was presented.

Alumni of the University of Groningen were able to view works such as Gauguin's Chair and Bedroom in Arles accompanied by Mr Van Gogh’s explanation. They were glad to have this unique opportunity to get first-hand information about this famous Dutch painter.

Cross-border cooperation between Groningen and Oldenburg, Germany

The University of Groningen, the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg (Germany) will establish a joint Medical degree programme. The ‘European Medical School’ is the first cross-border Medical degree programme in Europe. It is also the only Medical programme in Germany based on the Bachelor’s/Master’s structure. > read more

Three Master's programmes in Theology and Religious Studies now offered in English


The Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies enjoys a first-class international reputation as a leading European research institute. It combines historical research and interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary religion. The University of Groningen offers unique Master’s degree programmes that allow a combination of various research approaches and areas of specialization.  

From September 2011, studying at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies will become even more attractive to international students – from then not only the Research Master in Religion and Culture but also two other Master’s degree programmes will be taught in English. They are Theology: Biblical Studies & Hermeneutics, and Religious Studies: Religion in the Modern World.  

Alumni dinner in Mexico City: Celebrating the 100th anniversary of UNAM

Prof. Frans Zwarts, Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen, was in Mexico in September to celebrate the 100th anniversary of UNAM, the largest national public university in Mexico. During his visit, Professor Zwarts hosted an alumni dinner where Mexican alumni enjoyed a great evening sharing their great - and sometimes funny - memories of their study time in Groningen. The delegation that accompanied the Rector, including the future Rector Prof. Elmer Sterken, also visited a number of Mexican institutions in order to strengthen the already fruitful academic cooperation between the University of Groningen and Mexico.
picture Sinterklaas

Season's Greetings from Sinterklaas

Sinterklaas has already left the Netherlands, but from Spain he wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Interesting links

Last modified:29 August 2022 08.52 a.m.