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FAQs about internationalization and English-taught degree programmes at the UG

The University of Groningen (UG) is an international research university with strong, thriving roots in the north of the Netherlands. The UG generates and shares knowledge through excellent research and teaching, thus making a substantial contribution to society. Internationalization is a focal point in our strategic policy and an important instrument for reinforcing the quality, innovativeness and diversity of our teaching. For example, the UG has expressed the ambition that around 30% of its student population be international students in the future, partly to make up for the shortfall in Dutch students post-2025. Internationalization is a subject that prompts lots of questions. This article deals with some of the most common questions.

How many Dutch and English-taught degree programmes does the University of Groningen offer?

  • Twenty-one of the UG’s 48 Bachelor’s programmes are taught entirely in Dutch; 7 of them also have an English-taught track. Example: Psychology has both a Dutch and and an English track, because language is an essential aspect of psychology.
  • Twenty-seven of the Bachelor’s programmes are taught entirely in English.
  • In the Master’s phase, the UG offers a broad international curriculum, with over one hundred English-taught Master’s and PhD programmes. Many of these programmes involve close ties with international partners, including eight Erasmus Mundus programmes and an increasing number of Double Degree programmes .
  • The UG is proud to have been assigned both the Diploma Supplement label and the ECTS label by the European Union.

What about lectures in English?

  • Every student chooses his or her own programme, whether Dutch or English-taught. Twenty-one of the UG’s 48 Bachelor’s programmes are taught entirely in Dutch; 7 of them also have an English-taught track. Twenty-seven of our Bachelor’s programmes are taught entirely in English.
  • The vast majority of lectures in the Dutch-taught programmes are given in Dutch, although much of the teaching material is in English.
  • Example: The Bachelor’s degree programme in History is taught in both Dutch and in English. Students who choose the English track will use English books and attend lectures given in English. So on occasion, a room full of Dutch students will still be taught in English.

How many national and international students are enrolled at the UG? And how many different nationalities?

  • Eighty percent of our students have Dutch nationality and approx. 20% have non-Dutch nationality. In absolute terms: some 6,000 of the 30,000 students enrolled at the UG have non-Dutch nationality. The UG boasts students from a total of 119 different countries. As a result, Dutch students studying in Groningen are given a valuable international, multicultural experience at university. This is very much appreciated .
  • Twenty percent of our staff and 60% of all PhD students have international roots. Together, they form a lively, all-inclusive academic community .
  • International student statistics 2017/2018: 1,964 of the 5,817 students come from Germany. The remaining 3,853 international students come around 120 different countries. In second place is the United Kingdom (423), followed by China (317), Italy, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Indonesia.

Are the international students pushing out the Dutch students?

  • No, absolutely not. Eighty percent of our students are Dutch, the majority coming from the provinces of Overijssel, Groningen, Gelderland, Drenthe and Friesland.
  • Between September 2008 and 2017, the number of students enrolled at the UG (including UMCG students) rose from 26,500 to 29,144, an increase of 2,644, or 10%. This figure comprises a drop of around 1,000 in the number of Dutch students and a rise of around 3,600 in the number of international students. At the same time, there has also been an increase in the number of new Dutch students at the UG (+277) in 2017/2018, bucking this slight downward trend.

Is there a limit to the number of international students at the UG?

  • It is the UG’s ambition that around 30% of its student population be international students in the future, partly to make up for the shortfall in Dutch students post-2025.
  • The UG is more concerned about attracting quality and diversity into the lecture halls than about actual numbers. We want to give our Dutch students a valuable international experience while studying in Groningen.

International cooperation at the UG; what does this mean?

  • The UG has ties to various international organizations and contact with universities throughout the world at both UG and Faculty levels. This contact serves several purposes: cooperation with development and research and more obviously, exchange programmes. You can find more information about the various partnerships here .
  • We have around 620 partnership agreements with universities throughout the world. Approximately 60% of them involve ERASMUS+ student exchange programmes. Most of the others are Non-EU Exchange agreements.
  • The UG has over 350 partnership agreements with universities within the EU; 60% involve just 1 or 2 faculties, while 12% concern 5 faculties or more.
  • The UG runs three Dutch Study Centres: in Fudan (China), Osaka (Japan), and Pusan (South Korea).
  • See also: https://www.rug.nl/about-us/internationalization/international-partner-agreements/

Did the UG invite Jean Pierre Rawie to recite his poems in English in autumn 2017?

  • No. The poet was invited by the forum committee of the study association for International Relations and International Organization. The students asked him to come to the Night of international relations (a sort of pub crawl through the city) to speak about the impact of art, and poetry in particular, on society and politics. He was not asked to speak about Dutch poetry or to recite his poems. It was, however, an evening at which English was spoken.
Welcoming Ceremony for international students
Welcoming Ceremony for international students
Last modified:03 January 2019 09.42 a.m.
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