Following in the footsteps of the successful external educational review where the Groningen degree programmes in Theology, Religious Studies and Pastoral Care were judged the best in the Netherlands, research at the Groningen faculty has also scored extremely highly. The results of the international review committee were published in a report on 9 May 2006 and covered the research from 1999-2004.
According to the committee, the research programmes at the Centre of Religious Studies, the Faculty’s research institute, are a shining example of how to study both the classic world religions and recent religious developments, as well as the normative and ethical questions they raise within modern multicultural society. The quantity of academic publications was already considered extremely high by the previous comparative review (2000); in the period now under review this has increased even further. The committee also praised the success rate in acquiring research grants.
The three research groups each scored at least a ‘very good’ on all four points of assessment (‘quality’, ‘production’, ‘relevance’, ‘vitality’). The ‘Jewish and Christian Traditions’ research group and the ‘Religion, Representation and Power’ research group scored even higher on two points – between ‘very good’ and ‘excellent’. In addition the latter group scored ‘excellent’ for both quality and production. Flexibility, the ability to react to international developments and opening up new avenues are characteristic of research at the Groningen faculty.
The reviews started at the end of the 1980s and have revealed that research at Groningen is very well regarded internationally. After the first review, Groningen ended sharing first place with Leiden (1989); after the next two reviews (1994, 2000), Groningen was in undisputed first place. The 2005 review has awarded the Faculty the highest scores ever yet achieved.
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