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University of Groningen welcoming ceremony for foreign students

31 August 2010

On Wednesday 1 September 2010, the Martinikerk and the Academy Building in Groningen will be filled with over twelve hundred new international students and PhD students, who will be starting their degree programmes or research at the University of Groningen in September. They will be officially welcomed with speeches, a lunch, an information market, workshops, a drinks party and snacks. Every year, the University of Groningen welcomes students from some 125 countries. The Welcoming Ceremony is an important introduction for them.

In early 2008, the University of Groningen welcoming ceremony was voted the best in the Netherlands by a national survey of foreign students. Speakers at the welcoming ceremony on Wednesday morning this year will include Prof. Frans Zwarts, Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen, Dr Peter Rehwinkel, Mayor of Groningen and Prof. Gregory Ashworth, an ‘expert’ when it comes to getting to know the Netherlands.

Lunch and information

In the afternoon there will be a lunch in the Academy Building, as well as an information market on student services and student associations. Visitors can also choose to attend lectures and workshops on subjects such as studying in Groningen, study support and healthcare. On Thursday 2 September there is also a follow-up programme for students not from the EU/EEA, which will be on more practical matters and where students can receive assistance in dealing with administrative issues. 

Increasing internationalization

The number of international students and staff at the University of Groningen is increasing every year. This is a development that the University is encouraging in every way it can: by improving the facilities, extending the number of programmes taught in English and by strengthening our international position.
The number of ‘regular’ international students at the University of Groningen (studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree) has risen in recent years by ten percent per year, to over 1800 in 2009. In addition to these students, there are another 850 students here for a shorter stay, for instance as exchange students. Furthermore, 56% of our PhD students are from abroad. Incidentally, some of our foreign guests will arrive in early 2011.
This year the experiences and impressions of the students can be followed on ‘RUG-Shout’ via Twitter, Facebook and SMS.   


Wednesday 1 September 2010
10.30 a.m.           Martinikerk opens, music
11 – 11.45 a.m.   Speeches by Prof. Frans Zwarts, Rector Magnificus of the University of 
                            Groningen and Dr Peter Rehwinkel, Mayor of Groningen
                     - Programme continues in the Academy Building -
12 noon – 1 p.m.  Lunch
12 noon – 3 p.m.  Information market on student services and student associations & the
1 – 3 p.m.             Lectures and workshops on studying in Groningen,  study support and
3 – 5 p.m.             Music, drinks and snacks

Thursday 2 September 2010
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.     Assistance with administrative issues (for non EU/EEA students only) 

Note for the press

Information: Jodien Houwers,  tel. 050 - 363 5467,, or Serge Heldring, tel. 050 - 363 5374,  

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.29 p.m.

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