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University of Groningen to welcome 1400 international students

30 August 2011

The University of Groningen will be welcoming over 1400 new international students and PhD students on Wednesday. They will be officially received in the Martinikerk and the Academy Building with speeches, a lunch, an information market, workshops and a drinks party. The main speakers at this year’s welcoming ceremony will be the Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken, Mayor Peter Rehwinkel and Professor Gregory Ashworth, a ‘hands-on expert’ when it comes to getting to know the Netherlands.

Every year, the University of Groningen welcomes students from some 125 countries. The Welcoming Ceremony is an important and warmly appreciated introduction for them. The welcoming ceremony at the University of Groningen was voted the best reception event in the Netherlands by a major survey of foreign students held in early 2008.


On Wednesday 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 on subjects such as studying in Groningen, study support and healthcare. On Thursday 1 September there is a follow-up programme for students not from the EU/EEA, which will be on more practical matters and will provide help with administrative issues such as residence permits and registering with the municipality.

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’ foreign students, i.e. those studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, has increased in recent years at the University of Groningen by about ten percent a year, reaching over 2200 in 2010. Then there are a further 800+ students who come here for a shorter period, for example within the framework of an exchange programme. Finally, 57% of our PhD students come from abroad. Incidentally, some of our foreign guests will arrive in early 2012.

This year the experiences and impressions of the students can be followed on ‘RUG-Shout’.


Wednesday 31 August 2011
10.30 a.m.: Martinikerk opens, music
11 – 11.45 a.m.: Speeches by Prof. Elmer Sterken, Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen, Dr Peter Rehwinkel, Mayor of Groningen, and others
- Programme continues in the Academy Building -
12 noon – 1 p.m.: Lunch
12 noon – 3 p.m.: Information market on student services, student associations and the Faculties
1 – 3 p.m.: Lectures and workshops on studying in Groningen, study support and healthcare
3 – 5 p.m.: Music, drinks and snacks

Thursday 1 September 2011
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.: Assistance with administrative issues (for non EU/EEA students only)

Note for the press
- Information: Jodien Houwers, 050-363 54 67, j.d.houwers or Serge Heldring, 050-363 53 74, s.heldring
- Welcoming Ceremony website

Last modified:13 March 2020 01.53 a.m.
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