On Wednesday 29 August, the University of Groningen welcomed more than 1500 new international students and PhD students. They were officially welcomed with speeches, a lunch and an information market in the Martinikerk and in the Academy Building. Speakers at the Welcoming Ceremony included Elmer Sterken, Rector Magnificus of the University of Groningen, and Frank de Vries, Deputy Mayor of Groningen.
Every year, the University of Groningen welcomes students from some 125 countries. The Welcoming Ceremony is an important and highly regarded introduction for them. The University of Groningen Welcoming Ceremony was voted the best in the Netherlands by foreign students several times, contributing to the fact that the University of Groningen was voted the most recommendable Dutch university in the 2012 International Student Barometer.
After the official Welcoming Ceremony in the Martinikerk, there was an information market about student facilities and societies at the Academy Building. The information market also covered practical matters such as study support, insurance, opening a bank account, health care, etc. Through a lecture the students could receive additional information about studying and living in Groningen. After lunch the introduction continued at the faculties.
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 its international position. In 2013 the University will start ten new Bachelor’s degree programmes taught in English at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The number of ‘regular’ international students (studying for a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree) has risen yearly by ten percent in recent years, to over 2500 in 2010. In addition to these students, there are about 1000 students here for a shorter stay, for instance as exchange students. About 60% of the PhD students are from abroad. Incidentally, some of our foreign guests will arrive in early 2013.
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