The University of Groningen will welcome Chilean engineers to a Master’s programme in Astronomical Instrumentation, having signed an agreement with the Universidad de Chile last week
University of Groningen Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken and Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Jasper Knoester signed the agreement, which is part of a
broader student exchange
‘Chile has excellent engineers, but there is no specific training in high-tech areas like Astronomical Instrumentation’, explained Reynier Peletier, Director of the University of Groningen’s Kapteyn Institute for Astronomy, who was also present when the agreement was signed. ‘We look forward to welcoming Chilean Master’s and PhD students’, Peletier continued. Under the new agreement, a few Chilean students are expected to come to Groningen each year, and it is hoped that students from Groningen will go to Chile, which is host to several major observatories belonging to the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and international astronomical community.
The University of Groningen has much expertise in developing and building instruments for both ground-based and satellite observatories. Its Kapteyn Institute collaborates with the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (Nederlandse Onderzoeksschool voor de Astronomie; NOVA), and has close ties with centres of expertise such as ASTRON and SRON, which are also involved in the same kind of work.
The Groningen contingent was part of a larger delegation of four deans and two rectors from the University of Groningen, Leiden University, Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the only four universities in the Netherlands with astronomy research groups. The ESO invited them to Chile to see first-hand the role of the Netherlands in this organization. The four university research groups work together in NOVA, which represents the ESO in the Netherlands.
The University of Groningen and the Universidad de Chile have enjoyed excellent academic relations for a number of years already. In addition to a student exchange agreement, there is a double MSc programme in Economics and Economic Analysis, and the Universidad de Chile participates in the Groningen-coordinated Erasmus Mundus Action 2 programme
Whilst in Chile, Rector Sterken also visited the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, where he and its Pro-Rector Guillermo Marshall signed
: one on student exchanges and the other on doctoral supervision in biomedical research.
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