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University College GroningenAbout us

What is University College Groningen?

“Specialization is for insects.”
Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

UCG was founded in 2014 as a selective, independent Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty within the University of Groningen. Nested within one of the world’s top 100 universities, we hope to shape a new kind of graduate that is able to respond to the complex, interdisciplinary problems of the 21st century.

And we need solutions to these problems. Climate change affects where and how we can live in the near future, artificial intelligence is changing the nature of work, biodiversity is declining, and authoritarian leaders are more visible than ever. These problems are knotted, complex, and so vast that it seems that nothing can be done. Yet inaction is not an option.

We should not avoid our responsibilities to the world or to each other. Instead, we need to be creative, strategic, smart. We need new solutions, not business as usual. The University College Groningen is here to train students to work on those solutions.

Our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme is a top-rated programme in the heart of a city renowned for its nightlife and live music scene. And while we all know that the bars never close here, Groningen is more importantly known as a world leader in green transportation, arts and cultural engagement, scientific exploration, and social innovation.


What are the Liberal Arts and Sciences?

The liberal arts emerges out of the humanistic education of the Renaissance. Serving as the educational foundation for elites, political functionaries, the “learned professions”, and state-sanctioned clergy, the studia humanitatis purposed to offer the scaffolding for a life serving the public good.

The University College Groningen is an inheritor of this intellectual tradition, in that we aspire to produce well-rounded, socially engaged graduates. Advancing on the Renaissance vision of the liberal arts, we also train students in quantitative skills and related science disciplines. More information about our Liberal Arts and Sciences programme can be found here.

This combination of social engagement and pluralistic education is what makes our Liberal Arts and Sciences education different from University Colleges in the Netherlands and regular bachelor programmes.

Student Perspectives

“One unique thing about UCG is that for students the professors are not just talking books, but rather they can be friends with which you have a chat at the end of the week. I think this is essential to UCG's community.”

“My own growth has developed from interaction within this diverse community of friends I have here. If I were studying in a normal institution I would have never met or worked with people from this many different cultures. I have been exposed to many different regional and cultural perspectives.”

“Through active and small-scale education you are able to build upon the student-staff relationship, and students are able to engage further with the research that a professor is developing. In large scale teaching this intimate approach can be lost, but it is what a lot of students value.”

“Students develop their own curriculum and degree, and having responsibility for their education is a big aspect of UCG. This leads to high quality engagement and a better form of education.”

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Last modified:19 September 2019 10.55 a.m.