Discover Benelux, Issue 64, April 2019

Page 33

Discover Benelux  |  Top Dutch Education  |  Building a Bright Future

tor is also very approachable and likes to be available for all members of the university community.” An open culture like this also stimulates cross-fertilisation between different departments and faculties. “As a research-driven university, we don’t believe in isolating specialties,” explains M’doe. “A versatile institution like ours contains a wealth of knowledge in a myriad of fields. When our students conduct research, they are therefore strongly encouraged to look behind the borders of their proper expertise and collaborate with students from other programmes.” This collaborative approach has earned the school a splendid international reputation. The University of Groningen is listed in double digits in just about every global university ranking there is. Among others, it was awarded 66th place on the prestigious ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ and came in 79th place on ‘THE World University Rankings’.

International classroom A unique university like this, obviously attracts a fair share of international visitors. Close to a quarter of the students who come to Groningen for a semester,

Energy Academy. Photo: Ronald Zijlstra

Photo: Peter van der Sijde

a year, or even an entire programme, are from outside the Netherlands. “Having international guests on campus is enriching for both our Dutch and foreign students. Therefore, they have the opportunity to share accommodation and participate in free Dutch language courses, which are incredibly popular since many international students want to mingle with the locals too. Meanwhile, all our Dutch students speak English very well: the Netherlands is one of the non-English speaking countries with the best level of English.” That ear for languages comes in handy while studying at the University of Groningen since the lion’s share of classes are taught in English. No less than 35 Bachelor’s programmes and over 90 Master’s are entirely executed in the British tongue. Since most Dutch students graduate secondary school with an impressive C1-level in English, the adjustment to studying in it afterwards is usually minimal. “The advantages, on the other hand, are numerous,” says Bakker. “Adapting to increasing globalisation, we want to provide our students with a frame of reference that is bigger than just

the Netherlands, or even Europe. Because how do they handle financing issues in India? Or how do they use mass media in Russia? To provide them with that kind of knowledge as well, we introduced ‘the international classroom’. Our students read and learn about their trade in a worldwide context and are taught by professors and lecturers from all around the world. By wearing a global hat as well as a Dutch one, we prepare our students for careers in an international environment or in all corners of the world.” University of Groningen in numbers With its 405-year history, the University of Groningen is the Netherlands’ second-oldest university. Spread over 11 faculties, 30,000 students follow one of the university’s 48 Bachelor’s programmes and over 100 Master’s programmes. 7,000 of them (or 22 per cent of the school) are international, combining 120 different nationalities under one university roof.


Photo: Sylvia Germes

Ben Feringa. Photo: Jeroen van Kooten

Lab Oscar Kuipers. Photo: Bram Belloni

Photo: Sylvia Germes

Linnaeusborg. Photo: Peter Tah

Smitsborg CIT. Photo: Michel de Groot

Issue 64  |  April 2019  |  33