Best of 2016

2016 was a year of historic highs – RUG professor Ben Feringa was awarded a Nobel Prize – and tragic lows – multiple scandals at Vindicat and the death of Wytze Pennink. While getting back into the swing of studies and work in the first weeks of 2017, the UK looks back at the top stories and videos of the past 12 months.
By the editorial staff

Hazing under fire

According to the University Council’s Personnel faction, hazing practices at certain student associations are still unacceptable. The party feels that action should be taken.

Robbing the RUG

For decades, the RUG was swindled by her own people, with Hans G., the head of the maintenance department, as linchpin. Even the red carpet, rolled out for the king in 2014, plays a role in this fraud case.

Groningen in mourning for Wytze

Groningen is grieving the death of the 18-year-old law student Wytze Pennink. Pennink’s remains were found on 10 October in the canal at the Lopende Diep after he went missing the previous weekend. The police say that Pennink died due to drowning in a ‘fatal accident’.

Pro bono in Paramaribo

During his holidays, UMCG surgeon Robert Porte travels to Paramaribo to perform free surgeries on poor Surinamese patients. ‘This is why I became a doctor.’

Canteen staff: ‘we’re being chucked out’

The employees at the canteens and restaurants are fed up. They feel like they are being pushed aside by the university.

‘Scary’ Albertus ritual

An Albertus student association’s initiation ritual went differently than expected in March. A forest ranger told the Albertus members to leave the forest next to the Frisian village of Wijnjewoude. ‘I was a bit worried that it was a scary cult.’

Groningen’s first holocaust victim

By April 19, 1942, he had already been dead for four months. But that was the day that the New York Times informed much of the world in a two-paragraph story that RUG philosophy professor and Dutch Jewish intellectual Leonard Polak was gone.

Hora finita

Beadle Reinie Kesimaat has overseen hundreds of PhD ceremonies. Approximately 38 years ago, he was the first concierge to pick up the beadle staff and don the toga. Now, he is retiring.

Neeeever drinking again

Already stumbled home after a night of binging this year? Experienced slurred speech, a twisting ceiling, nausea and blurred vision? Here, you can read what a night of drinking does to your body. Note: you will (possibly) never want to get drunk again…

Nobel Prize for Feringa: unexpected, but hoped for

RUG professor Ben Feringa has won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He shares the prize with a French scientist and a Scottish scientist.

Deaf blind

Having a conversation with someone who cannot hear and cannot see – isn’t that impossible? Not if it is up to professor Marleen Janssen of the Communication and Deafblindness master programme. The master, which turned ten last year, is the only one in the world that focuses on communicating with people who are deaf and blind.

Stuttering brothers with a mission

Treatment and years of speech therapy did not help. ‘We can’t go on like this’, thought the stammering brothers Hille (27) and RUG student Sjoerd Stellingwerf (23). They came up with their own method and have been almost stammer-free since 2016. As the Broca Brothers, they now offer their services to others.

How is your Frisian? Ken net!

The University of Groningen launched a free online language course, Introduction to Frisian, on 26 September. Can international students pronounce Frisian words? Spoiler alert: not really.



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