News of the week: 6-12 February

What's happening at the university? Afraid you missed anything? Here is your weekly update from 6-12 February. About more study spaces and the fact that a doctoral candidate is not a student.

Medical alumni: ‘Instructors aren’t strict enough’

thumb-geneeskundeThe results from the biannual WO monitor poll showed that 56 percent of medical alumni at the RUG think their instructors weren’t strict enough in their grading. Of the respondents, 41 percent felt that students earn their diploma undeservedly.

Trainees beginning in September will have to deal with a new exam system for their residencies. ‘With this new system, it will be possible to judge residents over a longer time frame. We hope that we will be better able to assess and give feedback’, according to research advisor Jan Borleffs.

Study spaces in empty buildings

thumb-UBzaalThe VVD political party in Groningen wants the municipality to provide temporary study spaces in vacant buildings in the city. The VVD says there aren’t enough quiet places for students to study, especially during exam weeks.

Although Zernike has recently added more study spaces, students complain that it is too far away and new study spaces in the University Library won’t be available for a few years. ‘Albertus and Vindicat have solved this problem, but not everyone is a member of those organizations’, Laura Dijkstra, student and council candidate, says.

Research Foundation: ‘PhD candidates are colleagues, not students’


FOM, the Foundation for the Fundamental Research of Matter, believes the RUG’s policy of paying doctoral candidates through grants rather than a salary is exploitative.

‘It isn’t good for science, and it isn’t good for people’, says FOM head of human resources Renée-André Koornstra. ‘Researchers deserve a full employment contract including a salary and benefits’. The RUG’s current approach means that the university isn’t required to pay employer’s insurance and pension funds.

Final exam was known in advance: ‘It was raining tens’

collegeFirst year communication and information science students were able to find their final exam online at – including answers – before taking the test.

Professor George Welling saw that an exam with the same title was on the site, but didn’t bother to register in order to confirm that it was his exam. ‘This really shouldn’t have happened and I’m deeply ashamed’, Welling says. Whether the test will be thrown out remains to be seen, but students, many of whom got a 9 or 10, think having to retake it would be unfair.

Poll on opinions about exam fines

thumb-tentamenalettajacobsA poll by the Universiteitskrant revealed that 68 percent of Groningen students think exam fines should not be allowed, and 52 percent call them a rip off.

Only 15 percent think a fine is the best way to get students to register for exams, and about 60 percent think students should be automatically signed up, as they are in the faculty of economics. Mathematics, natural science and behavioral science faculties don’t impose fines. The arts and law faculties, despite criticism, plan to continue issuing fines for the time being.

DigiD fraud suspect released

thumb-id-fraudeThe last suspect who remained in custody for DigiD fraud has been released, according to a court in Assen. The suspect, a 43-year-old Romanian man, is accused, along with four other suspects, of committing digital identity theft against approximately 70 Groningen students.

The thieves stole DigiD codes, which are used in requests for health care and rental allowances, and fraudulently acquired thousands of euros. The suspects were arrested after students in the Eendrachtskade witnessed them fishing letters out of mailboxes in the student house. The Romanian suspect had opened a bank account where the DigiD allowances were being deposited.