University of Groningen

University of Groningen

Infobox University

| name = University of Groningen
latin_name = Academia Groningana
motto = "Verbum domini lucerna pedibus nostris"
"The word of the Lord is a light for our feet"
established = 1614
city = Groningen
rector = Prof. dr. Frans Zwarts
country = The Netherlands
students = 22,352
faculty = 6,000 employees
website = []

The University of Groningen ( _nl. Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), located in the city of Groningen, was founded in 1614. It is the second oldest and third largest university in the Netherlands. Since its inception more than 100,000 students have graduated. It is a member of the Coimbra Group.

The University of Groningen has nine faculties, 17 Graduate Schools, 27 research centres and institutes, and more than 175 degree programmes.

The Institution

The University of Groningen (Dutch: "Rijksuniversiteit Groningen" or (RUG)) is organized in nine faculties that offer programmes and courses in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Economics and Business, Spatial Sciences, Life Sciences, and Sciences and Technology. Each faculty is a formal grouping of academic degree programmes, schools and institutes, discipline areas, research centres, and/or any combination of these drawn together for educational purposes. Each faculty offers Bachelor's, Master's, PhD, and Exchange programmes, while some also offer short certificate courses.

Facts & Figures

* 22.352 students, 21.557 full time and 789 part time (marketshare in The Netherlands: 11,1%)
* 4946 first-year students
* 2200 international students from over 100 countries
* 6000 employees
* 268 fte professors
* 650 PhD's
* 61 Bachelor's degree programmes, 116 Master's degree programmes
* 60 international Master's degree programmes
* 16 Top Master's and Research Master's degree programmes
* 9 faculties, 17 Graduate Schools, 27 research centres and institutes, 3 top research schools
* 494,2 mln euro expenditure

The University of Groningen is in the top 3 of European research universities in the fields of: Ecology, Material Sciences, Chemistry and Astronomy. Other strong research groups are in: Nanoscience, Physics, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Medical Sciences, Neurosciences, Sociology, Philosophy, Theology, Archaeology and Arts. Every year more than 4,300 research publications go to print and an average of 260 PhD students are awarded their PhD degree.

Scholars have included Frederik Zernike, Nobel Prize for Physics; Johann Bernoulli, pioneer in the field of calculus; Jacobus Kapteyn, discoverer of evidence of galactic rotation. Students have included Aletta Jacobs, the first female University student in the Netherlands, Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut, Wim Duisenberg, the first president of the European Bank.

The University's mathematics centre houses an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer [] , for the LOFAR project.


The founding of the University in 1614 – at that time still a college of higher education – was an initiative taken by the Regional Assembly of the city of Groningen and the Ommelanden, or surrounding region. There were four faculties – Theology, Law, Medicine and Philosophy. The first 75 years of its existence were very fruitful for the University with about 100 students enrolling every year. Almost half of the students and lecturers came from outside the Netherlands – the first Rector Magnificus, Ubbo Emmius, came from East Frisia in modern day Germany, for instance – but at the same time there was already a close relationship between the University and the city and the surrounding region.

The development of the University came to a standstill at the end of the seventeenth and during the eighteenth century because of theological differences of opinion, a difficult relationship with the Regional Assembly and political problems that included the siege of the city by ‘Bommen Berend’ in 1672. On average two to three hundred students were registered with the University at any one time during this period. Petrus Camper, though, was a shining academic example during the second half of the eighteenth century and was famous far beyond the city limits as an anatomist, a fighter against rinderpest and the founder of the first outpatient’s clinic for surgical medicine.

Opportunities and threats followed on each other’s heels during the nineteenth century. In 1815, at the same time as Leiden and Utrecht, the University gained recognition as a national college of higher education, but this was followed by discussions about closure. The situation improved markedly when a new main university building, the Academiegebouw, was constructed in 1850, a building that was largely financed by the people of Groningen. This made the fire that completely destroyed this building in 1906 even more poignant.

In the meantime, the Higher Education Act of 1876 had radically improved the position of the University, which was renamed the "Rijksuniversiteit Groningen" (RUG). Teaching now took place in Dutch as well as in Latin and the University was given a research as well as an educational duty. This laid the foundations for the present research university.

The University of Groningen developed apace during the first decades of the twentieth century. The number of faculties and courses grew steadily while the number of students showed an explosive growth. When the University celebrated its first 300 years in 1914 there were 611 registered students; this had already grown to 1000 by 1924. After a drop back during the Depression, and in particular during the Second World War, the number of students grew rapidly from 1945 to reach 20,000 in 1994. At the present time there are about 23,000 students registered at the University of Groningen with the number of foreign students again growing steadily, and following the tradition set by the first Rector Magnificus, the number of German students and researchers has grown strongly in recent years.


Degree programmes

Bachelor's degree programmes

The Bachelor phase lasts three years and after successful completion of a Bachelor's programme result in a BSc or BA degree. There are a total number of 61 Bachelor degree programmes. The Bachelor's degree programmes with English as the language of instruction are:
*Business Studies - International Business & Management (specialization)
*International Economics & Business

[ Other programmes (in Dutch)]

Master's degree programmes

Programmes last between one and two years. Successful completion of a Master’s programme is awarded with a Master’s degree (MA, MSc or LL.M. Nearly 60 Master's programmes have English as the language of instruction:

"Sciences and Technology"
*Applied Mathematics
*Business Mathematics
*Computing Science
*Chemical Engineering
*Applied Physics
*Biomedical Engineering
*Energy and Environmental Sciences
*Industrial Engineering and Management
*Artificial Intelligence
*Human-Machine Communication

"Life Sciences"
*Biomedical Sciences
*Marine Biology
*Ecology an Evolution
*Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
*Biomedical Engineering
*Medical Pharmaceutical Sciences
*Clinical and Psychosocial Epidemiology
*Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
*Medical and Pharmaceutical Drug Innovation
*Energy and Environmental Sciences

*European Law
*International Law and the Law of International Organizations
*International and Comparative Private Law
*International Economic and Business Law

"Economics and Business"
*Business Administration
*Econometrics, Operations Research and Actuarial Studies
*Economics and Business
*Human Resource Management
*International Business and Management
*International Economics and Business
*Technology Management

*American Studies
*Applied Linguistics, Teaching English as a Foreign Language
*Art History and Archaeology
*Clinical Linguistics
*Classical Medieval and Renaissance Studies
*English Language and Culture
*Humanitarian Action
*International Relations and International Organization
*Language and Communication Technologies
*Literary and Cultural Studies
*Modern History and International Relations
*Dutch Language and Culture
*Philosophy: Knowledge and Knowledge Development
*Religious Symbols and Traditions

"Behavioural and Social Sciences"
*Human Behaviour in Social Contexts
*Artificial Intelligence
*Human-Machine Communication

"Spatial Sciences"
*Environmental and Infrastructure Planning
*Population Studies
*Regional Studies

[ Other programmes (partly in Dutch)]

PhD degree programmes

Most departments, affiliated (research)institutes and faculties offer doctorate programs or positions, leading to the Ph.D degree. All Ph.D. degrees offered are concentrated in one of the Graduate Schools. PhD programmes usually take four years. The results of the research are written down in a PhD thesis, often including papers published in scientific journals.


Research Centres and Institutes

"Humanities and Social Sciences"
*Center for Language and Cognition Groningen (CLCG)
*Centre for Development Studies (CDS)
*Centre for Religious Studies (CRS)
*Groningen Research Institute of Philosophy (GRIPH)
*Groningen Institute of Archeology (GIA)
*Heymans Institute
*Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG)
*Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS)
*Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)

*Centre for Law, Administration and Society (CRBS)

"Economics & Business"

"Life Sciences"
*Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCN) / UMCG
*Biomedical engineering, Materials science and Application (BMSA)
*Center for Behavior and Neurosciences (CBN)
*Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies (CEES)
*Center for Energy and Environmental Studies (IVEM)
*Graduate School for Drug Exploration (GUIDE) / UMCG
*Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology (GBB)
*Northern Center for Healthcare Research (NCH)

"Science & Technology"
*Centre for Isotope Research (CIO)
*Centre for Theoretical Physics
*Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP)
*Institute of Mathematics and Computing Science (IWI)
*Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
*Nuclear-physics Accelerator Institute (KVI)
*Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
*Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Graduate Schools

The University of Groningen’s Graduate Schools are organized somewhat different from its international counterparts. The main difference is that the Graduate Schools do not contain all Master's programmes; Graduate Schools manage and facilitate the two-year Master's programmes: top Master's degree programmes and Research Master's degree programmes.

"Humanities and Social Sciences"
*Graduate School of the Humanities
*Graduate School of Philosophy
*Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences
*Graduate School of Spatial Science
*Graduate School of Theology and Religious Studies"Business and Economics"
*Graduate School of Business and Economics (SOM)"Law"
*Graduate School of Law"Life Sciences"
*Graduate School of Behavioural and Cognitive Neurosciences
*Graduate School of Biomolecular Science and Biotechnology
*Graduate School of Ecological and Evolutionary Sciences
*Graduate School of Healthcare Research
*Graduate School of Drug Exploration and Biomedical Engineering "Sciences and Technology"
*Graduate School of Astronomy
*Graduate School of Atomic and Sub-Atomic Physics
*Graduate School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
*Graduate School of Materials Science
*Graduate School of Mathematics and Computing Science

Notable alumni

*Johann Heinrich Alting, theologian
*Johan van Benthem, computer scientist
*Johann Bernoulli, mathematician
*Bart Bok, astronomer
* Clemens von Bönninghausen, lawyer, botanist, homeopathic physician
*James Burnett
*Job Cohen, mayor of Amsterdam
*Wim Duisenberg, the first president of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt studied here and obtained his PhD on the economics of disarmament
*Ubbo Emmius, founder of the university.
*Skander Van Den Heuvel, world-renowned Professor of Finance, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
*Pim Fortuyn, lecturer, later politician (and assassinated)
*Willem Frederik Hermans, lecturer and writer
*Gerardus Heymans, philosopher and psychologist
*Johan Huizinga, historian
*Aletta Jacobs, first woman in the Netherlands to receive a PhD
*Jaap Kunst, ethnomusicologist (studied law)
*George Malliaras, Professor of Materials Science, Cornell University
*Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut, received a PhD degree in physics and mathematics, 1973
*Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his experiments on the properties of matter at low temperatures which made, among other things, the production of liquid helium possible
*Jan Oort, astronomer
*Maurits van Oranje Nassau
*Johannes Jacobus Poortman, philosopher, psychologist
*Willem de Sitter, astronomer
*Dirk Stikker, secretary general of NATO
*Pieter Jelles Troelstra, lawyer, politician
*Henk te Velde, professor of Dutch history at Leiden University
*Wietse Venema, programmer and physicist
*Jacques Wallage, mayor of Groningen
*Paramanga Ernest Yonli, Prime Minister of Burkina Faso. Studied Economics.
*Frits Zernike, professor of theoretical physics, received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his invention of the phase contrast optical microscope in 1953

See also

* Groningen (city)
* Groningen (province)
* The Netherlands
* Education in the Netherlands

External links

* [ University of Groningen Official Website]
* [ Scholarships]
* [ Practical information]
* [ Webcam]
* [ Aerial photographs of the University of Groningen]

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