University of Groningen Announces Details of New Liberal Arts & Sciences Degree
Written on Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:39

The University of Groningen has now announced details of its much anticipated Liberal Arts & Sciences [LAS] degree, taught through English.  Details here. The university is one of several Dutch universities, ranked in the world's top 100 universities, to offer this degree option. The LAS programmes are proving very popular with UK and Irish students, who are applying to join them in increasing numbers, drawn by the opportunity to study a wide range of subjects in the first year before taking a major [specialising] in one subject, from the second year onwards.

In the Groningen LAS programme [run at University College Groningen], students will be able to specialise in one of the following areas:

Health and Life Sciences, which provides a comprehensive understanding of mechanisms underlying the normal development and function of humans, and of mechanisms causing disease.

Philosophy, Politics and Economics: modules include History of Philosophy, Philosophy of Science, Ethics, Logic, Political Science, International Relations, Microeconomics, Markets & Regulation and International Macroeconomic Theory & Policy.

Cognition and Behaviour: modules include Cognitive Psychology and Neuroscience, Social Environment & Behaviour, History and Philosophy of the Mind and Society,, Social Cognition, Neuropsychology, Cognition and Attention, Gerontology and Perception. The topics can be explored further in relation to the three research themes.

Reflecting on Culture: modules include Cultural History, Cultural Analysis, a chosen art medium (film, television, literature, theatre and music), a chosen historical period, the methods and methodology of the Humanities.

Physics and Energy: this major includes a broad spectrum of physics modules in topical fields, including magnetism, electricity, mechanics and relativity, thermodynamics and the structure of matter. Electives are offered in the fields of energy and sustainability.

As in all of the Liberal Arts & Sciences programmes, at Groningen there is a competitive selection procedure. After checking that your High School Diploma grades [A-Level/Leaving Cert/IB etc] meet their requirements, the university will require students to complete four tasks: an interpretative essay; analytical and logical reasoning tests; group dynamics reflection task; video letter. Students who score well in these tasks will be invited to an interview.

Applications open on 6th January and close on 1st June 2014

No more Tuition Fees in Germany as Lower Saxony Aligns With Other States
Written on Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:39

From 2014, Lower Saxony will be the last of Germany’s 16 states to abolish tuition fees for undergraduate students at public universities. Both national and international undergraduate students at public universities in Germany will get free tuition from next year, and will only need to pay a small “semester fee” towards administration [approx. Eur 100-150] plus a further sum of about Eur100 for a “Semesterticket”, which covers public transport

These low charges certainly help to make Germany attractive as a study destination, with recent figures showing it to be the fourth most popular country for international students (after the US, UK and Australia). And a recent HSBC report puts Germany at the bottom of a table of 13 countries in terms of the cost of studying abroad, with an average cost of just  €4,564) per year, breaking down €461 for fees and €4,103 for living costs. Note thay these are just averages – the cost of living in Germany is more expensive in some areas than others.

There is a Federal Student Financial Aid Programme (BAföG: Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz) and an Education Loan system [Bildungskredit] in Germany but entitlement to these supports, for UK and Irish students is limited.

Above: University of Leipzig

Dutch Government Puts Hold on Student Grant Reform
Written on Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:39

Dutch Education minister Jet Bussemaker confirmed yesterday that she will revise her plans to replace student grants with loans and has confirmed the new system will not come into effect in 2014 [as she had hoped] but in 2015.The cabinet does not have majority support for the plans in the upper house of parliament and the minister has agreed to rethink her proposals.

Free public transport for students will also now continue until 2017, the minister said>

EUNiCAS has been advised that if you start university under the current finance arrangements you can continue under these arrangements until you graduate, in the event of the reformed arrangements being introduced during your programme.

Under current rules, Full-time students, if they are EU citizens, are entitled to the following financial support in the Netherlands: 1. a Tuition Fee Loan 2.a Basic Grant 3. a Supplementary Grant and 4. a Top Up Loan. Your entitlement to items 2-4 [but not your entitlement to a Tuition Fee Loan] are dependent upon you working 56 hours a month [this is the equivalent to two or three evening shifts, a week, working in a restaurant]. Entitlement to the Supplementary Grant is calculated with reference to family income.

Please contact EUNiCAS at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like our Information Sheet containing our Guidelines to Student Finance in the Netherlands.

University of Groningen, one of seven Dutch Universities in World's Top 100

Straight-A students forced to go abroad to study medicine as NHS recruits record number of foreign doctors
Written on Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:39

Straight-A students are being turned away from medicine degrees at British universities due to government quotas. The news comes as the NHS recruits foreign doctors in record numbers, some of whom have ‘little or no knowledge of British culture’.

For 2013-2014, English universities were allowed to recruit just 6,071 medicine students, even though the General Medical Council registers 13,000 doctors each year and the NHS struggles to recruit enough staff.

An estimated 6,000 newly-registered doctors each year are foreigners who trained overseas. It is alleged that a proportion of these doctors have poor English and are not always familiar with drugs used in this country. Also, some these doctors – 40% of the country’s annual registration of doctors - have no knowledge and experience of British culture or its Health Service – and this in the most people-centric occupation of all.

[condensed from Daily Mail]

Above: Jagiellonian University, Cracow, a centre of excellence in Poland, one of many Central & Eastern European Universities experiencing a surge in applications from UK and Irish students this year

British students part of recovery in Sweden from dive in international student numbers
Written on Saturday, 21 July 2018 10:39

Swedish universities are looking to build on the first signs of recovery in the international student market, following the collapse in overseas applications when ‘full-cost’ tuition fees were introduced for non-European students in 2011. But they face a massive uphill task. The number of international applicants fell dramatically, from 132,000 in 2010 to 15,000 in 2011, after students from outside the European Union and European Economic Area – EU-EEA – were told to find around €10,000 (US$13,300) a year in fees. A fall in foreign student enrolments was fully expected in the wake of introducing these fees.  

However, the latest applications data shows signs of recovery. In 2012, there was a 24% increase in the number of applicants compared to 2011. One  important change is in the way Swedish universities promote themselves abroad, with a new focus on attracting non-fee paying students from other EU-EEA countries to make up for some of the shortfall from Asia and Africa.

[above: Lund University]

Germany is the top European country in terms of students being offered places this year, with 624 admitted students. Greece is next with 451 being admitted, followed by the UK with 429 students offered a place this year. Note that figures only show the country from which the students have their bachelor degree and not their citizenship. For example, of the 429 admitted students from Great Britain in 2013, 395 were not required to pay because they were EU-EEA citizens, while 34 had to pay.

[extracted from University World News]

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