Last Wednesday a new column was published on the website of U-Today. Normally I enjoy reading these columns, but this time I was not amused with what I read. Of course, some columns are meant to cause some friction, but this whole column felt like a backstab to all current and former board members, which includes me. A backstab to people that voluntarily work or worked a year hard to make our university a better place.
I am writing this text as a reaction to an article recently published on U-Today. The title stated; ‘PhDs don’t feel connected to the university’. The piece only quotes one side of the story; the side of P-NUT’s study. With this text, I would like to share my impressions on this piece and share my side of the story — as my experience as a UT PhD is very different from the one portrayed in the previous piece.
We, a group of Chinese PhDs studying at the UT, are very disappointed that Wessel van der Sande holds such a negative view of the collaboration between UT and Chinese universities. His attitude towards Chinese researchers and institutions is very discouraging to us. Therefore, we would like to respond and express our thoughts on this matter.
PhD candidate Roberto Cruz Martínez wrote this article in response to the opinion piece of Wessel van der Sande about the UT’s collaboration with China. ‘Opportunism can probably explain a lot of things about the current model and state of science. The priority seems to be fame and revenue.’
In this opinion piece, PhD candidate Wessel van der Sande openly questions the UT's cooperation with parties in China. 'Honesty and integrity are apparently less important when fame and money is to be earned.'
With lots of publicity, the Dutch knowledge sector (universities and funding institutions) has welcomed a new era in the appreciation of academics. When reading the news articles, interesting developments can be noted, but major questions and issues remain untouched.
An opinion article by PhD candidate Roberto Cruz Martínez. With all the reports of international students facing a multitude of problems, he offers some tips and tricks, based on his own experiences.
The language discussion is taking its second round in ‘Let’s get more ridiculous’. Last Thursday, the court case against the UT and MU took place. ‘The house is burning but the fireman are not taking action.’ Really? What a circus, with BON in the leading role.
In this series, our student writers ask other UT students about their opinion on a variety of controversial topics. Be it on a worldwide scale or a bit smaller, these students share their food for thought. This time: The left-wing political bubble of academia.
In this series, our student writers ask other UT students about their opinion on a variety of controversial topics. Be it on a worldwide scale or a bit smaller, these students share their food for thought. This time: the Dutch law known as ‘de sleepwet’ that would allow the law enforcement to potentially track everyone’s online behaviour.
In this series, our student writers ask other UT students about their opinion on a variety of controversial topics. Be it on a worldwide scale or a bit smaller, these students share their food for thought. This time: the Dutch organ donation law that passed this week.
The current fraction of the University Council party UReka wrote a wake-up call to rector Thom Palstra concerning the level of English at the UT. An opinion article: ‘We are behind schedule and need to put in the effort to catch up!’
Last weekend, an opinion piece appeared in the NRC by Dutch philosopher Ad Verbrugge, entitled: ‘Dutch in higher education - not Globish’ (via Blendle, via NRC). In it, he made a plea for retaining Dutch as the main teaching language for higher education. This would appear to be going against the flow, since most universities - including UT - are headed toward the introduction of English as the teaching language for all majors, even at the bachelor level. I consider his standpoint more than creditable. And anyone involved in this discussion should pay attention to his arguments.
The ‘Maagdenhuis’ in Amsterdam has been occupied. Since late last month, a large group of students and faculty of the University of Amsterdam have been in protest. They have two main demands: (1) democratising university governance, ultimately as a means of (2) driving out the obsession with financial viability taking over in academia.