University of Groningen: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

University of Groningen
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
RUG logo.png
Latin: Academia Groningana
Motto Verbum domini lucerna pedibus nostris
"The word of the Lord is a light for our feet"
Established 1614
Type State University
Rector Prof. dr. Frans Zwarts
Faculty 5,000 employees
Students 26,500
Location Groningen, The Netherlands

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

The University of Groningen has 9 faculties, 9 Graduate Schools, 27 research centres and institutes, and more than 175 degree programmes.


The Institution

The University of Groningen (Dutch: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, 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 Natural Sciences and Technology. Each faculty (cf., College in the USA or School in Europe) 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 2009

  • 26,500 students
  • 5,500 first-year students (10,3 % of Dutch market share)
  • 4,691 fte employees (including University Medical Hospital Groningen: UMCG)
  • 364 professors (including UMCG)
  • 1,500 PhD students (including UMCG)
  • 60 bachelor's and 115 master's degree programmes
  • 75 master's degree programmes (of which 10 double degree programmes) are taught in English
  • 8 bachelor's degree programmes are taught in English
  • 16 research master's programmes
  • 9 faculties, 9 graduate schools
  • 550 mln euro annual turnover
  • Facts & figures
Front of the main building ('Academiegebouw') of the University of Groningen

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 5,000 research publications go to print and an average of 260 PhD students are awarded their PhD degree.

  • The University of Groningen is a member of the so-called Excellence Group of the best universities in Europe. The Excellence Group has 56 members, which is 1.3 percent of the approximately 4,500 European institutions of higher education. CHE ranking (2008)
  • The University of Groningen belongs to the top 100 large comprehensive research universities in the world. Citation database ISI Web of Science (2008)
  • University of Groningen is worldwide on position 138 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking. THE Top 200 (2009)

An overview of the last years.

Year Rank (Change)
2005 262
2006 232 ( 30)
2007 173 ( 59)
2008 144 ( 29)
2009 138 ( 6)

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 26,500 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.


Economics and Business Website
Arts Website
Law Website
Theology and Religious Studies Website
Philosophy Website
Behavioural and Social Sciences Website
Medical Sciences Website
Mathematics and Natural Sciences Website
Spatial Sciences Website

Degree programmes


Bachelor's degree programmes

The Bachelor phase lasts three years and successful completion of a Bachelor's programme results in a BSc or BA degree. There are a total number of 60 Bachelor's degree programmes. The Bachelor's degree programmes with English as the language of instruction are:

  • American Studies
  • Business Studies - International Business & Management (specialization)
  • Econometrics
  • Economics and Business Economics
  • International and European Law
  • International Relations and International Organization
  • Medicine, Global Health Profile
  • Psychology

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 LLM). 75 Master's programmes have English as the language of instruction:

Sciences and Technology

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Physics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Astronomy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Computing Science
  • Energy and Environmental Sciences
  • Human-Machine Communication
  • Industrial Engineering and Management
  • Mathematics
  • Nanoscience
  • Physics

Life Sciences

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


  • Criminal Law and Criminology
  • European Law
  • International and Comparative Private Law
  • International Economic and Business Law
  • International Law and the Law of International Organizations

Economics and Business

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


  • American Studies
  • Applied Linguistics
  • Art History and Archaeology
  • Arts, Culture and Media
  • Classical Medieval and Renaissance Studies
  • Clinical Linguistics
  • Dutch language and Culture
  • English Language and Culture
  • Euroculture
  • Humanitarian Action
  • International Relations and International Organization
  • Language and Communication Technologies
  • Linguistics
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Modern History and International Relations
  • Philosophy
  • Philosophy: Knowledge and Knowledge Development
  • Religious Symbols and Traditions

Behavioural and Social Sciences

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Education
  • Human Behaviour in Social Contexts
  • Human-Machine Communication
  • Psychology

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 programmes or positions, leading to a PhD degree. All PhD 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 Institute of Archeology (GIA)
  • Groningen Institute for Educational research (GION)
  • Groningen Research Institute of Philosophy (GRIPH)
  • Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG)
  • Heymans Institute
  • Interuniversity Center for Social Science Theory and Methodology (ICS)
  • Urban and Regional Studies Institute (URSI)


  • Centre for Law, Administration and Society (CRBS)

Economics & Business

  • SOM

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)
  • Graduate School for Drug Exploration (GUIDE) / UMCG
  • Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology (GBB)
  • Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP)
  • Northern Center for Healthcare Research (NCH)

Science & Technology

  • Center for Energy and Environmental Studies (IVEM)
  • Centre for Isotope Research (CIO)
  • Centre for Theoretical Physics
  • 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.

Overview of Graduate Schools

  • Graduate School of Behavioural and Social Sciences
  • Graduate School of Economics and Business
  • Graduate School of Humanities
  • Graduate School of Law
  • Graduate School of Medical Sciences
  • Graduate School of Philosophy
  • Graduate School of Science Website
  • Graduate School of Spatial Sciences
  • Graduate School of Theology and Religious Studies

Notable alumni

See also


External links

Coordinates: 53°13′9″N 6°33′46″E / 53.21917°N 6.56278°E / 53.21917; 6.56278


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address