University of Groningen

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Erik van den Ham on March 10, 2009

University of Groningen

Tower of the building. Picture taken on a clouded, windy evening with moonlight

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

University of Groningen Latin: Academia Groningana Motto: Verbum domini lucerna pedibus nostris "The word of the Lord is a light for our feet"

Established: 1614 Type: University Rector: Prof. dr. Frans Zwarts Faculty: 6,000 employees Students: 22,352 Location: Groningen, The Netherlands Website:

The University of Groningen (Dutch: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen), located in the city of Groningen, was founded in 1614. It is the second oldest and one of 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 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 2007

23.780 students, 23.020 full time, 736 part time 5.089 first-year students (10,4 % of Dutch market share) 4.452 fte employees of whom are 2.363 scientific staff members. (including University Medical Hospital Groningen)

365 professors (incl. UMCG)

1.191 Ph D students (incl. UMCG)

61 bachelor and 118 master degree programmes

58 masterprogrammes (of which 8 double degree programmes) are taught in English

7 bachelorprogrammes are taught in English 16 researchmasters

9 faculties, 9 graduate schools

523,7 mln euro expenditure

Facts & figures

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.

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)

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 wordwide on position 144 of the Times Higher Education (THE) Ranking. THE Top 200 (2008)

University of Groningen is worldwide on shared position 101 of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). ARWU is a global Top 500 published annually by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Ranking 101 - 150 ARWU (2008)

University of Groningen on 19th position in European ranking of Webometrics. Webometrics listing (2008)

Famous alumni and staff members of the University of Groningen.

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.

Gabriel_A_R on March 10, 2009

Great photo Erik. A build with a long histori. Greetings. Gabriel

Erik van den Ham on March 10, 2009

It certainly is Gabriel, thanks for your visit.


Ritva Astikainen on March 10, 2009

Love is in the air/sky/heaven?

Erik van den Ham on March 10, 2009

LOL, yes Ippa I saw that too! I was wondering who would tell me, well you did! Keen eye!

Greetings, Erik

Nico Huising on March 10, 2009

Y* Erik

Prachtige compositie met de maan die door de bewegening in de wolken vertekend.

Groetjes Nico

Ria Maat on March 10, 2009

Bijzonder mooie compositie van "gouden" architecture. Alweer een goed geslaagde foto van Erik.

Groetjes, Ria

Erik van den Ham on March 10, 2009

Was gisteravond Nico na de demonstratie op de fotoacademie. De heldere maan en de snel langs drijvende wolken. Sluitertijd was 30 sec. Bedankt voor je ster ben erg vereerd!

Dank je Ria zou eerst naar huis gaan maar toen dacht ik wie weet wanneer je deze omstandigheden weer treft.Toch nog weer de stad in gegaan, terwijl ik al naast de auto stond.


Nico Huising on March 10, 2009

Weer een prachtige lucht hè gisteren. Soms moet je gewoon de tijd er voor nemen.

Groetjes Nico

Thai pix Wildlife ph… on March 10, 2009

Je weet het licht wel te vangen Erik ook dit is weer een bijzonder mooie foto! heb hier vroeger wat uurtjes zitten wachten in m,n auto mijn toenmalige vriendin had college, dat liep altijd uit de hand hahaaa zit dat café daar nog op de hoek naast die piano zaak? daar ging ik er altijd een drinken als mij dat te lang duurden haha...


Guido Musch on March 10, 2009

Ziet er wel wat uitgerekt uit Erik, die wolken vind ik erg mooi!

Frank Knaap on March 10, 2009

Een verrassend mooi beeld Erik, ik heb genoten van deze serie!!!

En treur over mijn gebroken statief.....:)


Hazel Coetzee on March 12, 2009

Very impressive lighting, Erik. Beautiful, graceful tower and the moon and racing clouds echoed by the window lights below just complete a lovely composition.

Full marks, my friend!!

Groete, Hazel

uaf on March 25, 2009

Imposante opname, Erik! Moest wel langdurig scrollen om bij het teksthok te komen. Maar het was het waard... Hartelijke groeten van uaf.

© wfmw on June 27, 2012

Hoi Erik,

Hartstikke bedankt!!!

Dank zij deze foto van jou heb ik eindelijk gevonden, wat ikzelf laatst gefotografeerd heb. Dacht eerst dat het een kerktoren was. En dan zoek je op de verkeerde termen. :(

Zal hem t.z.t. ook uploaden

Mooie avondopname.

Groetjes, Willy

Mahmut YILDIRICI on July 1, 2012

Beatiful shot. Great colors. LIKE+FAV.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on March 10, 2009
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Erik van den Ham