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EuroScholars News

University in the Spotlight: Utrecht University

Quality Has No Borders

Utrecht University is a large and multifaceted knowledge center providing research and education of high international quality. Guided by its vision of ‘quality has no borders’, the university is always looking for talented international staff, students, and new research partners. The university is leading in of honors education and programs in Europe. A growing number of international students are attracted to Utrecht University thanks to the University’s extensive range of degree programs, its outstanding international reputation, and the close link between research and education. For many years Utrecht University has been internationally ranked as the number 1 research intensive university in the Netherlands (and in the 2013 ARWU ranking 13 in Europe and 52 mondial).

Knowledge Transfer

Utrecht University continues to build an integrated approach to addressing scientific and societal problems. This is why the university has opted to increase its research focus and to connect scientific excellence and fundamental research with a societal charge. By choosing four strategic research themes the university brings together knowledge from different disciplines. The strategic research themes are Sustainability, Life Sciences, Youth & Identity, and Institutions.

The transfer of scientific knowledge is, in addition to teaching and research, the university’s third core task. To fulfill this task, Utrecht University researchers collaborate closely with businesses, social institutions, and research organizations. These collaborative initiatives contribute to innovation, economic development, and solutions for social issues.

International Successes in Research: Institutions

In 2013 the European Research Council (ERC) awarded 10 researchers at Utrecht University with a prestigious ERC grant. The 10 awardees cover all strategic research themes of Utrecht University. Two of them received an Advanced Researchers Grant for their research in the field of Institutions. The strength of societies is to a large extent determined by the quality of the institutions: the formal and informal rules of human interaction. These institutions – laws, customs, networks, organizations, etc. – enable or constrain an open, democratic, and equitable society. They also determine a society’s ability to absorb shocks, and its sustainability. At Utrecht University, scholars from economics, history, public administration, culture, law, sociology, social psychology, ethics, innovation studies, and geography join forces to find answers to the key questions: Why do societies develop so divergently? How do institutions contribute to the formation of open and sustainable societies?

In this theme researchers from 4 Faculties at Utrecht University collaborate: ‘Humanities’, ‘Social and Behavioural Sciences’, ‘Law, Economics & Governance’ and ‘Geosciences’. This is a good example of the interdisciplinary approach in research at Utrecht University.

National Grants for Pioneering Research: Youth & Identity

In 2012, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science awarded six ‘Gravitation Grants’ to large-scale research projects. Utrecht University is a participant in three of these projects. One of the Gravitation Grants - worth 27.6 million euros - has been awarded to a national research consortium led by Utrecht Professor of Developmental Biological Psychology, Chantal Kemner; the group will be conducting a large-scale cohort study into the development of children aged up to 16 years in the next ten years. Utrecht University is the coordinator of this research group. According to Kemner: “We bring together the best that the Netherlands has to offer in the field of research into the development of children. Collaboration between the various disciplines and institutions allows for a consortium that is unique in this research area.” The research project falls under the umbrella of the strategic research theme of Youth & Identity.

The City of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Utrecht is a bustling student city in the geographical center of the Netherlands. The city boasts a rich history that goes back to Roman times. In the historic center, you will find excellent museums in a setting of picturesque courtyards, restaurants, and delightful shops. Much of the city’s medieval atmosphere can still be felt today in its pattern of streets and alleys. In the summer, you can enjoy a drink or a meal at one of many pavement cafés along the streets and canals.

From an Alum

Patrick Boynton, Pennsylvania State University, University of Geneva

Patrick BoyntonStudying abroad has given me a better idea of the legitimate challenges in living overseas, such as creating a social network and dealing with government red tape. Many of the problems I anticipated before leaving, like procuring food and communicating in French, were actually non-issues. When I next move to a foreign city, I’ll know exactly how to prepare and adjust for the inevitable hurdles.

More immediately, study abroad has helped given me a career-relevant perspective. In fact, the HR Coordinator at my current internship noted, in a professional development class, that she highly values applicants with study abroad experience.

Patrick BoyntonMany, many of my classmates spent semesters in traditional study abroad destinations such as Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia. My classmates had fun, but my impression is that they weren’t challenged. They stayed in cultures similar to America and socialized in groups of Americans. It’s like the freshman year of college, where new students cluster in packs like antelope on the Serengeti.

By going to non-traditional locations and consciously pushing your comfort level, you’ll challenge yourself and you’ll develop yourself as an individual.

2013 University Rankings

According to the latest information from the Shanghai Ranking /ARWU 2013, the ranking of the European universities participating in the EuroScholars Program are as follows:

Institution Ranking
Karolinska Institutet 44
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munchen 61
KU Leuven University 101 - 150
Leiden University 74
Utrecht University 52
Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg 54
University of Amsterdam 101 - 150
University of Zurich 60
University of Helsinki 76
University of Geneva 69
Universitá degli Studi di Milano 151 - 200














Fall EuroScholars

This Fall, 10 students will be participating at 8 EuroScholars institutions:

Student Home / Host Institution Field of Study Scholarship
Mr. Wesley Hebert Norwich University / Karolinska Institutet Biochemistry EuroScholars Award
Ms. Oksana Polhuy DePauw University / KU Leuven Economics / Econometrics / Geology EuroScholars Award
Mr. Chris Power Rutgers University, New Brunswick / University of Heidelberg German Studies EuroScholars Award
Ms. Christine Wamsley Colby College / LMU Chemistry EuroScholars Award
Ms Whitney Yoder Baldwin Wallace University / University of Milan Psychology EuroScholars Award
Ms. Marianne Kramer SUNY-New Paltz / University of Geneva Molecular Biology / Chemistry University of Geneva Institutional Award
Ms. Melissa Lee University of Tennessee-Knoxville / University of Zurich Neuroscience University of Zurich Institutional Award
Ms. Kanika Shirole Sarah Lawrence College / University of Geneva Neuropsychology University of Geneva Institutional Award
Mr. Harold Jansen Norwich University / University of Heidelberg Biology  
Ms. Tianqi Li DePauw University / University of Helsinki Computer science  

In This Edition:

Learn more about EuroScholars

Pictures from Utrecht

New Research Project at Utrecht University

"The neuropsychology of motor control, somatosensory function and body representations.”

Find a Research Project

MidStay Program Fall 2013

The MidStay program will be from November 13 – 15, 2013 and will be organized by the University of Helsinki.

Upcoming Conferences

  • EAIE: September 10 - 13, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will be attending. To schedule a meeting, please email Ms. Usha Mohunlol. EuroScholars is also holding a session: Undergraduate Research is the "New Normal" in Study Abroad on Thursday, September 12 from 9 - 10:15 am.
  • NCHC: November 6 - 10, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

How to Apply

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