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University in the spotlight:
Utrecht University 

Bright minds for a better future

Utrecht University is one of Europe’s leading research universities, recognized internationally for its high quality and innovative approach to both research and teaching.

Utrecht University, established in 1636, has a long history and a rich tradition. Reminders of the University’s history can be found throughout the city, in the form of buildings, gardens and street names. Utrecht University cherishes its history and has a strong focus on new developments in research and societal challenges. Quality in research and education are the driving force for Utrecht University to maintain its strong international position as research intensive and comprehensive university.

With its prominence in teaching and research, Utrecht University works towards finding solutions of the highest possible impact and significance to the major challenges facing the 21st century. To this end the research focuses on four main strategic themes: Life Sciences, Sustainability, Institutions and Youth & Identity.

Collaboration is fundamental to providing excellent teaching and research as well as societal relevance. Utrecht University therefore works collaboratively with the business sector to undertake innovative research that is relevant to society at large.

Internationally, Utrecht University collaborates with renowned universities around the world through joint teaching and research programs, exchange of researchers, lecturers and students, fellowship programs, chairs for visiting professors and joint publications. Besides faculty collaborations, Utrecht University has also entered into university-wide strategic collaborative alliances with a limited number of international research universities focusing on one or more of its strategic research themes.

A growing number of international students are attracted to Utrecht University thanks to the University’s extensive range of English taught degree programs, its outstanding international reputation, its adequate student services, the close link between research and education and its focus on honors programs.

Honors programs

Utrecht University has a strong ambition in honors programs. 15 Years ago the university started the first academic honors program in the Netherlands. The university continues to develop new initiatives in programs for excellent students, both at the bachelor as well as at the master level.
Excellent undergraduate students can participate in honors programs. These programs intended for selected undergraduate students who wish to further develop and broaden their knowledge and skills, and are taken in addition to the regular programs.

Master students can participate in the Young Leaders League.
At the recent EuroScholars site visit (see this Newsletter) is was discussed that EuroScholars students can participate in activities for and by Utrecht University honors students.
Utrecht University recognizes the talent of students in the EuroScholars program. It therefore can offer these students projects on demand. Prospective EuroScholars students who can link their field of research interest with the a field of research at Utrecht University are invited to apply for an EuroScholars project at Utrecht University..

All above makes Utrecht University a perfect place for EuroScholars students.

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 little shops. Much of the city’s mediaeval 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.
According to the Lonely Planet Utrecht is one of the 10 unsung places in the world.

EuroScholars Site Visit Spring 2014

From 23 March through 29 March 2014, EuroScholars had their second Site Visit.
The EuroScholars institutions we visited during this week were: University of Zurich, University of Geneva  and Utrecht University.

Our guests - 11 Honors Directors / Professors and Deans - from 11 US institutions attended several presentations about the research projects offered at these 3 institutions. And also visited some of the student facilities at these 3 locations.

During the same week, 9 EuroScholars students attended the MidStay program, which was organized by Utrecht University.

An impression of the EuroScholars Site Visit at Utrecht University:

EuroScholars Site Visit Utrecht University (March 27-30)

The site visit concluded with a 3-day visit to the sunny city of Utrecht and Utrecht University.
The visit coincided with the MidStay programme. It therefor offered an excellent opportunity to meet with the EuroScholars students and discuss expectations and experiences.

Three supervisors of former EuroScholars students informed the visitors about their (positive) experiences with EuroScholars. They were happy to receive questions about supervision and quality assessment.

The strong focus of Utrecht University was also discussed with the UU Honors Dean.

Hopefully with the program, the city tour and the brilliant weather Utrecht has made an indelible impression.

A note from one of our Site Visit participants:

David Artis, Ph.D, Dean Undergraduate Research Initiatives from University of California – San Diego.

“Providing educational opportunities that help prepare our students for leadership positions in the real world has been a priority at UC San Diego for many years. Like many university communities, we are finding that large numbers of our students now arrive on campus not hoping to engage in stimulating, intensive, and distinctive co-curricular research activities but expecting to participate in them.

UC San Diego faculty and staff members fully support our students, undergraduate and graduate, who are looking for an immersive, hands-on research experience that will prepare them for the challenges and rewards of pursuing advanced degrees and/or honors such as the Rhodes, Fulbright, Marshall, Churchill, and other fellowships. International experiential opportunities are especially popular with our students and greatly encouraged by UC San Diego, primarily under the leadership of our Programs Abroad Office (PAO) within the university’s International Center.

As Dean of Undergraduate Research Initiatives, I was very excited to represent my office and the PAO during the 2014 EuroScholars Site Visit to the Universities of Zurich, Geneva, and Utrecht. I believe strongly that a first research experience will cause future scientists and scholars to crave another. For select students, the EuroScholars experience might be one of the best second or third research options: it promises not only to refine their skills but enable them to collaborate with mentors and colleagues around the world.

I was very happy to hear from a number of the current scholars that they are indeed conducting, not merely observing, research.Several talked to me about presenting their research findings at conferences or continuing to work on their projects after the research period with an eye toward being included on eventual publications. I very much appreciate the careful screening of applicants through the GlobaLinks Learning Abroad and the efforts of the host universities to solicit appropriate research projects from members of their distinguished faculties. Additionally, I was very impressed with the facilities dedicated to research at the schools we visited. I return believing that a high-achieving, self-motivated, confident student would do well in such a program and would be a successful addition to it.”


Upcoming Conferences :

May 2014
May 25 - 30
San Diego, CA, USA
Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will attend the NAFSA. Would you like to schedule a meeting, please contact:
Ms. Usha Mohunlol u.c.mohunlol@sea.leidenuniv.nl

September 2014
September 16 - 19
Prague, Czech Republic
Some of the members of the EuroScholars Consortium will attend the EAIE. Would you like to schedule a meeting, please contact:
Ms. Usha Mohunlol u.c.mohunlol@sea.leidenuniv.nl


Conference Presentations

Carrie Davis's presentation proposal was accepted by the NCHC Conference to take place from November 5-9 in Denver, CO.

Carrie will co-present with Metropolitan University of Denver and the University Denver on the topic: Undergraduate Research: Beyond STEM Majors.