Archive for October, 2011

Seeking free education, students flock to other European countries

By Eline Hædersdal

AMSTERDAM – With the European education system facing severe cuts, students have been taking advantage of tuition-free degrees offered across the continent.

Higher education is free for European Union nationals in Greece, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden.

Nationally, university fees have not increased but more student numbers will put pressure on the Dutch budget.

Students at Dutch universities pay between 1,200 and 2,200 EUR yearly while their counterparts at British Universities have to folk out between 5,100 and 10,300 EUR per year.

All European education is in one way or the other effected by the crisis. It seems that the British universities takes the lead with regards to the high student fees.

The guardian found that over half of the British universities will be charging tuition fees of 10,300 annually next year EUR.

“Many universities across these countries give accounts of facing indirect impacts on their funding structure” said a European University Association (EUA) report, released earlier this year.

The fees could be potentially higher in the future, the report claims.

The quality of education is also in danger as there are fewer teachers per student across the Dutch university spectrum, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency said.

“The quality of education is crucial in delivering a highly skilled working population that meets the needs of employers.”

For students who cannot afford exorbitant fees in their home countries, traveling to other European cities remains a good alternative.

Norway is the only country were it seems that all types of education is for free for both EU and non-EU students.

Education fees 2011 & 2012

Categories: Education, Home

Aspen prepares for X-games 2012

by Maya Dupont and Willem Plasterk
AMSTERDAM – The 16th edition of the ESPN winter x-games will be hosted in Aspen, Colorado on the 26-29 Jan. The annual event is among the biggest international competitions for freestyle snowboarders, -skiers and snowmobile riders.
There are over 200 contestants participating in the contest for prize money, medals and prestige. The Winter-X games coverage was spread across digital platforms, reaching more than 382 million homes, including Dutch winter sport fanatics, and was live to 154 countries around the globe.
In 2011 a record of 114,200 attended the Winter X-games, an increase of 36% since 2010 (84,100), a similar number is predicted for 2012. The day program will consist of round the clock competitions, with each respective sport divided into subcategories. The night program will includes music line-ups containing a medley of upcoming and well-known artists as well as night time competitions for 24 hour entertainment.
Last year highlights included Kelly Clark being the first woman to land a 1080 in competition in women’s superpipe, Torstein Horgmo to land the first triple backflip in competition in men’s snowboard big air, Shaun White to become first to win 4 peat in the super pipe X games history, and Sebastian Tuoutant to win multiple gold for his debut. Fans hope to see many more such exciting developments in this years edition.

Categories: Home Tags:

PVV presents plan for implementing ‘tasers’ in the Netherlands.

By Omid Azadi

Former police officer and current member of PVV, Hero Brinkman, presented a plan to the House of Representatives to make ‘tasers’, electric stun guns, available for the police forces in The Netherlands.

”Pepper spray is ineffective on 10 percent of the people and the police baton is completely useless these days” Brinkman knows from experience.

Brinkman argues that the implementation of the ‘taser’ will increase public and police safety referring to a fatal shooting in Groningen that resulted in the death of a cop:

“The fatal shooting of the police officer with his own weapon would have never occurred if he would have had a taser”
Their use is regarded as controversial in many quarters; opposing parties argue it could result in unnecessary utilization of force by police officers.

Brinkman disregards the issue stating that “the devices are safe and cause only a low incidence of serious injuries”

Categories: Home

Oct 31; Day of 7 Billion

By Aimee Dirkzwager and Job Oberman

AMSTERDAM – The milestone of 7 billion will be reached on Monday Oct 31, according to statistics of the UN Population Division.

This increase does not go without consequence, as UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon claims that “it will have vast implications to world problems.”

At the launch of a global initiative to raise awareness about the increasing population Ban Ki Moon states poverty, discrimination and climate change among the challenges the world has to face.

In 1999 the world population was estimated at 6 billion, It took nearly twelve years for the increase of one billion people.

85% of this one billion originates from Asia and Africa, Europe contributed only 1% to the total growth.

The rate of population growth is predicted to decrease slightly, the next billion is said to be reached in 13 years.

It has to be noted that the numbers from the UN are symbolic, the actual 7th billion person will be born Feb 2012.

The BBC created an interactive application on which one can find one’s number within the population (


Categories: Home

Mauro’s last appeal to House of Representatives: “Please let me stay here forever!”

By Anneclaire Michele & Marlene Werner

AMSTERDAM – The House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) convene to debate the situation of Mauro Manuel, who is about to be send back to Angola by Immigration and Asylum minister Gerd Leers, Tuesday, Nov.1.

Mauro plans to make a final emotional call to the members of the House of Representatives in order to persuade them to grant him the Dutch citizenship.

His appeal includes a desperate attempt at showing his Dutch affiliation: “I have spent the most important years of my life growing up in the Netherlands. I feel at home here. I feel Dutch.”

He will not be demonstrating alone; many of his friends will be also present at the manifestation on the Plein in The Hague.

However, the sympathizers present will not only be people Mauro actually knows.

In the short period of time his story hit the news, Mauro has grown into a symbol of young, independent asylum seekers in the Netherlands.

This is not really what Mauro wanted to be: “I’d rather be a symbol of integration into Dutch society, I feel Dutch.” He said he has adopted many of the Dutch values and “wants to celebrate Queen’s day every year.”

All his supporters, among which many famous Dutch celebrities, such as TV-personality and writer Arie Boomsma, rapper Negativ, and comedienne Claudia de Breij, who even wrote a protest song about it, have united on hyves and twitter to support his case.

The public is free to sign an online petition.

Several attempts to keep Mauro in the Netherlands, among which the grant of a student-visa, have been discussed and rejected, as has been reported previously.

Further decisions are planned to be taken on Tuesday, Nov. 1, but the final call seems to be a long way off.

Categories: Politics

After 7 Session Fall Edition

By Anneclaire Michele

AMSTERDAM – A short overview of the After7 Battles at the Jimmy Woo in Amsterdam on October 23rd, 2011.

The After7 sessions are an initiative of Eszteca Noya and take place three to four times a year in the Jimmy Woo in Amsterdam. It is a party especially for dancers and music lovers. The main event during this party is the battle, which consists of several rounds. The first round is open to everyone, then after the deliberation of the jury only a select group of 8 dancers will move on to the semi finals. During these semi finals, the contestants are randomly put into duos and battle each other in all styles until only two teams remain. These two teams will battle each other, again in all dance styles, for “the fame, the culture and the name”.

Categories: Entertainment

Commission on Stapel-data-forgery publishes results: extent considerable and shocking

By Marlene Werner

AMSTERDAM – The commission of Tilburg University presented preliminary findings on the extensive forgery of experimental data by Social Psychologist Diederik Stapel in an interim report, Oct 31.

“The scientific fraud committed by Prof. Stapel is considerable and shocking,” concluded the 2-month investigation of Tilburg University, University of Amsterdam and Groningen University according to their press release.

According to the commission, Stapel’s “ingenuity, manipulation and abuse of power” assisted him in sweeping the misconduct under the carpet.

“This fraud has damaged science, especially Social Psychology, to a high extent and stands without precursors for such a position as Stapel’s,” said the commission.

Around 30 articles published in renowned social psychological journals are based on fabricated data according to the commission’s findings.

Furthermore, Stapel spared only 7 of his 21 graduates from using forged data in their dissertation. The remaining 14 were almost definitely handling false experimental results.

Yet, all undertakings were solely conducted by Stapel without informed assistance by any of his colleagues, concluded the report.

This should come as a relief to Prof. Roos Vonk, who publicly denounced Stapel’s conduct earlier this year.

She was protesting her innocence concerning the results of a study on characteristics of meat eaters and vegetarians, which had been conducted by Vonk and Stapel in cooperation.

Stapel himself did not make a personal statement on his situation after his suspension.

Repeated attempts at contacting the professor in order to inquire into his motivations were unsuccessful.

He did not attend the press conference at which the interim report was publicized, reported Tilburg University’s newspaper.

The exact extent of Stapel’s forgery still requires further investigation.

150 additional publications still need to be checked, among which is also Stapel’s own dissertation.

Categories: Education