Well, the keyboards have been dusted off. The Eurekaweek is nearly starting, which means that the peace on campus is done for. But before you order your books, grab your notebook from the shelves and start looking up your timetable, EM will bring you up to speed with nine things you missed this summer.

EUR mourns after flight disaster

On campus Woudestein, too, the flags were half-masted on July 23rd, the day of national mourning. In the plane crash in the Ukraine, Ali Salim, PhD Candidate with Clinical Psychology, lost his life. Also, several alumni of the EUR were among the casualties: Antoine van Veldhuizen (Rotterdam School of Management), Lucie van Mens (ESHCC, also former employee RSM), Simone Marckelbach and Lieke Gianotten (Faculty of Social Sciences), John Allen (Erasmus School of Law) and Paul Goes (Erasmus School of Economics).

The King comes

We have known it for  long time, of course. The Algemeen Dagblad had made note of it before, but The Netherlands Government Information Service (RVD) just wouldn’t release the official press notice. After the cancellation of last year – he went for a cup of coffee with Putin at our centennial celebration – King Willem-Alexander will finally attend an official ceremony of the Erasmus University. On Monday September 1st, he will be present at the Opening of the Acedemic Year 2014-2015.

Abroad Grants for top students

Students with high grades should pay attention: Secretary of Education Bussemaker launched her plans for more internationalization in education this summer. Part of this plan is a program of grants for talented foreign students who want to migrate to The Netherlands and for Dutch students who wish to go abroad. For the program, five million euros will be available annually, half of which will be laid on table by the government and the other half has to be paid by universities and universities of applied sciences. Not everybody is enthusiastic: Member of Parliament for the Socialist Party Jasper van Dijk tweeted immediately that he finds it ‘bizarre’ that Bussemaker is planning to abolish the basic grants for students and still ordain millions for internationalization.

Veni’s for eight EUR-scientists

At the end of July, research financier NWO announced that 152 young researchers will get a Veni-grant. The grants are for the maximum amount of 250.000 euros and are meant for scientists who recently got their PhDs. Eight EUR-scientists saw their application honored and can pursue their follow-up research for the coming three years. Four scientists from the Erasmus MC (Ferry Cornelissen, Zhenyu Gao, Klazina Kooiman and Roberto Narcisi), two from the Faculty of Social Sciences (Willem de Koster and Lars Tummers), one of the Erasmus School of Economics (Jan Stoop) and one of the Rotterdam School of Management (Monika Lisjak) received the grant. Here you can read a description of the research which the Veni-laureates are doing.

Poldermans was sloppy before

Don Poldermans was in the news again this summer. The professor of cardiovascular medicine was fired from the Erasmus MC in 2011, after he appeared to have manipulated research findings. A new investigation into the publications of Poldermans, which was published by Erasmus MC on Friday July 25th, concludes that in more cases Poldermans has acted in conflict with scientific integrity. The committee investigated the other 247 publications in which Poldermans was first or main co-author and found no indications of falsified findings, but did find hints of carelessness.

A week later it became known that fraudulent research by Poldermans is removed from European and American guidelines. In January, British scientists stated that European heart patients have been exposed to dangers for years because they have unwarrantedly received beta blockers for an operation. Doctors followed a guideline in this practice which was partially based on research by Poldermans. According to British cardiologists, beta blockers, when used on heart patients, could have counterproductive effects and even potentially lead to death. American and European cardiologists’ organizations have now altered the guide lines.

Success for Skadi in EUGames

The campus was less deserted than in other summers. Over 2800 sportsmen and -women from 174 universities from 34 countries participated in the second edition of the European Universities Games. During a two week period, students from all over Europe competed for medals in ten different sports. Rotterdam’s sportive success was there for Skadi: the coxless pair of Jasper Tissen and Reinier Spillenaar Bilgen got bronze. Check out the aftermovie of the EUGames here.

Scientists condemn violence in Gaza

The military operation in Gaza boils down to a collective punishment of the civilian population, wrote180 scientists, teachers and employees from Dutch universities and universities of applied sciences, amongst whom several EUR-academimcs, in an open letter last week. The signees called for ‘a strong, singular’ condemnation of the violence perpetrated by the Israeli government.

Many graduates can’t find a job

That HBO (university of applied sciences) graduates have difficulty finding a job, already appeared at the start of July, from the HBO-Monitor. This summer, the Maastrichtse Research Center for Education and Job Market made known that academics are having trouble as well. Ten percent of the HBO and university graduates who graduated in 2011/2012, had not yet found a job at the end of 2013. In 2008 that was only four percent. Of the youngsters who did find a job, thirteen percent of the graduates from universities of applied sciences and nineteen percent of academics has found a job which is both below their level of expertise and in a different field from their study.

Thousands of people cannot amortize their student loans

More and more former students are earning too little to pay off their student loans, said the NOS last week. In 2009, eleven percent of people with a student loan had arranged to temporary stop of lower their repayments, in 2013 that number increased to 15,6 percent. In total, 93 thousand former students had such a payment agreement with DUO last year. Of these people, nearly 37 thousand did not have to repay anything monthly, and over 56 thousand needed to pay less than previously determined. TF/HOP