English in Dutch Universities

More than half of Dutch university courses are taught entirely in English, the Volkskrant said on Friday. The paper looked at 1,632 different degree courses at the country’s 13 universities and found 60% are now in English. When it comes to master’s degrees, just 30% are taught in Dutch and three universities only offer master’s degrees in English.

Read more at DutchNews.nl: English takes over at Dutch universities, just 40% of courses still in Dutch http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2016/08/english-takes-over-at-dutch-universities-just-40-of-courses-still-in-dutch/

Norton Textbooks


Textbooks published by W.W. Norton and Co. for first and second year courses from the site www.wwnorton.co.uk are sold to University of Groningen English department students at a 20% discount if you enter the code WN369 at the checkout. You can buy 3 Norton Critical Editions for the price of 2 by using the code WN339.

Please note that although this has been facilitated by me as it may be useful to students, I have nothing to do with Norton’s retail department and cannot answer questions about their site or sales processes. I do not claim that this is the cheapest way to purchase these books.

Groningen english 1st year

Groningen english 2st year

NCE Offer (3 for 2)


News from the US elections and the findings of the Chilcot Enquiry on Iraq have put the question of plagiarism in focus. Plagiarism may seem to be an issue for universities, but even if you put plagiarism as copyright infringement aside (e.g. cases about people reusing musical themes), it still has an obvious importance outside of academe.

The following sites have basic overviews of some cases and are not the last word on any of them.

The argument about Melissa Trump’s speech (from The New Yorker)

The Iraq DossierOne thing to note here is that paraphrases of the original document were used. There is no problem with doing this once the original is acknowledged.

Anette Schavan, a German education minister has her PhD revoked in 2013.

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg has his PhD revoked for plagiarism.

In a long document such as a PhD it would be unusual to have the degree invalidated if someone forgot only one or two references, but, of course, this would still be academic misconduct.

Prof. Raj Persauld, a broadcaster and popular writer on psychiatry resigned his position as a consultant in the NHS in 2008 having has his work scrutinised by the Church of Scientology. This recent article from The Telegraph charts his life since then and his decision to write a psychological novel.

The Volkskrant, one of the largest Dutch newspapers, apologises for plagiarism in 2015.

‘Professor Lewis Wolpert, the eminent developmental biologist and author, has admitted incorporating unattributed text from a variety of sources in his recent popular science books.’ The sources included Wikipedia. See article in The Guardian.


Martin Luther: 500 Years

2017 will mark the 500th anniversary of the celebrated Ninety-five Theses that Luther affixed to the church doors in Wittenberg. It’s only with a broad brush-stroke that one could claim that this will be the 500th anniversary of The Reformation, but 2017 is as good a date as any to mark one of the great turning points in European (and subsequently world) history.

As is to be expected, there will be a rush of associated publications. We have already had Brand Luther on Luther and the printing press and now there is a biography from the distinguished historian Lyndal Roper: Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet
(the review is positive about the book but somewhat negative about Luther).

The anniversary is also responsible for the Playmobil (it’s like Lego) Luther that is now in my office and that’s become a best-selling toy. I purchased it along with a Luther comic book on a recent trip to Germany. Actually I purchased two copies of the comic and my nephew who is studying Renaissance and Reformation history at school will have to pretend to be happy to get it.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200
The doors of the church in Wittenberg

Modern Poetry Enters a Golden Age?

Penguin Modern Poets series gets 21st-century relaunch (The Guardian)

Verse novel wins 2016 Carnegie medal for children’s fiction (BBC)

The Poetry Archive

‘Why Write in Form’, an essay from The Poetry Foundation

President Michael D. Higgins announces new Ireland Professor of Poetry (A relatively rare example of a poet who can combine her work with an academic life, Prof. Eiléan Ni Chuilleanáin supervised my PhD).

Milton (Stowe, Bucks)Milton (Stowe School. Bucks)


Dan Brown makes donation to Amsterdam’s Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica

Da Vinci Code author gives money to help the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam make collection available online to ‘people around the world’

Report in The Guardian

The Ritman Library has extensive holdings on the history of magic, gnosticism and alchemy and is open to the public (although at the moment it’s closed as they are relocating).

Link to The Ritman Library, Amsterdam



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