The Netherlands is to imitate Britain and America in organizinghigher education into a two-stage model with a three yearBachelor's degree followed by a one or two year Master's program.The main aims of the 29 Ministers of Education, who agreed inBologna in 1999 to introduce the structure, were student mobilityand harmonization of European higher education. The transition islikely to come in 2002 and Utrecht has been working hard on thepreparations for more than a year now. An eight-page U-Blad pulloutspecial in the middle of this edition brings you up to date on theBA/MA model.


Universities and colleges of Higher education have agreed withthe unions and the Ministries of Education and Social Affairs thatthey will reduce absenteeism by ten percent during the coming fouryears. The agreement is part of a covenant signed by bothministries and all sectors of education, which has produced NLG 59million to improve education's health. The universities, collegesof higher education and the research schools are to receive tenmillion. Incidentally, no exact figures are available regardinguniversity staff absenteeism.


When student Marije Sietsma posed naked in Playboy for creditsat the beginning of this year, it caused a rumpus at the School ofJournalism. Managing Director Paula van Schaveren was up in armsabout the student on the 'freelancing for the advanced' course whowrote a piece about adult magazines which involved her strippingfor the camera. But the objection went pear-shaped: four ofSietsma's fellow students now want to pose as well, just to makethe managing director look stupid. If everything goes according toplan the four will be baring all in the January edition of themen's magazine.


Next year is the UU's 365th anniversary, and will see countlessactivities under the motto 'Knowledge la Carte', beginning with anInternet discussion game called 'Beating the Brains'. Playersassess one another, gain and lose in influence and may ultimatelyproduce workable solutions to social problems in the fields ofscience, politics, education, business or pressure groups. The gameon the Solis university site begins on December 18.