University of Groningen

Welcome to Groningen, a city located in the northern part of the Netherlands with a rich academic tradition dating back to its establishment in 1614. The University of Groningen (Rug) is at the heart of this city. Rug is internationally oriented, known for its distinguished history and notable alumni, including the first female student in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut, and various Nobel Prize winners. Rug is a research university with a global outlook, consistently ranking among the top 100 on various influential lists. It comprises 11 faculties (with one located in the Frisian capital of Leeuwarden) and offers a diverse range of more than 120 Master’s degree programs, many of which are taught in English. With over 37,000 students, the university boasts a highly international student population, representing over 120 nationalities. The university is committed to connect education and research with sustainable and economic processes within society, focusing on three main spearheads: Energy, Healthy Ageing, and Sustainable Society.

Head to the Groningen University course catalog to learn more about the courses you can study at RugOcasys course overview for MSc Spatial Sciences (research): Erasmus Mundus Islands and Sustainability

Staff at Groningen University involved in the ISLANDS programme

Prof. Dimitris Ballas

Prof. Ballas is the ISLANDS programme director and local coordinator, and Professor of Economic Geography in the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at Groningen University. Prof. Ballas has published widely in the fields of social and economic geography, social and spatial inequalities, regional science and Geoinformatics in the Social Sciences.

Dr. Frans J. Sijtsma 

Dr. Sijtsma teaches the courses Scientific Reading, Debating and Reflecting and Advanced Research Skills. He publishes and teaches subjects in economic geography, valuation of nature and landscape with special attention for islands, and evaluation of spatial plans and projects. 

Prof. Louise Meijering 

Prof. Meijering teaches the course Joint Multidisciplinary Research Project and is the Research Master coordinator at Groningen University. Prof. Meijering’s research focus includes place attachment, home-making, well-being, mobility, and health literacy. 

Prof. Hinke Haisma 

Prof. Haisma teaches the course Research Process and Proposal Writing. She is the head of the Department of Demography and leads the Population Research Centre at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences. Prof. Haisma’s research focuses on the intricate connections between child nutrition, population health, and demographic dynamics.

Dr. Billie de Haas

Dr. de Haas teaches the course Joint Multidisciplinary Research Process. Her research focus includes sexuality education, reproductive autonomy, reproductive health and rights and qualitative research.

Dr. Bettina van Hoven

Dr. van Hoven teaches the course Research Process and Proposal Writing. She brings a wealth of experience in qualitative research, participatory and visual methodologies, and exploring dimensions of well-being and liveability.