Second Spar outlet larger and open all days21 August 2017
Considerably larger and open all days. Those two aspects distinguish the second outlet of Spar University, in Luna, from the existing shop in Flux. This morning it opened its doors and before long students studying in MetaForum can also use the walkway and a spiral staircase to get direct access to the mini-supermarket.
The first visitors to the new Spar outlet are an unexpected group: the builders from Van Wijnen construction company, who are busy renovating the Atlas building, are gently inquiring after today’s special offer. For today that would be a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice and a croissant for €1.50. Their presence cannot really be a surprise, as the Van Wijnen 'site hut' is dead across the entrance to the supermarket.
Patricia Korporaal, who oversees the shop managers throughout the Netherlands, is thrilled with this new outlet. “This second outlet is considerably larger than the first one in Flux and consequently has a much broader product range as well. That can really bear comparison with the range of a small supermarket. Every day we work with a permanent staffing of five and a group of students as temporary employees. At present we are still looking for people who are interested in that.”
Erwin Binneveld, who founded Spar University in 2013 together with his wife Mirjam Bestebreurtje, is also present this morning. Binneveld thinks that this outlet is located at an ideal spot on the campus. “For starters, we attract students from the Luna student tower block, which is adjacent to this outlet, and students from Aurora, which lies at the back here. That is why this outlet is open all days, whereas the one in Flux is only open on working days. In addition to this, there are students who attend lectures here during the day and who study in MetaForum. Especially for that group we will soon install a spiral staircase, which gives direct access to the supermarket from the first-floor level. And at the end of 2018 the occupants of Atlas, which will then have been fully renovated, will join these customers.”
After Utrecht University, TU/e is now the second university featuring two outlets of Spar University on the campus. Binneveld: "The deal as we concluded it at the time was to start with a small outlet in Flux first, with a promise that we could open this new outlet later. Still, we are going to keep both outlets open." Binneveld does not venture any statements about the turnover, "but let’s say that we are quite pleased with it and that we have great expectations from this new outlet."
The quality of education seems to have slipped at TU/e. In the latest Dutch-language guide to universities (Keuzegids Universiteiten), Eindhoven's university has dropped from third place in the overall ranking to seventh place in the course of a year. "It's understandable but it's not good," says President of the Executive Board Jan Mengelers, "and it is all the more reason to push on with introducing an upper limit on student intake to our programs. This is a result of the strong growth in student numbers."
Eindhoven's iGEM team has arrived in Boston. In the coming days, the students will participate in the Giant Jamboree, competing with nearly three hundred teams from all over the world. Their competition entry is their project GUPPI, in which they propose encapsulating tumors in a gel to prevent them growing and spreading.
As well as professors, from now on associate professors (UHD-1) at TU/e may also confer doctoral degrees on PhD candidates. Sixty associate professors were awarded the right to confer doctoral degrees at the start of this academic year after the move was approved by the Upper House of Parliament in the Netherlands shortly before the summer recess. “We couldn't wait to introduce this here.”
Before you google yet another one of my invented diseases and subsequently begin to question the title of this story, let me tell you this. With a new academic year having begun and a shiny new batch of freshmen accompanying it, the university is full of people suffering from the so-called octopus syndrome.