University College Roosevelt

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University College Roosevelt
Former name
Roosevelt Academy (2004–2013)
Iuventum Futuro Aedificare
Motto in English
"Building Our Youth for the Future"
TypeUndergraduate liberal arts college
Parent institution
Utrecht University
DeanProf. Dr. Bert van den Brink
Academic staff
Location, ,
Colours     Crimson
RASA Vikings

University College Roosevelt (UCR), formerly known as Roosevelt Academy, is a small, selective, honors undergraduate liberal arts and science college located in Middelburg in the Netherlands and the sole university in Zeeland. It offers a residential setting, and is an international honors college of Utrecht University.


Middelburg's former City Hall, now UCR's main academic building

Founding Dean, Prof.Hans Adriaansens, was unhappy with what he saw as the undemanding, large-scale climate of university education in the Netherlands. He started developing the idea of a small scale and academically intensive undergraduate college in the Netherlands after experiencing the ground principles of the Liberal Arts education during his brief time as a visiting professor at Smith College, USA, in the 1980-1981 academic year. This resulted in the founding of University College Utrecht in 1998, the first honors college in the Netherlands.

A few years later, following the success of this first college in Utrecht, Hans Adriaansens started working on the establishment of a new university in his home town, Middelburg. As he was facing local opposition, Adriaansens formulated a compelling argument to convince the locals: when William of Orange was about to found the first university in the Netherlands, in 1575, Middelburg was considered as a possible venue, but eventually the University of Leiden was founded. Middelburg and the whole of Zeeland would not get a university until centuries later, when the Roosevelt Academy opened in 2004. Based in Middelburg's former Gothic City Hall, this college was to be following the same principles of Liberal Arts education as the Utrecht counterpart. It was named in honor of the Roosevelt family, particularly Franklin, Eleanor and Theodore, due to their ancestry originating in the Dutch province of Zeeland.

The Roosevelt Academy was officially founded on 23 January 2004 and the first students enrolled in August of that year, after Queen Beatrix performed the official opening of the university.[1] On 5 February 2013 Roosevelt Academy changed its name to University College Roosevelt, to avoid ambiguity on the nature of the institution and to present itself explicitly as a university college.[2]

Traditions at UCR include the Convocation held every year in Middelburg's New Church. The procession of Notables and professors can be seen walking from the City Hall to the New Church, where the official ceremonies are held. When the weather permits it, graduation ceremonies take place in the adjacent Abbey Square. There is also the Dies Natalis, the celebration of the founding of the college, which takes place every five years, as well as IntRoweek at the beginning of every semester to welcome new students, Culture Week, and a yearly Christmas Gala.

Organization and financing[edit]

University College Roosevelt, or UCR, is an international Honors college of Utrecht University, offerering a Liberal Arts and Science program. In 2005, the Dutch government (which funds all higher education) ceased financial support for the academy, to which it had given close to a million euros the previous year. This amounted to 20% of the university's operating budget. The government thought the academy's independent construction might create a precedent. In 2007, an agreement was made that allows the academy to be financially independent, and self-sufficient.[3] The academy is now financed in part by the Middelburg municipality.[4]


Students in the college enroll in a wide variety of courses across three different discipline areas: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences and Science. Some of these courses include PreMed, Law, History and Performing Arts. Students can create their own program and choose different academic disciplines to combine. They are only required to declare a major at the end of their first year. After three years of successful study at UCR, students are awarded an Utrecht University Honors BA or BSc degree.

De NVAO (Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organization) has given University College Roosevelt "excellence" status. NVAO chairman Karl Dittrich stated during the opening of the academic year in Middelburg (September 2009) that a "Liberal Arts and Sciences degree is an example to the Netherlands and other countries."


The university admits 200 students each academic year from about 500 applications received. Approximately half of the students come from the Netherlands while the others hail from all over the world. Tuition fees are set slightly higher than regular public universities in the Netherlands.


In 2008, the influential magazine Elsevier ranked UCR as the top liberal arts college in the Netherlands, for the third time in four years; the academy received high marks for the quality of the education and the mentoring of the students.[5]

University College Roosevelt knows graduation percentages which are very high in comparison to regular Dutch universities. 82% of its students graduate (with a national average of 46%) and 93% of its students graduate within the 3 years (national average of 28%).

In 2011, the Keuzegids Onderwijs 2011, ranked UCR as the number one University College in The Netherlands with an 8.4. In 2012 however, it fell to second place, with a 7.8, with University College Maastricht in first place with an 8.6. [6]

Exchange programs[edit]

Students may study abroad during their fourth or fifth semester. Students earn credits towards their UCR degree while at a wide variety of universities around the world. Options include locations through the Utrecht University exchange network. UCR also has direct exchange agreements with the Honors Program at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, USA, Bard College in New York, USA, and with Glendon College in Toronto, Canada.[7]


Middelburg City Hall

Academic buildings[edit]

The University College Roosevelt campus is located near the market square in Middelburg behind the medieval city hall, which was built in 1452 and is often used by the college for ceremonial purposes. The city, which owns the building, began renting the annexed offices to the university college in 2006 when the new city hall was completed.

The newer, non-gothic section of the city hall is known as Franklin Hall and was rented to the academy from its beginning.[8] Other university buildings include Theodore and Eleanor. These buildings house classrooms, computer labs, and faculty and administrative offices.

Next to these, the Common House Elliott, in the former post office of Middelburg, is a building that contains classrooms, a study area, a bar with a lounge area and a basement bar for parties. Elliott is completely run by students, organized in the Common House Elliott Foundation.

Residence halls[edit]

Almost all students live in one of the residential halls, Bagijnhof, Roggeveenhof, Koestraat or Bachtensteene, all within Middelburg. These halls house between 100-200 students each and are spread throughout the city. Others live on small campus locations housing between 1 and 16 students at Zusterstraat, Hof van Sint Pieter or Zuidsingel

Library, bookstore and journal[edit]

UCR's official academic bookstore is De Drukkery, located on the market square. Students have full access to the Zeeland Library (the largest library in the province) and can use the digital library of Utrecht University.

University College Roosevelt publishes an annual academic journal, Ad Astra (to the stars), that publishes noteworthy student essays and papers.

Student organizations[edit]

Roosevelt's All Students Association (RASA)[edit]

The Roosevelt's All Students Association (RASA) consists of a chair, a treasurer, a secretary and three committee affairs officers (CAOs). The role of RASA is to make "UCR a stimulating and outreaching community, through promoting contact between members, representing their interests, maintaining key traditions and providing a framework in which its members' initiatives and diversity can flourish". SportsCo, Cooking Society, Roosevelt Debating Society (RDS), CultureCo, UCRadio, PoLaw, LENSE, GamesCo, Participating Uniting Middelburg Association (PUMA), Music Society, Tabula RASA, Archimedes, PRISM, THEATRA, Partyteam, RAW, Cognition, PhiloCom, LitRA and MedAffairs are all student-run societies. The Yearbook, Graduation, End of Term Party (ETP), Christmas Gala, and the summer- & ski-trip are additional events organized by RASA.

Academic Affairs Council (AAC)[edit]

The Academic Affairs Council is mainly responsible for handling academic complaints, monitoring academic standards, representing students as an intricate part of UCR, and helping students in reaching their full academic potential. It is active in some of the university's major decision making bodies, to ensure student input on different levels. The AAC is also responsible for representing UCR on a national level, at the UCSRN (University College Student Representatives the Netherlands) and ISO (Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg). This board consists of a chair, vice-chair, student advisor, internal officer and external officer.

Housing Affairs Council (HAC)[edit]

The Housing Affairs Council has multiple functions, HAC represents students’ housing interests and works to ensure the best living conditions on campus for a reasonable price. The board consist of a chair, a secretary, a treasurer and four campus elders.


Aurora Alumni Foundation is UCR's alumni association. Together with UCR and the 'Friends of UCR', they form the Roosevelt Alumni Board, which ensures that alumni relations are maintained by providing opportunities for social interaction, networking and various services.


The RASA Sports Committee, called Sportsco, organizes various sports for students, currently offering field hockey, soccer, female soccer, volleyball, yoga, hiphop, modern dance, badminton, swimming and basketball. Events are hosted in various sportscentres in Middelburg. All sports are practised at least once a week and are open for both females and males, except for female soccer. Inter-collegiate tournaments with other University Colleges in the Netherlands are also held. Rowing is also offered, but not by SportsCo, but by M.S.R.A. Odin, the Middelburg Student Rowing Association.

External links[edit]

University College Roosevelt


  1. ^ Middelburg en de Oranjes
  2. ^ RA becomes UCR!
  3. ^ "Den Haag is bang voor precedenten". BN/De Stem (in Dutch). 23 August 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  4. ^ Berkelder, Nadia (2 June 2007). "'Middelburg moet zorgen dat RA blijft'". Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Roosevelt Academy voor derde keer beste universitaire studie" (in Dutch). Blikopnieuws. 9 October 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  6. ^ Accreditation and ranking
  7. ^ UCR Exchange Opportunities
  8. ^ Corven, Toine van (22 October 2004). "Gotisch stadhuis Middelburg te huur". Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 2 September 2009.