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The LOCNOC emerged from two national committees: (i) the national committee for undergraduate education (LOC) and (ii) the NOVA education committee (NOC). The LOCNOC oversees the astronomy education at bachelor (BSc), master (MSc) and graduate level (PhD) at the Dutch universities constituting NOVA, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy. NOVA is the alliance of the astronomical institutes of the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen. NOVA was selected as top-research school in 1998 following an open national competition, and is as such receiving substantial funding by the Dutch Ministry of Education.

NOVA’s mission is two-fold: (i) to carry out frontline astronomical research in the Netherlands; (ii) to train young astronomers at the highest international level; the LOCNOC contributes to the latter, mainly by coordinating and evaluating the Inter Academy Courses and NOVA Graduate School.

Overview Astronomy Education Dutch Universities
An overview of the astronomy courses at Bachelor and Master levels.

Bachelor programs Master programs
RU Nijmegen
RUG Groningen
UL Leiden
UvA Amsterdam
VU Amsterdam
RU Nijmegen
RUG Groningen
UL Leiden
UvA Amsterdam


Education coordinators

Amsterdam (UvA) Prof. dr. C. Dominik
Program UvA Amsterdam
Amsterdam (VU) Only bachelor program Physics & Astronomy
Dr. W. Vassen
Program VU Amsterdam
Groningen (RUG) Prof. dr. M. Mendez
Program Groningen
Leiden (UL) Prof. dr. P. van der Werf
Program Leiden
Nijmegen (RU) Dr. S.Larsen
Program Nijmegen


Current composition

Prof. dr. Mariano Mendez (chair, RUG)
Prof. dr. Peter Barthel (E.C., RUG)
Dr. Michiel Brentjens (ASTRON)
Prof. dr. K.I. Caputi (coordinator NOVA Fall school, RUG)
Dr. Carsten Dominik (E.C., UvA)
Soeren Larsen (E.C., RU)
Prof. dr. Paul van der Werf (E.C., UL)
MSc. Matthijs Dries (PhD student, RUG)
MSc. Jens Hoeijmakers (PhD student, UL)
MSc. Michael Janssen (PhD student, RU)
MSc. Smitri Vats (PhD student, UvA)


E.C.: education coordinator.
Members of the LOCNOC are staff members (preferably the local education coordinators) of the four NOVA institutes, a staff member of the ASTRON/JIVE foundation, and four students (graduate and undergraduate) from the NOVA institutes. The LOCNOC usually meets twice per year in Utrecht. The Committee Chair is invited as an observer at the NOVA Board meetings when educational matters are on the agenda.