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The University of Harderwijk (1648-1811), also named the Guelders Academy, was located in the town of Harderwijkmarker, in the Republic of the United Provinces (now: the Netherlandsmarker). It was founded by the province of Guelders (Gelre).

Some well-known graduates of the University of Harderwijk are

The university of Harderwijk didn't have a good reputation, because of its low standards. Nevertheless, it attracted many students with its low fees. Many students went to Harderwijk to graduate. In Samuel Johnson's Life of Herman Boerhaave, it says:
"He went to Hardewich, in order to take the degree of doctor in physick, which he obtained in July, 1693, having performed a publick disputation, "de utilitate explorandorum excrementorum in ægris, ut signorum."

The title of this Latin disputation in English is "On the usefulness of examination of excrement as a sign of disease".

The most famous foreign graduate, Linnaeus, stayed only a week, much of which time was spent printing his dissertation. The saying was that rich students could afford Leiden University and the poorer ones had to make do with Harderwijk. In many European cities, it was not possible to get a doctor's degree, and the Netherlands had a reputation for producing very good doctors.

The university was closed in 1811 during the French occupation. Later, king William I tried to re-establish the university, without success.

The university was formally re-established on the 15th of December 2006. Prof. Dr. Willem Frijhoff of the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam inaugurated Pro rector (chairman) of the new university mr. John Berends (mayor of Harderwijk), thesaur Henk Schipper and Pedel (master of ceremonies) Walter Lodewijk (managing direcor of the Stadsmuseum Harderwijk). Sponsor of the Stadsmuseum Harderwijk (where an Academy hall was inaugurated on the same day), Mr Harry Meussen of the Fulford Foundation, was offered an honorary doctorate. The last dignitary member of the college of curators is mr Jan Klein, chairman of Stadsmuseum Harderwijk.Although the University is not currently offering any higher forms of education, Mr Berends in his inaugural speech claimed to be discussing collaborations with Wageningen and Nijmegen Universities, after earlier talks with Leiden University fell through.

A saying in the Netherlands for a person who's scientific knowledge is questionable is "he's from the University of Harderwijk".

Modern culture

In the 1990s, The University became more known to a new audience thanks to the fictional character Prof. Fetze Alsvanouds ("Als vanouds" means something like "as it always used to be".), who was played by Aart Staartjes and regularly appeared in the Dutch children's television program Het Klokhuis. Alsvanouds was a professor at the University of Harderwijk.

External links

* Offline (in dutch)

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