The Dutch labour market does not look particularly rosy for graduates in the coming years. According to a recent report by the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA), not even one in ten graduates seems to have particularly good prospects. The economic crisis is partly to blame, but universities would do well to consider whether their graduates meet the demands of the market. How are we doing in terms of employability? The researchers and professors Jeroen van Merriënboer and Rolf van der Velden are not in complete agreement.

This year Hans Clevers will hold the TEFAF chair in Maastricht, just one of the many honours he has received for his pioneering research on intestinal cancer. As president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Clevers cautions against the continuous cutbacks in research funding for Dutch universities. A new generation of scientists is being nipped in the bud, he warns.

Contrary to the common claim, a surgical robot does not work faster and more accurately than a pair of human hands. This is the essence of new research by Jeroen Heemskerk (41), a surgeon at the Laurentius Hospital in Roermond. On 16 May, Heemskerk will defend his PhD research on robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery at Maastricht University (UM). “The use of robots can lower the quality of healthcare and certainly makes it more expensive. And that while we’re seeing cutbacks from all sides.”

Leading by example

In Body
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 08:51

Clemens van Blitterswijk’s tissue regeneration research group comes to Maastricht

“I’ve spent most of my career with one foot in academia and one in the business world. And I want to do both of them well.” Clemens van Blitterswijk is indeed ambitious – not to mention successful – in both domains. He has received numerous awards, is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and was recently named the most entrepreneurial scientist in the country. His research group, which specialises in bone and cartilage repair, is among the best in the world. This year, the group will be relocating to Maastricht University as the MERLN Institutefor Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine.


It’s a man’s world – but not for long

In Society
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 15:03

The fact that men and women differ in many ways should be taken into account in scientific research more often, according to the European Commission. Therefore, researchers applying for a grant from the new European framework programme Horizon 2020 must indicate how their study design addresses sex and gender differences. The Maastricht researcher Ineke Klinge led the EU project Gendered Innovations, which developed a checklist to help researchers meet this obligation. How do three UM professors view this development?


Excessive alcohol consumption fosters risk behaviour and addiction. But government action is often a long time coming, observe addiction researchers Ronald Knibbe and Dike van de Mheen. Health services for alcoholics may have greatly improved, but they are no substitute for changing drinking behaviour and preventing alcoholism in the first place. And until the government takes action, researchers must stay on its case.


“We were adults in miniature”

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:14

The three gowns – two red ones from Maastricht University and a black one from the University of Amsterdam – are lugged along in grocery bags for the photo session. It’s not often that three brothers, born into a middle-class family, all become professors. “True. But you might do better to ask why only three of the seven of us became professors”, jokes the oldest of the three. Gynaecologist Jan Nijhuis (UM), psychologist Frans Nijhuis (UM) and cultural scientist Ton Nijhuis (now UvA, but formerly of UM) talk about injustice, courage and long hair.


PhD dissertation Jonne van der Zwet

 


Today, medical students spend a substantive amount of their time in clinical learning environments, where they are known as med students, apprentices, interns, or clerks. In such a way, they can develop into doctors of medicine. However,the extent to which these settings  offer them learning experiences varies widely. This PhD dissertation explains by two different clerkships how both the learning process and supervision of students are embedded in social interaction.

 


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