For assistant professor and Migration Studies programme manager Melissa Siegel, work at the Maastricht School of Governance isn’t your average desk job. As head of the Migration Research Group, Siegel manages several research projects and is no stranger to working in unusual circumstances. “Within our research group, and at the School in general, we do a great deal of research in the field, especially in post-conflict situations. We get our hands dirty.”

What soothes the conscience more than a cup of Max Havelaar fair-trade coffee – fighting poverty, conserving the environment and working for social improvement – or a bar of ‘ethical’ chocolate? Many of us are happy to pay a bit more for that coloured stamp of sustainability on the product packaging. Such labels are abundant these days, and competition among them is on the rise. Their added value is undisputed – at last, sustainability is guaranteed. But what do small-scale farmers in Indonesia think of this? Are they really getting enough value for our money? Research is now underway at Maastricht University (UM).

Contributing to the development of healthcare in Yemen. This was the mission of MUNDO, the UM offi ce for development cooperation, when it launched a four-year, Nuffi c-funded project in 2011 to train health workers in the capital city of Sana’a. Due to unrest in Yemen, the project was delayed by a year. But since April 2012, the link between the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML) and the High Institute for Health Sciences in Sana’a has been re-established. “In response to the recent unrest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided to send a political signal to the Yemeni government, temporarily suspending the Training of Nurses and Health Statisticians project”, explains MUNDO project manager Geraldine van Kasteren. “A travel warning is still in effect, but now that President Saleh has stepped down we’ve been allowed to resume our activities.”

Opting for the easiest path is not in the character of Hildegard Schneider, professor of European Union Law at the Maastricht University (UM) Faculty of Law. When she was offered the position of faculty dean, she knew the financial cutbacks meant she would face hard times. So she did hesitate – but only briefly. Schneider: “I’ve known this faculty for 25 years, and have witnessed many different developments. Now we’re being confronted with new challenges, we have to make the best of it. Which is easier when you’re the dean yourself.”

“Mission Accomplished”

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:49

For five years, Professor Harm Hospers, PhD, dean of University College Maastricht, participated in IMPACT, a successful and multidisciplinary EU programme on HIV prevention and care in Western Java, Indonesia.

After four years doing research and supervising PhD candidates and postdocs at the European University Institute in Florence, Professor Kiran Klaus Patel decided to relocate to Maastricht University. As of 1 September, he is the new professor of European and Global History and head of the History Department at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. 

Cross-cultural intelligence

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 15:26

What is the key to business success in a globalised world, where people from a variety of countries meet and mingle? Along with sufficient language skills, IQ, EQ and perhaps gut feeling, what we need is cross-cultural intelligence. This according to Noi Nantawan Kwanjai in her doctoral dissertation, ‘Cross-cultural intelligence amid intricate cultural webs – A tale of the UnDutchables in the land of 1001 smiles’. 

Peter van den Bossche, professor of International Economic Law at Maastricht University, was appointed judge at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in late 2009. This is a top judicial position for which only one European is eligible. With thanks to Maastricht University (UM), where the Belgian Van den Bossche will continue his professorship. “No matter how great this WTO position is, I’d consider quitting teaching a very high price to pay.”

Van den Bossche, not to put too fine a point on it, is itching to start his first court case at the Appellate Body. This is the WTO’s highest judicial body, a college of seven judges from all continents of the world. His first case will likely concern a complaint from the United States against the European Union about the controversial state support the EU has been giving to aircraft producer Airbus. With the stakes as high as €200 billion, it would be a great case for a debutant to sink his teeth into.

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