Europe: where is it headed? Professors Aalt Willem Heringa and Michael Shackleton have a critical but also hopeful view of the future. The United States of Europe, they say, is already a reality. “The European Union is much more powerful than the federal government in the US.” But we could do with more transparency and, in particular, more democratic experimentation.

Our world in words (video)

In Society
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 10:36
PHD dissertation Stephan Ludwig

Since there is increasing online text–based conversations and people are increasingly influenced by these, it is needed that these are taken into consideration. Especially within business, it would be extremely useful to incorporate and manage customers’ online conversations since these might influence for example the sale of a certain product.

CSI: Crime Statistics Investigation

In Money
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 09:31
How does crime participation relate to income and job opportunities? Whatever assumptions you might have, the topic hadn’t yet been researched in a thorough, scientific way. That is, until Olivier Marie, PhD, received a Veni grant allowing him to apply advanced micro-econometric techniques to vast datasets from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). “We can already see that two or three years before the crime is committed, there’s a drop in income.”

Annemarie Nelen recently earned a PhD from Maastricht University for her dissertation on part-time employment. One of her findings: toddlers with working mothers perform better in school. “I want my research to be relevant and understandable. It’s rewarding when people outside the academic field are genuinely interested in the results.” Her supervisor was Professor Andries de Grip at Maastricht University’s Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).

Video: Ruud Gerards about his dissertation ‘Unemployment and employability: How firms can help’, which he defended on 10 May. 

“Life sucks, deal with it”

In Mind
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:33

According to Jim van Os, professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology, psychological vulnerability is part of the human condition. Calling on professionals to help deal with every manifestation of this vulnerability is thus not only futile, but also unaffordable. “This is partly about accepting your vulnerability and learning to live with it. Or as Freud said: ‘The art is to be equally unhappy as everyone else, not unhappier.’ The expectation of always being happy plays tricks on people.”

“Never waste a good crisis”

In Money
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 08:42

While the economic crisis does not bode well for most, economists are having a field day. Professionally speaking, of course. Falling stocks, mounting debts, struggling pension funds and a euro fighting for its life: it is an inexhaustible source of inspiration and debate. Olaf Sleijpen and Bertrand Candelon, both professors at Maastricht University (UM), hold up their end in a discussion of causes and solutions.

The privatisation of healthcare is one of the few options that will help to put a lid on rising healthcare costs. This is a view that enjoys broad political support, especially with a liberal government in power. However, it is highly questionable whether competition and commercialisation will genuinely contribute to the affordability of healthcare in the Netherlands. “That’s an illusion”, concludes Hans Maarse, professor of Policy Sciences at Maastricht’s Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, after a comprehensive five-year study financed by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

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