Healthy pupils who get the most out of themselves

In Body
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:18
Raising healthy children who feel good in their own skin and can put their talents to good use: this is the aim of the Healthy Primary School of the Future. This is a new educational concept in the Parkstad region, supported by the Province of Limburg. The curriculum revolves around a healthy diet, sport and exercise, cultural activities and the psychological wellbeing of pupils. According to Maastricht University (UM), the educational foundation Movare and the Regional Public Health Service (GGD) for South Limburg, the initiative is an excellent investment for the future. “Going to school should be a party”, says UM professor Onno van Schayck. “That’s my ideal picture.”

Change ahead in academia

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 09:10
It is the year 1917. While most of the European continent is still in the midst of the Great War, something remarkable happens in the Dutch academic world. Plant pathologist Johanna Westerdijk is appointed as professor at Utrecht University, thereby becoming the first female professor in the Netherlands. It is a historic moment, paving the way for future generations of talented women. Yet here we are, almost a century later, with a meagre 15% of female professors. Where did we go wrong?

Sustainability penetrates the financial world

In Money
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 08:46
Sustainability is slowly but surely gaining a foothold in the financial world. Investors are growing more critical; banks and pension funds are increasingly investing in green energy and companies that take social responsibility seriously. The Maastricht University School of Business and Economics is responding to these developments with its new Master in Sustainable Finance. We sit down with Jaap Bos, one of the programme initiators (together with Jeroen Derwall).

Retiring later? Think about it now

In Money
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:35
The scrapping of the favourable pension scheme for Dutch civil servants had hidden side effects, such as reduced motivation and productivity. This was Raymond Montizaan’s conclusion several years ago following a study by the Maastricht Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA). Now he is leading a new study with much more alarming results: “We’re not well prepared for the consequences of the increased retirement age, and many people are finding themselves in financial difficulties.”

Excusable evil

In Society
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:22
"Imagine if I not only talked about my research, but also smashed everything in this room to bits", Maartje Krabbe announced at the start of her PhD defence. "In court, I’d tell the judge I couldn’t help it because I’d been under extreme stress. Should I be punished?" As an opener, it certainly woke up the audience – and Krabbe, after ten years of research, can at last call herself a doctor.

On the way to the local state?

In Society
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:17
Give municipalities more powers and the right to collect taxes, and you increase the likelihood that they’ll succeed with the additional care responsibilities imposed on them, says Klaartje Peters, endowed professor of Local and Regional Management. This would be a step towards the ‘local state’. But is The Hague really willing to cede some of its powers? “Organisations are not good at undercutting themselves.”

The balance at universities is out of kilter and it is teaching that ends up paying for it. This is the conclusion of a comparative international study by Hubert Coonen, professor at Maastricht University’s Teachers Academy. The culprit: the ‘reputation mechanism’ of research. Teaching must be valued more highly, according to Coonen. To this end, he recommends the introduction of a professorship for excellent teachers.

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.

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