The High Council of Nobility will celebrate its 200th anniversary on 23 June. René de Groot, Maastricht professor of Comparative Law and International Private Law, will deliver the keynote address in the presence of King Willem-Alexander. De Groot’s position on nobiliary law is anything but vague: one should refrain from overhauling such a historic institution. "But should you choose to modernise it, you have to treat men and women equally."

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.


Migrants and women underground

In Culture
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:06

PhD thesis on shortage of miners in Liège coal industry

In the late 1960s, 70% of miners in Liège came from abroad. “That was twice the proportion in the Belgian Limburg mines and almost five times more than in Dutch Limburg”, says Leen Roels. She recently obtained her PhD at Maastricht University for her research on the structural shortage of miners in the Liège coal industry. Her thesis addresses not just the use of migrant workers, but also the participation of women in the Liège mines. Until now, little was known about this either. “From an emancipation perspective, the prohibition on women working underground was actually a step backwards.”


The first European presidential debate

In Society
Thursday, 10 April 2014 10:23

Writing European history in Maastricht

At the end of May, it is up to us to decide what course the future of Europe will take. We, the citizens of Europe, will elect a new European Parliament. This allows us to have a say in who will succeed José Manuel Barroso as president of the European Commission – the most powerful post in the European Union. During a debate broadcast around the world, the presidential candidates will cross swords for the first time. Date: 28 April. Location: Maastricht. Where else?


A Place Called Home (video)

In Money
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 10:51
PhD dissertation Katja Sillen

This dissertation describes the cognitive process of identification with place brands and its effects on behaviour. More and more places are engaging in branding efforts in order to attract prospectiveresidents but struggle when it comes to the application of product and services marketingtools to the context of place branding and the role of residents in the branding process.

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?


‘Sexual dysfunction? If I don’t accidentally get pregnant and don’t have an STD, everything’s just fine’, many young people seem to think. Women not reaching orgasm, men ejaculating prematurely – either young people do not see these as problems, or the threshold for seeking help is too high. Yet, 27% of male and 43% of female 15- to 24-year-olds suffer from at least one sexual dysfunction. PhD candidate Andrea Grauvogl studied the extent of young people’s knowledge of these issues and developed a brief, anonymous counselling course. She also examined the relationship between sexual functioning and disgust. Here she discusses her dissertation, ‘Let’s talk about sex!’


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.


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