Career prospects are playing an increasingly important role for students in choosing a degree. Maastricht University has therefore made employability one of its three strategic foci, alongside an international orientation and Problem-Based Learning. Programme leader Ellen Bastiaens explains what this means.
If you’re accustomed to approaching your professors with awe, it comes as something of a surprise when your PhD supervisor encourages you to use his first name, puts his feet up on the table as you brainstorm study designs together, and prefers you to just drop by rather than emailing in advance. Professor Luc van Loon’s style has grown on his PhD candidate Jean Nyakayiru, but it took some getting used to. “We did have to beat out of him that formal style of address”, Van Loon laughs. Nyakayiru hopes to defend his thesis in Maastricht next year.
It was the first time the conference had been held in mainland Europe: in April, Maastricht University hosted the annual conference of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN). UM president Martin Paul saw it as a prime opportunity to shine the international spotlight on Maastricht. “Now we’re up there alongside Washington, London, New York and Hong Kong as a WUN conference city.”
MOOCs are all the rage in education today. Virtually every self-respecting university offers several Massive Open Online Courses, accessible to all and almost always free of charge. Millions of people from all over the globe participate in such courses. Last autumn, Maastricht University (UM) jumped on the bandwagon with its MOOC on Problem-Based Learning (PBL).
Economic developments can naturally be viewed from one, mainstream perspective, but that’s not what the more critical student at Maastricht University is looking for. On the back of the international initiative Pluralism in Economics (PINE), PINE UCM was established in October 2014, followed by a group at the School of Business and Economics. Here, three representatives and the acting UCM dean talk about the future of economics education and the difference between foxes and hedgehogs.
“It’ll be alright.” These were the reassuring words with which Taru Spronken took over the supervision of Wouter van Ballegooij’s PhD research in 2012. She hadn’t read a single page of the book he had been working on for seven years, but she was familiar with his expertise. The past three years have been a joy for him. “My dissertation was like a flower waiting to bloom. She drew it out into the light.”
In 2009 Sulaiman Al Rajhi called in the help of Maastricht University (UM). The billionaire Saudi businessman dreamed of establishing a private university of medicine in his homeland. Now, his dream has become reality: the first doctors will graduate from the Sulaiman Al Rajhi Medical College this spring.
The ‘father’ of Liberal Arts and Sciences in Maastricht, Louis Boon spearheaded the launch of University College Maastricht (UCM) and the Maastricht Science Programme (MSP). Now, as dean of Campus Venlo, he is gearing up to get University College Venlo (UCV) off the ground as of September. He is a keen proponent of the open curriculum model. "If it were up to me, this would be the model for the entire university."