Wednesday, 20 January 2016 15:33

“We want to make people better”

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Rob Melief is the medical director of Genzyme Benelux, part of one of the largest biopharmaceutical companies in the world. The Tilburg native was all set to become an internist at the Maastricht academic hospital when he made a relatively abrupt career change. “I’m still a doctor at heart though.”

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 15:28

Using robots to humanise elderly care

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He’s soft, he’s cute and he wants to get your attention. Cuddle him and he’ll respond by turning his head towards you, making eye contact and producing adorable little noises. He’s irresistible – and yet, he’s not alive. Meet Paro, a socially assistive robot in the form of a baby harp seal. He and robots like him represent the future of elderly care.

Alum Naomi Neijhoft is a Child Protection Officer for UNICEF. She assists the Cambodian government in protecting children from violence, exploitation, neglect and abuse.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 15:19

Lessons learnt from urban labs

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Urban labs have much to teach us. About co-creation, for instance, and about new forms of local governance. And they might just help us to address big issues such as sustainability and citizen participation. Professor René Kemp and postdoctoral researcher Christian Scholl are studying various European urban labs in the international research project URB@Exp. The key question is: will the insights gained from these labs lead to institutional reforms?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 15:14

The right to citizenship

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External PhD candidate Bronwen Manby, a British lawyer, visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and consultant, is committed to improving the fate of stateless persons on the African continent and ensuring the right to a nationality for all, as promised by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "Without proof of nationality of course you can’t vote or stand for office, but you may also not be able to access public health care or education, or even get a sim card, a bank account or a job in the formal economy."  

It’s no modest mission: providing a platform for collaboration, fostering the exchange of ideas between researchers from different disciplines and facilitating research on European politics, law and history. The recently established Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM) brings together researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) and the Faculty of Law (FL) to conduct collaborative research connected to recent global developments.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:54

Guido Tans, ‘the son’

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“Are you the son of Sjeng Tans?” This was a question Guido Tans was often asked when he arrived at Maastricht University (UM) in 1977, one year after its official opening. “Guilty”, he would say. Now, almost 40 years later, history is repeating itself. “Yet again, I’m ‘the son’,” he laughs.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:37

Alternatives to animal testing

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Jos Kleinjans is, much to his own frustration, regarded as someone who lands grants by the dozen. The professor of Environmental Health Science is working to develop better, animal-free methods to test the toxicity of chemical substances such as medicines and cosmetics. He’s pessimistic about the prospects for rapid legal approval of his animal-friendly, toxicogenomic alternatives: “I won’t be around to see it happen.”  

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:27

Marketing man

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Vic Bonke succeeded Coen Hemker as rector from 1985 to 1991. He too was at the helm of Maastricht University: he was working in Amsterdam’s physiological lab when he was brought down south courtesy of Rob Reneman, then the brand new professor of Physiology.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016 14:20

“No research, no Coen Hemker”

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The biochemist Coen Hemker, who served as rector from 1982 to 1985, was part of the first generation of professors at UM. In 1973 he was invited to join the core team charged with establishing the medical faculty, which launched the following year with a grand total of 50 students. It was not until 1976 that the country’s eighth medical faculty was officially recognised and the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, as it was then known, was opened by Queen Juliana during a ceremony in the Sint Servaaskerk on 9 January.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 00:00

Tax lawyer or prizefighter?

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While your average student is enjoying a beer in the sun on this sultry summer evening, Xavier Köhlen is working up a sweat at boxing club De Amateur in Munstergeleen. The 23-year-old Limburger of Moluccan descent is not only a top boxer with a cabinet full of trophies, but also a second-year student of Tax Law at Maastricht University (UM) and a fourth-year student of Sport and Physical Education at the Eindhoven University of Applied Sciences.

Thursday, 15 October 2015 14:53

“Strive to excel at your strengths”

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During her ING days she was named in the Goudhaantjes 100*, a list of rising management stars. In 2012, at the age of just 36, she became CEO of Unigarant, the insurance arm of the roadside assistance agency ANWB. In this capacity she has sat on the board of directors of the ANWB since 2014. The roots of Lidwien Suur’s meteoric rise can be traced to Maastricht, where she studied International Business.

Thursday, 15 October 2015 14:41

Four foxes on the future of economics education

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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.

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