Quality of life

Research and education at UM have been thematic, multidisciplinary, and inspired by social themes. UM distinguishes itself by focusing on three main research themes (i.e. ‘Quality of life’, ‘Europe and a Globalising World’, and ‘Learning and innovation’) which are studied on the basis of different disciplines at all relevant levels.

Quality of life is an interdisciplinary research programme that focuses on the well-being of individuals in the context of a safe, healthy, sustainable and financially secure society. An important infrastructure of this research programme is situated on the Maastricht Health Campus. This Campus is home to the largest academic health science cluster in Europe, which serves the entire health continuum from top referral and top clinical care to prevention and rehabilitation. The research excels in four key areas: cardiovascular diseases,mental health and neurosciences, metabolic aspects of chronic diseases, and primary care and health sciences.

Vic Bonke was succeeded in 1991 by Job Cohen. Cohen served two terms as rector until 1998, interrupted by his appointment as state secretary for Education and Science between 1993 and 1995. It was Maastricht University’s first rector, the educationalist Wynand Wijnen, who brought Cohen into contact with UM. At the time Cohen was working at Leiden’s educational research centre and found his interest piqued by Problem-Based Learning (PBL). One thing led to another and, in 1981, Cohen moved to Maastricht to establish the law faculty.

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.

PhD dissertation Jonne van der Zwet


Today, medical students spend a substantive amount of their time in clinical learning environments, where they are known as med students, apprentices, interns, or clerks. In such a way, they can develop into doctors of medicine. However,the extent to which these settings  offer them learning experiences varies widely. This PhD dissertation explains by two different clerkships how both the learning process and supervision of students are embedded in social interaction.


Working on activation (video)

In Society
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 16:10

In today’s welfare state, labour participation is viewed as the ideal tool for gauging a person’s social participation and a way to promote individual and social prosperity. This, however, has proven extremely difficult to implement in practice, particularly for people with disabilities. This dissertation reveals how the specific design of activation in vocational rehabilitation programmes unintentionally achieves opposite results. It also reveals how professionals are hampered in supporting the most vulnerable individuals due to the framework within which they operate. At the same time, this analysis demonstrates how (professional) creativity and more discretionary space can reverse processes of exclusion. These analyses are based on stories about disabilities, vocational rehabilitation and (labour) participation told by clients and professionals.

PhD dissertation Tetiana Stepurko 

Gifts, tips and bribes to health care providers are common in many countries in Central and Eastern Europe. This thesis studies these informal patient payments in Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Ukraine. It appears that “gifts and bribes” continue to exist in these countries despite reforms of the health care sector.  The extent of the payment differs: they are more widespread in Romania and Ukraine than in Bulgaria and Poland.

PhD dissertation Jing Liu

Environmental pollution and devastation accompanying rapid economic development have created not only alarming losses to human beings and property but also astonishing damage to the environment itself. The difficulties in assessment and the special legal status of natural resources make traditional tort law an insufficient solution for the protection and compensation of this so called ecological damage.

PhD dissertation Joeri Bruyninckx

In general, science is regarded as a predominantly visual practice in which other senses are deemed less important. However, some parts of scientific processes actually do require specific sensory skills, such as listening. This historical research therefore examined how scientists, more specifically ornithologists and biologists in the study of bird sounds, have used and still use listening techniques in their process.

The ageing consumer (video)

In Money
Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:35
PhD dissertation Jessica Hohenschon

In ageing Western societies older people become increasingly important for companies’ sustained success, because older people form a big and attractive market segment. This PhD research shows that the prevailing stigma of older people being poor, frail and old-fashioned, is often incorrect – many 50plus consumers are healthy, wealthy, active and curious. 

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