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magazine 01/February 2015

Based in Europe, focused on the world. Maastricht University is a stimulating environment. Where research and teaching are complementary. Where innovation is our focus. Where talent can flourish. A truly student oriented research university.

www.maastrichtuniversity.nl

About education and research at Maastricht University

Interview with

Frans Timmermans on ‘engaging talent’ - p9

ITEM

The new expertise centre for international and Euregional issues - p6

Learning

not to eat

A psychological treatment for obesity - p16


Contents

Further 04 Leading in Learning - International cooperation key to distinguished health masters

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European Asylum

In 2014, more than 140,000 asylum seekers made their way across the Mediterranean Sea towards the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily. Thousands drowned en route. In summer 2015, the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) will come into effect. Will this centralisation of the approach to asylum issues across EU member states help to solve problems like those in Lampedusa? Khalid Koser, professor of Conflict, Peace and Security, and Maarten Vink, professor of Political Science, are moderately enthusiastic.

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Exchange programme Japan

Christian Bertens is a student of the European-Japan double master’s degree in Neuroscience. He has been working in the biomolecular lab at Toho University, Tokyo, since September.

“Japan is full of contradictions. People drive electric cars with Wi-Fi in them, but they’re really behind in other areas. Take the payment system in shops and supermarkets. Everyone pays with cash and you can only use your card at the ATM, not in the store itself.”

06 Euregion - Hildegard Schneider: Living on the border: challenge or a chance? 09 Dies Natalis - Frans Timmermans: “You don’t change the world by posting your opinion on Facebook” 12 Brightlands Chemelot Campus - Sanjay Rastogi: Three jobs, one goal: the quest for biobased polymers 16 Publication - Anita Jansen: Learning not to eat 18 Research and society - Aline Sierp: Sharing memories for a stronger Europe 24 Portrait - Saskia Klosse: Social in heart and mind 26 Professor-Student - Professor Lex Borghans and PhD candidate Margriet van der Sluis 30 Off the job - Jaap Hoogenboezem: Office work in camouflage uniform 34 Alumni - Mina Andreeva: The voice of the European Commission -Loek Winter: One-eyed man in the land of the blind 36 University Fund - News News 14, 15, 23 and 38

Profile

Colophon

Education and research at Maastricht

• Maastricht Centre for Human Rights

Publisher: © Maastricht University

University is organised primarily on the

• Maastricht Centre for Taxation (MCT)

Chief Editor: Annelotte Huiskes

basis of faculties, schools and institutes.

• Maastricht European Private Law

Editorial Board: Luc Soete (President), Diana Dolmans,

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences • Politics and Culture in Europe • Science, Technology and Society • Arts, Media and Culture • Globalisation, Transnationalism and Development Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences • School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM) • School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM) • School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI) • School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS) • School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW) • School of Health Professions Education (SHE) Faculty of Humanities and Sciences • Department of Knowledge Engineering • International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS) • Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) • University College Maastricht • Teachers Academy • Maastricht Science Programme

Institute (MEPLI)

Hildegard Schneider, Vivianne Tjan-Heijnen,

• Maastricht Graduate School of Law

Sophie Vanhoonacker.

• Montesquieu Institute Maastricht

Texts: Jos Cortenraad, Femke Kools, Annelotte Huiskes,

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience • Graduate School of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience • Clinical Psychological Science • Cognitive Neuroscience (CN) • Experimental Psychopathology (EPP) • Neuropsychology & Psychopharmacology • Work & Social Psychology • Maastricht Brain Imaging Centre (M-BIC)

ance and Innovation Policies (ICGI) • Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL)

(p9,11,12,14,15,25), Istockphoto (p2,16, 38), Herman van Ommen (p17), Joey Roberts (p37), Sacha Ruland (p3,4,8,18,21,26,31,36), Zuiderlicht (p9,23) Translations and English editing: Alison Edwards Graphic concept: Vormgeversassociatie BV, Hoog-Keppel Graphic design: Ontwerpbureau Emilio Perez, Geleen Print: Pietermans Drukkerij, Lanaken (B) Maastricht University magazine is published in to UM alumni and to external relations.

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• The Maastricht Academic Centre for Research in Services (MAXX) • Accounting, Auditing & Information Management Research Centre (MARC) • European Centre for Corporate

Cover: Imbissbude Torstrasse, Berlin. Photographer: Christoph Buckstegen / www.christophbuckstegen.de With special thanks to Jean-Pierre Pilet.

Engagement (ECCE) • United Nations University - Maastricht vation and Technology (UNU-MERIT),

• Institute for Corporate Law, Govern-

(p2,28,29), Christoph Buckstegen (cover), Harry Heuts

February, June and October. It is sent on demand

• Institute for Globalisation and

Research (METRO)

Photography: Loraine Bodewes (p19), Christian Bertens

• Graduate School of Business and

Economic Research Institute on Inno-

• Institute for Transnational Legal

Jolien Linssen, Graziella Runchina, Hans van Vinkeveen.

School of Business and Economics

Faculty of Law International Regulation (IGIR)

Fons Elbersen, Roy Erkens, Jos Kievits, Alexander Sack,

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ISSN: 2210-5212

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Strategic investing The next few months will be dedicated to selecting projects for the new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). Launched by the president of the European Commission (EC), Jean-Claude Juncker, the EFSI will unlock at least €315 billion of private and public investments in the coming three years. The fund has been criticised for the fact that the European contribution is relatively limited and largely taken from existing European investment programmes, such as digital infrastructure (€3.3 billion) and research (€2.7 billion). The remaining hundreds of billions will derive from guarantees: risk coverage allowing private and national investment funds to be ‘leveraged’. As always, criticism is easy. But a more thorough analysis sheds a different light on the plan. Most analyses indicate that the main factor underlying economic growth is investment in infrastructure and research. Yet this investment is currently lagging in Europe. Why? In Juncker’s words, “investors lack confidence, credibility and trust”, despite the enormous liquidity resulting from the European Central Bank’s monetary policy. At the same time, national governments are held hostage by a fiscal ‘consolidation’ policy that puts pressure on savings and squeezes both new and existing public investments. In this context, one sentence in Juncker’s presentation of his EFSI plans to the European Parliament was crucial: his promise to reward member states that help to finance the new fund.

This, in fact, is what many of us have been calling for. Juncker was referring to the rule that the national deficits of EU member states must not exceed 3% of GDP. His promise means that national contributions to the new fund will not be taken into account when calculating deficits. From now on, therefore, governments will not be penalised for investing in areas essential for long-term growth - such as scientific research. In other words: the Netherlands will now be free to address its present under-investment in research by submitting projects within the framework of the ESFI. This is an interesting new perspective: ‘Europe’ as the saviour of Dutch research policy. Luc Soete Rector Magnificus, Maastricht University

“Member States should join in and multiply the impact of the Fund even further”, he said. “[…] My pledge to you in turn [...] is that in the assessment of public finances under the Stability and Growth Pact, the Commission will not count such capital contributions to the Fund.”

Luc Soete

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Leading in Learning

Renée Stalmeijer and Anja Krumeich

International cooperation key to distinguished health masters By Jos Cortenraad

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the recent cases of bird flu in Europe make it all the more clear that health is a global matter. Two master’s programmes at Maastricht University’s (UM) Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences offer the requisite international approach: the MSc in Health Professions Education and the MSc in Global Health. In recent years, these programmes have attracted increasing numbers of students and professionals from all over the world. Programme directors Renée Stalmeijer and Anja Krumeich are preparing for yet more applications. Last autumn, both Health Professions Education and Global Health were awarded the coveted Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). “We’re extremely proud”, says Krumeich, programme director of Global Health.

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The NVAO panel assessed her programme as ‘good’. “This is a rare achievement. It confirms the high level of our lecturers, theses, supervision and programme content. The competition is fierce: the number of European master’s programmes in the field of global health is growing rapidly.”


Leader In spite of the competition, UM is doing well. “With our Problem-Based Learning system and strong focus on internationalisation, Maastricht is among the leaders”, says Stalmeijer, director of the two-year, part-time master’s in Health Professions Education (MHPE). “We accommodate around 30 participants per year, who come from all corners of the globe. Most are healthcare professionals with important positions in education, but no teaching background. They come to us to learn how to design, evaluate and manage education. We give them a solid foundation based on our strengths in education and educational research, and ultimately they become leaders in the domain of health professions education. This is our core activity: educating new generations of health professionals. As programme directors or curriculum designers, our alumni shape and innovate education in their own countries, all over the world.”

Differences The two programmes share international appeal, but in terms of content they are very different. Health Professions Education is aimed at healthcare professionals across the entire care chain, from doctors and nurses to physiotherapists and occupational therapists, who want to obtain a master’s degree. Two courses of three weeks each are held in Maastricht, but otherwise learning largely takes place online. Stalmeijer: “Distance learning is no problem content wise, and we’re trying to be more creative in how we deal with assignments and assessment. The main challenge for participants is staying on schedule. That’s why it’s important for them to get to know one another during their time in Maastricht. When they go back home, they know who they’re working with and who they can call on for moral support. Experience shows that the collaborative aspects of our programme give it clear added value and contribute to its success.”

Stalmeijer continues: “In time, we’d like to grow and enter into strong alliances with universities around the world. At present, we already collaborate with MHPE programmes in Canada, Singapore and New York.”

Collaboration In contrast, the Global Health students are stationed in Maastricht for most of the year, supporting one another in person. Yet they, too, are involved in distance education. In online courses, they collaborate with fellow students from partner universities. “This gives them the requisite challenge of working in international groups”, says Krumeich. “People from different cultures, disciplines, educational systems and workplaces come together and have to figure out some common ground. Not everyone can deal with the direct approach of the Dutch, while others have issues with Asian-style reserve. It’s a social pressure cooker. Of course, a tutor is always there to put out the worst fires, but the bottom line is that they have to cooperate. They need one another. When it comes to international health, you’ll never make it alone. And that’s what the Global Health programme is all about: solving problems together.”

Professionals Global Health is a one-year, full-time master’s programme. Its predecessor was targeted at healthcare professionals with a bachelor’s degree and a job. The present curriculum retains the original focus on finance, (crisis) management, mobility and politics, but since 2009 has also welcomed recent graduates. Krumeich: “The new setup allows us to bring together participants of even more different cultures and backgrounds. From starting professionals to experienced doctors from India, Canada, the US, Europe and Africa, they come together here to work on collaborative assignments. After three months, participants can choose to continue the programme at a different university, and thus gain experience in a different international group.” International Global Health attracts 300 to 400 applicants each year. Approximately 75 are admitted. “This is a large number for a Global Health master’s”, says Krumeich. “Interest is high because we collaborate with universities worldwide that also offer a Global Health curriculum and award the same Master of Science degree. And Maastricht is especially popular because we’re so internationally oriented. More than half of the students come from outside Europe. I’m glad there’s so much interest. Dealing with epidemics, introducing new healthcare concepts and treatments, organising global health; all this calls for a broad perspective. Doctors and other healthcare professionals fly out all over the world. How do you get them to cooperate? That’s the key question in this programme.”

Anja Krumeich Anja Krumeich (1958) studied anthropology in Amsterdam and obtained her PhD for her research on mother-and-child care in Dominica. She has worked at UM since 2001. Currently, she is associate professor at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and programme director of the Master in Global Health. Renée Stalmeijer Renée Stalmeijer (1982) studied education sciences at UM and obtained her PhD on the topic of clinical teaching during medical residency. She is assistant professor at the Department of Educational Development and Research and programme director of the Master in Health Professions Education. In addition, she is an affiliated scholar at the Wilson Centre in Toronto.

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Euregion

Living on the border: challenge or chance?

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By Jolien Linssen

“You know those moments when you have a good idea, but nobody seems to be interested? This time, it was different. It was the right moment.” Hildegard Schneider, dean of the Faculty of Law, is happy - and with good reason. She is one of the initiators of the brand new Institute for Transnational and Euregional Cross-Border Cooperation and Mobility (ITEM). Researchers at this centre of expertise are not only studying the typical problems that arise in border regions, but also solving them. “We’re ambitious, and we have to be. Our findings could be extremely useful for the future of our province.” A future that doesn’t seem all too bright, at least from the statistics: the population of Limburg is not only ageing, but simultaneously shrinking. Young people are packing their bags for the Randstad area, which seems to have more in store for them. Border regions, to put it mildly, are just not very attractive. “Living in such regions can be complicated”, Schneider explains. “Especially if you live and work in different countries. For example, you might have trouble getting a mortgage because your salary is paid in one country, but the house is in the other. Not to mention pension problems or double taxation, which I had to deal with when I was working at the courts in Aachen and Cologne. Understandably, all these things can be pretty frustrating.” Migrant workers, highly skilled migrants and international students have similar experiences as those living in border regions like Limburg. Schneider: “I know students who have health insurance in their home

country, but also need to be insured here. Then, when they finish their studies, they can only hope that their degree is recognised in other parts of the world.” Both these types of mobility are becoming increasingly common in our globalised world, and thus form the centre of attention at ITEM. The aim is not only to analyse the obstacles to mobility, but also to propose workable solutions. Interdisciplinary The complex issues raised by crossborder mobility, as well as cooperation, call for an interdisciplinary approach. And that, in a nutshell, is what ITEM is all about. Research at the institute is conducted by academics from the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences, and the School of Business and Economics. In turn, all these scholars form part of large, international research networks. This is already an impressive list, but not yet exhaustive. “As a university, we collaborate with different

partners”, Schneider explains. “One of them is NEIMED, an institution linked with Zuyd University of Applied Sciences that deals with demographic developments in the region. Others include the City of Maastricht and the Province of Limburg. And we’re seeking cooperation with a number of other organisations, such as the Meuse-Rhine Euregion, Statistics Netherlands and the European Institute of Public Administration.” Clearly, ITEM will not need to start from scratch. Rather, it will bring together a great deal of existing knowledge and expertise: “The university has a desk for highly skilled migrants, for example, and the city has its own expat desk. Multinationals like SABIC and DSM have expertise in this field as well. Individually, they may have found their own solutions to questions about the pensions of migrants or their spouses, or the tuition fees of their children - but nobody knows about them. So it’s important to connect and share this knowledge.”

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Dies Natalis

Some of the ITEM staff. Left to right: Saskia Klosse, Anne Pieter van der Mei, Anouk Bollen, Sarah Schoenmaekers, Marjon Weerepas, Alexander Hoogenboom en Hildegard Schneider.

Politics Better information exchange is a first and necessary step. But this will not be enough to change the laws and regulations that impede crossborder cooperation and mobility, especially on the Euregional level. Therefore, ITEM also strives to create awareness in The Hague. “Politicians seem to be only vaguely aware of the existence of the border”, Schneider explains. “And they often neglect the fact that certain forms of legislation

can have a negative impact on border regions. What I propose is a sort of impact assessment, even before the legislative process starts. This is something that should be logical for a country with so many borders, but it’s not.” It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to legislation, she adds - at least not for highly skilled migrants. “Objectively, our facilities are quite good. But when I was in India and asked people whether they wanted to study or work here, the answer was no. Our reputation abroad is that of a country that’s not very migrant friendly, due to our political

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climate. I believe it’s important to change this. Given our demographic problems, we’ll need these people eventually.” Limburg Limburg, according to Schneider, represents not only a challenge but also an opportunity. One of ITEM’s goals is to raise awareness of the advantages of living in a border region at the heart of Europe - because, as she points it, it’s not all bad. “People have the feeling that everything happens in the west of the country, but the Euregion has at least as much to offer. There are several airports within a radius of 200 kilometres, and

plenty of possibilities for recreation. The technical university in Aachen, only 20 kilometres from Maastricht, is larger than all its Dutch equivalents together, and it’s even cheaper to study there.” To fully benefit from what’s on offer on the other side of the border, knowing the language of one’s neighbours is essential. Yet this is a skill that seems to be slowly disappearing in Limburg. Will ITEM

be able to put language education on the political agenda? Only time will tell, says Schneider: “Our first researchers started in January, and I expect their initial results in the next six months or so. ITEM is still in its infancy but our hope is that it will expand. Ultimately, we need to find practical solutions that are acceptable to policymakers - because we want our work to make a difference.”

Hildegard Schneider Hildegard Schneider (1955) studied Law, Political Science and Art History in Freiburg, London, Paris and Münster. She has worked at Maastricht University since 1986, currently as professor of European Union Law. Her research focuses on the free movement of natural and legal persons, migration issues, diploma recognition, and EU policies in the fields of education, culture, international trade law and comparative law. She is affiliated with the Maastricht Centre for European Law and the Ius Commune research school. Since September 2011, she has been dean of the Faculty of Law.


Frans Timmermans

“You don’t change the world by posting your opinion on Facebook”

By Annelotte Huiskes

At Maastricht University’s (UM) Dies Natalis celebration in January, the European Commissioner Frans Timmermans received an honorary doctorate for his contribution to European and international relations. The theme of this year’s Dies ceremony was ‘Engaging talent’. Prior to the presentation Timmermans, in his office in Brussels, explains his view of the challenges facing the current student generation, and looks back on his own student days. “There was more dissatisfaction back then, and that’s a real driver of change. Today’s students are so satisfied.” 9


Dies Natalis

Timmermans is pleased as punch to have received his first honorary doctorate. His ties with UM date from the days when Karl Dittrich was still at the helm. “He was someone who saw the promise of a European perspective early. UM now ranks well among young universities particularly thanks to its European and international profile, although developing a truly Europe-wide and not only Euregional reach is still a challenge. And UM has courage: courage to be innovative in its curricula and its use of English. On top of that, for me personally Maastricht is always a nice place to visit.” He was born in Maastricht in 1961 and lived here until he was three, when the family went abroad. In 1976 they returned to Limburg, this time not to Maastricht but to Heerlen. “Maastricht was where I went out as a 15-yearold. I’d go to Café Tribunal, because that’s where all the students from the Drama Academy went, and I found that extremely interesting. The big man in those days was of course Pierre Bokma. He won all the ladies’ hearts and was an example for all the other men and boys, including me”, he laughs. “My roots are in Limburg. I now live with my family in Heerlen, where I plan to grow old. But I also travel a lot for my work; always have. For me this is the ideal combination: having my home base here, and travelling freely all over the world.” Perfect score

Timmermans moved to Nijmegen in 1980 to study French, having received a 10 on his high school French exam. “The thing I most wanted to study was history, but in the early 1980s it was clear you’d end up unemployed. I had a talent for languages and knew I’d be able to excel in that area, and so have more chance of finding work. I was the first in my family to go to university, and in those days I was very insecure about what I could and couldn’t do. So I didn’t dare follow my heart. “I ended up complementing my French programme in Nijmegen with studies in French, European law and history in Nancy. In those days combining different programmes wasn’t very common, and the university wasn’t particularly cooperative. But I persevered. Fortunately times have changed, and Dutch students can now follow exchange programmes all over the world.

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That’s very important, because you only really get to know your own country when you’re abroad.” The challenge for current students, according to Timmermans, lies in balancing a strong command of one particular discipline with a broad general education. “That combination has been the deciding factor in my own career. If I were to go back to university, I’d be sure to gain broad social experience and especially to go abroad for at least six months, but preferably one or two years.” Into the depths During his official trips as Minister of Foreign Affairs and now as European Commissioner, Timmermans always tries to schedule a university visit or a chat with students. He has given guest lectures for European Studies in Maastricht since 2008, and held the chair of Peace in Utrecht in 2010. “I often work with young people, and find it enriching to test my ideas on them in universities there’s so much creativity there. I have a very strong pedagogical urge. I like to share and challenge. I often compare students, because I enjoy teasing and provoking them, with those little flies you find around water. They’re so slight and weightless that they can’t break through the osmotic pressure of the water. In my view, it’s the task of our generation to break that surface for them and help them dive into the depths. At the same time, we must be open to their world and embrace it.” Lego blocks “There’s so much satisfaction among young people today that the will to improve things is sometimes lacking. They’re very curious and able to divide their attention across hundreds of things, which is something we were never able to do before. They can transition between things very quickly, but making connections is more difficult for them; that’s something I see in the classroom.” According to Timmermans, young people can learn two things from the older generation: organising information and making connections. “When we were at university, we spent a great deal of time searching for things, and the process of searching helped us learn to analyse, order, separate, structure. But over the last ten years, searching has become less of an art form. There are machines now


that do that for you, so students today can search like never before. But what they find is just a box of Lego blocks that hasn’t been made into something yet. They’re less systematic than they are eclectic. They pick from different systems the things they think are important, make their own individual value systems out of these, and reach out to people with similar value systems.” Cruise missiles The good thing about today, in his view, is that people are more open and willing to put their own views to the test. In earlier days, a more ideological system prevailed. “I remember the demonstrations against the deployment of cruise missiles in the early 1980s. In those days I was more into the Van der Stoel view, which was not in favour of unilateral disarmament. I wasn’t regarded kindly for that in leftist circles. And as it turned out, I was wrong. Young people today are idealistic too, but they don’t think along the lines of one system. They think more concretely in terms of ‘what can I do?’ Which is great, because ultimately it’s all about concrete steps. We can learn from that. “What they can learn from us is that if you really want to change something you have to make it happen yourself, go out onto the streets. You don’t change the world by posting your opinion on Facebook. You need to organise, mobilise people physically, and there’s much less of that among this generation. I see it as the responsibility of parents, teachers and educational institutions to try to give young people direction based on past experience. They need to engage, and not only with what’s going on today, because that’s utterly crippling. The worst thing you can do is not choose.” Postscript This interview took place before the Paris terror attacks. Afterwards, Timmermans commented: “The horrific events in Paris prompted an overwhelming, historic turnout. People of all ages came out onto the streets and squares, including many young people. That was fantastic to see.”

Left to right: Luc Soete, Frans Timmermans, Aalt-Willem Heringa and Sophie Vanhoonacker.

Frans Timmermans Frans Timmermans (1961) is First Vice-President of the European Commission and is responsible for better regulation, constitutionality, human rights, institutional relations and sustainable development in the Juncker Commission. Between 2012 and 2014, he was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the second Rutte cabinet. Prior to that he was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the fourth Balkenende cabinet. He was a member of the House of Representatives for the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) for many years, and previously served as adviser and private secretary to Max van der Stoel, High Commissioner on National Minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

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Brightlands Chemelot Campus

Sanjay Rastogi

Three jobs, one goal: the quest for biobased

polymers By Patrick Marx

Working towards more sustainable materials is not about developing materials made from renewable sources. Instead, it’s about lowering the carbon footprint of the materials we use today, without compromising their physical properties and functionality. Professor of Polymer Science Sanjay Rastogi wants to achieve this goal by working with industry to combine molecular insight and product development. He has dedicated his career to seeking new knowledge about polymers - at present from his three different bases, at Loughborough University (UK), Teijin Aramid (Arnhem) and Maastricht University (UM). 12


The carbon footprint of products - the total emission of greenhouse gases during their lifetime - is a topic of growing importance. “In Europe, we are striving to reduce the carbon footprint of all products. The challenge for the materials industry is to learn how to reduce a material’s carbon footprint while maintaining its physical, chemical and economic properties”, says Rastogi from his office at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus. “To achieve this goal at Chemelot and UM, we must bring different disciplines together under one roof. We don’t want to compete with other groups around the country, but to complement them in their research. This is the dream that gets me out of bed every morning.” “Too often I see scientists first develop materials made of biological building blocks, and then start thinking about their possible applications. That is the wrong way around. You don’t want a green bottle that leaks because the material it’s made of starts degrading. We must keep in mind that the qualities of the biobased materials we develop, such as their life expectancy, must be comparable with the synthetic material we use today.”

Teijin Aramid, where Rastogi is a principal scientist, recently opened a factory in Emmen that commercially produces Endumax. Also present at the interview is Yvonne van der Meer, Project Leader for Biobased Materials at UM. She explains why the university was keen to join forces with Rastogi: “He is an expert in materials science who has the knowledge and vision needed to replace synthetic with biobased materials without losing their chemical and physical properties. This makes him unique.” Golden boy Rastogi’s career started at the University of Bristol. “I was fortunate enough to work with Professor Andrew Keller. He discovered the physics behind polymer science. Eventually, I became his golden boy. He put me on an international stage that brought me to Eindhoven, where I worked with Piet Lemstra, one of the inventors of Dyneema. In Bristol I learned about fundamental science, and in Eindhoven I learned how to translate this fundamental science into technological applications.” At present, he is trying to understand and manipulate the properties of biological polymers. “I want to unravel the forces that act between the long molecules in a polymer.” The Van der Waals force will be familiar to anyone with high school physics; more complex is the hydrogen bonding prevalent in biopolymers. “We’re now starting to understand how to switch hydrogen bonds on and off by shielding and unshielding them with salts. A spider does the same thing when spinning a web. Inside its body, the spider silk is mixed with salts that render the hydrogen bonds inactive. As soon as the spider excretes the silk, the salt is removed and the hydrogen bonds become active. Only then does the silk get its strong, sticky properties.”

Bulletproof The carbon footprint can be reduced in different ways. Bioethanol, for example, which can be obtained from several natural resources, can produce traditional polyethylene, the polymer used to make plastic bags. Sometimes, redesigning a production process does the trick. With his research group in Loughborough, Rastogi helped to develop ultra-strong tape, Endumax, made of the same material as Dyneema, a polymer used to make bulletproof vests. But unlike Dyneema, the production process does not use solvents. “This environmentally friendly method retains the material’s properties, reduces the investments needed for production and His research has already led to five makes the new material economically patent applications for UM, including viable.” The Japanese chemical company one on nucleating agents for biopolymers.

These are additives that help to control the polymerisation reaction, and thus the quality of polymers. Networking At Chemelot, Rastogi works with colleagues from institutes like AMIBM (the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials, a partnership between the universities in Maastricht and Aachen) and InScite (the Chemelot Institute for Science and Technology, a collaboration between Maastricht and Eindhoven universities and DSM). “Networking and cooperating are the keys to learning in multidisciplinary polymer science. We want to establish collaboration with industrial partners by offering the fundamental knowledge required for niche product development. This is difficult to foster in an industrial environment alone”, says Rastogi. “Therefore, organisations like the Brightlands Chemelot Campus and its partners AMIBM and InScite are important. If we develop strong fundamental knowledge, along with the vision on how to use it in industrial settings, we will even help new industries to make their base at Chemelot.” Networking is something he seems to be good at: Rastogi currently holds three jobs, one in Maastricht, one in Arnhem and one in the UK. “Each month I work one week in the UK and three weeks in the Netherlands. Of those I spend two days a week in Maastricht and the other three in Arnhem.” Does he also have three homes, or does he just travel a lot? He laughs: “I only have one home and one wife, in Eindhoven actually.”

Sanjay Rastogi Sanjay Rastogi (1962) obtained his PhD in physics at Lucknow University in India, before turning his attention to polymer science. He has worked at the universities

of Bristol, Eindhoven, Mainz, Loughborough and Maastricht.

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Maastricht University’s 39th Dies Natalis: Engaging Talent Maastricht University (UM) celebrated its 39 th anniversary, or Dies Natalis, on Friday 16 January 2015. During the official celebration, four outstanding individuals were awarded with an honorary doctorate for the exceptional contributions they have made, directly or indirectly, to academic

Honorary doctorates

education and research. The recipients were European Commissioner Frans Timmermans, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, and the professors Michelle Craske and Wolfgang Wahlster. Frans Timmermans delivered this year’s Dies Lecture (see also page 6 for an interview).

Education Prize

Education Prize, Student Prizes and Dissertation Prize Catalina Goanta from the Faculty of Law won the Wynand Wijnen Education Prize 2014 for her exceptional teaching talent. She introduced innovative elements to the first-year course Introduction to Comparative Law and played an important role in the faculty’s talent scouting programme. On behalf of the Stichting Wetenschapsbeoefening, the Student Prizes for the best master’s theses of 2014 were awarded to Mireille Sthijns (FHML), Martine Moossdorff (FHML), Anna Krisztián (FHML), Teresa Laukötter (FL), Hartl Maël (SBE), Alina Lara Marktanner

(FASoS), Patrice Wangen (FASoS), Lorraine Man Wing Wong (FHS) and Marian Schneider (FPN). This year, not only the best master’s theses, but also the best bachelor’s essays of 2014 were recognised. In a special morning programme, prizes were awarded to Yelin Deniz, Sven Klijn, Christopher Sauer and Karlijn Hermans (FHML), Kate O’Reilly, Ramon Vastmans and Bo Berkman (FL), Jacqueline Schulte, Michael Pollmann, Marline Wethkamp and Koen Cremers (SBE), Maximilian Herstatt and Frank Mutze (FASoS), Matthias Voss (FPN), and Taghi Aliyev,

Student Prizes

Marjolein Sliepen and Jolijn Adriaansen (FHS). On behalf of the Professors’ Fund, the Dissertation Prize 2014 for the best PhD dissertation was awarded to Ann-Kristin Zobel for her thesis entitled ‘Open innovation: A dynamic capabilities perspective’.

Increased risk of school dropout after ‘minority’ primary school Dutch pupils who attend a primary school where more than three quarters of the pupils have a non-Dutch background are twice as likely to drop out of high school later. A multi-year study of over 47,000 children who started primary school in Amsterdam in 2000 shows that the likelihood of not attaining a secondary

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school diploma was 8% in minority schools, compared to 3.6% in other schools. Analyses indicate that this increased dropout risk is caused not by differences in school quality, but by negative group effects. This is the first study to investigate the effect of primary school composition on students’ secondary edu-

cation. The project encompassed Cheng Boon Ong’s PhD research at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance, with guidance from the Top Institute for Evidence-Based Education Research (TIER), a partnership between Maastricht University, the University of Amsterdam and the University of Groningen.


New definition of health developed The World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health as a state of ‘complete wellbeing’ is no longer fit for purpose. Under this definition virtually everyone would be a patient in need of constant treatment, says Machteld Huber. In her PhD dissertation, together with the Health Council of the Netherlands and the Health Care Efficiency Research programme (ZonMw) she developed a new dynamic

concept of health that emphasises people’s resilience and self-reliance. Organisations such as the Dutch Public Health Service (GGD Nederland) see this new concept as a framework for reorganising preventive care. The new concept defines health as “the ability to adapt and manage one’s own wellbeing, in light of the physical, emotional and social challenges of life”.

Huber: “The difference with the WHO definition is that this emphasises the potential to be or become healthy, even in the case of illness. Personal growth and development and the fulfilment of personal goals in life are just as important as medical treatment.” Huber spent the last two years testing this concept among patients, health practitioners and policymakers, and found that it was positively received.

Keuzegids 2015: Quality Seal for three UM bachelor’s programmes Maastricht University (UM) has received high marks in the Keuzegids, the annual guide to Dutch universities. Of the 17 UM bachelor’s programmes included in the 2015 rankings, 8 came in first place. University College Maastricht (UCM), Knowledge Engineering and Economics & Business Economics were awarded the Quality Seal, identifying them as top programmes across all higher education disciplines. This distinction is reserved for programmes that receive an overall score of at least 76 (and an evaluation of ‘++’ or higher). UCM received an excellent total score of 98 out of 100 points (+++), Knowledge Engineering 82 (++) and Economics & Business Economics 78 (++). The programmes that topped the rankings in their respective fields were Econometrics, International Business, Fiscal Economics, Tax Law, European

Law School, European Studies, Knowledge Engineering and University College Maastricht. Notably, two out of three Faculty of Law programmes came in first place, with significantly improved scores compared to last year. The School of Business and Economics did particularly well again, with three out of four programmes in first place. The top-performing UM programmes score well in the areas of Content, Facilities and especially Practical Orientation. Figures highlight the effectiveness of UM’s educational model, ProblemBased Learning: of all Dutch universities, UM has the highest percentage of students graduating within five years. According to students, the programmes prepare them well for the labour market. The Keuzegids is compiled annually for prospective university students by an

independent editorial board from the Dutch Centre for Higher Education Information. The rankings are based on evaluations by students and experts on the relevant curricula, lecturers, facilities and more.

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Publication

Learning not to eat By Annelotte Huiskes

Imagine: you adore chocolate. White, dark, filled with caramel, whatever. You only have to see it or smell it and you’re sold. And you rarely stick to just the one bonbon - no, you eat the whole box in one go. Chances are, you’re also overweight. This irresistible urge, the overpowering desire to overeat, is much more prevalent in obese people than in thin people. The good news is that, with the help of a psychologist, you can ‘unlearn’ this uncontrollable eating behaviour. The bad news is that it’s not yet clear whether you’ll also lose weight. Anita Jansen, professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology and specialist in obesity, has spent years studying the learning mechanisms that underlie people’s eating behaviour. In 2011 she received a prestigious Vici grant for her research. “Obesity is mainly a behaviour problem:

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obese people don’t always have their eating behaviour under control”, she says. “Yet, it’s usually still seen as a medical problem. The GP or dietician will tell you to change your diet and do more exercise, or get a gastric bypass as a last resort. The psychologist plays no real role in this


process, yet we’re the ones specialised in behaviour. We know better than anyone how hard it is to change ingrained behaviour patterns. You need more than just advice; you need knowledge about the underlying cognitive processes associated with eating behaviour. And that is precisely what we’re investigating.” Addiction This month Jansen and her colleague Sandra Mulkens will publish an i-book for therapists who work with obese people. Using the psychological treatment plan described in the book, they can help clients to manage their tendency to overeat. “It’s a form of valorisation of our research.” The treatment is based on the cognitive behavioural therapy approach already used for eating disorders and addiction. So is obesity an eating addiction? “There are many similarities between alcohol or drug addiction and obesity, certainly when you look at the mechanism of loss of control. Obese people feel that they ‘must’ eat, just as alcoholics think they ‘must’ drink. They learn to analyse these sorts of expectations and to take the edge off them by doing certain exercises.” Control These treatment techniques are described in the book and demonstrated in video recordings of real therapy sessions. One important technique is ‘cue exposure’. “The idea is that certain situations - that is, cues - encourage overeating. In the underlying, ingrained pattern, that cue represents loss of control. Ultimately, you want to help obese people to learn to control their eating behaviour through frequent exposure to these cues. So the therapist places something the client loves to eat within easy reach. Chocolate, for example. He can smell it, touch it, anything but eat it. If you practice this enough, the client notices that the urge to eat decreases, and his ability to withstand this urge increases. One step further is an exercise where clients are asked to throw away all their chocolate. Often they find that really hard. The aim behind all these exercises is to teach clients a different association: cue is control, so I don’t eat. Developing this second association takes a lot of time and you have to keep on practising until you lessen the power of the ingrained idea ‘I have no control’”. Top sport So this therapy can help to tackle derailed eating behaviour - but will you also lose weight? “We assume that if people eat in a more controlled way, they’ll also eat less and thus lose weight. But if you need to lose something like 60 kilos, you have to eat even less. To lose one kilo per week you have to cut your daily calorie intake by 1000 calories.

Anita Jansen

In that sense losing weight is top sport, and you’re asking that of people who don’t have that kind of talent. Top sport requires a great deal of self-control, which is precisely what these people struggle with. We try to increase this selfcontrol through the therapy. If you don’t do that, you’re

fighting a losing battle. Research shows that fewer than 10% of people manage to keep weight off once they’ve lost it.” Work in progress Learning not to eat is not, then, a self-help book with a quick and easy solution for weight loss. That said, “I’ve long had plans to write a book for laypeople on the psychology of obesity, and why it’s so hard to change eating behaviour”, says Jansen. “It would have tips you don’t find in the usual diet and nutrition books, because they pay next to no attention to the psychological problems involved. Science is a slow process. After years of research we now know more about uncontrolled eating, but we haven’t yet studied on a large scale whether our intervention also really helps people to lose weight. A lot more years of study are needed for that and, in particular, there needs to be the money for it. But you only get a Vici like this once. It’s all work in progress. A global problem like obesity is not something my research group can solve in five years. We’ve developed a great deal of insight and a number of interventions to tackle problems, and as far as I’m concerned that’s already a lot. After all, if we came up with the one and only solution, we’d deserve a Nobel Prize, right?”

Anita Jansen Anita Jansen (1960) has been professor of Psychology at Maastricht University since 1999. Together with her ‘eating group’, she studies eating behaviour, eating disorders and obesity in the broadest sense: from brain activity and cognitive processes to behaviour patterns and healthcare interventions. In 2011 she received a prestigious Vici grant for her research on obesity. The i-book Learning not to eat: A manual for therapists is available via Apple’s i-books store. A web version is also available.

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Research and society

Memorial billboard at Margraten

Sharing memories for a stronger Europe By Jolien Linssen

On 12 September 1944 the first Allied troops set foot on Dutch soil, in the village of Mesch, near Maastricht. Their arrival marks the start of the liberation of the Netherlands and paves the way for the freedom that we enjoy today. Seventy years after the end of the Second World War, this freedom could easily be taken for granted. But this is not the only good reason to commemorate the past: it may even help to create a stronger sense of European identity. 18


“I’ve always viewed those days with great curiosity”, says Aline Sierp, referring to 4 and 5 May in the Netherlands. Herself German, Sierp is assistant professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She has spent the last few years studying memory cultures in different European countries, focusing on the Second World War. “Your country is the only one in Europe that has two separate, consecutive days to commemorate its war victims and celebrate its freedom”, she explains. “As both experiences are closely connected, this seems to be somewhat of an artificial separation. I believe that one can celebrate freedom while simultaneously paying tribute to the victims. In fact, it would allow for a much more differentiated discourse, which makes it easier to look at the grey areas.”

values from them, such as freedom and equality. “You could also call these lessons from the past”, says Sierp, adding that she is not a huge

fan of the term. “I don’t know whether one can actually learn from the past.” The convergence of memory cultures might be a result of the efforts of the European Union, which since the 1990s has actively fostered the creation of a shared European memory framework. “The EU is often accused of wanting to create one uniform narrative that neglects historical differences. I don’t think this is true. Rather, the aim is to create an arena where different narratives can be heard.” This is important, because if we want to continue working together, it is necessary to find some common ground. Only then can the idea of a ‘European identity’ or ‘European citizenship’ start to make sense.

Convergence Our actual history is not black and white, straightforward or unequivocal - notwithstanding the narratives we might construct of it afterwards. Sierp scrutinised the manner in which the Second World War has been commemorated nationally in several European countries. She found that over time, memory cultures have started to become increasingly alike, at least on the supranational level. “Think of a politician who addresses an international audience, or a commemorative session attended by representatives of more than one country. Instances like these seem to reflect a certain remembrance code that is consciously adopted by everyone.”

Discussion For obvious reasons, Sierp’s homeland has a long tradition of public confrontation with the Second World War, which still gives rise to vivid debate. “For Germans, the war is a past that does not pass”, she explains. “Naturally, as an academic I strive to be as objective as possible, but I’m aware of the fact that this experience has influenced my way of seeing things. As has my experience abroad - I’ve spent the last thirteen years of my life in other European countries.”

Victimhood is the common denominator here. However different our historical experiences of war and dictatorship might have been, we can nevertheless derive certain shared

National Committee for 4 and 5 May, the answer is a firm ‘no’. Sierp: “Yet the line between perpetrators and victims is not always clear cut. What about the grey areas in between?”

Here, too, the war and its commemoration are the subject of public discussion. A hot topic in the Netherlands is the question whether we need to remember the perpetrators in addition to the victims of war. According to the

Today, seventy years after the end of

the war, perhaps the biggest challenge lies in keeping history alive. “Before coming to Maastricht, I worked at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site”, says Sierp. “There we dealt with a lot of young people who have no direct connection to the Second World War. To create awareness of the past, we had to find ways to link it to their current lives and experiences. Bring history closer to home, so to speak, by talking about the structures that led to the Second World War: exclusion, racism and xenophobia. Unfortunately, these are phenomena that are still very much alive, and that we can therefore relate to today.”

Aline Sierp Aline Sierp (1982) studied European Studies at the University of Reading. She received her master’s degree in European History, Politics, Policy and Society from the University of Bath, Sciences Po Paris and the University of Siena. After obtaining her PhD at the University of Siena in 2011, she worked as a researcher at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site. Sierp joined Maastricht University in 2012, where she is currently assistant professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

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European Asylum

Limits to European asylum By Hans van Vinkeveen

In 2014, more than 140,000 asylum seekers made their way across the Mediterranean Sea towards the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily. Thousands drowned en route. In summer 2015, the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) will come into effect. Will this centralisation of the approach to asylum issues across EU member states help to solve problems like those in Lampedusa? Khalid Koser, professor of Conflict, Peace and Security, and Maarten Vink, professor of Political Science, are moderately enthusiastic. “It provides a minimum standard”, says Vink. But according to Koser, “In practice a centralised system is a fantasy.” In fact, the EU has had a common European asylum system for years; the implementation in 2015 of the CEAS, which guarantees the same minimum rules for immigration and treatment of asylum seekers across member states, is a mere formality. A centralised system has its advantages, in Koser’s view, though this depends on one’s perspective. After all, what is good for a member state may be bad for an asylum seeker. For instance, centralisation should counter what is known as ‘asylum shopping’. “When different member states have different systems, asylum seekers will aim for the country with the most favourable

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regulations. In addition, centralisation helps to even out the disproportionate burden faced by countries on the front line, like Italy, Greese and Malta”, Koser explains. “In theory, anyway. In practice, a centralised system is a fantasy. National asylum systems prevail over this common arrangement. Just look at the differences in the allocation and recognition statistics in the different member states.” Freedom of movement Migrants will continue to apply for asylum in individual member states, rather than centrally to the EU. Moreover,


Maarten Vink and Khalid Koser

the EU is supposed to be an economic organisation. Why should it bother at all with asylum matters? “A common asylum system, involving strict control of the EU’s external borders, serves as a sort of compensation for the removal of the internal borders for goods, services and people”, Vink explains. “The idea of free movement hinges on member states relaxing their internal borders. Without strict control of the EU’s external borders, they would be less likely to do this. This is why the EU is so concerned with asylum matters. Without some form of centralisation, free movement within the EU would be impossible.” According to Vink, there is a trend in the EU towards greater centralisation, the CEAS being a good example. Further to establishing common minimum standards, then, shouldn’t the next challenge be to harmonise the various asylum systems? Why do the member states still have their own, different systems? “This is the case with many things in the EU: labour, the environment, the economy, and especially the politics of migration. The EU establishes regulations and minimum standards, then the member states implement these through their own legislative systems.” More is unnecessary, in Vink’s view. “After all, the EU is not a state.” Race to the bottom Koser agrees. He, too, sees the upside of having minimum standards for European asylum rules - at least in theory. “One risk is that the member states end up in a ‘race to the bottom’ in their asylum legislation: I’m going to be more

restrictive than my neighbours, so that asylum seekers go there and not here.” When it comes to a topic as highly politicised as asylum policy, this is a real risk. “Say a populist and restrictive government is voted in. The EU’s minimum requirements then offer protection; a sort of lower threshold that member states can’t fall below.” So how will the member states interpret and implement these minimum requirements of European asylum law? Vink: “There is a lot of ambiguity, because these standards are often made up of compromises by member states. They tend to be worded vaguely so that everyone can agree, but what they mean exactly is unclear. As a result, you can implement them in a strict or in a fairly liberal way.” Applicants do always have recourse to a national court, however, which in case of doubt can submit a question to the European Court of Justice in Luxemburg. Safer bet A restrictive implementation is one of the risks of a centralised asylum policy, according to Vink. Surprisingly, Australia - a country with a good reputation when it comes to human rights - is a good example of this. In an effort to lower the relatively large number of refugees who arrive there by boat, asylum seekers are now intercepted at sea and detained on Christmas Island for processing. “If a European asylum system were that restrictive, a diverse system might well be preferable”, says Vink. But that won’t appear overnight. “We shouldn’t expect too much of the EU.”

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European Asylum

What does the CEAS mean for asylum seekers? This depends on the country in which they are applying for asylum. The new standards might improve the situation in countries like Greece, Vink says. “The Greek system is very underdeveloped. So the European Court of Human Rights recently condemned Belgium’s decision to send an asylum seeker back to Greece. In the ideal situation, the common asylum system will help to raise standards in Greece.” Asylum shopping, however, remains a more attractive option. “If I were an asylum seeker, I’d do my best to go to countries like Germany or Sweden”, says Koser. “That’s a safer bet.” Crisis of confidence But this is all the ‘small picture’, as Koser describes the centralisation of asylum policy. It is overshadowed by a much bigger issue: the current crisis of confidence in the governance of European countries. “In the UK, but I suspect also in other countries, many citizens see the EU

Khalid Koser Khalid Koser (1969) is professor of Conflict, Peace and Security at UNU-MERIT/Maastricht Graduate School of Governance. He is also deputy director and academic dean at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Migration, and co-editor of the Journal of Refugee Studies. He has published widely on asylum issues, refugees, internal displacement and migration.

Maarten Vink Maarten Vink (1975) is professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS) and joint director of the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE). He is also part-time professor at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, where he is joint director of the European Union Democracy Observatory on Citizenship (EUDO CITIZENSHIP). He has published widely on the politics of citizenship, immigration and asylum, especially in a comparative context.

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as an ineffective and bureaucratic power that wants to impose itself on the national systems. That’s not true, but it’s a stubborn perception that we need to keep in mind.”

Immigration is a key issue in elections. “As a British politician, if I wanted to win an election, I’d keep the EU at arm’s length and do the absolute minimum to comply with the European asylum rules.” An anti-immigration mood prevails in Europe, Koser continues. “Migration used to be about protecting and helping people. Now the dominant perception is that migration is a national security issue.” Consider the drowning of hundreds of refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. “For most politicians, this only demonstrated the insecurity of our external borders. They see it primarily as a precursor to massive, uncontrolled migration. The choice that arises is either strict border control or a restrictive policy, which in turn will lead to more people smuggling. There’s no political space to promote liberal migration policies.” Regional approach In Europe, the effects of the CEAS will therefore be limited. But outside Europe, the EU as a unit could play a greater role. Vink suggests, for example, that assistance could be offered to the region of origin of asylum seekers. “That’s a different form of protection, which is still quite unregulated. For instance, you could prevent refugees from trying to cross the Mediterranean in an overcrowded boat.” “According to a report by the International Organization for Migration, about 3700 people will die this year in the Mediterranean”, Koser points out. “There are lives at stake here.”


Metamorphosis of Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus of lifestyle, diet and exercise advice. It will be a ‘living lab’ where findings are immediately tested in practice and commercialised as soon as possible. Mosae Vita is expected to bring about new workplaces, stimulate the emergence of new companies, and indirectly create several hundred new jobs. If all goes according to plan it will open in 2017.

Artists impression

The Brightlands Maastricht Health Campus will undergo a major transformation in 2015. A landmark new building, Mosae Vita, will be the showcase of the campus; a breeding ground for collaborative healthcare innovations by patients, doctors, specialists, scientists and entrepreneurs. The facelift planned for the surrounding area will also enhance the atmosphere of the campus, bringing people together in a park-like setting.

These plans were unveiled at the end of last year by the founders of the campus: Maastricht University (UM), the azM/ Maastricht UMC+, the Province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht. Mosae Vita The philosophy behind Mosae Vita is to shift the focus in healthcare away from ‘curing’ unhealthy people, towards helping people stay healthy by means

Campus development UM, the azM/MUMC+, the Province and the City share a vision to rejuvenate the somewhat dated current premises. This will be done in two phases. First, the public spaces of the campus will be given an overhaul, including a park in the centre of the campus designed to invite outdoor meetings, inspiration, activities and sports. This four-year phase will cost around €10 million. Second, the remaining unused land on the campus will be developed into an appealing location for new businesses and institutions.

Creating jobs for people with disabilities Employers who want to fulfil their part of the commitment to create 125,000 additional jobs for people with disabilities would do well to apply the Inclusive Redesign of Work Processes (IHW) method. Developed by Maastricht University (UM) and the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency (UWV), this method can show how the workplace or work processes can be organised differently

- and more cheaply - to create jobs suitable for people with disabilities. This is the conclusion of the pilot project carried out by UM and the UWV in collaboration with Slotervaart Hospital. The IHW method is based on the premise that, while jobs on the lower end of the labour market have largely disappeared, many simple tasks from those jobs are

now included in positions that require higher qualifications. By uncoupling these relatively basic, easy-to-learn work tasks from higher positions and clustering them together, it is possible to create jobs that allow people with disabilities to perform better and the employer to be more positive about his or her performance.

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Portrait

Social in heart and mind By Femke Kools

Her parents founded the Michelin star restaurant De Echoput in Apeldoorn, now run by her brother. As a child she helped out by washing dishes, and from the age of 14 she ran the souvenir shop with her sister. She learned from her parents the value of hard work and independence. “And from my father I learned to be authentic. To stand up for your beliefs and stay true to yourself.” Rather than follow her brother into the family business, she decided to spread her wings. Now professor of Social Law specialising in labour and social security law, Saskia Klosse was appointed to the Dutch Social and Economic Council (SER) in August. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My parents took over De Echoput in 1955. Five years later, when I was three, it burnt down. They rebuilt it and gave it a whole new direction. Because we lived in the largest wilderness area in the Netherlands, they decided to specialise in wild game.” The restaurant received its first Michelin star in 1967. When he turned 55, her father handed the reins over to her brother, Peter, who expanded it with a luxury hotel. “My father wanted to do other things. He enjoyed passing his knowledge on, just as I do now at Maastricht

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University and Peter does as a lecturer at the hotel school.” Leaving the village Klosse enjoyed working in the hospitality industry, and continued to do so during her student days in Utrecht. But she was less keen to join the family business. “I wanted to branch out from the beaten path, and in those days I saw Apeldoorn as a tiny village. I wanted something international.” She spent time in England and France learning the languages, and chanced upon the idea of studying law. “It was boring

at first, but I enjoyed the electives in the last phase: labour law and things like that.” She obtained her PhD in Utrecht with her thesis ‘Human damage: to compensate or restore?’, which compared the Dutch with the German situation. “In 1989 society wasn’t yet ready to involve people with occupational disabilities in the labour process. These days it’s a hot topic in the Netherlands. What really appealed to me in social security law and labour law was this idea that you can contribute to human development.”


She recently had a conversation with her mother about the people with occupational disabilities her parents had employed. “Johnny sorted the empty bottles, because that was something he could do. And Joep, who washed the dishes, had an alcohol problem. That’s why we kids sometimes had to help out with the washing up, because Joep didn’t show up. It was never discussed, the fact that we gave those people a chance, but of course I saw it.” Romantic idea She climbed the career ladder in Utrecht to the level of associate professor, then decided it was time

for something new. After a sabbatical in England, she headed for Maastricht in 2000, becoming part-time professor of Social Security Law. “I had, and still have, a great love of being abroad. I enjoy the international collaboration in my work too. But I discovered that it’s a very romantic idea, the notion that you can be as much at home in a different country as in your own culture. There’s more to it than that. Maastricht and I are a good match. And of course the location is beautiful, with lovely walks in the country and foreign cities within easy reach.” Circus horse Klosse became full-time professor of Social Law at UM in 2005. It was in this capacity that, three years later, she received a call from Piet Donner, then Minister of Social Affairs and Employment. Was she willing to join the Bakker Committee, which would advise the government on labour participation in the Netherlands? A photo of the committee shows a group of men and a lone woman. “That’s pretty common in these

situations, but I don’t see it as relevant. I’m not a circus horse that behaves differently in different circles.” She looks back with pleasure on the seven months she spent with the committee members. “Developing ideas from different disciplines was great fun. When everyone pitches in, the wheels start turning and the sparks flying, and you come out of it with a nice plan.” The plan was based on the assumption of labour shortages, but shortly after it was presented, the crisis broke out. “Still, some parts of the report were taken on board, such as increasing the retirement age.” Sustainable solutions Last year, another prestigious opportunity came knocking: would she join the SER? “It’s a fantastic opportunity, working with social partners to advise the government on important social themes. You’re at the forefront of policymaking. Many topics are now being viewed from the economic perspective of cutbacks and efficiency. You have to link the economic with the social, and come up with sustainable solutions. The SER can play an important role in this. And it gives me another new opportunity for personal development, together with new people.” Her partner of 10 years is a Maastricht native. “So I’m now firmly rooted here. These days when I go to Apeldoorn I think, you know what, it is pretty here. I’m slowly reaching the ‘old’ age that the teenage me thought you had to be to appreciate the place”, she laughs. “But I’m more than comfortable here in Maastricht.”

Saskia Klosse

Saskia Klosse Saskia Klosse (1957) is UM professor of Social Law. She studied and worked at Utrecht University before relocating to Maastricht in 2000. She has been a member of the SER since September 2014.

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Professor-Student

Margriet van der Sluis and Lex Borghans

PhD candidate piques professor’s curiosity By Jos Cortenraad

As a researcher at the Dutch Inspectorate of Education, Margriet van der Sluis was fascinated by a recurring question: how to enhance quality control in secondary vocational education? She found her way to Professor Lex Borghans, education economist at Maastricht University (UM). Six years and one PhD later, some answers have come to light and a new Academic Collaborative Centre (ACC) for Education has been launched. The most common tools to compare pupils with one another in the Dutch education system are uniform tests and exams. Great value is placed on the Cito test in primary education and the final exam results in secondary education. But a comparable tool is lacking in vocational education, according to Van der Sluis. “What makes someone a qualified office manager, builder or healthcare worker? Of course you can establish criteria, but objective measurement is difficult, if only because there are more than 600 vocational education programmes. How do you know as a student or parent which programme is good

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and which is not? Do you look at the percentage of graduates, the structure of the programme, the way it meets employers’ needs? It’s very difficult to know which aspects are the most important.” Maastricht The Enschede native sought answers within the Inspectorate of Education, but in vain. “During a conference on education and research, the penny dropped. I’d have to do the research myself. Doing a PhD seemed like the best option; my boss was willing to support me and promised


me study time. The challenge was to find a supervisor who was just as curious as I was.”

How do employers assess the quality of a vocational training institute?”

Colleague Inge de Wolf pointed her to the Maastricht School of Business and Economics, which she already collaborated with through the Inspectorate. “Economics didn’t sound like the immediately obvious route, but I knew that UM was home to a strong group of education economists. And it seemed like a good idea to do my PhD at a different university from where I’d already studied.”

Surprising The researchers used the vignette method in interviews with over 500 pupils, parents, teachers, employers and policymakers. They then analysed the data and came up with some unexpected conclusions. Borghans: “A number of surprising facts came to light. As far as policymakers and students are concerned, the pass rate of a vocational education programme is a key aspect of its quality. In contrast, employers and teachers place more importance on having a challenging curriculum. What’s more, employers’ appreciation of the students was of great importance for all respondents, yet this is currently not part of the quality system in vocational training.”

Curious One week later, sometime in the spring of 2008, Van der Sluis took the train to Maastricht for an initial interview with Professor Lex Borghans. By the time she headed for home, she had a PhD position more or less in the bag. “Indeed, she immediately piqued my curiosity”, Borghans says. “As an education economist, you want to see how the different educational phases build on one another. But vocational education doesn’t get much attention in research. And not without reason. For example, the Netherlands has around 6000 primary schools, all with

great similarities and comparable data. This makes primary education ideal for statistical analysis. Vocational education doesn’t have anything like this. What’s more, the vast majority of researchers never come into contact with vocational education, so there’s less affinity with that sector.” Vignette study Borghans had to admit he had never investigated the quality of vocational programmes. “That made the topic all the more attractive. After all, a researcher should be open to new questions from society. These inspire you to think about important topics that probably wouldn’t have emerged from academia”, he says. “We had to think about how you can study the quality of a sector when you have very little relevant data. We came up with the idea of a vignette study.” “This is a type of research where you use vignettes that reflect the different characteristics of a situation”, explains Van der Sluis. “In our study, the vignettes represented vocational training programmes. The respondents had to choose which programme they thought was the best. This approach is used frequently in marketing to shed light on people’s preferences. That was essentially what we wanted to find out, too: Why do pupils choose certain schools? What do teachers see as important?

The findings provide concrete tools for Van der Sluis and, indirectly, the Inspectorate of Education that employs her. “Even if you can’t always measure quality, on the basis of this research you can think about how you can take measures to promote educational quality. We now know more about how the relevant parties view quality in vocational education, which gives us food for thought.” Workplace The PhD candidate defended her PhD in January. But the fruitful collaboration between UM and the Inspectorate of Education continues with the launch of the new ACC for Education. Borghans: “These collaborative centres are ideally suited to conducting research that has both great academic significance and great relevance for practice.”

Lex Borghans Lex Borghans (1964) is professor of Labour Economics and Social Policy at Maastricht University. Margriet van der Sluis Margriet van der Sluis (1981) studied Education Sciences in Amsterdam and History of Education in Florence. She has been an analyst and researcher at the Inspectorate of Education in Utrecht since 2006. More information on the Academic Collaborative Centre (ACC) for Education and the research by Margriet van der Sluis is available at www.academischewerkplaatsonderwijs.nl

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Exchange programme Japan

Akihabara, Tokyo

UM students head to Japan

for double degree By Graziella Runchina

Call it a kind of integration ritual. An extended introduction to Japanese traditions and customs, including soaking up culture in temples and shrines and attending a school festival in a kimono. This awaited the UM students of the European-Japan double master’s degree in Neuroscience (Edu-Neuro EU-JP) on their arrival in Japan. Initiated by the European Union, the programme in Biomedical Science and Neuroscience was launched in October 2013. “The partners are four European universities, including Maastricht University, and three Japanese universities”, explains Professor Harry Steinbusch, who

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founded the international exchange programme. Steinbusch is professor of Functional and Cellular Neuroscience and director of the School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHENS) at Maastricht University (UM). In his view, the project - which gives graduates both a Dutch and a

Japanese master’s title - provides an excellent springboard for UM students to serve as ambassadors in Japan. “They promote the AngloSaxon education system and give talks on the way we work at UM.”


Exciting At the core of the four-year programme are 20 Japanese master’s students who come to Europe for one year, and 20 European students who go to Japan. The first Japanese students are expected in Maastricht in April 2015. Meanwhile, the first UM cohort is already on its feet at a Japanese university. Christian Bertens (24) is among them. “We’re the first Western students Toho University has ever had”, he says. “When we walk around the campus,

people stare at us with open mouths. Most of the students now recognise

us and are excited to talk with us, be it in a limited form of English-Japanese.” Contradictions Bertens arrived in the land of the rising sun in September. At Toho’s biomolecular laboratory, he is using animal modelling to investigate a form of dementia that develops in the frontal and/or temporal lobe. Trading in his house on the outskirts of a Limburg village for a tiny thirdfloor apartment in a city of one million residents took some getting used to, but Bertens is now relatively accustomed to Japanese customs and habits.

“Japan is full of contradictions. People drive electric cars with Wi-Fi in them, but they’re really behind in other areas. Take the payment system in shops and supermarkets. Everyone pays with cash and you can only use your card at the ATM, not in the store itself.” In particular, he had to get used to the hierarchical structure in Japan. “Between students and professors, but also among students themselves. Because I’m a secondyear master’s student, every Japanese student who is ‘lower’ in rank shows me a great deal of respect and accepts everything I say without question. In my view that’s not a great structure.”

Traditional “The Japanese education system is indeed very different to ours”, Steinbusch says. He is speaking from experience: in 2013 the neuroscientist and his team visited the three Japanese universities that are taking part in the exchange. “The teaching method is very traditional, what you might call ‘old fashioned’. There’s little to no room for debate or discussion: the professor lectures and the students listen. The notion that you as a student or researcher might come up with your own ideas or proposals is highly unusual.”

Moreover, it gives students like Christian Bertens the prospect of possessing two separate master’s degrees: one from UM, and one from a Japanese university. Steinbusch: “This is the first and only double degree programme at UM. It represents great added value for graduates who are looking to start a PhD programme or launch their career.” UM is now exploring the feasibility of establishing similar exchange programmes with South Korea, Chile and Brazil.

This cultural difference will also be a hurdle for the Japanese students due to arrive at UM in April. “Because of the language barrier, first and fore-

most; the Japanese don’t speak much English. But also because of our directness and the less hierarchical nature of our work relations - they’ll have to figure out how to deal with this somehow.” Workshops The main task for the students in Japan, besides taking courses in biomedical science and neuroscience, is to follow an internship in a research laboratory at one of the participating universities. Every year, scientists from Japan come to Europe and, vice versa, European scientists go to Japan to supervise students and evaluate the programme. In addition, European and Japanese professors organise two workshops on Translational Neuroscience in Maastricht and Japan, respectively. “The programme fits seamlessly with our international strategy”, says Steinbusch. “The UM seeks connections with leading institutes all over the world, and the programme has given us an opening at a number of renowned Japanese institutes.”

Christian and fellow student Taka

Harry Steinbusch Harry Steinbusch (1950) is professor of Cellular and Translational Neuroscience at UM. He is also director of the European Graduate School of Neuroscience and the UM School for Mental Health and Neuroscience. In addition, he has been affiliated professor at the universities of Guangzhou (China), Chungham (South Korea), Murcia (Spain) and Hasselt (Belgium) for a number of years.

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Off the job

Office work in

camouflage uniform By Annelotte Huiskes

“There’s nothing as exciting as a night-time rifle exercise, even if it is in the Dutch countryside”, says Jaap Hoogenboezem, lecturer in Public Administration at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Since 2008 he has also been an army reserve officer. “I’m a soldier with a zero-hour contract.” Here he talks about camaraderie, excitement and romance - yes, all the clichés are true - but also about the wealth of administrative experience he is gaining in the army and can, in turn, pass on. It’s mainly boys who are attracted to war, Hoogenboezem admits. “There can even be something romantic about it - who doesn’t want to be a hero? Especially when you’re 18 or so, it doesn’t occur to you that you could also die.” As a teenager he read a lot about the two world wars, preferably about clever spies and the Intelligence Service. Later he even wrote a ‘war book’: a biography of the Dutch general Hendrik Kruls. Citizen objectives Despite this interest in war, that he is now an army reservist was largely borne of coincidence. “I was a paranymph for a friend who is a military historian, so there were lots of soldiers at the defence. I got talking to one of the men.

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When he heard I was in public administration rather than history, he said, ‘A friend of mine at the Royal Military Academy has a whole battalion of people like you. Maybe you should get in touch with him.’ The friend turned out to be the commander of the Civil Military Communication (CIMIC) unit, which focuses on the reconstruction of civil infrastructure and administration in crisis and war zones.”

When he was asked to join, the decision was easy: he would be able to put his knowledge of public administration into practice, and the work environment appealed to him. CIMIC is made up of 600 highly educated officers specialising in the areas of governance, civil engineering, economics and culture. “In the classic war model, you worked with large armies that fought each other. Sometimes civilians were caught in the middle and they had to be evacuated. Failing that, they had to be protected, and if that didn’t work out they had to be buried. This was something the CIMIC officer was typically responsible for. These days, the CIMIC’s role has grown in importance because conflicts involve civilians much more often. Our people advise commanders on site. For instance, after the US invasion of Afghanistan, the local government was in ruins. When NATO took over, CIMIC units were called in to establish roads, governance and healthcare.”


Jaap Hoogenboezem

Simulations Hoogenboezem is responsible for training 20 people involved in governance at CIMIC; a group that will expand in the coming years to 35. To get them thinking about governance in a military context, he organises two to three exercises per year in which common war situations are simulated. “Last June we did an exercise here in Maastricht. We created a scenario where different population groups were fighting one another and all sorts of things didn’t work. We stationed ‘actors’ - colleagues and members of my rowing club - all over the city to play the mayor, the hospital director and other roles. Our people had to interview them using a particular format and build up a picture of the situation, which they then presented to a military commander. Because that’s what we do in practice: make assessments and recommendations. We don’t walk around with heavy equipment; it’s more like office work in a camouflage uniform.” Romantic And that, he feels, is a pity. “CIMIC officers don’t actually do anything we couldn’t do sitting down.” So they make the exercises a little more exciting than the real-life situation: “We always add something physical, like jumping out of an aeroplane. Two years ago during an

exercise on Texel, we organised things with the Marine Corps there so that we could jump out of a landing craft. That’s the icing on the cake. There’s nothing more fun than standing in the water with your gun and running on the beach. That’s the romance in it, especially looking back”, he says with a grin. Uniform For Hoogenboezem’s wife, his decision to join the army came as a complete surprise. “She still hasn’t quite recovered”, he laughs. “She always gets a shock when I come home in uniform.” Incidentally, he’s not enthralled by uniforms. “They’re mainly useful because they show all the ranks, so you know immediately who you’re talking to. I know that some of my colleagues attach a lot of value to them. I suspect some of them wear their uniform even when they’re working from home.” At CIMIC, he feels like a fish in water. Several of his fellow officers have become close friends. “There’s a lot of camaraderie and we also look out for one another. When someone got really sick last year, we all stood by him. If I decide right now I want to go for a 150 kilometre bike ride, I only have to pick up the phone and off we go, immediately. No plan, no map, just for fun.”

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Mina Andreeva

The voice

of the European Commission By Graziella Runchina

She was born in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, grew up in Cologne, did European Studies at Maastricht University (UM) and obtained her LLM in Edinburgh. Mina Andreeva has now spent six years in Brussels, where she works as a spokesperson for the European Commission (EC). It would be hard for someone to feel more European. “Even as a young girl, I dreamt of life in the European political arena.” “Never a dull moment.” This is how the UM graduate sums up her work for the EC - no one day is the same.

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Andreeva has been one of the three main spokespeople for Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EC, since

September 2014. In this way, she helps to give shape to the voice of the Commission.


Visit us at www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/alumni

Long workdays Her work is difficult to plan: that much becomes clear when the interview is rescheduled three times at the last minute due to unforeseen business. “It’s inherent in the life of an EC spokesperson”, her assistant says by way of an apology. Long workdays, irregular hours, many ad-hoc tasks and never knowing in advance what the news will bring: all these are minor inconveniences that Andreeva takes in her stride. “This is what I’ve always wanted.” She is especially proud of having found her dream job in such a prestigious organisation as the EC. “The European Commission is the only organisation in the world that holds a daily press conference”, she

explains. The famed press conference takes place every day at exactly midday; hence its alias in the corridors as the ‘noon prayer’. “Depending on the political agenda of the commissioners, tens to hundreds of journalists attend every day.” As spokesperson, Andreeva plays an important role in these press conferences. She regularly holds the conferences herself, and answers questions from hundreds of journalists every day on many different topics. “They range from questions on economic issues to the free movement of people in the EU.” Andreeva helps to prepare and coordinate the EC’s official standpoint on all breaking news relevant for Europe, and communicates this standpoint through interviews with the media. “Speaking many different languages is essential for this job: you have to be able to read foreign newspapers, but also to speak to journalists in their own language.”

Messenger Her workday begins every day at 6 am, ploughing through a pile of international newspapers. “During our political meeting at 8.30 in JeanClaude Juncker’s cabinet, I have to know where the fire is and what issues are at stake. There are different issues in Bulgaria, for example, compared to Greece.” Andreeva is also spokesperson for several other commissioners in addition to Juncker. “My job is to serve as a messenger between the commissioners and the outside world. Politicians can’t spend 24 hours a day explaining their policies. That’s what they have us for.” International image Although she was born in Bulgaria, Andreeva grew up and went to high school in Cologne. “Even as a sixyear-old I wanted to be a spokesperson, not that I knew then exactly what the job entailed”, she explains in rapid English. “I always had an opinion on everything, and just felt I was really cut out for the profession.” In search of a study programme, she quickly came across UM. “Maastricht is in the heart of Europe, is known for the Maastricht Treaty, and has an international image that really appealed to me. I wanted to study in English, so I chose European Studies at UM. The deciding factors were the university’s good reputation and the fact that it was just over the border. Studying in Germany was not an option for me. Education there is very individual and traditional, in contrast to the teaching method at UM. Working in groups, following the principles of Problem-Based Learning and taking responsibility

into your own hands - all this was ideally suited to me. I notice that I still apply those skills now in my everyday practice, where we often have to seek solutions in teams.” Love of Europe “The best thing about my job is that it allows me to combine my passion for communication with my love of Europe”, she continues. “Europe and its colourful mix of cultures and backgrounds have always been an important part of my life. What better place could there be for me?” For Andreeva, it was only natural to apply for a job at the EC after graduating. Together with 360 other candidates, she started a five-month traineeship in Brussels in 2007. One of the few allowed to stay on after the traineeship, she began working as a press officer for the Bulgarian cabinet. In 2012, she became the exclusive spokesperson for the Luxembourg commissioner Viviane Reding, who managed the Justice and Human Rights portfolio. “I travelled a lot, much more than I do now”, she says of those years. “In my current job my place is mainly here, in the press room of the EC’s headquarters in Brussels.”

Mina Andreeva Mina Andreeva (1983) was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has worked for the European Commission since 2008, including as spokesperson for Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice. She has been one of the three spokespeople for JeanClaude Juncker, president of the European Commission, since November 2014.

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One-eyed man in the land of the blind By Hans van Vinkeveen

From his humble beginnings as a medical student and later a radiologist, Loek Winter is now the largest private healthcare operator in the Netherlands. “My goal is to be to healthcare what Joop van den Ende is to the Dutch media.” He sowed the seeds of his career at the fledgling Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, the predecessor of Maastricht University (UM). Winter was among the earliest cohorts of medical students at the newly established Rijksuniversiteit. “We were seen as dirt on the street”, he says. “There was a lot of scepticism in the traditional medical world. People like my father, a GP, felt that we were getting a very average education. Medically speaking, there were indeed gaps in the early curriculum. But it was pioneering. The people were open minded and keen for something new. I felt at home there.” In particular, the principles of the new university appealed to him: its small-scale working method and Problem-Based Learning. “These principles formed the core of the way I still think and act today. My businesses revolve around providing care focused on the patient.” In his view, UM was far ahead of its time. “Organising work in self-managing and developing teams is a very modern and future-proof approach, which you now see all over the business world.” He continues: “My study years were extremely formative. The seed was sown then for my later career.” Uncomplicated time Winter’s affinity with healthcare runs deep: his father was a GP in Voerendaal and his mother ran the pharmacy. There was no question that he would study medicine. His parents didn’t pressure him; rather, the ambition was

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spurred along by his circle of friends. Radiology seemed exciting: “It’s a fascinating subject, full of innovations at the interface of technology and healthcare.” Student life in Maastricht was nice, but minimal. “These days it’s hard to believe there were only 100 students. But Maastricht is of course a fun city, so I didn’t always get around to studying. I’d spend an hour in the pub every day. It was very much a free and uncomplicated time.” Ten years later he returned to the classroom in Maastricht, this time for a master’s in Policy and Management at the Health Sciences faculty. “I wanted to increase my network and gain more insight into the workings of the healthcare system.” Limburg attitude Winter started working life in 1991, as a radiologist at Amsterdam’s Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis. He quickly became annoyed with hospital work: the inefficiency, the money that was thrown away, the waiting lists that never grew any shorter. Exasperated, he moved into healthcare entrepreneurship, founding the Amsterdam Diagnostic Centre in the 1990s. The centre proved to be a success, the first in a long line of medical centres that Winter would go


Visit us at www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/alumni

Loek Winter

on to establish or take over. By no means does he consider this a turnaround in his career: “Entrepreneurship is my second nature. I’ve always wanted to build new things and improve old things. It gives me a kick to see these medical centres full. It shows you’ve created something that’s in demand, that’s up and running. That’s the fun of it.” He does wonder occasionally whether he made the right career choice. Healthcare is not exactly an easy sector to do business in. “Being a doctor and an entrepreneur is like being a one-eyed man in the land of the blind.” Does he encounter resistance? “I wholesale in resistance”, he jokes. “Things never go of their own accord; that’s something you get tired of.” Essential in his line of work are persistence and obstinacy. “Not typically Limburg traits, I know. In the south, consensus is in the drinking water: Limburgers are pleasers. I’ve had to leave that modesty behind. That said, a Limburg attitude also gives me advantages. I’m good at dealing with people and recognising the difference between what people say and what they actually do.” Private entrepreneurship Winter has always remained a sort of doctor; it’s just that healthcare itself is his patient. And the patient is not exactly flourishing. “Healthcare is seriously ill. It’s a clientunfriendly, heavily institutionalised sector that revolves around doctors far too much and patients far too little. Care institutions are bureaucratic and inaccessible

behemoths. I want to bring an end to inefficiency, selfinterest and unproductiveness. The traditional hospitals need a kick in the behind. To this end, market forces and private entrepreneurship are indispensable.” He is inspired by Joop van den Ende, the Dutch media tycoon who has brought culture to the general public. Winter wants to do the same with healthcare. Maastricht University has remained dear to him. Winter is a board member of the Limburg University Fund/SWOL, which supports the expansion of the university. For him, it all goes back to those principles: the pioneering spirit of the early days, and the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of today. “These principles lie at the heart of the continued success of the university. They underpin the latest breakthroughs in education and point to how you can and must nurture the development of people. I’m proud that I was educated here.”

Loek Winter Loek Winter (1959) studied medicine from 1978 to 1984 and Policy and Management of Health Sciences from 1995 to 1999 at Maastricht University. Initially a radiologist, he is now the director of ten diagnostic centres and two hospitals. He also manages a chain of healthcare institutions. Winter was professor of Healthcare Entrepreneurship at Nyenrode Business University from 2011 to 2014.

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University Fund

Human Animal Sustainability Fund established

Pim Martens

The Human Animal Sustainability Fund was recently launched under the auspices of the Limburg University Fund. The fund supports research on sustainable human-animal relations aiming to improve the welfare of both humans and animals. Funding is provided for PhD projects, publications and other projects relevant to the theme. The fund was initiated by Pim Martens, professor of Sustainable Development at UM and director of the Maastricht University Graduate School of Sustainability Science (ICIS). Martens conducts research on animal sustainability, study-

ing topics such as the emotions of pets and the role of zoos from different perspectives. In addition, he uses mathematical models to study zoonoses (diseases transmitted from animals to humans) in combination with climate change. Other

projects are in the pipeline, including the development of an ‘animal happiness index’ and research on the ecological ‘paw print’ of animals. Third parties are invited to donate to the fund to support projects with relevant objectives.

Pales wins Local Hero Award 2014 In late 2014, the Limburg University Fund presented Pales with the Local Hero Award 2014. Pales is the company founded by horse enthusiast Elina Muceniece, winner of the student entrepreneurs contest, and her colleague Jan Steinke. Together they developed a portable technology that allows the heartbeat of a horse to be continuously monitored and reported to the owner.

The award consists of €10,000 seed money, intended to help talented, ambitious UM students get one step closer to their entrepreneurial dream. Thirteen teams took part in the competition, with six teams making it through to the final, where they pitched their original ideas and comprehensive business plans to a large audience and a jury. Organised by the Limburg University Fund and the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship, this was the third time the competition

has been held. New this year was that not only the jury’s verdict counted; the verdict of the audience was also taken into account.

Telephone campaign doubles number of alumni donors In a special telephone campaign, UM employees and students called more than 1500 alumni on behalf of the Limburg University Fund to ask if they would donate to education and research at their alma mater.

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This was the largest telephone campaign ever organised by the fund. Alumni were enthusiastic, as can be seen in the results of the campaign: more than one in seven respondents were happy to give to the cause. Given this success, the next telephone campaign is already planned for 2015.

Alumni also continue to engage with the university in other ways. Many serve on the advisory boards of their former study programmes, join regional alumni committees in the Netherlands and around the world, help to promote UM at home and abroad, and frequently attend UM network meetings.


New alumni on board of Limburg University Fund UM alumni hold statutory seats on the board of the Limburg University Fund/ SWOL, which is nearing its 50th anniversary. Eight of the 14 current board members are alumni, each with different academic backgrounds and a broad range of professions.

In 2014, Maaike Schipperheijn (Royal Dutch Shell) and Yvette van Eenennaam (Deloitte) stepped down from the board after years of faithful service as alumni representatives. They are succeeded by Christianne Lennards (board member of the Maxima Medical

Centre) and Eric Joosten (CEO of Arion Group). The board, chaired by the King’s Commissioner in Limburg and composed of members from a variety of sectors, is dedicated to raising and allocating funds for research and education at UM.

University Fund supports research and education A total of €135,500 in funding was awarded to 59 proposals by UM researchers in 2014, following evaluation of the proposals by the University Fund’s Expenditure Committee. In addition, nine scholarships for talented young people from outside Europe were funded through companies, institutions and individuals. New this year is a donation from the Venlo Region, which will cover the costs of the master’s programmes at UM’s Campus Venlo for 10 students from the region. It is hoped that these scholarships will contribute to regional development and talent retention.

Campus Venlo

The logos of members of the Limburg University Fund Curatorium are shown below. These companies and private individuals are highly respected for the support they give to academic research and education. The Limburg University Fund/SWOL is very grateful to its Curatorium members for their commitment to Maastricht University.

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Relationship between depression and diabetes Psychological distress, including depression, is 10% to 30% more prevalent in people with type II diabetes than in those who do not have diabetes. This is the result of research carried out as part of the Maastricht Study, a large-scale screening programme conducted in South Limburg. Previous studies also identified this association between psychological problems and type II diabetes. However, little was known about the biological and behavioural mechanisms that may

explain this link, or the role of personality in this context. Initial results of the Maastricht Study reveal that personality traits may play a role when it comes to the relationship between psychological distress and type II diabetes. The results show a difference between people with and without type II diabetes with regard to the prevalence of ‘Type D’ (i.e. introvert) personality. Further research is required to confirm

this relationship and to gain more insight into the underlying biological and behavioural mechanisms that link psychological distress with morbidity and mortality in type II diabetes patients. The important question is whether the type II diabetes itself is primarily responsible for depression in these patients, irrespective of their personality type.

Frans de Waal first Eugène Dubois Chair The Dutch primatologist and ethologist Professor Frans de Waal has been appointed as the first Eugène Dubois Chair. Established at Maastricht University by the Eugène Dubois Foundation, the chair will rotate each year. Candidates must

be able to work across disciplines and to communicate with a large audience. To promote interdisciplinarity, the chair will always be hosted by the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and one other faculty; in this case, the

Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. De Waal will be present in Maastricht for several weeks in 2015 to contribute to the education and research programmes of both faculties.

First Dutch study on Post-IC Syndrome Paul Roekaerts, the new professor of Intensive Care Medicine at Maastricht University, is starting research at the Maastricht UMC+ to assess patients’ quality of life after a stay in an intensive care (IC) unit. Figures from abroad show that 30% to 50% of former IC patients suffer from physical limitations that hinder their capacity to perform everyday activities, such as showering and walking. Another 40% of former IC patients suffer from mental illnesses,

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including depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) is a relatively new concept, introduced two years ago by a professional group in the United States. It includes all new and worsening physical, cognitive and mental health problems that occur in survivors and their families after treatment in an IC unit. In the Netherlands, approximately 25,000 patients spend

longer than 48 hours in IC each year, about 18,500 of whom leave the hospital alive. However, little is known about their short- and long-term quality of life thereafter. With alarming figures reported in other countries in recent years, Roekaerts aims to take stock of the Dutch situation, starting in Maastricht.


Contents

Further 04 Leading in Learning - International cooperation key to distinguished health masters

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European Asylum

In 2014, more than 140,000 asylum seekers made their way across the Mediterranean Sea towards the Italian islands of Lampedusa and Sicily. Thousands drowned en route. In summer 2015, the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) will come into effect. Will this centralisation of the approach to asylum issues across EU member states help to solve problems like those in Lampedusa? Khalid Koser, professor of Conflict, Peace and Security, and Maarten Vink, professor of Political Science, are moderately enthusiastic.

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Exchange programme Japan

Christian Bertens is a student of the European-Japan double master’s degree in Neuroscience. He has been working in the biomolecular lab at Toho University, Tokyo, since September.

“Japan is full of contradictions. People drive electric cars with Wi-Fi in them, but they’re really behind in other areas. Take the payment system in shops and supermarkets. Everyone pays with cash and you can only use your card at the ATM, not in the store itself.”

06 Euregion - Hildegard Schneider: Living on the border: challenge or a chance? 09 Dies Natalis - Frans Timmermans: “You don’t change the world by posting your opinion on Facebook” 12 Brightlands Chemelot Campus - Sanjay Rastogi: Three jobs, one goal: the quest for biobased polymers 16 Publication - Anita Jansen: Learning not to eat 18 Research and society - Aline Sierp: Sharing memories for a stronger Europe 24 Portrait - Saskia Klosse: Social in heart and mind 26 Professor-Student - Professor Lex Borghans and PhD candidate Margriet van der Sluis 30 Off the job - Jaap Hoogenboezem: Office work in camouflage uniform 34 Alumni - Mina Andreeva: The voice of the European Commission -Loek Winter: One-eyed man in the land of the blind 36 University Fund - News News 14, 15, 23 and 38

Profile

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• Network Social Innovation (NSI)

T +31 43 388 5238 / +31 43 388 5222

• Limburg Institute of Financial

E annelotte.huiskes@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Economics (LIFE)

webmagazine.maastrichtuniversity.nl

• The Maastricht Academic Centre for Research in Services (MAXX) • Accounting, Auditing & Information Management Research Centre (MARC) • European Centre for Corporate

Cover: Imbissbude Torstrasse, Berlin. Photographer: Christoph Buckstegen / www.christophbuckstegen.de With special thanks to Jean-Pierre Pilet.

Engagement (ECCE) • United Nations University - Maastricht vation and Technology (UNU-MERIT),

• Institute for Corporate Law, Govern-

(p2,28,29), Christoph Buckstegen (cover), Harry Heuts

February, June and October. It is sent on demand

• Institute for Globalisation and

Research (METRO)

Photography: Loraine Bodewes (p19), Christian Bertens

• Graduate School of Business and

Economic Research Institute on Inno-

• Institute for Transnational Legal

Jolien Linssen, Graziella Runchina, Hans van Vinkeveen.

School of Business and Economics

Faculty of Law International Regulation (IGIR)

Fons Elbersen, Roy Erkens, Jos Kievits, Alexander Sack,

• The Maastricht Forensic Institute (tMFI)

Foundation • Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organisational Performance and human Excellence (NSCOPE) • Marketing-Finance Research Lab

ISSN: 2210-5212

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magazine 01/February 2015

Based in Europe, focused on the world. Maastricht University is a stimulating environment. Where research and teaching are complementary. Where innovation is our focus. Where talent can flourish. A truly student oriented research university.

www.maastrichtuniversity.nl

About education and research at Maastricht University

Interview with

Frans Timmermans on ‘engaging talent’ - p9

ITEM

The new expertise centre for international and Euregional issues - p6

Learning

not to eat

A psychological treatment for obesity - p16

Profile for Maastricht University

Maastricht University Magazine, february 2015  

Maastricht University Magazine, february 2015  

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