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February 2017 on education and research at Maastricht University

Honorary doctorate for Joachim Gauck

Data science:

changing the world one bit at a time

Interview with the new distinguished university professor Michel Dumontier



‘It’s about compassion’ Maarten Verkerk and David Townend on the ‘completed life’ bill ----p7

28 International Lana Sirri: Islamic feminist in Maastricht academia -----

/ If the work’s too hard, make it easier /

30 Veni grant

Paul Smeets: Why investors are embracing sustainability -----


33 Off the job

p19 A new institute aims to enhance the participation of people with occupational disabilities in the labour market. The Inclusive Labour Organisation Expertise Centre, launched by Maastricht University in September 2016, will make insights from research available to companies, governments and social organisations. ---------------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------------------------

Further 04 Leading in Learning

PBL: partly formed in Maastricht ----p24

From 1974 onwards the psychology professor Henk Schmidt contributed to the development of PBL at the country’s eighth medical faculty in Maastricht, came up with the ‘seven-step approach’ and conducted a great deal of academic research on this teaching method. Since 2001 Schmidt has worked at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and it is there that Virginie Servant defended her PhD thesis on PBL. “Maastricht has contributed at least as much to changes in medical education as McMaster”, Servant concludes.

Mark Winands: Still waiting for the humanoid robot -----

38 Alumni

Jeroen Trienes: Games that matter -----

40 University Fund News -----

10, 11, 27 and 42 News

07 Discussion

Maarten Verkerk and David Townend on the ‘completed life’ bill -----

12 Portrait

Michel Dumontier: Data science: changing the world one bit at a time -----

16 Event: Dies Natalis

Maastricht University Executive Board Martin Paul, Rianne Letschert and Nick Bos

In the year in which we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty, UM recently had the special pleasure of awarding an honorary doctorate to the German president Joachim Gauck during the 41st Dies Natalis. Gauck is a staunch advocate of Europe, and a strong believer in the opportunities offered by close European cooperation and a transnational society. Just like Maastricht University. In both education and research, Europe has long been high on our agenda. Study programmes such as European Law School, European Studies and European Public Health train the leaders of the future. Students from all over the world collaborate in our international classroom, getting acquainted right from the outset with the globalising society in which they will work. But in research, too, Europe holds a prominent place at UM. What does Brexit mean for Europe, legally and economically? Why is populism on the rise across the continent? Sentiments are running high over migration, but are they in keeping with the facts? How can Europe hold its own in the process of globalisation? These are just a few of the many questions that give rise to research at UM that is both fascinating in itself and important to society at large.

It is certainly no coincidence that the city which stood at the cradle of the European Union 25 years ago is also home to the most international university in the country; a university in the heart of Europe with a big heart for Europe, working towards a Europe that is ready to deal with the global challenges of today. In the coming four years, we will further strengthen the links between education and research throughout the university. Our new CORE philosophy – Collaborative Open Research Education – will stand us in good stead to meet the demands and expectations of a modern, increasingly global society; a society characterised by diversity and multidisciplinarity. UM seeks to transcend borders, in all senses. We want to be a university that is open-minded, innovative and inclusive. The word ‘university’, derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, originally referred to a community of teachers and scholars. We see our students and alumni as an integral part of our academic community. In this sense, we are all ‘the university’: all 4,000 employees, 16,000 students and more than 50,000 alumni. Diversity is a key word in our research as well. By acknowledging and accepting the differences between people, between types of research and education, it is possible to find a balance that does justice to everyone’s talents. We trust that this can help put a stop to unbridled isolationism and populism. <<

Honorary doctorate for Joachim Gauck: Two generations of Germans reflect on his life and work -----

22 Spread

Maastricht University and Europe


Alum Pauline Hakutangwi Pauline Hakutangwi works at the consultancy firm A&R Edelman in London, dealing with policy issues surrounding access to healthcare worldwide. “The master’s in Global Health turned out to be ideal. It gave me a solid foundation to achieve my goal: improving the health of vulnerable groups of people.” 2 UMagazine / February 2017

Jeanine Grasmeijer: Diving to great depths in a bubble -----

/ Heart for Europe /

Cover Arjen Schmitz Talented photographers were asked to come up with an image relating to one of our cover stories. Arjen Schmitz works as a photographer both on commission and independently. In 2014 he won first prize in the category City and Landscape and the Members’ Choice Award of the Photographer Association of the Netherlands (PANL). He also won third prize in the category Landscape at the Sony World Photography Awards.


Photo Sacha Ruland

3 February 2017 / UMagazine

Leading in Learning

Text Jos Cortenraad Photography Harry Heuts

Computers that are smarter than people and able to make independent decisions. Robots that replace caregivers and can even have a nice chat with their patients. Is this the future? Mark Winands, director of the popular master’s programme in Artificial Intelligence, is not ruling anything out. “We haven’t yet reached the limits of what computers can do. But a humanoid robot with emotions or feelings? I don’t see that on the immediate horizon.”

/ Still waiting for the humanoid robot / Thinking computers, robots – these are the ‘living’ proof of the kinds of things that can be done with artificial intelligence. There is no shortage of examples. In 1997 the chess computer Deep Blue beat the then best player in the world, Gary Kasparov, for the first time. More recent years have seen the development of the self-driving car, with autonomous systems by Google, Tesla and Apple set to get us safely from A to B within roughly five years. Then there’s the ubiquitous internet software that ‘knows’ from your online behaviour which wine you like, which books you read and where you go on holiday.


“Thanks to the vastly increased computing power of chips and processors, we can now teach computers more and more things”, Winands says. “Software programs can process massive amounts of data and control hardware. And by programming computers we can have them imitate human behaviour. So it’s mimicry, in other words; nothing more. There’s a reason it’s called artificial intelligence. That’s why computers still can’t translate well, and you can tell pretty quickly it’s not a real person behind Siri and other chat programs.”

Programme director of the Master in Artificial Intelligence Mark Winands / Student Dennis Soeters 4 UMagazine / February 2017

A computer is intelligent if it can fool a person.

Yet, computers sometimes get the better of us. “True. The chess computer is a good example. And all sorts of other programs have been developed since then that beat people at games like Jeopardy or Go and many online games. Computers never get tired, are good at doing calculations and in principle don’t make mistakes. They don’t have emotions and always make rational decisions. People are different.”


In the Netherlands alone, six universities offer degrees in artificial intelligence. The master’s at Maastricht University follows on from the bachelor’s in Knowledge Engineering. “It’s not easy to define artificial intelligence”, says Winands, who studied Data Science and Knowledge Engineering in Maastricht and obtained his PhD in artificial intelligence. “The Turing test has it that a computer is intelligent if it can fool a person. We’re not there yet. And there are different approaches. In Maastricht, we emphasise the rational approach. Our students design and develop software that allows computers or robots to outperform people in different tasks. The focus is less on philosophy, emotions and other psychological aspects and more on making the optimal decision.” >> 5 February 2017 / UMagazine

Mark Winands (1978) studied Knowledge Engi-


neering in Maastricht and Hasselt and completed his master’s in Artificial Intelligence at UM in 2000. After obtaining his PhD in 2004, he briefly worked at Statistics Netherlands and Reykjavik University before returning to Maastricht as a researcher and lecturer. He is currently programme director of the Master in Artificial Intelligence.

Data science

Winands, himself born and raised in Valkenburg, points to recent and ongoing developments in South Limburg, including the new smart services campus in Heerlen and the soon-to-be-established Data Science institute. “Developments like these, which involve large organisations such as CBS, Medtronic and APG, open up a lot of opportunities for us as a university. We definitely want to collaborate with the Data Science institute; our students will be able to do projects there and later work there later.”

Every day

For the layperson, artificial intelligence is essentially a form of higher mathematics. Winands smiles. “It’s about algorithms, arithmetic, logical thinking. Developing software is a science, of course. But it’s also the foundation for a huge range of possibilities. You come across artificial intelligence every day, everywhere. It rules our society.” The most striking feature of the master’s in Maastricht is the focus on gaming. “Games are ideally suited to pioneering with artificial intelligence. You can develop them, refine them. But for us it’s not about the game, or about playing or winning. We’re looking for the system that makes the best decisions; that anticipates the opponent’s move and comes up with solutions. That type of knowledge is very widely applicable.”


Data mining is a good example. “With the help of powerful computers, you can combine the data of millions of patients, draw conclusions, make predictions and start treatments. One of our alumni is currently working on a study in Brussels in the area of credit card fraud. Payment details and transactions leave patterns behind. If you recognise the pattern you can also identify deviations, which helps you to detect and prevent fraud. That’s just one example.”

6 UMagazine / February 2017

Naturally, Winands occasionally wonders just how much computers and robots will ultimately be able to do. “The possibilities are vast. That said, there are limits to the power of computers. The next era will be that of the quantum computer. But emotion, feeling? In the near future I don’t see more than mimicry happening.” <<

Games Students of the UM master’s in Artificial Intelligence regularly find themselves among the winners in gaming competitions. Last summer Dennis Soemers brought home the award for the best student paper at the annual IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Games (IEEE CIG). Earlier in 2016 he also won the single-player track in the General Video Game AI competition. This is a new research line for the development of programs that can perform not one but multiple tasks (a traditional chess program, for example, can play chess but not checkers). “I worked on the software as a project for my master’s thesis”, Soemers explains. “The paper also describes the techniques I used. I extended a well-known algorithm, Monte-Carlo Tree Search, with existing ideas from the literature and a number of new ideas. Students study this algorithm at length during the master’s programme in Maastricht.”

/ Ultimately, it’s about compassion / Endowed professor of Christian Philosophy Maarten Verkerk / Endowed professor of Law and Legal Philosophy in Health, Medicine and Life Sciences David Townend

7 February 2017 / UMagazine

In 2016 the Rutte Cabinet proposed that assisted suicide be legalised for older people who feel they have led a full life. The proposal is, according to Maarten Verkerk, endowed professor of Christian Philosophy, a “neoliberal” brainchild that prioritises indivi­dual autonomy over morality. There is no such thing as pure self-determination, says David Townend, endowed professor of Law and Legal Philosophy in Health, Medicine and Life Sciences. “What kind of society are we if this is the only way out we can offer to elderly people who have lost hope?” Verkerk was a member of the Schnabel Commission, which early last year advised against greater self-­ determination in assisted suicide cases. Far from heeding this advice, the government is instead proposing to expand the existing euthanasia law. Under the new law, relatively healthy older people who consider their lives to be “completed” would be eligible to have their lives terminated by a professional. The bill places autonomy centre-stage, virtually making euthanasia and assisted suicide a right. It is a polarising prospect – and one that is not helped by the fact that public debate is all too often characterised by fierce and dogmatic rhetoric. What is lacking, say the two philosophers, is calm, serious dialogue focusing on the issues at hand.

One solution

The professors share the same objections to the proposed law. For starters, the bill does not do justice to the diverse motives of elderly people who wish to end their lives. Verkerk refers to the recent PhD research ‘Ready to give up on life’ by Els van Wijngaarden, who interviewed elderly people who had grown tired of life for non-medical reasons. The results revealed a broad spectrum of motives. Some old people fear becoming dependent. Others suffer from a deep sense of loneliness; while still more feel they simply no longer matter. “For all these different ‘completed lives’,” Verkerk explains, “one diagnosis and one solution is offered: suicide.”

8 UMagazine / February 2017

Text Hans van Vinkeveen Photography Paul van der Veer

Townend suggests elderly people may feel under pressure to make use of the new law. “Often it’s not a free choice. People’s motives are the result of the social situation in which they find themselves. What kind of society are we if this is the way out we offer to elderly people who have lost hope?” The failure of the government to live up to its moral responsibility to protect particularly vulnerable old people may, Verkerk fears, ultimately lead to a less safe society.

Maarten Verkerk (1953) is endowed professor of Christian Philosophy at Maastricht University. His second PhD focused on responsible behaviour in industrial organisations. He is a board member of the healthcare innovation network VitaValley and served on the Schnabel Commission, which advised the government on extending the euthanasia law.

Medical setting

The unpredictable consequences of the new law may be the most concerning. Townend emphasises the current importance of “anchoring” any assisted suicide law in a medical setting to guard against stretching it too far. In Verkerk’s view, the present Termination of Life Act is broad enough to accommodate “completed life” cases. The act hinges on two criteria: unbearable suffering and no prospect of improvement. “But the interpretation of these criteria may gradually broaden on the basis of new verdicts. That happens all the time.” Yet the present euthanasia law does not provide a solution for everyone. Based on Van Wijngaarden’s study, Verkerk identifies two groups of elderly people who are “without hope”: those who are afraid of being dependent, and those who are existentially lonely. The first group can be helped through proper home care, nursing homes and more support from children and volunteers. But the deeply lonely cannot be fixed with bingo nights and outings, Verkerk acknowledges. “We can only listen to them attentively and talk about it.”


And so we arrive at the key question surrounding the euthanasia debate. What kind of society do we want to be? The problem of unlimited self-determination is mainly found, Verkerk explains, in individualistic societies. “The sociologist Norbert Elias once said ‘if you live alone you die alone’. In our type of society loneliness is much more common than it used to be. Euthanasia is a solution, but is it a good solution? I don’t see it that way. Personally I find relationships, including those with fragile elderly people, very important.” The professors’ main objection to the bill is its lack of moral foundation. “It’s only about autonomy, autonomy, autonomy”, Verkerk says, banging the table for emphasis. “Proponents just say ‘die, if you want to die’. They don’t see autonomy as constructed in a social environment.” Townend: “Doing something for people who have lost hope is a moral challenge. If this new law is the answer, that’s a terrible indictment of our society.”

David Townend (1966) is endowed professor of Law and Legal Philosophy in Health, Medicine and Life Sciences at Maastricht University. His PhD focused on the regulation of data protection in medical research. He is interested in human rights and healthcare, including such themes as patient rights in European health law.


Their own answer is one that involves more social warmth and responsibility. It’s about compassion, Townend emphasises. “It’s about how we as a society help suffering elderly people cope with their fear of dependence, loneliness and dementia.” Which brings us, ultimately, to the question: what kind of people do we ourselves want to be? “Medical care should be merciful”, says Verkerk. “That involves taking better care of vulnerable citizens who have had enough of life, and training compassionate, trustworthy doctors.” But there is no trace of this in the government’s position. Verkerk criticises the simplistic approach of what he calls neoliberal and populist politicians. “They just parrot what the people want without reflecting on it.” Townend adds: “We, as citizens, have allowed this issue to become exclusively debated by politicians. Yet it’s a topic we should all be talking about openly and everywhere in society – in schools, cafes, universities.” <<

Doing something for people who have lost hope is a moral challenge.

9 February 2017 / UMagazine

Dissertation Award 2016 Each year, UM awards a prize for the best PhD dissertation defended in that calendar year. The winner of the Dissertation Award 2016 is Dr Jess Bier for her dissertation ‘Mapping Israel mapping Palestine’. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Israel and Palestine, Bier examined how the segregated landscapes of Jerusalem and the West Bank influence the way this region has been mapped since 1967. The jury was impressed by her highly original approach to the topic. Bier is currently assistant professor of Urban Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam.


41st Dies Natalis This year the Dies celebration, under the theme ‘Europe Calling’, was organised alongside festivities in the city marking 25 years of the Maastricht Treaty. In honour of the anniversary UM awarded an honorary doctorate to Joachim Gauck, the President of the Federal Republic of Germany. Described by Angela Merkel as a ‘tireless advocate for freedom, democracy, and justice’, Gauck was nominated by the University Council for his staunch support of Europe. The honorary doctorate was awarded in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. Gauck also delivered the Dies Lecture during the ceremony in the Theater aan het Vrijthof. In keeping with tradition, the university rector presented the Wynand Wijnen Education Prize, the Dissertation Prize 2016 and the Student Awards during the ceremony.

10 UMagazine / February 2017

Student Awards 2016

Wynand Wijnen Education Prize 2016 The Wynand Wijnen Education Prize is awarded annually in commemoration of the professor of Education Science Wynand Wijnen, who passed away in 2012. In addition to being the founder of ProblemBased Learning at UM, Wijnen is remembered for his contributions to national educational reform. This year’s prize was awarded to Dr Jeanette Hommes, who has worked for the Department of Education, Research and Development at the School of Business and Economics since 1991. Over the past 25 years, Hommes has made a significant contribution to the professionalisation of UM teaching staff. The jury praised the personal approach she takes in guiding new lecturers and her commitment to training, coaching and development: “Her dedication and involvement are exceptional.”

The master’s students who received top marks for their final thesis were presented during the academic ceremony with the Student Award 2016. The winning students were Esther Schwich, Sophie Joosten, Leonor Vulpe Albari, Marlene Meissner, Matthijs Korevaar, Marie-Theres Hess, Denise Petzold, Dennis Soemers and Pia Schröder. During the morning session, the prizes for the best bachelor’s theses (or honours projects for the bachelor’s in medicine) of 2016 were awarded. The winning students were Karin Koymans, Vasileios Nittas, Floor Pinckaers, Janine Ziemons, Linda Gruijthuijsen, Laurie Schreurs, Alessandra Silva, Iris van Asselt, Florian Knäple, Michael Göpper, Merit Geldmacher, Kenny Sieben, Robin Jos Schormans, Laura Dohmen, Merle van den Akker, Viktoria, Fabian Fränz and Myrthe Dingemanse. <<

Walking better than high-intensity exercise for diabetics Walking, strolling and standing more during the day is better for sugar regulation in diabetics than an hour of high-intensity exercise. ‘The standard for people with diabetes is to spend thirty minutes to an hour doing high-intensity exercise every day. As it turns out, this norm is insufficient,’ says Bernard Duvivier, a researcher with the department of Human Biology and Human Movement Sciences at Maastricht University. ‘Low-intensity, everyday activities such as standing, strolling or walking have a better effect on blood sugar regulation in diabetics than an hour of high-intensity exercise.’ Duvivier published his findings in the European scientific journal Diabetologia. The advantages of sitting less compared to one hour of high-intensity exercise do not apply exclusively to diabetics. The same group of human movement scientists at Maastricht University published a similar study in 2013 on a group of healthy students between the ages of 19 and 24. They found that the benefits of a long period of slow, low-intensity exercise has greater health benefits than short periods of high-intensity exercise. Duvivier is currently investigating whether the low-intensity regime offers health benefits for obese people as well. The initial results suggest that walking and standing is also effective for people with obesity. <<

UM Medallion of Honour for Prof. Louis Boon Professor Louis Boon was awarded the UM Medallion of Honour in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development and reputation of Maastricht University. The medal was presented by UM president Professor Martin Paul on Thursday 15 December. The Executive Board sees the award as an appropriate show of appreciation for Professor Boon’s dedication and achievements.

UCM Louis Boon has made a major contribution to the development of Maastricht University over the past 30 years. He was dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, initiated the establishment of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience and served as one of its first deans.

Special mention should be made of his term as dean of University College Maastricht. Boon was one of the pioneers of this type of study programme in the Netherlands. UCM has a diverse, international and highly motivated student body, and the fact that many graduates are admitted to prestigious universities abroad testifies to the outstanding quality of the programme. UCM is one of few programmes that received the Certificate of Exceptional Quality from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) in 2006. Further, it was elected the best study programme in the Netherlands in the Keuzegids guide to higher education 2017.

Inspiring leader

Boon was one of the founders of the Maastricht Science Programme, and in recent years served as founding dean of University College Venlo, whose success to date is partly thanks to his inspiring leadership. In addition, Boon established strong links between the university and international education in Maastricht, such as the United World College. Professor Louis Boon bid farewell to UM on 1 January 2017. <<

11 February 2017 / UMagazine


Text Annelotte Huiskes Photography Sacha Ruland

/ Data science: changing the world one bit at a time / The amount of data produced by scientists increases by one third every year, according to the European Commission. How can they find their way around this mountain of data? This is the key question intriguing the new distin­ guished university professor of Data Science, Michel Dumontier. The 41-year-old Canadian researcher is relocating to Maastricht from the prestigious Stanford University, where he focused on discovering new drugs and precision medicine.

12 UMagazine / February 2017

When Dumontier was invited to establish an interdisciplinary institute for data science in Maastricht, he didn’t have to think twice. “If you want to change the world you have to collaborate. What Maastricht has in mind is unique. Nowhere else in the world will you find an interfaculty institute for data science like the one planned here.”

‘Aha’ moment

Rewind a decade or so and a data scientist was typically a computer programmer with a highly technical background. With all the software that has since been developed, Dumontier says, it’s now someone who knows how to ask the right questions. “If you know what problem you want to solve, you can figure out what data you need.” Dumontier himself never studied computer science; he is a self-taught programmer who originally trained as a biochemist. Given his first computer at the age of five, he was immediately hooked. His mother had to coax him out from behind the screen to play outside from time to time. But his father was just as enthusiastic as he was; as he saw it, computers were the future. Dumontier was constantly playing video games with his younger brother. Still, when it was time to choose a study programme he opted for biochemistry, having always been interested in the natural sciences. It was only during his PhD that he decided definitively to focus on programming.

“Initially it was a very frustrating experience, but at some point I got the hang of it. I learned how to interact with the computer; how to get it to do the things I wanted it to do. Once I learned how to translate my thoughts into code, I realised that almost anything I could think of, I could do on the computer. That was an enormous ‘aha’ moment. It’s a kind of method-driven creative engagement. Once I discovered that, I never looked back at being a biochemist. Biological research is actually really difficult. You do an experiment one day and get certain results, the next day you do the same experiment and the results are totally different. And you’re not sure why: is it something I did, or was the result wrong in the first place? If a computer program doesn’t work, it can only be your own fault. And you can fix it.”


He calls this the ‘empowering aspect’ of data science, and it is something he aims to impart to his students. “It’s my hope that when we give undergraduates and even high school students some data and methodological training and then have them analyse a problem from their environment, they can come up with creative solutions and recommendations for policymakers and managers. Once you’ve learned the basic tools of data science, you can start thinking about all sorts of problems, from the impact of immigration to the consequences of ageing here in the region.” >>

13 February 2017 / UMagazine

Knowledge graph

In Stanford Dumontier developed a way of making connections between biomedical data, enabling predictive analyses to be made from the mountain of information. “We’ve built a network, which we call a knowledge graph, made up of data from individual molecules, chemicals, genes and proteins all the way up to geographic information about populations from all over the world. We use a set of methods that not only allows us to answer a question, but also to find connections that would otherwise remain hidden. For example, we use this drug for that disease, but maybe we could use it for another disease; it’s just that nobody’s ever explored it.”


What makes their method so special? “In principle nothing. There are many different ways to connect data, but it’s about adopting a standard way of storing and processing data.” Having a single standard allows data to be used and reused by others – and the more accessible the data are, the better scientists can validate their research and the greater the chance of finding solutions to important problems. “It’s similar to the reason the internet is so successful. All you needed were two technical tools: TCP/IP, a way of transporting information around a network, and HTML, a means of putting information on a page so that it can be rendered by a browser. Now that this is standard,

you only need one browser to view the web of data. But imagine nobody had that standard; you’d need a million browsers to be able to read all those different pages. So these tools give us a uniform way of sharing information and making it accessible. My group focuses on what the minimum standards are to make scientific data accessible in a uniform way. That’s the technology we’ve developed and want to bring to the attention of others.”

Michel Dumontier (1975) was associate professor of Medicine (Biomedical Informatics) at Stanford University from 2013 to 2017. He obtained his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Toronto in 2004. From 2006-2013 he was assistant and associate professor at Carleton University in Ottawa. He holds various ancillary positions, including chair of the AMIA Knowledge Repre­sentation and Semantics Working Group since 2016 and scientific director of Bio2RDF (an open-source project that creates and connects data for the life sciences) since 2010. He was appointed university professor of Data Science at Maastricht University on 1 January 2017.

Unifying space

This is what will happen in the Institute for Data Science, which currently goes by the working name IDS@UM. “It’s an opportunity to see if our methods can be applied to these data, the problems here, and not only to the biomedical data I used at Stanford. The institute will be a unifying space. We’ll be working closely with researchers from the DKE, but also with data scientists from all disciplines, from economics and humanities to health and life sciences, so that we can share different methods and applications. We want to give a home to all those data scientists who are now working alone at UM, and create a good academic environment: what is the latest and greatest development? How well does it work? Could econometric methods also be used for human health, and vice versa? Can a discovery in one domain also work in another?” Thinking small is not part of Dumontier’s repertoire. He hopes they will ultimately be joined by universities worldwide. “If you want to change the world, you can’t do it alone. Wouldn’t it be great if a doctor could give you the right treatment from day one, tailored to your individual characteristics – don’t we all want that?”


Privacy is naturally a big issue, especially in medical science. “People worry that the information they provide could be used against them. But the solution is not to not share information. I think the solution is to have rules and laws that punish those who abuse the privilege of having access to your information.

One of the reasons medical research is so slow is because medical data are not easily accessible. Let’s not put up barriers to accessing data. There are far more people who would do good things with data than people who would do bad things with them. So let’s not punish the people who try to do good.”

Moving house

If you want to change the world, you can’t do it alone.

Dumontier and his partner, an internist, are already house-hunting in Maastricht. He met her at Stanford where she was doing an internship in biomedical informatics. “We have this shared interest in informatics.” Moving from the States to Europe was no problem. His father was a salesman, and for his work the family moved around a lot. “I was born in Winnipeg, but we lived in Woodstock Ontario, Montreal and Thunder Bay, where I went to high school. I’m at home wherever I am, and that’s now Maastricht – one of the nicest cities I’ve seen, by the way.”


Barely in his 40s, with a high-flying career – does he spend all his time working? “Not at all, I stick to the standard working day. People tend to think the more hours you work the more productive you are. For me 14 UMagazine / February 2017

it’s the opposite. If you take more time to think and reflect, you’re more effective in the things you do.” What does he do to switch off? “Two things: first, I have a rabbit. She came with me from Canada to America, and she’ll move to Maastricht too. She’s probably the most widely travelled rabbit in the world”, he laughs. “She’s seven years old. I had another rabbit too, but he passed away recently. So we’re looking forward to getting some new rabbits here. Watching rabbits just doing their thing is very Zen. You get to know them. They’re intelligent individuals and they have huge personalities. It helps me clear my head and just relax for a bit. “The other thing I do is play video games. I can spend hours doing that. People have different hobbies. Some people run; video games are my thing. It’s an opportunity to think completely differently. It’s not addictive, it’s more therapeutic. I’m very good at it and that’s also rewarding – you need something to do that you’re good at.” <<

15 February 2017 / UMagazine


/ Honorary doctorate for German president Joachim Gauck /

On Tuesday 7 February 2017, exactly 25 years after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, UM celebrated its 41st Dies Natalis. During the anniversary celebrations the German president Joachim Gauck was presented with an honorary doctorate. Here, two generations of Germans reflect on his life and work.

“His has been a worthwhile political career”

Thomas Unger, scientific director of the School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM), was closely involved last year in the awarding of an honorary doctorate to his former colleague, the German pharmacologist Detlev Ganten. This year, he looked on from the sidelines. Does Gauck deserve this honour? “Absolutely. He’s a very popular president with few opponents. That in itself is an achievement.” Gauck, born in 1940 in the northern city of Rostock, grew up under the dictatorship of the GDR. He experienced the terror of communism first-hand when his father vanished without a trace and spent several years imprisoned in a Siberian labour camp.

Gauck as moral authority: it’s hardly an overstatement.

16 UMagazine / February 2017

Text Jolien Linssen Photography Harry Heuts

The young Gauck was left with a deep-seated distrust of the system. After refusing to join the Communist Party, he saw his dream of being a journalist go up in smoke. Instead he opted for theology, eventually becoming a minister. He played an important role in the peaceful revolution of 1989, and was a member of the first freely elected GDR parliament in 1990. On 2 October of that year he was appointed director of the government agency responsible for unravelling and preserving the secret Stasi documents. The Stasi Records Agency would soon become known as simply the ‘Gauck office’. “That was quite a career change”, Unger says. “Imagine a preacher from the East suddenly become a political player on the national scene. He spent ten years working on kilometres’ worth of Stasi archives, aware of how sensitive it would be for some people. And he didn’t act out of revenge or resentment, which is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted, considering his own experiences. Instead he opted for a nuanced and just approach. I think this is what led people in Germany to take a different view of their own past. Not everyone who collaborated with the Stasi was inherently bad or immoral – people were influenced and sometimes forced into impossible situations. He built up a lot of respect by always standing up for values like democracy, freedom and justice.” Gauck as moral authority: it’s hardly an overstatement. But perhaps his greatest asset is his ability to bring people together. Is this a character trait that can be traced back to the Church? “Yes, he still has a very pastoral attitude”, Unger says. “He’s a good speaker, always knows how to strike the right tone and takes the audience with him in his story. As president, of course, his role is mainly ceremonial. But because he has this ability to connect with people, he’s able to make things happen, build bridges. That was very clear when he was elected president in 2012. He had the support of all the traditional parties, which is quite unique.” The link between Gauck and UM, in Unger’s view, lies in Gauck’s unflinching support for Europe. “Gauck is a European at heart, something he often says himself. I agree with him that European cooperation above all provides opportunities, which we absolutely mustn’t pass up. So it’s appropriate that Gauck should receive an honorary doctorate here, in the city that gave the starting shot for the establishment of the European Union. Add to that the fact that many Germans study and work at UM. Honouring a representative of Germany pays tribute to this special relationship.” >> 17 February 2017 / UMagazine

Text Graziella Runchina Photography Sacha Ruland


“The choice of Gauck is a statement”

Without the intervention of Friederike Borkamp (1991) and her fellow students in the University Council, an honorary doctorate for Joachim Gauck may never have come to pass. It was the council’s student delegation that put forward the idea in 2014. “The rector magnificus at the time, Professor Luc Soete, gave us the opportunity to nominate a candidate for an honorary doctorate”, Borkamp explains. Their choice went to Gauck for the special role he played during the reunification of Germany, first during the peaceful revolution in the GDR and later in bringing the Stasi archives to light. “Citizens of the GDR were not only spied on”, Borkamp says. “They were often the victims of communist crimes. Illegitimate children were taken from their mothers and put up for adoption. Under Gauck’s leadership, parents were later able to find out where their children had gone. That’s just one example, but I see it as characteristic of his policies. As a champion of freedom and democracy he devoted himself to reckoning with the past in a careful and transparent fashion.”

And not only that. As an independent, he has managed to remain neutral in politics – something rarely seen in today’s highly polarised political landscape. Populist and nationalist parties are gaining ground all over Europe. As a fierce opponent of populism and a staunch advocate of Europe, Gauck serves as a counterweight. And herein, according to Borkamp, lies his kinship with UM. “This is the most international university in the Netherlands, offering programmes like European Studies and European Law School. Like Gauck, we believe in democratic principles and are convinced that Europe matters. Whether or not he has a personal connection with the university, it’s about the message. By giving Gauck an honorary doctorate, UM shows what it stands for. <<

18 UMagazine / February 2017

Thomas Unger (1950) studied medicine in Germany and the UK. After obtaining his PhD at the University of Heidelberg, he worked as a postdoc in Montreal, Canada. In 1986 he was appointed professor of pharmacology in Heidelberg. He has served as director of the Institute for Pharmacology at the University of Kiel, director of the Institute for Pharmacology at the Humboldt University of Berlin, and founder and scientific director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Research at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin. He has been scientific director of the CARIM School for Cardiovascular Diseases since 2012.

Friederike Borkamp (1991) went to high school in Bestwig, Germany, before following the European Law School and European Studies programmes at UM. In 2013/14 she represented NovUM on the University Council.

/ If the work’s too hard, make it easier / A new institute is aiming to enhance the participation of people with occupational disabilities in the labour market. The Inclusive Labour Organisation Expertise Centre (CIAO), launched by Maastricht University in September 2016, will make insights from research available to companies, governments and social organisations. “Many people have trouble finding a job independently. We want to help as many as possible into work”, says Fred Zijlstra, UM professor of Labour and Organisational Psychology and director of CIAO. “Nobody in our society deserves to be sidelined.” 19 February 2017 / UMagazine

Renée Dzialiner and Iris

For people with physical, mental or intellectual disabilities and a lower than average education level, it can be difficult to find and hold down a job. “And that’s a shame, because they have plenty to offer organisations”, Zijlstra says. The CIAO aims to turn the tide by increasing the participation of this population in the workforce. “In an inclusive labour organisation, people with disabilities can flourish just like anyone else.”

Adequate support

The new Expertise Centre brings together the knowledge of UM and the Employee Insurance Agency (UWV) with a view to reducing distance to the labour market and increasing the employability of people with occupational disabilities in a sustainable fashion. In addition, the two partners have developed a method for supporting employers in restructuring their work processes so as to provide more job opportunities for people with disabilities.


In fact, making the required changes is relatively straightforward, Zijlstra explains. All it involves is organising the work differently and redistributing certain tasks. “What we’ve been seeing in recent years is that more and more people can no longer meet the demands of the labour market. The work is becoming increasingly complex and the job requirements more demanding. At present 100,000 young people in the Netherlands are on disability benefits specifically aimed at people who become unfit for work at a young age. And yet more and more organisations are having trouble filling vacancies. With baby boomers retiring en masse, the healthcare, education and IT sectors are already having problems finding qualified staff. In time 20 UMagazine / February 2017

this imbalance brings about major problems for the economy. So it’s important that anyone who is able to work, can work.’’

Using talent

“If the work’s too hard, make it easier. That’s the key everything revolves around”, Zijlstra says. “Broadly speaking, many existing jobs are not suitable for people with disabilities. These days workers need all sorts of competences. Technicians have to understand the relevant technology, be able to plan and organise their own work, liaise with colleagues and be customer friendly. People with disabilities often can’t meet all these requirements.” What often can be done, however, is to structure and allocate the work differently so as to increase participation and make optimal use of all available talent.

Demand-driven situation

To assist organisations in this restructuring process, Zijlstra and Henny Mulders from the UWV developed the method Inclusive Redesign of Work Processes (Inclusief Herontwerp Werkprocessen, IHW). The aim of such a redesign is to do justice to the talents of people with occupational disabilities and enable workers to focus on core tasks that match their training and competences. “We create, as it were, a demand-driven situation and help organisations to open up vacancies at all levels. Aside from the fact that the Participation Act requires companies to help people both with and without disabilities into work, employers can also benefit from taking on someone with an occupational disability. One advantage is lower labour costs. And often the risks are covered by the UWV.”

Deepening knowledge

Following a successful pilot at the Slotervaart Hospital in Amsterdam involving some 60 young people on disability benefits, the IHW method has been rolled out in several dozen healthcare, government and other organisations around the country. Zijlstra hopes to build on this knowledge and, through the Expertise Centre, make it more widely available. “We’ve trained 70 analysts from the UWV and numerous city councils and companies to apply the method. The idea is for them to conduct analyses and transfer their knowledge to human resources officers within the organisations. By following a nine-step cycle, companies can gradually transform into inclusive labour organisations.” This would, in Zijlstra view, be a win-win situation. “It’s not only the target group that benefits; society too profits from having as many people as possible in work. In addition, the Expertise Centre is a nice valorisation instrument for UM: we give back to society every piece of knowledge we acquire.” <<

Fred Zijlstra (1956) has been professor of Labour and Organisational Psychology at UM since 2006. He previously worked at the University of Surrey in the UK and various other Dutch universities. His current research revolves around labour participation and sustainable employability, focusing on topics such as recovery after work.

“Specific tasks for workers with occupational disabilities” To improve the way it accommodates employees with occupational disabilities, in early 2016 the wellness resort Thermae 2OOO in Valkenburg aan de Geul conducted a business analysis in cooperation with the UWV. The analysis was carried out in accordance with the Inclusive Redesign of Work Processes method. “We’re a large company with many job opportunities in different departments, including the reception, catering, cleaning and technical services”, says food and beverage manager Renée Dzialiner. “The business analysis highlighted tasks across different departments that can be performed by people with disabilities. For example, a number of specific tasks were identified at one of our catering sites, such as making fresh sandwiches and clearing tables. The staff member we appointed as part of the programme, Iris, is a young woman of 20 whose disability means she isn’t able to read well. With the help of the business analysis, we were able to cluster certain tasks in this catering unit.” As a result, Iris can be assigned tasks that require no or little reading. “Iris has already made good progress”, Dzialiner continues. “She chats with the guests and always asks whether they’d like another cup of soup to go with their bun. She enjoys learning and feels comfortable with the catering team. That gives us energy in turn. Clustering tasks like this will definitely allow us to give people with disabilities the opportunity to work with us in the future.” 21 February 2017 / UMagazine


UM was treated to an early taste of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Maastricht Treaty with three Europe-themed events, shown in this photo report. Under the title ‘Europe calling’ the Province of Limburg and the City of Maastricht organise various events, including an EU summit in December with Jean Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz and Jeroen Dijsselbloem in attendance. After the conference, Dijsselbloem visited UM to discuss with students the opportunities and challenges facing the EU. And a day earlier, on 8 December, the Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans was in town on the invitation of the University College Maastricht. He discussed the importance of Europe with the audience in the Bonbonnière theatre, and called for solidarity and trust.

Photography Philip Driessen

UM and Europe

22 UMagazine / February 2017

23 February 2017 / UMagazine

Professor / student

/ PBL: partly formed in Maastricht /

Text Femke Kools Photography UM archive

If you’re writing a dissertation on the history of ProblemBased Learning (PBL), you can hardly avoid discussing Maastricht University. Nor can you avoid the work of former UM professor Henk Schmidt, who trans­ferred to Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2001. It is there that Virginie Servant defended her PhD thesis ‘Revolutions and re-iterations: An intellectual history of ProblemBased Learning’. “Maastricht has contributed at least as much to changes in medical education as McMaster”, Servant concludes.

Professor Henk Schmidt (1947) relocated from Maastricht to Rotterdam in 2001. Although he is now retired, he continues to pursue his ‘hobby’: super­ vising PhD candidates around the world in PBL-­ related research.

McMaster University in Canada is where it all began in 1963. Although the development of this new form of teaching has traditionally been attributed to Howard Barrows, the initial ideas were in fact outlined by the founding dean of the McMaster School of Health Sciences, John Evans. Barrows gave the system the name ‘Problem-Based Learning’ in 1974, but it had already been conceived and implemented by Evans, along with four other ‘founding fathers’. “Actually, it stemmed from dissatisfaction with their own medical training”, says Servant. “They had no or few theoretical inclinations, and were more concerned with experimenting by trial and error. Because the definition of PBL came after the practice, the model is open to interpretation, which wouldn’t necessarily be the case if you had a ‘little red book’ about PBL.”

24 UMagazine / February 2017

Virginie Servant (1986) is a lecturer at Erasmus University College, where she teaches a range of liberal arts and sciences courses using PBL. She also has her own NGO, FairFight, a charity dedicated to empowering young women in underprivileged socio­economic situations through martial arts.

The meeting Working as an education consultant and researcher in Singapore, Servant was continually coming across the name Henk Schmidt in publications on PBL. At the time Schmidt was the rector in Rotterdam, and a friend of hers knew his secretary well. “He could arrange an appointment for me,” Servant says, “but he had one condition: I would have to ask Schmidt to supervise my PhD. Initially I had no intention of doing so, but once I actually met Henk I was convinced.” With her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science and master’s in law, Servant turned out to be the ideal candidate for the in-depth research project Schmidt had in mind.

The disagreement

She went to McMaster and found a wealth of archival material. Because oral history is a notoriously unreliable source, Servant never took at face value what her many interviewees recalled, instead using only information that was confirmed by historical documents. Schmidt, for his part, was surprised by some correspondence they uncovered between himself and Barrows, which he had completely forgotten about. “It seemed from very early on that I differed in opinion from him”, Schmidt says. That difference of opinion concerned the purpose of PBL, and is recounted in Servant’s thesis. While Barrows saw PBL as a way of teaching students how to think and reason, Schmidt’s reading of the cognitive >>

25 February 2017 / UMagazine

least as much to changes in medical education as McMaster”, Servant concludes – a finding Schmidt can’t help but be pleased with.


The professor essentially assumed the role of tutor in supervising his PhD candidate. “He knew exactly what to say to challenge me to find the things that needed to be found. He was the perfect example of a guide rather than a teacher.” For Schmidt, it was “one of the most enjoyable PhDs I’ve supervised. She can write well and worked very independently and systematically. We also had very nice, heated discussions about politics and science.” Servant: “We actually talked about that more than the thesis itself. I think he liked that I’m easy to provoke into a political rant.” Schmidt agrees, laughing.

psychological literature meant that he saw all thought as arising from knowledge. “So I felt that the aim of PBL is to help students acquire knowledge, which then helps them to solve problems.”

Small groups, problems, independent study and a tutor, that’s PBL.

26 UMagazine / February 2017

Servant: “Schmidt won the debate in the mid-80s, and I’m not saying that just because he’s my supervisor. Anyone could come to this conclusion based on the literature. But to this day, many people who develop PBL curricula are not aware of it. For example, I was setting up PBL at Duy Tan University in central Vietnam and before I arrived they had gone to the trouble of translating Barrows’s book into Vietnamese.”

The Maastricht touch

In the 1980s both Schmidt and Barrows gave PBL courses and lectures all over the world. “When I’m at a university in a faraway country and come across ‘skillslab’ written as one word, as we use it, I immediately recognise the influence of Maastricht”, Schmidt says. The concept of the skillslab, where students practise medical procedures in situations that simulate professional practice as closely as possible, was refined in Maastricht after being conceived in America. The seven-step approach, too, was added to PBL in Maastricht by Schmidt personally in 1976. “As a young psychologist, I often led tutorial groups and it never seemed clear to me exactly what was expected of the students. It was all a bit muddled. The seven-step approach was intended to organise the learning process.” The progress test, an idea of ​​Wijnand Wijnen, was also developed in Maastricht and later even adopted by McMaster. “Maastricht has contributed at

To him, PBL is a learning system in which students work in small groups, with few contact hours and a lot of time for independent study, focusing on issues that can be resolved within a few days. Servant is ambivalent when it comes to the debate about ‘pure PBL’. “I have no evidence that such a thing ever existed. Practitioners are still split on what the definition of PBL is. I’d rather focus on purpose. If it works in accordance with the five golden rules of learning, it’s fine by me. As long as education activates prior knowledge, leads to elaboration, motivates students, enables them to restructure the issue and is contextualised, you’re fine. But I did see PBL being instrumentalised in different ways: every university that uses PBL picks the things they like out of the big PBL box and calls their selection PBL.”

News Star Lectures The third edition of the UM Star Lectures was held on 2 February 2017. Thirteen special lectures by UM professors were held simultaneously in as many cities, with more than 900 participants. A tradition highly valued by our alumni, the Star Lectures will continue in 2017. <<

‘Good cholesterol’ (HDL) also has negative effects High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are popularly known as ‘good cholesterol’ when it comes to cardiovascular diseases. This is because HDL is responsible for transporting excess cholesterol from vessel walls to the liver, which prevents the accumulation of this fatty molecule. It also helps to inhibit

inflammation in various cell types, providing further protection against the development of cardiovascular diseases. In an article published in the leading journal Cell Metabolism, Maastricht University researchers (including associate professor Marjo Donners and professor of Experimental Vascular Pathology Erik Biessen) revealed that HDL in fact increases the inflammatory response of immune cells called macrophages, which play a key role in atherosclerosis. This finding could help explain the disappointing results of previous clinical trials on HDL-raising therapies for atherosclerosis. <<

The red book

Is there still a need for the proverbial red book on PBL? Schmidt is clear: “I base my work on the vision of the inventors of PBL: small groups, problems, independent study and a tutor—that’s PBL. I’ve studied it in theory and put it into practice with my colleagues; we’ve written a whole series of books and academic articles about it and I’ve done research on its effects, based on the cognitive psychology of learning and teaching. There’s not much more one can do.” <<

A gift voucher for employees who quit smoking Maastricht University is the first organisation in the Netherlands to investigate whether financial rewards motivate smokers to quit. The researchers are studying the effects of rewarding employees with a gift voucher if they successfully quit smoking. They are also examining the economic impact of smoking cessation on employees. UM is currently looking for more companies interested in participating in the study and willing to offer their employees a quit-smoking course.

Employees can earn up to €350 if they quit smoking during the study. They receive the first gift voucher, worth €50, after completing the group course, and a further €50 if they have not relapsed at the three-month and six-month marks. The fourth and final gift voucher of €200 will be awarded after 12 months.

Participating organisations pay only for the group course, which is provided by the specialised company SineFuma in Breda. More than 30 organisations have already signed up, including Bosch Security Systems, Radboud University Medical Centre, Deen Supermarkten, the Province of Limburg and ABN AMRO. A total of 600 employees from more than 40 companies and institutions will follow a quit-smoking course. Companies interested in participating can request more information via The UM study is funded by the National Cancer Foundation (KWF). <<

27 February 2017 / UMagazine

Text Femke Kools Photography Loraine Bodewes

Lana Sirri

(1981) obtained her PhD on Islamic feminism at the Center for Trans­disciplinary Gender Studies at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She has been assistant professor of Gender and Religion at Maastricht University’s Centre for Gender and Diversity since August 2016. She is also a cofounder of the Berlin Muslim Feminist Group, which engages with society, the nation, communities of colour and the Muslim community, and provides solidarity for those who seek it.

bodies as their medium, at a Berlin mosque in 2013. They wanted to express their support for the Tunisian human rights activist Amina Tyler, who had been imprisoned after protesting against a Salafi religious political party. “Instead of contacting activists in Berlin, engaging in a discussion, asking how they could best support the case, they demonstrated half-naked in front of a mosque that had nothing to do with Amina Tyler. By doing that, you not only patronise Muslim women, but also suggest all Muslim women share the same experiences. That’s something that also occurs in the discourse around Islam and violence. One of FEMEN’s founders actually said that Muslim women don’t know what it’s like to be free and that Islam oppresses women. In this way you’re promoting an Islamophobic discourse. For me, Islamic feminism contributes to the entire discussion in Europe on what it’s like to be a minority in a country.”


/ Islamic feminist in Maastricht academia / Feminism can no longer be defined as the traditional movement of the white, heterosexual middle class. Just as black feminists brought race to the fore, Islamic feminists introduced religion into the discourse. At Maastricht University assistant professor Lana Sirri critically examines feminism at the inter­section of gender and religion, including aspects such as race, sexuality and ethnicity. 28 UMagazine / February 2017

Sirri is a Palestinian and a Muslim who grew up in Israel. After spending several years as a women’s project coordinator at the Arab Jewish Community Centre in Jaffa-Tel-Aviv, she decided she wanted to study the bigger picture of the situation in which she was working. “As Palestinian women in Israel, our struggle was and is tripled. We’re fighting our own patriarchal community, struggling against discrimination as a Palestinian minority in Israel, and also pushing back against the patriarchal Israeli society.”

“Poor Muslim women”

Sirri did her master’s degree in gender studies in Berlin. She was often the only person of colour and Muslim student in class, and recalls responding to fellow students who believed “the poor Muslim women need to be saved”. “On the one hand I’m very critical of how religion in general and Islam in particular is interpreted as mistreating women. But there I found myself defending things I was actually criticising. That can be quite disturbing. Islamic feminism gives me a framework to criticise them in a fruitful way.” The image of the Muslim woman as victim was in sharp contrast with the Muslim women she knew – starting with her mother, at once a strong, independent woman and a devout Muslim who wears the veil. “She used to be a

Exchanging ideas

In the second part of her PhD, she explored Islamic feminist discourses produced by Muslims in Western and Arab academia. “While they deal with similar texts and topics on Islam, sexuality and gender, the geopolitical position of Western and Arab scholars leads them to totally different questions and thus to different know­ ledge production. And that’s understandable: women, LGBTIQ and other marginalised groups in Muslim communities experience their marginalisation, discrimination and oppression differently in a Muslim-majority country than in Muslim-minority societies. That colours the way scholars approach religious scripts.”

housewife and started her own successful business 15 years ago. We need to be saved from her, not the other way around”, she jokes.

PhD research

She first discovered Islamic feminism while working on her master’s thesis. For her PhD, she explored and critically examined the developments in this field over the last few decades. Islamic feminism is, on the one hand, about rereading and reinterpreting Islamic scripts with a view to improving women’s and human rights within a religious framework. Other Islamic feminists concentrate on challenging traditional, neo-imperialist Western feminists. It is here that race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality enter the picture. Sirri points out how Muslims have been racialised and how Islam and Muslims are often misrepresented as backward, oppressive and homophobic. “Many mainstream feminists don’t believe that women can find liberation in religion. Islamic feminists fight against how some Western ‘feminists’ try to impose their own ideas and desires on others.”

Islamophobic discourse

Sirri encountered a lack of genuine exchange between Muslim feminists operating in Western and Arab academia. Accessing certain sources might be difficult for scholars who don’t speak Arabic, but even those who do know the language fail to engage in exchanging ideas, references and citations. She is interested in why this is so. “I believe any form of exchange would promote understanding and make an important contribution to religious and Islamic studies, gender studies and the humanities in general. I hope my research can raise awareness of this gap in academia. I’m looking forward to exploring that.” <<

The values that all feminists are struggling for can be interpreted differently by different feminists in different locations and contexts.

One example of this difference was the demonstration by FEMEN activists, who use their naked 29 February 2017 / UMagazine

Text Jos Cortenraad Photography Rafaël Philippen

Veni grant

/ Why investors are embracing sustainability / Previously, assistant professor of Finance Paul Smeets showed that investors are willing to invest in sustainable funds and projects even if this leads to lower financial returns. Last summer he received a Veni grant for a far-reaching new study on the motivations of sustainable investors.

The popular master’s in Sustainable Finance at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics attracts students from all over the world. This is partly thanks to Smeets, without whom the programme may never have got off the ground. He brushes off this suggestion modestly. “It’s true I managed to organise my PhD project in 2007 on the topic of sustainable investing. Some people laughed at the idea; they figured investors and sustainability just don’t go together. I thought that was a strange argument. Sustainability was a hot topic: alternative energy sources, cradle to cradle, corporate social responsibility. Every organisation, every company was doing something with it in some way. Rightly so – on paper, in any case. It seemed to me it was just a question of time before it would also become important to big banks and investors. Fortunately I was able to win over my supervisors, Piet Eichholtz and Rob Bauer.”


So do investment and sustainability mesh well in a finance programme? “Definitely. It’s just not on the radar of most finance students. Their lecturers tend to drill into them the idea that people, especially professional investors, are selfish, only looking to maximise their own financial returns. This preconception is deeply rooted in the curricula. It may well be that people are selfish first and foremost, but a number of studies show that on average 90% of wealthy people are willing to donate to charity, and indeed actually do so. During my PhD we showed that they’re also prepared to invest some of their money in sustainability. And when they do, they take lower returns on the chin; they see it as a sort of gift.” Smeets was able to test his hypothesis when the asset management firm Robeco came on board and put up the cash for a special experiment. “A certain amount of money was transferred to a select group of investors, who were asked to divide it between themselves and another study participant. The more generous the investor in the experiment, the more likely they were to invest sustainably. As a result, Robeco adjusted its own strategic policy and began focusing more on sustainable products. This landed them a whole range of new clients, as well as raising awareness among existing customers.” >>

30 UMagazine / February 2017

31 February 2017 / UMagazine

Off the job

Paul Smeets (1985) studied economics at UM, completed his master’s in International Economics and obtained his PhD in 2012. He is currently assistant professor of Finance at the School of Business and Economics.


The initial findings whet the researcher’s appetite. Last summer, Smeets published a study on the philanthropic behaviour of affluent Dutch people. High-earning workers give an annual average of almost €13,000 to charity; entrepreneurs over €10,000. People who have inherited their millions tend to be stingier, at just €2,800. The research was conducted in collaboration with ABN AMRO MeesPierson. “Another bank that has recently made sustainability an important spearhead. It may well be out of self-interest, but that’s fine. Times change, our knowledge increases. Investors are interested in sustainability and concerned about the future of the world. And banks jump on the bandwagon, even if it’s just to secure their own existence. Our research clearly shows that millionaires are willing to give to charity. From there it’s just a small step to give them the option of sustainable investing, be it in culture, cancer research, development aid, entrepreneurship or a zillion other things. Our respondents were quite taken with the idea of setting out their own interests and what they want to spend money on. It makes them more aware of the options. Of course, these sorts of studies are only possible with the cooperation of existing players on the market, with real data and real participants. I think that as academics we should be working towards practical applications.”

new medications, alleviate poverty, eradicate diseases or some other personal purpose? We’ll be able to fund three PhD candidates and collaborate with partners from the financial world. In this way we hope to gain more insight into investors’ financial motives.”


The Limburg native will do part of the work in the United States, especially at universities in California where he previously studied and published with co-authors. “At UM we have an excellent economics faculty with a good reputation in the field of sustainability. But the top universities in the US are really the Champions’ League of academia. We in the Netherlands will never be able to match that. It’s a question of money. Our government is spending less and less on research, whereas American professors earn more and have access to more resources. That’s just the way it is. But it can’t hurt to think a little harder about it, especially if we want to be a knowledge economy. In any event, I’m happy the Veni grant gives me the chance to do some nice research and pick up more knowledge in the US.” <<

/ Diving to great depths in a bubble / Master’s student in Medicine Jeanine Grasmeijer


Last August Smeets received some good news: the Dutch funding agency NWO had selected his new research project for a Veni grant worth €250,000. “Great news, yes. A thousand proposals are submitted and only 10% see any money – and ours is one of them. We’ll be exploring why investors engage in sustainable investing. Does it make them happy? Appease their conscience? Is it for profit, or do they actually want to contribute to a better world, fund 32 UMagazine / February 2017

Text Femke Kools Photography Jeanine Grasmeijer

33 February 2017 / UMagazine

Imagine diving almost 100 metres into the sea. Going all the way down and coming back up again takes about four minutes, during which time you hold your breath. Most people would find this scary. Not Jeanine Grasmeijer, a master’s student in Medicine at Maastricht University who last year set a new world record by freediving to a depth of 92 metres. Her un­usually large lung capacity comes in handy, but the key, she says, is striking the right balance between relaxation and confidence. “Freediving is 80% a mental sport.”

pretty things under water.” That said, when she talks about swimming with seals, her face lights up just as it does when she talks of freediving. “Because you’re not blowing bubbles, I think they almost see me as one of them. You can get right up close and you just don’t want to come back up.”


It may be the least important, but the physical aspect of freediving is the most intriguing. Grasmeijer can hold her breath for seven minutes. She has a lung capacity of six litres – two more than the average adult – and using a special breathing technique she can cram an additional litre on top of that. “But practically anyone can learn to hold their breath for at least four minutes. You just have to be able to put yourself into a sort of meditative state; that way your brain consumes much less oxygen. And proper preparation is essential.”

Safe sport

Contrary to popular perception freediving is a very safe sport, Grasmeijer says, thanks to the safety measures every freediver takes. “You have to have done at least one training course, be sure to never dive alone and know your limits. Then it’s super safe. More people die from scuba diving than freediving.” Only once has she lost consciousness diving, in the final metres of an attempt to set a world record in ‘no fins’ freediving. In her favourite discipline, free immersion, you descend and ascend by pulling yourself along on a rope; this is the event in which she set the 92 metre record. In ‘no fins’ diving you have neither fins nor a rope; you just swim down and up again off your own strength. This is a highly taxing event, in which Grasmeijer holds the Dutch record of 60 metres. “When I tried to improve on that last year, it didn’t quite go right. I hadn’t trained enough and had the wrong suit on, so I blacked out from hypoxia [lack of oxygen] five metres before surfacing. My mind just drifted away as if in a dream. Your body puts you to sleep, as it were, to protect your brain; it’s not even unpleasant. Because I wasn’t alone, I could be helped up to the surface and brought around. That’s essential.”

Swimming with seals

Six weeks before a record attempt she heads for a place where the sea is deep enough to train in, such as Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Every day she does two to three dives, each deeper than the last. Before each dive she spends several minutes floating on her back, working her way into a state of supreme relaxation and focus. Her heart rate drops to as low as 40 beats per minute, which makes the body more energy efficient. “That’s my warmup. By the end of a training day I’m pretty burnt out, because you’re asking a lot of your body. So there’s not much time to go and see 34 UMagazine / February 2017

Besides hypoxia, there are plenty of other physical things to think about during a dive. For instance, divers have to ‘clear’ their ears every few metres to release the pressure. If they ascend too quickly after a particularly long or deep dive they run the risk of decompression sickness, also known as ‘the bends’. This is where nitrogen bubbles form in the blood and tissues, which can lead to permanent damage. Grasmeijer’s 92 metre dive took 30 seconds less than her 90 metre one. “I’d trained to shorten my dive time to prevent hypoxia. But for me it had the exact opposite effect. These things can vary a lot from one person to the next. I know a guy who goes to 90 metres and back in two minutes; that works well for him. I’m not such a muscleman.” What she is, though, is very rational. “I’m not easily scared. If I know I’m safe, I find it hard to imagine what could be frightening about great heights or depths. I’m now doing a climbing course at UM Sport, because I’d like to go abroad and climb outdoors.” She is also focused in the extreme. For her world record dive she retreated into the “biggest bubble” of her life: “I shut myself off completely and went into ultimate concentration mode. During the ascent I just kept on repeating the mantra ‘everything will be fine’. Not because I was scared of dying, but because I was so keen to break that world record.” So will she eventually go deeper than 92 metres? “I think so. I still have something in reserve.” <<

Practically anyone can learn to hold their breath for at least four minutes.

35 February 2017 / UMagazine

by accident. “It was my eldest sister who egged me on. She knew people who had studied in Maastricht and raved about it. She sent me all this information she’d collected about the Global Health programme. She figured it was right up my alley – and I have to say, she was right.” What immediately appealed to Hakutangwi was the emphasis in the curriculum on the international dimensions of health and disease and on the need for cross-border cooperation to improve health and access to healthcare worldwide.

Maternity care

“The master’s in Maastricht really improved my ability to critically appraise health policy. I learnt to write reports, make research proposals and understand regional, national and global health policy. My knowledge and appreciation of how policy shapes the global health landscape increased dramatically that year.”


For her master’s thesis Hakutangwi conducted qualitative field research in Tanzania, focusing on the ‘road map’ to reduce mother and child mortality implemented by the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Working in a multicultural and international team, she examined whether the implementation of the government measures had actually reduced mother and child mortality rates. To gather data she spent three months in the village of Mdawi, near Mount Kilimanjaro, where she interviewed healthcare professionals, policymakers and mothers from the village. “My conclusion was that the government programme had improved the health status of mothers and children to some extent. But still, the mortality of women during or soon after birth remains a concern. Eliminating all barriers that affect access to healthcare for pregnant women is more difficult than you might expect.” <<

/ My goal is to improve the health of vulnerable groups /

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Pauline Hakutangwi had never heard of Maastricht, let alone Maastricht University. Born in Zimbabwe but resident in the UK since the age of 10, she nevertheless headed for the South Limburg city in 2013 to pursue her master’s in Global Health. “It turned out to be ideal. The programme has given me a solid foundation to achieve my goal: improving the health of vulnerable groups of people.” Text Graziella Runchina Photography Pauline Hakutangwi

36 UMagazine / February 2017

She now works at the consultancy firm A&R Edelman in London, dealing with policy issues surrounding access to healthcare worldwide. With such a broad remit, no one day is ‘just another day at the office’. “That’s what appeals to me so much about my work here. Still, managing so many new things did mean I initially had to step way outside my comfort zone. One of my duties early on was to develop and organise workshops on political health issues, which meant familiarising myself with European health policy in very little time.” She monitors political developments in health policy and market access, stays abreast of trends in the field and occasionally travels abroad for work, focusing on countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

“There are still lots of vulnerable people in many places around the world who have difficulty gaining access to health services.”

From doctor to scientist

Hakutangwi was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. Due to political instability in the country, the family moved to the UK in 2001. From a young age Hakutangwi had a profound interest in all things health. As a young girl she aspired to become a gynaecologist, but in her teens she decided she wanted to be a scientist rather than a doctor. “After high school I went to study biomedical sciences at the University of Hull.” During the final year of her studies she started looking for a master’s programme in the field of public health. Meanwhile, she began working as a specialist clinical coordinator at the Genitourinary Medicine Clinic, which only fanned the flames of her ambition to pursue a career in public health. “I felt a strong urge to focus on the sexual health of women in the UK who have to contend with diseases like HIV and hepatitis.” This led her to attend several training sessions of the New Futures Project in Leicester, which supports young people and adults who are exploited or risk exploitation in the sex industry.

Pauline Hakutangwi (1989) studied biomedical sciences at the University of Hull in the UK. She was part of the 2014 cohort of the Master in Global Health at Maastricht University. She now works for A&R Edelman, a renowned consultancy firm in London that focuses on health policy and market access. She joined the firm as a researcher and became a junior analyst in the field of health policy in October 2016.

International dimensions

“Actually I was happy with how my life was going. I was focused on public health in the UK. I was planning on staying there to work and to seek out a suitable master’s programme to complete my studies.” In 2014, Hakutangwi ended up in Maastricht more or less 37 February 2017 / UMagazine

Text Britta Wielaard Photography Arjen Schmitz

Jeroen Trienes (1977) studied Knowledge

Jeroen Trienes, graduate of Knowledge Engineering at Maastricht University, is now Creative Director at Goal043. This Maastricht company develops ‘serious games’, computer games that have some purpose other than pure entertainment: introducing new employees to an organisation, for example, or encou­raging people to exercise more. How did he get into this area? “I just sort of fell into it really”, he says.

Engineering at Maastricht University from 1997 to 2002. Since 2006 he has been Creative Director at Goal043, a Maastricht company that develops serious games.

Serious games

By 2006, with the licence to operate an online casino still in the works, Trienes decided to leave the company. After six years in the entertainment industry he was keen to broaden his horizons – but he did want to keep on working with games. “By then I’d developed more than 100 games on the side.” And so it was that he ended up in the world of serious gaming. Goal043 develops all sorts of different games, Trienes explains, gesturing at a number of posters on the wall. “These are competitive sales training courses for Vodafone and Heineken. And that’s a safety game that trains construction companies and students in situations that are difficult to simulate in real life.” He picks up an empty box lying on the table. “Usually this holds a wrist tracker, from a mobile game that encourages children to exercise more. And then there’s our dementia game, which helps caregivers of people with dementia to cope with difficult situations.”

/ Games that matter / On a sunny winter’s morning we meet Trienes at the office of Goal043 at the Bassin in Maastricht. A thin layer of frost lines the streets outside. Fortunately, the atmosphere in the conference room is warmer. The walls of the cosy space are covered with screenshots of games developed by the company. “I really enjoyed my student days”, he begins.

Online bridge

Alumni 38 UMagazine / February 2017

Trienes didn’t have to think long when it came to choosing a study programme. “I actually didn’t look at any other programmes”, he laughs. “I went to high school around here and I knew I wanted to do something with computers. I went to the Open Day in 1996 and it just felt good; there was this immediate click with a number of people on the course.” It may have been a quick choice, but it turned out to be a good one. “We were constantly looking at maths and computer science from different perspectives. It was small-scale and you got a lot of personal guidance. In no way were you just a number.”

In his current position Trienes serves as the link between the designers and the client. “I go to clients and try to find out what their question is. Then I make sure the team here has enough information and inspiration to find the solution.” He gets a great deal of satisfaction from his work. “We get a lot of positive feedback, especially for the dementia game. Recently someone said, ‘If only I’d had it a year earlier. My mother died of dementia last year and I recognise so many situations where I just didn’t know how to respond.’ That’s what drives us.”

Added value

He also got along well with the other 18 students. As early as their first year, he and three fellow students launched a company that produced custom-made software for organisations. “It wasn’t particularly successful, but it was great fun and I learnt a lot. And it was thanks to that experience that I was approached by my maths professor, Koos Vrieze. He was an avid bridge player and active at the time in the Dutch Bridge Federation, which was developing a system to play bridge online. We got talking and quickly decided we should do it together – me with my technical expertise and he with his knowledge of bridge.”

What advice would he give to current students of Knowledge Engineering? “I don’t think you can really say anything generic. If I look at the group I graduated with, some went into academia, others work in business or the semi-government sector. One is stronger in terms of theory; another is good at translating theory into practice. I’ve learnt that I’m good at working together with clients to identify the real core of the problem, and then trying to come up with a practical solution in the form of product we can actually provide. So I guess my advice would be: know what you’re good at and try to be the best at that.” <<

Visit us at

Around this time the Dutch government was preparing to issue licences for online gambling. The Janshen-Hahnraths group, known for its Fair Play casinos, was on the lookout for companies with expertise in this area. Before long the group came into contact with Trienes and Vrieze. “Within a year our company had been taken over and all of a sudden I was a shareholder in an online casino.” Combining his studies with managing a team of eight developers turned out to be quite a challenge, but he managed to complete his degree in 2002. 39 February 2017 / UMagazine

UM’s 40th anniversary tour through Limburg Record year for support from University Fund Thanks to the University Fund Limburg, the work of UM academics enjoyed more support in 2016 than ever. Naturally, student initiatives and events received considerable support as well.

Grants awarded by the Academic Funding Committee

• • • • • •

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science Faculty of Law School of Business and Economics Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Faculty of Humanities and Sciences Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience

Grants awarded for student activities

Grants awarded by named funds

Maastricht University celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016. As a gift to the university and the residents of Limburg, the University Fund organised an “anniversary tour” around the province. The aim was to bring UM and academia closer to the people of Limburg and share knowledge by means of workshops, lectures, music, demonstrations and more by UM academics, thereby giving back what the many donations from Limburg residents have made possible over the years. Researchers and representatives of the University Fund made contact with children, school students and senior citizens from all over the province, and drew attention to themes such as healthy nutrition, biology, pensions and the functioning of courts. The Fund is thankful for the warm reception the university received; evidence that UM is seen as benefiting the region in its entirety. <<

Concert at the St Petrus Banden kerk in Venray

Fundraising campaign among alumni

Maastricht University graduates often have an emotional attachment to their alma mater and are keen to maintain ties, be it through events, advisory roles or knowledge networks. Fundraising by UM and the University Fund offers another way for alumni to stay connected with university. In October and November, a team of students phoned graduates on behalf of UM and the

The business plan competition Local Hero, organised by the Limburg University Fund and the Centre for Entrepreneurship, aims to inspire entrepreneurial students to achieve their goals (preferably starting in Limburg). The participating teams received feedback and advice from the expert jury, composed of entrepreneurs and UM alumni. During the grand finale last November, the University Fund donated €10,000 in seed money to the winning team Sparcio. This financial injection will allow the team to further develop and launch its revolutionary water-saving product.

Local Hero, the student business plan competition savings. Now that its prototypes have been successfully tested and received positive reviews from a test panel, Sparcio will use the seed money to launch production and to reach out to potential customers. For more information, see or follow them on social media. The jury encouraged

Limburg University Fund to ask if they would be willing to provide support in the form of a donation to the University Fund. Every year the response is surprisingly positive. This year, too, the alumni campaign showed promising growth not only in terms of the amount of money raised, but more importantly in the number of graduates willing to donate. Alumni, thank you! <<

the other finalists (CrowdPow, Uni-vation, Spartan Athletics and SlimBox) to continue to improve their business plans and strive towards achieving their entrepreneurial ambitions. << Local Hero winning team Sparcio

Team members Laurent Estourgie (graduate of Strategy and Innovation) and Kai Löffler (student of Business Economics and Emerging Markets) are working on a water-saving faucet attachment that saves 93% of drinking water. The attachment can easily be mounted on most taps around the world. In this way, Sparcio aims to contribute to sustainable development in a world faced with a growing shortage of water. The attachment offers a sustainable and responsible choice for organisations such as businesses, schools and hospitals, and additionally results in considerable cost

A total of 86 applications were submitted for financial support from the University Fund. Fifty three were partially funded, amounting to more than €140,000. Amounts awarded to academic activities per faculty: €45,000 €30,000 €28,000 €19,000 €14,500 €4,500

A total of 29 applications were submitted. Twelve of these were funded, totalling €8,400.

The logos of members of the Limburg University Fund Curatorium are shown below. These respected companies and individuals are important supporters of research and education. The Limburg University Fund/SWOL is grateful to its Curatorium members for their commitment to Maastricht University.

The University Fund has roughly 20 named funds, which together donated over €1 million to academic research in 2016. <<

Roy Erkens at Mondo Verde

40 UMagazine / February 2017

41 February 2017 / UMagazine

Profile Professor Pieter Jan Kuijper wins Maastricht Prize for International Law

News Anniversary book: The Maastricht Experiment The book The Maastricht Experiment. On the challenges faced by a young university 1976 – 2016, written by historian dr. Annemieke Klijn was published on the occasion of Maastricht University’s 40th anniversary. The new university, founded in 1976 as the State University of Limburg was expected to promote innovation within Dutch higher education by developing experimental degree programmes – which explains the title, The Maastricht Experiment. The obvious choice for the university was to adopt an international outlook – today, over half of its more than 16,000 students are from outside the Netherlands. As a non-classical university, it had to gain recognition within

the existing university system: an effort that also enabled it to grow and acquire a distinct character. Inspiration for educational reform was sought – and found – in Canada and the United States. One of the unique aspects of this young university is that many of the key figures from the very beginning are still alive. In this publication 16 of these protagonists accompany the reader on a tour of Maastricht University’s history. <<

Launch of largest European research programme on 3D printing for biomedical applications

able to apply it in the medical world. In this new collabo­rative platform, UM and the BMC are working together with public and private partners such as DSM, TNO and the Province of Limburg.

Maastricht University (UM) and the Brightlands Materials Center (BMC) launched the largest research programme on 3D printing and its biomedical applications in regenerative medicine in Europe. Regenerative medicine involves the regeneration of cells, tissues and organs. UM and the BMC are embracing the material and technological challenges involved with 3D bioprinting, with the ultimate goal of being

42 UMagazine / February 2017

The Maastricht Experiment, published by Vantilt in Nijmegen, is available in book stores. Till April 1st there will be a discount of 3 euro per book.

Researchers involved in the programme will study the processes involved in bioprinting technologies. “We aim to clinically test skeletal applications and produce the first functioning prototype for heart and kidney regeneration that can be subjected to preclinical evaluation. This will enable us to make new bioactive materials for skeletal, heart or kidney regeneration”, explains UM’s Lorenzo Moroni. The partnership arose from a number of challenges in the world of 3D printing and bioprinting. UM and the BMC wish to translate these challenges into solutions and to help hospitals take advantage of new applications. <<

Professor Pieter Jan Kuijper has been awarded the first Maastricht Prize for International Law. His work in the field of European law as well as international trade law and his academic publications were the reason for the jury of the Maastricht Prize to award the first prize to professor Kuijper. Kuijper has a long and distinguished career in international and European law, in particular exploring the connections between these two fields. During his career he has worked both in academia and for international organizations, alternating between both. This wealth of experience has enabled him to bring insights from his legal work in the EU and WTO to his academic pursuits. Maastricht University and its Faculty of Law, in cooperation with the municipality of Maastricht, awarded this prize for the first time last December. The Maastricht Prize for International Law is the successor of The Hague Prize for International Law. The prize, awarded every 5 years, aims at senior academics and is granted for an outstanding contribution in either public or private international law. <<

Education and research at Maastricht University is organised primarily on the basis of faculties, schools and institutes.

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 of Nutrition and Translational Research in 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 • • • • • • • • •

University College Maastricht (UCM) University College Venlo (UCV) Maastricht Science Programme (MSP) Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) Department of Biobased Materials (BBM) Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainability (ICIS) Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) Top Institute for Evidence based education Research (TIER)

Faculty of Law • • • • • • • • •

Institute for Globalisation and International Regulation (IGIR) Institute for Transnational Legal Research (METRO) Institute for Corporate Law, Governance and Innovation Policies (ICGI) Maastricht Centre for European Law (MCEL) Maastricht Centre for Human Rights Maastricht Centre for Taxation (MCT) Maastricht European Private Law Institute (MEPLI) Maastricht Graduate School of Law Montesquieu Institute Maastricht

Colophon 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)

School of Business and Economics • • • • • • • • • •

Graduate School of Business and Economics (GSBE) Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA) Network Social Innovation (NSI) Limburg Institute of Financial Economics (LIFE) The Maastricht Academic Centre for Research in Services (MAXX) Accounting, Auditing & Information Management Research Centre (MARC) European Centre for Corporate Engagement (ECCE) United Nations University – Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) Social Innovation for Competitiveness, Organisational Performance and human Excellence (NSCOPE) Marketing-Finance Research Lab

Publisher © Maastricht University Chief Editor Annelotte Huiskes Editorial Board Rianne Letschert (President), Denis Ancion, Teun Dekker, Diana Dolmans, Manon van Engeland, Ad van Iterson, Jos Kievits, Alexander Sack, Hildegard Schneider, Jo Wachelder Texts Jos Cortenraad, Femke Kools, Annelotte Huiskes, Jolien Linssen, Graziella Runchina, Britta Wielaard, Hans van Vinkeveen. Photography Loraine Bodewes (p28), Philip Driessen (spread), Harry Heuts (p4,10,16), Rafaël Philippen (p30), Sacha Ruland (p3,12,19), Arjen Schmitz (cover, p38), Paul van der Veer (p7) Translations and English editing Alison Edwards Graphic concept and design Zuiderlicht Maastricht Print Drukkerij Tuijtel, Hardinxveld-Giessendam

Interfaculty institutes • • • • • • • • •

The Maastricht Forensic Institute (tMFI) MERLN Institute for Technology-Inspired Regenerative Medicine The Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development (MACIMIDE) Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute (M4I) Maastricht Centre for Systems Biology (MaCSBio) Maastricht Centre for Arts and Culture, Conservation and Heritage (MACCH) Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERIM) Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) Institute for Data Science (DTS@UM)

Maastricht University magazine is published in February, June and October. It is sent on demand to UM alumni and to external relations. Editorial Office Marketing & Communications Postbus 616, 6200 MD Maastricht T +31 43 388 5238 / +31 43 388 5222 E ISSN 2210-5212 Online Facebook

43 February 2017 / UMagazine

Blow up Want to know which part of Maastricht is zoomed in on? Visit the Facebook page of the UMagazine. maastrichtuniversitymagazine

44 UMagazine / February 2017

33 01.15 / UMagazine

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