Maastricht University Magazine February 2016

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February 2016 on education and research at Maastricht University

Former rectors look back on 40 years of Maastricht University ----p12

First MOOC on ProblemBased Learning is a hit ----p4

“I enjoy problems I don’t understand” Portrait of Beatrice de Gelder, professor of Social and Affective Neuroscience ----p16

27 Discussion Thomas Conzelmann and Ellen Vos on the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM) -----

30 Euregion

/ Guido Tans, ‘the son’ /

René Kemp and Christian Scholl: Lessons learnt from urban labs -----

38 Alumni


p 32 “Are you the son of Sjeng Tans?” This was a question Guido Tans was often asked on arriving at Maastricht University in 1977, one year after its official opening. “Guilty”, he would say. Now, almost 40 years later, history is repeating itself. “Yet again, I’m ‘the son’,” he laughs. ----------------------------------------------------------

- Rob Melief: “We want to make people better” -----

40 University Fund

Using robots to humanise elderly care Roger Bemelmans recently defended his PhD thesis on the use of robots in the care of older people with dementia. “When I started reviewing the literature on socially assistive robots, I realised little was known about the effects and effectiveness of robot interventions aimed at social assistance in elderly care. And only a few of the robot systems available were actually operational.” Paro, an adorable white fluff ball, proved to be the best option – there’s more to this stuffed animal than meets the eye. ----------------------------------------------------------


Daniëlle Verstegen and Amber Dailey: First UM MOOC is a hit -----

Bronwen Manby: The right to citizenship -----

12 UM’s 40 year anniversary Former rectors Coen Hemker and Vic Bonke look back -----

16 Portrait

Beatrice de Gelder: “I enjoy problems I don’t understand” -----

20 International

Jos Kleinjans: Alternatives to animal testing -----

22 Spread

New quarters for UNU-Merit and the Maastricht School of Governance ----------------------------------------------------------

February 2016 on education and research at Maastricht University

Former rectors look back on 40 years of

Maastricht University ----p12

First MOOC on ProblemBased Learning is a hit ----p4

“I enjoy problems I don’t understand” Portrait of Beatrice de Gelder, professor of Social and Affective Neuroscience ----p16

Cover Sacha Ruland Talented photographers were asked to come up with an image relating to one of our cover stories. A graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Hasselt (1988), photographer Sacha Ruland works for private individuals, companies and institutions. Her work focuses on people, with an artistic flair.

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

2 UMagazine / February October 2015 2016

10, 11, 35 and 42 News

04 Leading in Learning

07 Research and society

----p 24

News -----


----p 36

/ 40 years of Maastricht University / Rector Magnificus Luc Soete

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, this year Maastricht University (UM) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. On 9 January 1976, Queen Juliana officially signed the act establishing what was then known as the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg. That seven of the nine people who have served as rector magnificus over these last 40 years are still alive today is actually quite extraordinary. Interviews with six of these rectors are now available on the university’s special anniversary website: In this edition of UMagazine, Coen Hemker (rector from 1982 to 1985, and still very active at the university today) and Vic Boncke (rector from 1985 to 1991) give a first impression of their impressions. I hope this will whet your appetite to watch the more extensive video portraits of six of the surviving rectors. As the seventh one – yes, I am still alive! – I thought I might use this space to give you some of my own reflections. After all, I joined the university back in 1986 and have myself, as professor and coming up on four years as rector, witnessed 30 years of UM’s development.

What strikes me as quite extraordinary over these last 40 years is how the university has developed more or less in harmony with economic developments in Maastricht. In the 1950s and ’60s Maastricht was a small, provincial town, with most of its employment concentrated in industry. The establishment of a university in 1976 gave rise, not surprisingly, to high expectations, but the economic impact of the university remained limited for at least the first decade of its existence. Only when the newly established faculties not just in medicine, but also in health, law and economics, began to attract larger numbers of students in the mid- to late 1980s did the university start to have a significant impact on employment and the economy, which coincided with the decline of industry in Maastricht. In this sense, the timing of the initial growth and development of the university to 6000 students couldn’t have been better. Over the last 20 years the university has capitalised on the Maastricht ‘brand’, changing its name following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and starting to play a more dominant role in the structural shift towards a knowledge economy and the internationalisation of the city. The latter will be the main challenge for the next 20 years. How should we position ourselves: through further growth and expansion in new areas building on the principles of Problem-Based Learning, itself now almost 40 years old? As a European rather than a Dutch university? As a local university or rather a regional one, with our campuses in Sittard-Geleen, Heerlen and Venlo? All these are questions to which we hope our next strategic plan will provide some answers. And if you have interesting views and out-of-the box ideas, don’t hesitate to share them with us! <<

Photo Sacha Ruland

3 February 2016 / UMagazine

Text Jos Cortenraad Photography RafaĂŤl Philippen

/ Fi MO is a

4 UMagazine / February 2016

Leading in Learning

irst UM OOC a hit / When asked if the MOOC experiment is worth repeating, project leader Daniëlle Verstegen doesn’t think twice. “Yes,” she says. “This first MOOC was a success. We still have to evaluate it properly, but it’s already clear that the course has strengthened the position of UM and its PBL expertise. We reached people all over the world, received very positive feedback, managed to work well together in a large and diverse project team and had many interesting discussions about PBL. Overall, it’s a good start for MOOCs at UM.” Verstegen, coordinator of eLearning based at the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences (FHML), had her doubts at first. So too did other members of the project team. “On the face of it, MOOCs seem to go against everything our educational system stands for. In Maastricht, students work on concrete problems in small groups under the supervision of a tutor. MOOCs tend to be more like traditional lectures.” “Besides,” adds Amber Dailey, facilitator of the project group, “MOOCs often have thousands of participants. They interact on online message boards, but there’s hardly any supervision or feedback. Instead it’s purely about passing on knowledge. So MOOCs appear to have very little in common with PBL.”

MOOCs are all the rage in education today. Virtually every selfrespecting university offers several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), accessible to all and almost always free of charge. Millions of people from all over the globe participate in such courses. Last autumn, Maastricht University (UM) jumped on the bandwagon with its MOOC on ProblemBased Learning (PBL).

Access This is not to say they disapprove of the immensely popular form of education. “Not at all”, Verstegen continues. “MOOCs provide information and materials to countless people who usually wouldn’t have access to them. Obviously that’s a good thing. Besides, it’s a form of eLearning, which is something UM is actively involved with as well. We make many of our materials available online and we also provide online education, for example for international students enrolled in part-time master’s programmes. And since we profile ourselves as ‘leading in learning’, of course we need to explore whether any new form of education, MOOCs included, will benefit our students and lecturers. Not to mention the fact that it’s always a good idea to take a good look at your own system. Are we missing out on any trends or social developments? Are we still up to date? What is the essence of PBL? That’s the kind of self-reflection the Executive Board was hoping to bring about with this project.” >> 5 February 2016 / UMagazine

Support So in early 2015, an interfaculty project group presented UM’s first, experimental MOOC: an original online course on PBL. “After all, our educational system differs from that of most universities in the world”, Verstegen explains. “Many students and lecturers come to Maastricht because interactive, group-based education appeals to them. We thought it could be beneficial to explain and explore the system in a MOOC. All departments supported the idea, which was nice. We also wanted to find out what goes on in a MOOC, how people from different backgrounds communicate with one another, and of course what they think of PBL.”

Valuable investment After an intense period of preparations and recruitment, the eight-week online course started in early October. Dailey: “More than 3000 people signed up from all over the world and 300 actually finished the course. That may not seem like a lot, but it is compared to other courses. MOOCs require a big commitment in terms of time, and all you get at the end is a certificate.”

Positive The question remains whether UM will offer more MOOCs in the future. “I can’t answer that just yet”, Verstegen says. “But we found that it had a positive effect on the university’s image. I can see our faculties using MOOCs to recruit students or to showcase what they’re working on. Personally I don’t think MOOCs will replace parts of the curriculum, which is a concern you hear occasionally. They’re not some kind of great educational revolution. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they can provide additional content support, or that we might want to incorporate MOOCs from other universities in our curriculum.”

Parallels Dailey couldn’t agree more. “As a new way of sharing knowledge, MOOCs can definitely make a valuable contribution at UM. It was fascinating to see that there were parallels with PBL in the way the cooperation in the groups arose and developed. All in all this was a successful experiment, and one that’s worth repeating.” <<

Most participants were involved in some way in education. “That’s something we’d expected”, says Verstegen. “There were many university lecturers from all over, as well as UM lecturers, tutors and alumni who now know more about our educational philosophy. One of the benefits of MOOCs, this one included, is that they can boost professionalism. We still have to evaluate it properly, but the response was overwhelmingly positive. The participants formed study groups based on their profiles and interests and often turned in surprisingly elaborate, creative assignments. The way social media and other tools were used for communication was an eye opener as well. We’ll be able to use these experiences in our eLearning programmes.”

6 UMagazine / February 2016

One of the benefits of MOOCs, this one included, is that they can boost professionalism.

Amber Dailey studied

Daniëlle Verstegen

in Texas and received her PhD in Adult Education at Cornell University in 2002. From 2010 to 2013 she worked on various research projects at UM. She is now a full professor at Park University, a private institution near Kansas, and works part time at UM.

(1968 ) has worked at the FHML Department of Educational Research and Development since 2008. She coordinates the eLearning taskforce and leads the UM MOOC project. She is an expert on education design and the use of eLearning in Problem-Based Learning.

Text Hans van Vinkeveen Photography Sacha Ruland

Research and society

/ The right to citizenship / External PhD candidate Bronwen Manby

7 February 2016 / UMagazine

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

Manby had heard of Maastricht, certainly. Thanks to her legal training she is well acquainted with international treaties such as the Maastricht Treaty, which laid the foundations of the European Union as we know it today. She was less familiar, however, with the city and the university. That she chose to pursue her PhD here can be attributed to Professor René de Groot, whom she describes as a renowned expert in nationality law and statelessness issues. “A few years ago he offered to supervise my PhD, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.” 8 UMagazine / February 2016

She is staying at a hotel, defending her dissertation and leaving again the next day. The main claim of her dissertation, entitled Citizenship and Statelessness in Africa: The Law and Politics of Belonging, is that the provisions of nationality law have a daily impact on the lives of many ordinary Africans and, where the law has excluded many people from access to nationality, have also had an impact on political stability in certain countries. This holds even in Africa, where weak states are the order of the day and things get done by way of informal structures. Access to a nationality means becoming a ‘citizen’, and acquiring rights and thus protection.

Turbulent developments She suspects her interest in Africa is linked to her mother’s South African heritage. Growing up, the turbulent social and political developments in South Africa were a frequent topic of discussion. Trained as a lawyer in Britain, she worked for several years for South African organisation Lawyers for Human Rights, and a decade each for Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Foundations. She describes her work as a continuous cycle of observing, interviewing, reporting, seeking publicity and, above all, supporting the “people on the ground”, the national organisations. “They’re the ones who take the real risks.” In her dissertation, Manby compares the nationality laws of 54 African countries. She shows how these laws can positively or negatively affect the formation of nations and national identity in former colonies after independence. Some people are granted access to citizenship, whereas others are excluded. Manby argues that nationality laws of an exclusionary nature ultimately lead to more conflict. “Those that are more inclusive and generous give rise to greater stability, as well as a higher degree of consensus on who has the right to feel connected to a certain state.”

Documents Manby notes that it is hard to know how many people are stateless in Africa, because so many do not have documents even if their nationality is not in doubt. It is often only after multiple failures to obtain documents that a person may realise that their nationality is not recognised—that they are stateless. “Statelessness can result from gender or racial discrimination, or gaps in the law, or simply from the fact that a child’s birth was not registered. The groups at particular risk include the descendants of historical migrants, refugees and former refugees, ethnic groups divided by colonial land borders, orphans and abandoned children. Documents are becoming increasingly important in Africa, thanks not only to concerns about national security and migration, but also efforts to improve the effectiveness of service delivery and the fairness of elections. “Without proof of nationality of course you

Passengers crossing river Gambia from Barra to Banjul.

Bronwen Manby can’t vote or stand for office, but you may also not be able to access public health care or education, or even get a sim card, a bank account or a job in the formal economy.” Politicians in some countries have also abused nationality laws to exclude political opponents from running for office – or to deny whole groups the right to vote.

Protocol Manby argues that, ultimately, states and politicians should strive to develop clear legislation that allows ‘aliens’ to become citizens. The right to a nationality ultimately means the right to belong. Individuals should be offered citizenship of the country with which they have the strongest ties; among the rules that ensure this are provisions giving nationality when two successive generations were born in a particular state, or when a child born in a given state still lives there upon reaching adulthood. According to Manby, in the past five years there has been a real push to strengthen the protections for the right to a nationality in the African human rights system. In July 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights adopted a draft protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the right to a nationality. The protocol, which Manby collaborated on, contains a set of detailed principles concerning the recognition of citizenship, the revision of laws and procedures in the interests of nomadic groups,

the promotion of gender equality, the prohibition of racial and religious discrimination, and other aspects of nationality law.

Milestone It’s a step in the right direction, but Manby warns that there is still a long way to go. The big ‘but’ is whether the protocol will actually result in changes to national legislation – and this depends on individual countries. She is expecting fierce resistance from some countries. Besides, even if the protocol is adopted, this is no guarantee of progress: “After all, there’s no international police force to enforce it.” But Manby remains hopeful. “As the pressure to respect these principles increases, states will gradually start revising their laws.”

(1963) is an independent consultant in the field of human rights, democracy and good governance, focusing on sub-Saharan Africa. She has written on a wide range of human rights issues in Africa, especially South Africa and Nigeria, and on continental developments in human rights law.

Should the protocol be ratified, making it a formal treaty, this would lead to a unique situation whereby the right to a nationality and the protection of stateless persons would be better regulated in Africa than anywhere else in the world, including Europe – on paper, at least. “It would be the most progressive document in international law. A global milestone, with Africa leading the way for other regions.” <<

9 February 2016 / UMagazine

Maastricht University 40 years young Maastricht University (UM) celebrated its 40th Dies Natalis in the St Janskerk on Monday 11 January 2016, under the theme 40 years young; the past, the future. The ceremony looked back on the university’s 40 year history and its many accomplishments over the years. But it also looked forward, addressing how education and research can contribute to solving challenges in the future. UM conferred honorary doctorates on the professors Detlev Ganten, Susan RoseAckerman and Paul De Grauwe in recognition of their outstanding contributions to education and research.

The Dies lecture, Turning out hamburgers: A typical academic enterprise, was delivered by Professor Mark Post.

Wynand Wijnen Education Prize The Education Prize was awarded to Dr Anja Krumeich for her involvement in establishing the Master of Global Health. The jury praised her contributions to the programme: ‘Her structural efforts were unique in terms of their quality and quantity. Dr Krumeich is an example for her colleagues both inside and outside UM.’ 10 UMagazine / February 2016

University Choir Wim Vluggen, who has conducted the university choir for more than 20 years, was also singled out during the ceremony. He was appointed university Precentor in recognition of his dedication to the choir and to UM in general.

Dissertation Prize Tom de Graaf of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience won the Dissertation Prize for his dissertation Brain in sight: Probing the neural dynamics underlying conscious vision. According to the jury, ‘Tom provided a conceptual and theoretical framework for the fundamental question of how consciousness can be studied in the human brain. He used all available modern techniques in empirical brain research and developed new perspectives on this problem. The dissertation was the inspiration for nineteen high-quality scientific publications. It has since become an internationally renowned and widely recognised scientific work that is extremely readable. He is capable of presenting extremely complex research in a very accessible way.’

Student Awards Twenty-one bachelor’s students and nine master’s students received a Student Award for the best bachelor and master’s theses of 2015.

The University Choir’s performance consisted of a musical flash mob. While the audience watched a film of the Orchestra Simfonica del Vallès at the Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, the University Choir, directed by Vluggen, performed the European anthem Ode to Joy. Mark Boonstra, trombonist with the South Netherlands Philharmonic, played live in the church to the film of Stand by me from Playing for Change, linking Maastricht with musicians worldwide. <<

Maastricht University connects with city in anniversary year 2016 As it celebrates its anniversary this year, UM aims to connect with the city and surrounding region. A large number of activities will be organised by students and staff throughout the year, with residents of Maastricht and the rest of Limburg warmly invited to join in. A week-long celebration will take place from 5 to 11 September, including the Opening of the Academic Year and the three-day Parcours of Art and Science festival. An overview of all activities can be found on the special anniversary website: <<

News UM Star Lectures: Professors speak to alumni

Rudolf Müller appointed academic director of BISS institute Rudolf Müller has been appointed academic director of the Business Intelligence and Smart Services Institute (BISS). Müller is professor of Quantitative Infonomics at UM’s School of Business and Economics. As of 1 October, he will head the BISS knowledge and innovation centre on the Brightlands Smart Services Campus in Heerlen.

The BISS is a partnership between three knowledge institutes: UM, the Open University of the Netherlands and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. It was established in the context of the research and education mission of the Brightlands Smart Services Campus, which was founded jointly by UM, the Province of Limburg and the pension fund APG. The BISS hosts academics who collaborate with other campus participants to apply insights from the field of data sciences to the development of new smart services. In addition, the BISS will serve as a home base for projects and experiments in the emerging master’s and professional programmes in the areas of business intelligence and smart services. <<

The UM Star Lectures had an especially festive flavour in 2016, the year of the university’s 40th anniversary. On 21 January, alumni in 15 cities in 5 different countries were treated to lectures on topical themes by UM professors from all faculties, including UM president Martin Paul, who addressed graduates in New York. Part of a wider range of activities aimed at alumni, the UM Star Lectures reached more than 1000 UM graduates. In addition to gaining new insight into current affairs, they were attracted by the chance to expand their network, catch up with old acquaintances and reminisce about the good old days in Maastricht. <<

Ancient gut bacteria linked to childhood obesity Sophie Vanhoonacker, dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in Brussel.

A common microorganism in the gastrointestinal tract may be a precursor to the development of obesity in children. According to the results of a study conducted by Maastricht UMC+, the higher the concentration of single-celled organisms, known as archaea or ancient bacteria, the greater the risk of developing obesity. Hoping to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms that play a role in the development of obesity, the researchers examined the faecal samples of nearly 500 children aged six to ten. They found that the bacteria were present to some degree in 80% of the children, with 20% showing no signs of the bacteria at all. The researchers then tracked the children’s height and weight over the course of several years. According to Ilja Arts, professor of Molecular Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases, they found a surprising link: ‘The higher the concentration of M. smithii, the greater the risk of developing obesity. In larger concentrations, the risk could be three times as high.’ Exactly why the presence of M. smithii increases the risk of obesity remains a mystery. <<

11 February 2016 / UMagazine

The biochemist Coen Hemker, who served as rector from 1982 to 1985, was part of the first generation of professors at UM. In 1973 he was invited to join the core team charged with establishing the medical faculty, which launched the following year with a grand total of 50 students. It was not until 1976 that the country’s eighth medical faculty was officially recognised and the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, as it was then known, was opened by Queen Juliana during a ceremony in the Sint Servaaskerk on 9 January. In celebration of Maastricht University’s 40th anniversary this year, video portraits have been made of the surviving former rectors of the university. An abridged version of one of these interviews can be found below; for the full interview please visit the special anniversary website at

On that site, you can also view a compilation of all portraits using unique video fragments from the signing of the university’s founding charter in 1976. 12 UMagazine / February 2016

Text Annelotte Huiskes Photography Archive UM and Submedia

/ No resea no Coen H

Coen Hemker (1934) obtained his MD and PhD in biochemistry from the University of Amsterdam. He became professor of Internal Medicine in Leiden in 1968 and chair of the Maastricht Department of Biochemistry in 1975. He was one of the co-founders of the medical faculty in Maastricht in 1974 and later served as rector magnificus of

Maastricht University (1982 to 1984). Hemker has been a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1986. He is (co-)author of over 500 scientific articles and several books on blood coagulation. After retiring as professor in 1999 he became director of Synapse BV, a scientific consulting and development company.

arch, Hemker / 1983: Minister of Education Wim Deetman visiting the lab of Coen Hemker.

“The idea was absolutely genius: to start a university with very little means and to put it on the map with this different teaching method. That worked on a national level, and indeed became the trademark of the medical faculty here. As to the content of PBL, I’m neutral. I think the way in which you teach is not very important. But the enthusiasm you teach with is key; we as teachers were very enthusiastic and that helps and inspires students. But as for whether the PBL paradigm is much better than any other type of learning, I have my question marks.

Still from the video

“During the ceremony I was sitting on the podium behind Bishop Gijsen, just to his right. No one knew exactly why he was there. It turned out the university could only use the Sint Servaaskerk if he was allowed to say something during the ceremony. As he saw it, he spoke not only on behalf of Catholics but also on behalf of all Christians. Lots of students were against his presence, so I suggested that during his speech they should release a basket of white doves, knowing they’d figure this was going too far. So in the end nothing happened. “My first interview here was with Sjeng Tans and Fons Baeten, the then mayor of Maastricht. I recall being quite impressed by these respectable gentlemen politicians. They wanted to start a new medical faculty with an innovative teaching method: Problem-Based Learning. It all sounded great, but what about research? I know for sure they hadn’t thought about that, though they were politicians enough not to show it. So I said, ‘No research, no Coen Hemker.’ Eventually I moved here from Leiden and brought my entire research group with me.

“When I became a rector it was absolutely true that science, if not illegal, was something that was done in the dark. Research was not as important as teaching, so to make research salonfähig I was willing to play the rector for a few years. If you ask me what I did as rector to put research in the limelight, it was primarily being there and putting the research question on the agenda. “Half a year after I stopped being rector, the minister asked me if I would want to become president of the university. I said, ‘God no, I am so happy to be back in the lab.’ As a Dutch poet put it: Lust wie ‘t lust, ik begeerde het niet. Administration is so much more dull than research. “In the long term nothing will maintain a university as well as scientific quality, and right now I thank god I’m no longer involved in the medical faculty; at this moment, quantity is more important than quality. I hope it’s just a pendulum. “At 81 you might think about taking a step back. Not me. Although I’m no longer the director of Synapse, the company I founded, I’m there most of the week. I like to stick my nose in it now and then.” <<

13 February 2016 / UMagazine

/ Marketing man /

Vic Bonke (1940) is emeritus professor of Vegetative Physiology. He worked in the physiological lab of the University of Amsterdam from 1964 to 1975, when he became a lecturer in vegetative physiology at the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg. After serving as rector from 1985 to 1991, he worked as a consultant and interim manager, with a stint as dean of the medical faculty from 1997 to 1999. Bonke was also spokesperson on education for the LPF parliamentary party from 2002 to 2003.

14 UMagazine / February 2016

Still from the video

1985 Vic Bonke succeeds Coen Hemker as rector.

Vic Bonke succeeded Coen Hemker as rector from 1985 to 1991. He too was at the helm of Maastricht University: he was working in Amsterdam’s physiological lab when he was brought down south courtesy of Rob Reneman, then the brand new professor of Physiology. “In Amsterdam I was also heavily involved in teaching, and I was fascinated by the new education system being put into practice in Maastricht. Those first years were amazing. We launched in 1974 with 50 students and very few staff. It was one big family. “Because everything was new, other universities viewed us with suspicion. Our programme focused on secondary as well as primary care, so we were initially accused of training ‘doctors with soft shoes’. The only possible response was to make sure our first graduates would do well. Fortunately, that turned out to be no problem. “When I took office as rector in 1985, the president was Rob van de Biggelaar, and the first thing he did was wave the Deetman amendment at me. It was the eighties and times were tough economically. The former education minister, Arie Pais, had earlier threatened to close the university. Thankfully, Deetman had managed to push through an amendment that gave us the chance to prove we had the right to exist, but that meant increasing the student body from 2500 to 6000 within five years. How were we going to do that?

1990 Vic Bonke and Wim Deetman celebrating the sixthousand’ student.

of. But some of them whispered in my ear, ‘I wish I’d thought of that.’ Now everybody does it. And it worked – by September 1990 we had 6250 students. “I inherited two secretaries from Coen Hemker. Apparently he thought that was necessary, but I found it too much. I suspect he just used the second secretary for all his biochemistry publications. I’m still in touch with one of them, Ans Lippinkhof. “It was a small university, so internally there wasn’t all that much to manage. Most of what I did was outside the university, with organisations like the SNS Bank, DSM and the drama academy. That wasn’t always appreciated. The University Council, for one, felt that I missed too many of their meetings. So there was a bit of conflict, but we sorted it out in the end. “In that period I also got to know Pim Fortuyn, then the interim director of the Centre for European Studies. He figured that as rector I was the top man here, so he was keen to get acquainted. We became friends. Years later, when he was setting up his new party, the LPF, he asked my wife if she’d like to get involved. I didn’t have much going on at the time, so she said, ‘Ask Vic’. We arranged to discuss it during dinner on 9 May 2002, but on 6 May he was murdered. Ultimately, politics wasn’t for me. You had to be so careful with what you said, especially in the LPF, or you’d immediately find yourself in hot water. Fortunately that’s not the case in academia – here you can just tell it like it is.” <<

“Together with Fred Bakker, a friend from Rotary, we came up with an entire recruitment campaign with ads in all the national newspapers: ‘Come to Maastricht’. No one had ever done that before. The first ad came out the day I attended a national rectors’ meeting in Utrecht. They were furious; it was unheard 15 February 2016 / UMagazine

professor of Social and Affective Neuroscience Beatrice de Gelder


/ I enjoy problems I don’t understand / 16 UMagazine / February 2016

Given the opportunity to trade in Tilburg for Maastricht University (UM), she said ‘yes’ in a heartbeat. “Think on it? What does that mean? Taking a walk in the woods to do some soul-searching? That’s not my style. I make decisions quickly and rarely regret them afterwards. We all like to pretend we make rational, conscious decisions, but we should have faith in our subconscious.”

Text Femke Kools Photography Loraine Bodewes

Beatrice de Gelder is still surprised by the way her classmates described her in their last year of high school: as a high-and-mighty know-it-all. Later in our conversation, though, she calls herself ‘standoffish’ and ‘always putting things into perspective’. “I don’t automatically follow the crowd or care for popular opinion. I don’t feel the need for confrontations of the type ‘this is what I stand for, this is what I fight for’. I think I’m too pragmatic for that. Every argument usually has a counterargument, and I just focus on trying to understand the arguments.” It’s a challenge to get the professor of Social and Affective Neuroscience to talk about her background and career choices. Most people have a personal narrative they use to contextualise and interpret their path in life. De Gelder has little interest in this. “Too much deliberate reflection is limiting for a person; we’re always pigeonholing ourselves. But we’re so much more – and capable of so much more – than we see in that conscious image of ourselves. My two daughters often tell me, ‘This is just the way I am.’ My response is always, ‘You can decide on that yourself.’ I think it’s fair to say who you are when you’re 60, not when you’re 20.”

Sentimental She doesn’t like complaining, either. “There are few things I get worked up about. Dogma is one of them. So are ugly architecture and opportunists.” She shrugs off the fact that she was, as a female professor in Tilburg, treated differently from her male colleagues for years.

I think it’s fair to say who you are when you’re 60, not when you’re 20.

On relocating to UM, De Gelder brought with her an individual ERC Advanced Grant with a focus on Emotional Body Expressions. Her research questions include: how do we recognise bodily expressions of emotion? What’s the underlying cognitive basis? How do disorders such as autism and schizophrenia factor in? Are there cultural or racial differences? “If someone had told me 15 years ago I’d be researching emotion, I would’ve hated the idea. I’m not a sentimental person at all and emotion is not generally seen as a ‘respectable’ topic. Although that’s starting to change, now that emotion is being placed in a biological context.” Her group is the only one in the Netherlands that studies prosopagnosia (face blindness), a condition in which people are unable to recognise faces. Another line of research investigates nonconscious perception in >> 17 February 2016 / UMagazine

patients with cortical damage. Such patients are considered medically blind; although their eyes are undamaged, the signals cannot reach the visual cortex. Yet some of these patients unconsciously perceive more than they realise. This is illustrated by a video on De Gelder’s website showing a man who is perfectly able to dodge obstacles in a narrow corridor, all the while convinced he is walking in a straight line.

Boarding school Although she will have reached retirement age when her ERC Advanced Grant runs out in 2017, De Gelder considers her date of birth irrelevant. She was born near Ghent as the second of four children. Her father ran a dairy company founded by her grandfather; her mother helped with the bookkeeping and had staff to manage the household and the children. She was sent to boarding school at the age of 12. “People thought that was good for children. I have no idea if that’s true, but I had a wonderful time there. I remember reading books all night long.” Her mother lived to the age of 96, many years after the unexpected deaths of three of her four children. “You do have to be strong, being the one who outlives everyone. You start wondering where they all are, and putting things into perspective. My mother came from a generation where you didn’t say everything out loud, but I do know she was proud of me. I don’t think we ever had any deep conversations, but I never felt as though we didn’t understand each other. You could go on forever, talking about things. I think it’s an illusion, the idea that there’ll be any last words that suddenly make everything clear.”

to start philosophy immediately, she had to choose something else for a year. And so she found herself enrolling in psychology anyway, which in those days was strongly rooted in physics and biology. After the first year she decided to stick it out, in addition to starting philosophy. She ended up getting two degrees in five years. “I was the only one who did that. But I have to say it wasn’t particularly difficult. I still had time to work on the student magazine and have a proper student life.” In retrospect, she would have preferred a more demanding schedule. In her view, the European university system is lacking a healthy pressure to perform. “The US has good, better and much better universities. The system in Europe is about getting the highest possible number of people up to the highest possible average. It’s a completely different ideology.” After receiving her PhD, De Gelder became a lecturer in Philosophy of Science at Leiden University. Five years later, she took up a professorship in Tilburg in Philosophy of Science specialising in Cognitive Science. This switch from philosophy to psychology is one of the few choices in her life for which she does offer up an explanatory narrative: “Cognitive science was up and coming and I saw interesting things going on in the field. Instead of just talking without having any real knowledge, I figured we could actually do something ourselves. I suppose I’m somewhat of an experimentalist.”

Philosophy Why did she decide to study philosophy? “I was curious by nature and philosophy had a reputation for being difficult, which appealed to me. Mainly I just didn’t want to study psychology. It seemed to me that everyone who wanted to do that wanted to help people.” Because first-year students were not allowed

Beatrice de Gelder has been professor of Social and Affective Neuroscience at Maastricht University since 2012. She studied philosophy and psychology in Leuven, where she received her PhD in philosophy in 1972. In the mid-1990s, her focus shifted from the philosophy of science to cognitive science. She received an ERC Advanced Grant in 2011. 18 UMagazine / February 2016

questions. That may be a leftover bias from the philosophy of science: theories are only interesting if they can be contradicted.” She thinks mandatory retirement ages are absurd, and disadvantageous to women in particular. “You can’t predict at which point in their career someone will do their best work. I still want to contribute more to the question of how different layers in the processing of emotion can be mapped in the brain. The neural structures we share with other species, especially the unconscious pre-linguistic structures, much more attention. And we have to place brain research on cognition and emotion in a much more evolutionary perspective if we want this research to shed light on social conflicts. This is something new methods will have to be developed for, which is very exciting.” <<


I think it’s a good idea to shake up scientific fields every once in a while.

Her first brain imaging study, in collaboration with University College London, focused on how the brain processes emotions that are heard and seen. “It used to be assumed that the emotions you see in a face and hear in a voice are processed separately. To me, it seemed to make much more sense that these neural processes would merge early on. As an outsider who came to the field of cognitive neuroscience in a roundabout way, I was surprised to find that the hypotheses I came up with hadn’t yet been investigated. This is why I think it’s a good idea to shake up scientific fields every once in a while.” De Gelder spent five years making regular visits to Harvard University, as a senior scientist at the Martinos Center for Biological Imaging. Yet her success as a researcher does not appear to have affected her. “I’ve never really been directly focused on success. I mainly enjoy problems I don’t understand. Science seems to be about the pursuit of answers, but when you look closer it turns out to be the pursuit of

19 February 2016 / UMagazine

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

His office is big but bare: a low cupboard, two tables and a couple of chairs. On his desk is nothing but a lamp, a phone and a laptop. Kleinjans points at the laptop: “Everything’s in there.” That, apparently, is all it takes to lead a group of 35 toxicogenomics researchers.

DNA The relatively new field of toxicogenomics is shaking up traditional toxicology. Kleinjans and his colleagues are homing in on how chemicals influence the functioning of cells. “We’re studying the harmful effects of chemicals on the structure and functioning of DNA”, he explains. The genetic code in DNA controls not only the construction of cells, but also the everyday functioning of those cells. Chemicals can change that genetic code as well as the regulatory function of DNA. “For example, we can see if a chemical substance prompts DNA to produce unwanted proteins or to decrease the production of useful proteins. Toxicogenomics provides much more information than traditional testing methods, which 20 UMagazine / February 2016

Text Patrick Marx Photography Harry Heuts

/ Altern animal simply count how many cultured cells are killed off by a chemical substance.” Thanks to this wealth of information, the results of Kleinjans’s research surpass those of animal research. “Animal research is of limited value when it comes to predicting effects in humans. A substance that seems perfectly safe during animal research might not be safe for humans, or vice versa. This can cause problems in pharmaceutical research: a drug that passes animal testing could have severe side effects in humans, and then you’re back at square one.” Kleinjans uses toxicogenomics to analyse the effects of chemicals on cultured human cells. One tangible outcome is a test for predicting contact allergies that is reliable in 85% to 90% of cases. Recently, Kleinjans and a number of colleagues founded the company ToxGenSolutions to market their testing methods. “Our main goal is to persuade the pharmaceutical industry that they’d be better off using our test in their toxicological research.”

Sluggish Toxicogenomic tests may be on the rise, but that is not to say animal research will soon be a thing of the past. “The use of animals in toxicological research on chemicals, including medicines, is deeply embedded in

natives to l testing / Legislation changes so slowly that the word ‘sluggish’ is an understatement.

the law”, Kleinjans explains. “And legislation changes so slowly that the word ‘sluggish’ is an understatement. I don’t think I’ll be around to see it happen. Look at TNO’s animal-friendly alternative to eye irritation tests on rabbits – it took 20 years to get approval from the international regulatory bodies.” The Kafkaesque maze of rules and regulations further fuel his pessimism. “Animal testing for cosmetics has been banned in the EU since 2013. Yet the legal requirement to test new cosmetic products on animals is still in place.” The EU aims to speed up the pace of innovation by investing €30 million in EuToxRisk, a consortium led by Leiden University. “The technology and knowledge are developing so quickly that many researchers, us included, want to start using new techniques and insights before a validated end product becomes available”, Kleinjans says. Ideally, EuToxRisk will ensure that research on animal-friendly toxicogenomic tests that map the harmful effects of substances on the liver, heart, kidneys, nerves and foetuses can be put into practice as soon as possible. Of the total investment, €1.5 million will go to research in Maastricht.


Jos Kleinjans (1954) studied biology in Nijmegen and has worked at Maastricht University since starting his PhD in 1979. He was appointed professor of Environmental Health Science and head of the Department of Health Risk Analysis and Toxicology in 1991. In 2011, he became head of the newly established Department of Toxicogenomics. He also served as director of the Netherlands Toxicogenomics Centre.

partners. De Volkskrant ranked him third on a list of researchers who have landed the most grant money in the Netherlands. “I wasn’t particularly happy with their reporting. It gives the impression that I can just rustle up funding left and right. That certainly isn’t the case. I have to write research proposals and take part in the competition just like the rest of my colleagues. Sometimes I hear people complain that funding always ends up in the same place, which makes me wonder if they’ve written as many project proposals as we have. Writing proposals is simply part of my job; it gives me the chance to immerse myself in the complexity of a topic. I have a warehouse full of ideas in my mind. Whenever I see an opportunity for a project proposal, I walk into my virtual warehouse and gather up ideas to work into a proposal with partners. Of course I don’t always hit the mark.” What undoubtedly helps him land funding is his good reputation in the world of toxicology. Kleinjans is, after all, among the best in the world. “That’s a sensitive topic,” he says when prompted, scratching his head in contemplation. “But considering the scope of our activities and grants and the quality of our publications, I do think that might be the case.” <<

Between European and national funding, Kleinjans has received tens of millions of euros for the research he carries out in collaboration with international 21 February 2016 / UMagazine


In late 2015 UNU-Merit and the Maastricht School of Governance acquired a new residence in the Boschstraat 24. A former office building and showroom of the Sphinx factories, it was built in 1955 by Bureau Postma in a district that had served as an important industrial area since the 1800s. With its coloured glass mosaics by Frans Slijpen displaying different stages of earthenware production, the building is of great cultural and historical importance. With this acquisition, the number of historic buildings Maastricht University has restored and made suitable for teaching and research rises to 27. Photography Arjen Schmitz

New quarters for UNU-Merit and the Maastricht School of Governance

22 UMagazine / February 2016

23 February 2016 / UMagazine

Text Jolien Linssen Photography Arjen Schmitz

Researcher Care and Technology Roger Bemelmans / Professor of Care and Technology Luc de Witte

Professor / student

/ Using robots to humanise elderly care / 24 UMagazine / February 2016

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


“A couple of years ago, I suddenly found myself talking to a robot in the form of a dinosaur,” recalls Luc de Witte, professor of Care and Technology at Maastricht University (UM). “It was a strange sensation. I consider myself a fairly rational man, but there was something so compelling about that robot that I couldn’t help but interact with him.” It was this experience that triggered his interest in the field of robotics and its potential to assist in care provision in our ageing society. We’re not only getting older on average; in the coming decades the absolute number of seniors in the Western world will dramatically increase. That this development presents major challenges to the quality of our healthcare system is beyond dispute. The idea that these could be met by using robot technology, however, is subject to fierce debate. “Caregiving is commonly seen as a labour of love, whereas robots are seen as representing a move towards dehumanisation”, explains Roger Bemelmans. In his PhD research, supervised by De Witte, he investigated how the use of the robotic toy seal Paro in nursing homes could improve care for dementia patients.

Paro Bemelmans: “When I started reviewing the literature on socially assistive robots, I realised little was known about the effects and effectiveness of robot interventions aimed at social assistance in elderly care. And only a few of the robot systems available were actually operational.” Paro, the adorable white fluff ball, proved to be the best option – there’s more to this stuffed animal than meets the eye. He can distinguish between light and dark, knows when he is being stroked or held, and can recognise his own name. Moreover, his behaviour is not entirely deterministic: he has the capacity to learn and thus to develop, in a manner of speaking, his own personality. “Paro appeals to very basic emotions, such as the urge to care for someone and to give and receive attention”, says De Witte. “Virtually everybody starts talking to him, cuddling him. It just happens automatically.” Until recently, Paro was a wonderful gadget, but not much more than that. “We wanted to go one step further,” Bemelmans explains, “and identify real-life problems which could be addressed by a purposeful intervention within the walls of nursing homes. That’s what makes our research innovative, and hitherto unique.” >> 25 February 2016 / UMagazine

Added value “For patients, we found that the introduction of Paro had definite added value. We’re still investigating exactly how and why it works, yet it works”, says Bemelmans. “For the caregivers, the picture looks a bit different. Dealing with Paro was yet another task they needed to combine with their daily care activities, which initially turned out to be very complicated. Later on, however, their experiences became increasingly positive. We interpret this as an encouraging signal that points to the need for further research.” “What I find significant is the fact that many of the caregivers who took part in our research have asked their managers to invest in Paro robots”, De Witte adds. “They’ve seen that Paro is a tool which can help them, not a machine that will make them redundant. Our task is to look for ways in which we can improve quality and add value to the health care system. That search doesn’t end as soon as a PhD thesis is finished; it’s an ongoing process.” <<

Intervention It was an ambitious enterprise: doctors, therapists, psychologists, caregivers and family members of dementia patients needed to be convinced of the potential benefits of working with Paro. “It took one and a half years and a lot of talking and organising to get our foot in the door”, Bemelmans says. “Luc, having a powerful network, was of great help in that respect.” Eventually, five nursing homes agreed to cooperate. Next, a specific care problem was identified for each individual participant. De Witte: “People suffering from dementia can be agitated, aggressive or restless. One of the participants, for example, often displayed problem behaviour when visiting the pedicurist. Two staff members needed to accompany her to just to allow the pedicurist to do her job. The idea was that Paro would be deployed to help things go more smoothly.” A predefined set of indicators was used regularly to measure the psychological functioning and psychosocial wellbeing of the participants as well as the extent to which Paro facilitated care providers in their work.

26 UMagazine / February 2016

Roger Bemelmans

Luc de Witte (1959)

(1972) studied computer science at Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Heerlen, followed by knowledge engineering and operational research at UM. He became a computer science lecturer at Zuyd University in 1998 and has also been a researcher at the Research Centre for Technology in Care since 2008. He received his PhD on the use socially assistive robots in intramural psychogeriatric care in November 2015.

studied medicine at UM, where he obtained his PhD in 1991. He worked as a researcher at the department of Health Promotion and later Medical Sociology, and occupied a variety of positions at the Institute for Rehabilitation Research in Hoensbroek. Currently, he is professor of Care and Technology at UM and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences in Heerlen. He is also director of the Centre of Expertise on Innovative Care and Technology (EIZT).

Professor of International Relations Thomas Conzelmann / Professor of European Union Law Ellen Vos


/ CERiM provides interdisciplinary platform for research on European themes / 27 February 2016 / UMagazine

Text Graziella Runchina Photography Paul van der Veer

Thomas Conzelmann Ellen Vos (1965) is pro(1966) is professor of International Relations at Maastricht University and co-director of the Centre for European Research in Maastricht. He served as Research Director and Associate Dean for Research at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2009 to 2013. Before coming to Maastricht, he held various positions at the University of Darmstadt and the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research.

28 UMagazine / February 2016

fessor of European Union Law at the Maastricht University Faculty of Law. She is also co-director of the Maastricht Centre for European Law and the Centre for European Research in Maastricht.

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

CERiM is led by the professors Thomas Conzelmann and Ellen Vos, with two postdoc researchers responsible for its daily affairs. Officially launched in mid-2015, the centre is already making good progress: in September it was awarded the prestigious Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence label. In addition to being an important quality marker, this label will boost future research by providing additional funding for the organisation of conferences and workshops.

Logical step “CERiM provides a formal structure that replaces the previous ad hoc collaboration between various faculties, particularly FASoS and the FL”, says Vos, professor of European Union Law. “We had political theorists, historians, legal scholars and social scientists already working together on many Europe-related topics. There’s an urgent need to find answers to questions the disciplines are unable to solve in isolation, so the logical step was to found a centre that would allow us to cross disciplinary boundaries.”

Umbrella “CERiM now forms an umbrella for over a hundred UM researchers”, says Conzelmann, professor of International Relations. “The research programme is called Reshaping Europe in a Globalising World, in which we’ll develop different research projects and organise international workshops with renowned speakers from the various disciplines. The aim is to contribute to the discussion on EU-related topics, not just within UM but also beyond the walls of the university.”

Four main themes The research programme is divided into four main themes: Differentiation & Flexible Integration, Constitutionalising Europe, European Governance & Market Integration and, lastly, Europe & the World. A very broad remit, the directors concede. “There are so many hot topics in Europe that we’re keen to study”, explains Conzelmann. “Refugees, food safety, terrorism. Or take the rise of far-right parties in Europe. What’s the role of citizens here? How do the populations of the various member states deal with it, not to mention the politicians? These are matters on which not just the individual states, but also Europe itself must take a position. And we as a centre would like to provide the answers.”

Integration process “What about the question of how the law can contribute to the process of European integration?”, Vos continues. “It might make sense to approach a legal scholar about this, but a political theorist or another social scientist can provide a completely different perspective. Rather than focusing solely on the technical legal aspects, they take political motives and other issues into account. That’s the kind of research CERiM would like to stimulate.”

Food safety Research is well underway at CERiM on various topics. Vos herself is a legal expert in the area of food safety. “This theme also falls perfectly within the scope of CERiM. For example, there’s fierce debate at the moment on whether genetically modified organisms [GMOs] and genetically modified food should be allowed in member states. Although it’s been agreed on a European level that certain GMOs must be allowed if permits have been issued for them, 19 member states have refused to go along with this decision for political reasons. What’s interesting is that European legislation has had to change to accommodate their refusal. So does this mean European legislation should also accommodate member states refusing to allow genetically modified food?” Conzelmann chimes in: “At the same time, this is an enormously controversial topic in political terms. If we want to get to grips with the debate on GMOs, we need to understand the concerns coming from society but also the stance among experts on what constitutes an acceptable risk.”

Increasing visibility The goal in the next few years is to increase the visibility of CERiM by organising workshops, conferences and seminars. The overview on CERiM’s website ( of ongoing research and research fields highlights the impressive range of expertise the centre has in house on European themes. Conzelmann: “We also hope to benefit from cooperation with the Maastricht city council when it comes to organising joint events, such as talks and lectures. We’ve already had the European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström here, talking to CERiM researchers and UM students about TTIP, the trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the US. We plan to organise these kinds of activities more often. We’re keen, too, to further increase the dialogue between CERiM researchers and policymakers in Brussels and the various capitals.” << 29 February 2016 / UMagazine


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

Text Hans van Vinkeveen Photography Philip Driessen

30 UMagazine / February 2016

/ Lessons learnt from urban labs

Postdoctoral researcher URB@Exp project Christian Scholl / Professor of Innovation and Sustainable Development René Kemp

Christian Scholl (1980) is a post-

René Kemp (1961) is professor of

doctoral researcher and coordinator of the URB@Exp project at UM’s International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS). His research interests revolve around urban social movements and participatory democracy. In URB@Exp, he focuses on new forms of participatory urban governance and sustainable urban development.

Innovation and Sustainable Development at ICIS and a professorial fellow at the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT). He is interested in the links between macro- and microchange with respect to resource efficiency, social innovation and urban labs.

m s/

With industry disappearing and national governments passing the buck on new tasks, cities today face considerable challenges. Complex global problems such as sustainability are on the rise, not to mention problems like climate change, declining social cohesion and lack of citizen participation. “These are big issues for which the national government isn’t taking responsibility,” says René Kemp, professor of Innovation and Sustainable Development at Maastricht University (UM). To tackle these problems, new forms of urban governance and development are needed. The URB@ Exp project, led by Kemp, focuses on experiments with new types of urban development, urban labs in particular. “Urban labs are especially useful because of their local scale,” explains project coordinator Christian Scholl. Maastricht is the only Dutch city involved in the three-year project, which is spearheaded and supervised by ICIS, UM’s centre for sustainable development.

Fire station One successful initiative of Maastricht-LAB was the redevelopment of a former fire station. “The users themselves came up with the concept. It’s a first attempt to experiment with organic, small-scale local development”, explains Scholl. The nearby district Belvédère, an old industrial area, is following suit. “Initially, it was going to be done up like Céramique. Plans had been drawn up and big investors were on board. But then the economic crisis hit. As in the fire station project, the traditional process of urban planning has been turned on its head; now the idea is to develop Belvédère in an organic way, step by step.”

Action research “We see urban labs as a tool that allows us to study phenomena such as co-creation, or cooperation between stakeholders”, Scholl continues. The researchers not only analyse and compare the urban labs, but also assess their social contribution. Do they provide added value? Do local policymakers pick up on the findings and apply them in future projects? And what increases the chances of their doing so? In fact, the researchers are themselves part of the co-creation process. The ‘action research’ approach used in URB@Exp combines theory and practice. “Traditional research involves analysing something and producing a final report or conclusion. This is what’s going well, this is what could be improved”, says Scholl. “Urban labs, however, are phenomena in the making. We serve as critical supervisors of the process and encourage the parties involved to reflect on what is and isn’t working.” Kemp: “We ask questions early on and indicate areas for improvement as we go along. There’s interaction throughout the entire process.”

Civil servants The goal of URB@Exp is to learn how innovative solutions to urban challenges arise, how urban labs can contribute to urban development and what form of governance can facilitate this. Ideally, the outcome will be a set of guidelines for the organisation of urban labs. Scholl and Kemp emphasise that this ‘toolkit’ will not be a list of do’s and don’ts, something that is better suited to a traditional top-down approach. “Our guidelines will be more like prompts to reflect on aspects such as co-creation and participatory city governance”, explains Kemp. An important insight so far is that the role of local civil servants is often critical to the success of an urban lab. Scholl: “A good approach is a sort of hybrid construction: one foot in the urban lab and one foot in local government. This gives you enough space to experiment, and you avoid being taken for a government agency. But it also means there’s enough support from the city council and a greater chance of learning something. When civil servants get involved, they see for themselves what it’s like to face rigid regulations and a bureaucratic way of working.”

Reforms The question remains whether urban labs will lead to the desired institutional reforms. “It’s nice to have discovered in urban labs a new type of urban development”, says Kemp. “But how can you incorporate them in the functioning of the local government?” Scholl: “Urban labs are a new form of governance in and of themselves. The question is: will they catch on? We see urban labs running into bureaucratic roadblocks, but at the same time it’s these very labs that can break down the strict division of responsibilities and help us work together towards integrated solutions.”

Power and resistance Kemp expects the research to expose, too, the limitations of urban labs. “Experiments like the fire station project quickly take off because the people behind it are creative, assertive and well-connected. But are urban labs also useful when it comes to issues such as sustainability and social exclusion? It’s the politicians who’ll have to initiate changes in those areas. But – and this is something we’ve learnt – urban labs often throw the spotlight on those points at which you encounter power and resistance in urban development processes.” <<

31 February 2016 / UMagazine

Off the job

/ Guido Tans, the son / Text Jolien Linssen Photography Hugo Thomassen

Professor in biochemistry Guido Tans 32 UMagazine / February 2016

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

The name of the politician Sjeng Tans (1912–1993) is inextricably linked with UM. Without his efforts, there probably would not have been a university here at all. Not only was he one of the founding fathers of what was then called the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg, he was also its first president. As UM celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, a statue will be erected at the Tongersestraat in his memory. Guido Tans, the spitting image of his father, nevertheless remains down to earth. “Until now, I hadn’t thought all that much about the anniversary”, he says. The reason is simple: “I wasn’t there at the time. When my father started working on developing the new university, I was studying in Groningen. That’s a long way away from Maastricht, and I came home only two or three times a year. I wasn’t much into local politics at the time, nor was I aware of the political manoeuvring. And perhaps my dad and I even avoided the topic in conversation. When you’re young, you’re not willing to compromise – whereas that’s what politics is all about.”

Life’s work Today, at the same age as Sjeng Tans when the university was officially established and with his own academic career to look back on, Guido has no doubts about his father’s accomplishments. “The founding of the university was his great life’s work. Politics is >>

33 February 2016 / UMagazine

bargaining, without letting go of your ideals. If you’re then able to create something you wholeheartedly approve of, as he did, what more could you wish for?”

If you’re then able to create something you wholeheartedly approve of, what more could you wish for?

Nonetheless, Guido warns against the creation of a “personality cult”, as he calls it. “Presenting my father as the one and only founder of Maastricht University, as sometimes happens, is historically inaccurate, and I’m sure he would have been averse to such claims. That’s not to say he wasn’t proud of his work. As an adherent of the philosopher Ivan Illich, he was passionate about lifelong learning and the improvement of education. The introduction of Problem-Based Learning, a novelty in the Netherlands, definitely filled him with pride.”

Research and education Despite being educated in the more traditional system in Groningen, Guido got the opportunity soon enough to experience the innovation taking place down south. It happened more or less by accident. “After graduating as a physical chemist, I planned on a career in industry. I sent out a lot of application letters, yet jobs were scarce. Starting the PhD programme at the Maastricht Department of Biochemistry felt like a career switch to me, but I decided to give it a try.” It turned out to be the right decision; he never looked back.

Next Guido and his wife moved to California, where he spent two and a half years as a postdoc. Upon returning to Maastricht, he joined the staff of the Department of Biochemistry. “Whenever we talked about my research, my father would ask me when I would be done”, he recalls. “But one question inevitably leads to another, which puzzled him.” Although scientific curiosity is his main motivator, over the years Guido’s focus has shifted from research to education. “I don’t really feel at home anymore within the current research structures, which are largely money driven and result oriented”, he explains. “So in the past 15 years I’ve devoted most of my time to teaching and working as a student adviser in the medicine programme. Dealing with young people has always given me a lot of satisfaction. At the moment, I’m looking at setting up a research project on the effects of study advising. It’s very different from biochemical research, yet exciting.”

Basset Fauve de Bretagne Besides his work within the walls of the university founded by his father, there’s that other passion, which Guido shares with his wife Geja. It all started in 1994, when they expanded their family with a Basset Fauve de Bretagne, a short-legged hunting breed of dog. Now they have four of them. “Yes, the hobby got out of hand”, Guido laughs. “Our first Fauve, Jopie, was so nice and well behaved that we decided to breed a litter with her. But our second one had a different temperament: she’d go missing every day for hours.” It was a wake-up call for Guido and Geja, who decided to learn more about the breed. “As the Basset Fauve de Bretagne is bred for hunting, these dogs have an incredible sense of smell”, he says. “They’re dictated by their noses. Still, they have to learn that they can follow a scent trail only when they’re allowed to, which requires constant training and attention.” For Guido and his wife, it has become a way of life. “Every two weeks we go out hunting. When the dogs find what they’re searching for, they make enough noise to raise to dead. For me, that’s music to my ears.” <<

Guido Tans (1952) studied physical chemistry at the University of Groningen and completed his PhD at Maastricht University. After working as a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California, he returned to UM in 1983. He has been an associate professor in biochemistry for the past 30 years and served as student adviser for medicine from 2000 to 2015. 34 UMagazine / February 2016


UM breaks into top 100 of prestigious THE World Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk wins 2015 Huibregtsen Prize University Rankings Maastricht University (UM) has broken into the top 100 of the Times Higher Education’s (THE) World University Rankings 2013/14, rising from 115th to 98th place. Earlier last year UM also shot into the top 10 in the THE’s second ever ‘100 under 50’ ranking, which identifies the best universities established within the last half century. UM’s rise in the world rankings is mainly due to its improved scores for research quality (citations) and international outlook (e.g. percentage of international staff and students). <<

Professor Clemens van Blitterswijk has won the 2015 Huibregtsen Prize. He was presented with the award by Jet Bussemaker, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, in the Ridderzaal in The Hague during the Night of Science and Society Foundation. Van Blitterswijk was nominated for his project ‘Osteoinductive biomaterials: From the periodic table of elements to FDA approval’. The award consists of a sculpture (‘De Denker’) and €25,000 in research funding. Van Blitterswijk is the director of the MERLN Institute and head of the Complex Tissue

QS Top 50 under 50 Reference Index Maastricht University was ranked eighth in the QS Top 50 under 50, making it one of the best young universities in the world. This ranking for universities established fewer than 50 years ago was published for the fifth time in 2015. It focuses on universities with similar backgrounds, while more general rankings include institutes of different ages and with different profiles. The Top 50 under 50 is part of the QS World University Rankings (WUR). This year, QS adapted its methodology to assess the academic output of universities. This helps to explain why UM fell from 118 to 169 in the QS WUR and from sixth to eighth in the QS Top 50 under 50, although it did manage to maintain its top 10 position. <<

for High-Risk Children unsuccessful

Regeneration department. His research focuses primarily on tissue and organ regeneration. Since the early 1990s, he and his team have worked on improving bone implants by developing materials from naturally occurring elements in the bone itself: calcium, phosphorus, oxygen and hydrogen. Van Blitterswijk is one of three ‘university professors’ appointed in the framework of the Kennis-As Limburg initiative and supported by investments by UM and the Province of Limburg. <<

The national Reference Index for HighRisk Children (Verwijsindex Risicojongeren), an ICT system introduced in 2010 to identify at-risk children at an early stage and to facilitate collaboration between support agencies, does not work as intended and is not applied effectively in daily practice. This is the conclusion of research by Inge Lecluijze, who defended her dissertation at Maastricht University on 4 November. The system was developed following the deaths of several children from abuse and domestic violence after national support agencies failed to collaborate effectively on a timely intervention. Lecluijze’s study highlights the complex nature of collaboration in the field of youth care. ‘The implementation of the ICT system was not successful, which, in my opinion, calls for a reassessment of the Reference Index.’ <<

35 February 2016 / UMagazine

Text Graziella Runchina Photography Naomi Neijhoft

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

Alum Naomi Neijhoft

/ Protecting children from violence and exploitation / Alumni

Neijhoft’s (30) job mainly revolves around the child’s right to protection. In Cambodia, she explains, the situation is disconcerting. “A recent study supported by UNICEF showed that at least 50% of all Cambodian children encounter some form of physical violence in childhood. About 25% face psychological abuse and one in 20 – boys and girls – are sexually abused. Additionally, many children are exploited, forced to beg on the streets, or needlessly separated from their families and placed in orphanages.”

Intense and hard work Neijhoft studied at UM from 2004 to 2009, receiving a bachelor’s degree in International Business and a master’s in Public Policy and Human Development. “The international nature of the programme really appealed to me. I’m glad I ended up in Maastricht – that type of education works for me.” After her bachelor’s degree, she went about choosing her master’s with purpose, eventually stumbling across the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance on the internet. “I’d been planning on moving to a different city, but the master’s programme in Public Policy and Human Development appealed to me so much that I ended up staying.’ This turned out to be a good choice, in retrospect. ‘It was intense and hard work, but I learnt a great deal.” 36 UMagazine / February 2016

Naomi Neijhoft (1985) studied International Business and Public Policy & Human Development at UM. She has been working for UNICEF in Cambodia since 2012.

diversity of the students, it was the perfect combination to me. The programme also had a good reputation in the field thanks to the international character of the School of Governance and its partnerships with various organisations worldwide.”

Diverse and challenging The Dutch government supports JPOs for a period of three years. “The idea behind the programme is ‘sow, grow, reap’. That certainly applies to me. I spent the majority of the first six months getting to know the organisation: the processes, the way of working, you name it. I’m still learning every day. That’s what makes this job so interesting. It’s diverse and incredibly challenging. The past three years have been one big learning process. It hasn’t always been easy, of course; some of the things you see affect you deeply. But I’m constantly inspired by the resilience of these children. That’s what it’s all about for me. You use real-life experience to influence government policy. One day you’re in contact with families, the next you’re sitting at the table with government officers. In that way I’m a sort of ‘spider in the web’.”


Developing country Neijhoft became acquainted with UNICEF during her time in Maastricht: “A group of senior staff took a course at the Graduate School.” After finishing her master’s, she decided to start out working for a small organisation in a developing country. “That’s how I ended up in Cambodia in 2010, where I spent 18 months as a project coordinator. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” On returning to the Netherlands, she took up a job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There, one of her colleagues mentioned the JPO (Junior Professional Officer) programme, which is supported by the Dutch government. “I’d never heard of it before. I went to see what it was all about and found my current position on offer – a role at UNICEF in Cambodia focused on an issue close to my heart”, Neijhoft explains. “I didn’t think twice about it; I applied for the job right away and I’ve been here for nearly three years now.”

Looking back, Neijhoft is proud to have helped raise awareness in Cambodia about the problem of violence against children. “This kind of violence often goes unnoticed because it takes place behind closed doors, or because people simply turn a blind eye to it. That’s why it’s significant that the Cambodian government, together with UNICEF, sponsored a national study on violence against children. As a result, Cambodia is the first country in Southeast Asia with representative data on this topic. This is important because it helps us to make the invisible visible. The data enable us to address the problem with more credibility and foster concrete action to end this violence.”

Next step With her contract at UNICEF ending in late 2015, Neijhoft is tentatively starting to explore the next step. “I definitely plan to stay abroad and continue working in this field,” she says. “At the moment it’s just a question of how and in what form.” In the short term she will head to Italy, where her partner – a fellow UM graduate – works as a consultant at the UNICEF Office of Research. “‘First we are going on holiday in Chile. I’ll have plenty of time then to think and plan my next step.” <<

Perfect combination As Neijhoft sees it, her master’s programme was excellent preparation for her current job. “One of the advantages was that we often had guest lecturers, field experts who could provide a different perspective on things. Together with the regular programme and the

Visit us at 37 February 2016 / UMagazine

Text Jos Cortenraad Photography Rafaël Philippen

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

/ We want to make people better / Alumni

38 UMagazine / February 2016

In 1996 Melief landed a much sought-after position in internal medicine, the logical next step after breezing through his medical degree at Maastricht University. But just a year later, he left for the pharmaceutical company Organon in Oss. “One of my professors in Maastricht understood, another was less than pleased. How could I trade in medicine for pharma, ‘the dark side’? Well, it certainly wasn’t for the money. If that’s what I was after, I should’ve become a medical specialist. No, I felt that I could mean just as much to patients while working in the pharmaceutical industry. And I became more and more convinced of that after a series of meetings with the company. They were looking for enthusiastic doctors who wanted to help develop new drugs, which really appealed to me.”

Rob Melief (1968) studied medicine at Maastricht University from 1988 to 1995. He joined Genzyme in 2007 and currently serves as medical director for the Benelux countries. He is married, has two daughters and lives in Amsterdam.

Maastricht topped the ranking of medical programmes in the Netherlands and the scepticism died down.” He also enjoyed student life in the city. “When I started there in 1988, Maastricht was still a student city in the making. We pioneered a lot of things, organised a lot of activities ourselves. In my second year I helped to found the student rugby club De Maraboes, which is still there and doing really well in the league. Once a year, the alumni take on the current students. I haven’t played much lately, but I still enjoy visiting Maastricht, especially its sidewalk cafes. I have fond memories of them – I made good money playing guitar and singing songs.” This profitable hobby indirectly influenced his choices later in life. “I made enough money to spend a year travelling before I started my residency. I really missed that during my first year on the wards. The job at Organon was very international, with lots of trips abroad and even four years in Mexico. That was a big draw card for me.”


Alum Rob Melief

In 2007 he crossed paths with Genzyme, an international biotechnology company focused on finding drugs for rare diseases. “We got talking and I was immediately impressed by their philosophy. A pharmaceutical company with a very concrete, social objective: improving the lives of patients with rare diseases or diseases with poor treatment options, such as certain metabolic diseases or multiple sclerosis. More and more often we’re drawn into discussions about what drugs should cost and how many patients there have to be for a drug to receive funding. Those are important issues, but ultimately political decisions. At Genzyme, we focus on research, funding it with revenue from previously developed drugs. We collaborate with doctors and universities and yes, we’re definitely getting results, but I can’t go into that here. As in, we’re only allowed to pitch our treatments to doctors. And only after we’ve published in medical journals, after extensive peer review. I get that. The pharmaceutical industry is under close scrutiny. Unfortunately, we still have a bad reputation. There may be some people in the industry with less than pure motives, but I do know there’s a lot of transparency and supervision. We really are working to make people better.”


Maastricht And so, after almost a decade in Maastricht, Melief moved back to Brabant. It took him a while to settle in again. “I had a fantastic time in Maastricht. At first, my former classmates and friends made fun of me. Maastricht was seen as uncool, and because of Problem-Based Learning the university was associated with oddballs. Sitting around in groups having discussions ... is that how you become a doctor? But that interactive form of education was exactly what I wanted. Not one-way communication in lecture halls, but working with concrete issues and solving problems. Being thrown straight in the deep end to get practical experience. Not long after,

As medical director for the Benelux, Melief mainly works with the doctors who train medical specialists. “Rare diseases and multiple sclerosis often go undiagnosed for a long time, making drugs less effective. One of the things we teach specialists is how to recognise symptoms early on so the right treatment can be started as soon as possible. Part of my time goes into meetings and managerial tasks, but fortunately I’m still involved in research and education. So I do get to indirectly contribute to the discovery of new drugs and getting the right treatment to the right patients. Because of that, I still feel like a doctor at heart.” <<

Visit us at

39 February 2016 / UMagazine

Peekaboo named Local Hero 2015 On 19 November, team ‘Peekaboo’ won the student business plan competition. With €10,000 in prize money from the Limburg University Fund, the winners will be able to put their business plan into action. Peekaboo offers parents-to-be a more intense and shared experience of pregnancy by allowing them to “meet” their baby in virtual reality. Thanks to Peekaboo’s innovative technology, the experience goes beyond the ultrasound scans currently offered by many clinics.

Team members Piotr Podiemski, a PhD candidate in Cardiology, and Nitzan Merguei, a UCM graduate, met through the UM LaunchBase programme. It didn’t take them long to realise their complementary skills made them the perfect duo to bring the idea to fruition. The goal of the business plan competition, initiated by the Limburg University Fund and the UM Centre for Entrepreneurship (MC4E), is to encourage entrepreneurial students to achieve their ambitions, preferably in the Limburg area.

During the event, the last six teams – Green Story, Furnit, FoodsApp, Sigurd and SocialLGBT – pitched their business plans to a jury and an audience. The audience was also treated to the inspiring story of Ojo Meijers, a graduate of the law faculty and successful local entrepreneur who founded Jurofoon and TaxiTender | CheapTaxis | Your Airport Transfer. <<

Active alumni start UMbassadors In the presence of UM President Martin Paul, a group of alumni officially declared themselves the “UMbassadors”. To support the development of their alma mater, the UMbassadors aim to raise funds and increase the number of alumni who make substantial donations to the University Fund. They will also serve as a sounding board for the Executive Board and the Board of the Fund on matters in which alumni can play a role. As of 2016, the UMbassadors will meet annually at a private event and present a financial contribution in the form of a named fund, allowing alumni to decide which project they wish

40 UMagazine / February 2016

to support each year. The UMbassadors are also considering other ways for alumni to contribute to UM, for example by supporting entrepreneurial students. Donations to the University Fund by UM alumni are increasing every year. Both the total amount of money donated and the number of alumni who make a donation are growing at a rate of about 25% per year. In this way, many hundreds of alumni demonstrate the value they place on staying involved with UM. <<

University Fund and UM on regional tour Maastricht University (UM) is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016. Various festivities will be organised between the Dies ceremony in January and the opening of the academic year in September 2016. The Limburg University Fund/SWOL, which began advocating for a university in Limburg as early as 1965, is celebrating its anniversary as well.

Since 1965, countless individuals, companies, institutions and local authorities in Limburg have donated to the fund, first to aid in the establishment of the university and later to support the research carried out there. Thousands of Limburg residents continue to donate year after year. Now, five decades on, the University Fund would like to contribute to the festivities. As a gift to UM and the people of Limburg, the University Fund is planning a Jubilee Tour of the region in collaboration UM academics. The goal is to bring the university and academia together with the region: by sharing knowledge through workshops, lectures, music, demonstrations and more, the Fund aims to give back something of what the people of Limburg have helped to make possible. During the tour the University Fund, together with UM, is looking forward to meeting as many Limburg residents as possible. Information about the activities planned at various locations around Limburg between January and September can be found on The first event, on 24 January, was a concert for senior citizens by the UM Orchestra in Venray. <<

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.

41 February 2016 / UMagazine


Preventing addiction by talking It may be possible to prevent problems caused by the use of cannabis by talking to young people, providing these conversations are conducted by prevention officers trained in techniques such as motivational interviewing and self-monitoring. This is the conclusion of research by Dr Hans Dupont, who recently defended his PhD at Maastricht University. Dupont is manager of addiction prevention at the Mondriaan mental health institute and part-time researcher and lecturer at the Caphri research institute. He and his South Limburg team decided to address the lack of suitable and effective interventions in the Netherlands for adolescents who use cannabis and are susceptible to addiction. They developed a method called Moti-4 (referring to ‘motivation’ and ‘four consultations’), which aims to challenge young people to view their cannabis use from a different perspective. It seems to work. Young people who complete Moti-4 have been found to use cannabis less often and in smaller quantities; on average, they end up halving their cannabis consumption. The method is now being rolled out nationally as a standard intervention tool, with prevention officers around the country being trained in the use of Moti-4 to prevent addiction or problems arising from cannabis use. << 42 UMagazine / February 2016

University College Maastricht rated best programme in the Netherlands With 94 out of 100 points and three plusses (+++), University College Maastricht (UCM) was ranked the highest-rated bachelor’s programme in the Netherlands in the Dutch university guide Keuzegids Universiteiten 2016. Both UCM and Knowledge Engineering received a special quality label as leading academic programmes offering the country’s best interdisciplinary education. The relatively young Maastricht Science Programme just missed out on the quality label. Seven of the 17 UM bachelor’s programmes that were evaluated ranked first and, like last year, a total of 12 were ranked in the top three.

The UM programmes that topped the rankings are Econometrics, European Law School, European Studies, Tax Law, Knowledge Engineering, Maastricht Science Programme and University College Maastricht. The five other programmes that received a top-three ranking are European Public Health (2nd), Fiscal Economics (2nd), Health Sciences (3rd), International Business (2nd) and Psychology (2nd). Five programmes were ranked higher than last year and four were ranked lower. <<

Three UM researchers in ESB’s Top 40 Dutch Economists

associate professor specialising in real estate financing and founder of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), was ranked eighth. Professor of Microeconomics Jean-Jacques Herings came in at number 29 and Professor Ko de Ruyter, specialised in neuroeconomics, at number 37.

Three Maastricht University researchers have been ranked among the 40 best Dutch economists by the trade journal Economisch Statistische Berichten (ESB). Nils Kok,

Economists are ranked by the ESB on their contribution to the field of economic science, based partly on their 15 most influential studies. The first ESB ranking was published in 1980. <<

Profile 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 for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism (NUTRIM) School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM) School for Public Health and Primary Care (CAPHRI) School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS) School for Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW) School of Health Professions Education (SHE)

Faculty of Humanities and Sciences • • • • • • • • •

Department of Knowledge Engineering International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS) Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG) University College Maastricht Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research (TIER) Maastricht Science Programme University College Venlo Systems Biology Biobased Materials

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) The Maastricht Forensic Institute (tMFI) Maastricht Graduate School of Law Montesquieu Institute Maastricht

Colophon Faculty of Psychology and Neuro­ science • • • • • • •

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

Publisher © Maastricht University Chief Editor Annelotte Huiskes Editorial Board Luc Soete (President), Diana Dolmans, Fons Elbersen, Ad van Iterson, Jos Kievits, Alexander Sack, Hildegard Schneider, Manon van Engeland, Sophie Vanhoonacker. Texts Jos Cortenraad, Femke Kools, Annelotte Huiskes, Patrick Marx, Jolien Linssen, Graziella Runchina, Hans van Vinkeveen. Photography Loraine Bodewes, Philip Driessen, Harry Heuts, IStockphoto, Rafaël Philippen, Sacha Ruland, Arjen Schmitz, Submedia, Hugo Thomassen, Paul van der Veer Translations and English editing Alison Edwards Graphic concept and design Zuiderlicht Maastricht Print Drukkerij Tuijtel, Hardinxveld-Giessendam 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 2016 / UMagazine

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

44 UMagazine / October 2015

33 01.15 / UMagazine