Opening academic year 2017/18

On Monday, 4 September 2017, UM celebrated the opening of the academic year. This year’s theme is ‘Can academics change the world?’ The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Alaa Murabit, a Libyan-Canadian physician, UN-appointed Global Sustainable Development Goals Advocate and UN High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment & Economic Growth.

During the official ceremony in the afternoon, three UM initiatives were presented that impact the world at regional/national, European and global levels. In keeping with tradition the UM Student award and the Edmond Hustinx prize for science were awarded by the Rector. During the morning symposium, action research was the central theme and two students, one master’s and one PhD, won a prize for the best pitch.


Video impression

Action research competition

Morning programme prize winners

During the morning symposium, action research was the central theme. Six (all female) students (three master’s and three PhD) pitched their ideas for a project involving academic entrepreneurship. In the words of UM President Martin Paul, the six stories showed “empathy and compassion for the people it’s done for, illustrating the engagement of UM students”.
At the end of the exciting morning, the winners were announced. In the master’s category, the award went to Nrupaja Bhide, master of Public Policy & Human Development. In the PhD category, Marieke Hopman, author of the dissertation ‘Looking at law through children's eyes’, took the prize.
Read all about the morning programme in the news item.

Keynote speech dr. Alaa Murabit

Watch the keynote speech by dr. Alaa Murabit during the Opening of the Academic Year ceremony.

She focused on the importance of education, what it has meant to her, and how it’s so much more than formal education at schools and universities. She also stressed that academic research is key to delivering empiric evidence to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and make the world a better place for all.

Edmond Hustinx prize for science

This prize underscores the significance of science practice and accentuates the importance for South-Limburg society of the training supplied by the faculties of Maastricht University. This year, the 15,000-euro award went to a candidate from the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience: Dr. Sanne ten Oever.

Because she is currently in Finland for work, Sanne ten Oever couldn’t attend the ceremony in Maastricht. The prize was therefore presented to her partner, Mehrdad Seirafi.

UM Student Award 2017

This year, seven students were nominated for the UM Student Award, because of their outstanding social or cultural achievements. The winner was Victoria von Salmuth, a sixth-year medical student. During a clinical internship in 2015 at Shirati Hospital in Tanzania she met a young woman who had given birth to triplets but was unable to provide sufficient breast milk to her newborns. She started the Shirati Food Program, that sends a monthly contribution of 600 euros to the hospital.

Ode to Joy and more

On the right you can watch Aïcha Cherif & Oriental Nights with their version of Ode to Joy. Or you can watch:

  Prof. dr. Martin Pauls opening words
  Maikel Beerens, Xilloc
  Verena Riedmiller, CUBE
  Robyn Jansen, MUSTANGH
  Aïcha Cherif with her song Fire