Death announcement Prof. dr. Jeroen van Merriënboer

It is with intense sadness that we inform you that Jeroen van Merriënboer passed away on Wednesday November 15, 2023.

Jeroen was recently interviewed and asked us to share the interview  with you (in Dutch, subtitles are available), in which he looks back on his working life.

There is the opportunity to send your condolence message to Please send us your message before January 15th, 2024. We will combine the condolence messages and offer them to Jeroen’s family.

In memoriam Jeroen van Merriënboer

Professor Jeroen van Merriënboer worked as a Professor of Learning and Instruction in the Department of Educational Development and Research since 1 May 2009. He began his academic career at the University of Twente. After having worked at the Open University in Heerlen for several years, he moved to Maastricht University, the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences.

Jeroen received a lot of recognition for his research on instructional design, both nationally and internationally. One of his key insights was that education should ideally be organised around professional tasks. Support should then be tailored to the student’s prior knowledge. ‘What works in education depends on the intended learning outcomes, the target group and the context in which learning takes place’, was one of his typical statements. With his research, Jeroen has contributed to education research and practice in a myriad of ways. For instance, he refined theory about instructional models and their impact on learning, thereby advancing theory building. His research has also provided practical starting points for the design of professional training programmes. These include not only programmes in the healthcare domain at Maastricht University, but also those beyond. He inspired many teachers and educational scientists and was keen to transfer his knowledge to practice. Many professional education institutions have based the design of their education programmes on the insights from his research.

From 2009 to 2020, Jeroen fulfilled the role of research director of the School of Health Professions Education (SHE). During this time, he shaped and further professionalised the programme of research on education and training in healthcare, among other things. His work in this role has contributed to the national and international reach and impact of SHE.

Jeroen supervised many PhD students and other researchers. In doing so, he was an example to many. He listened attentively and explained patiently. He was modest and coached people to get the best out of themselves. By placing trust in researchers and giving them free rein, he stimulated their growth and development. This is a credit to him as a person.

We were deeply saddened by the news that he was ill. He showed us how to enjoy the little things that make life worth living every day. On 30 March 2023, Jeroen delivered his farewell lecture. The insights from his research and the lessons he and we learnt from it will continue to inspire us and many in the education domain. We are grateful for everything he taught us. We wish his wife, Ankie, and his children, Bart, Jelle and Maud, all the strength they need to cope with this great loss.


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