Kelly Stijkel (Zimbabwe), Healthcare Policy, Innovation and Management
Once I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t in first-world healthcare, I can tailor it to the specific needs of Zimbabwe

Kelly is from Zimbabwe and chose to come to Maastricht for the master’s programme in Healthcare Policy, Innovation and Management. “I studied Speech and Language Therapy at the University of Capetown, South-Africa and did some clinical placements in hospitals. There I noticed the impact of the hospital’s organisational structure on healthcare, especially in an environment where there are such broader health issues.

After my bachelor’s I went back to Zimbabwe and started a speech and language clinic. However, with such a lack of organisation and structure in general, I wanted to do more. Speech and language therapy seemed quite irrelevant when there were bigger challenges at hand. I started looking at programmes in Healthcare Management and with my Dutch roots going back to my grandfather, I looked at universities in the Netherlands.

This programme jumped at me when I saw it online, because only Maastricht offers the added components of policy and innovation. In combination with a classroom where your fellow students come from all over the world giving you a wonderful insight into other angles of healthcare, the Problem-Based Learning system, the opportunity for a thesis abroad, the central location of the city in Europe which makes travel so appealing and last but not least, the beauty of the city itself which is so nice to live in... Let’s say it was easy to make up my mind!

After this year I intend to work for a multinational consulting company in a first-world country. There I want to develop a model of what works and what doesn’t. With that knowledge I intend to go back to Zimbabwe and help my country as a healthcare professional, perhaps on a management level of a hospital or at the university.”

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