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“SBE never asked for more money”

Ritzen visits faculties and schools to say goodbye: SBE on Monday

The School of Business and Economics (SBE) has made a contribution to the Jo Ritzen Scholarship Foundation, which aims to attract talented students to Maastricht. Last Monday, SBE farewelled Ritzen during a debate on higher education.

In a not abundantly filled Aula, visitors were treated to Prof. Franz Palm, PhD student Simon Beausaert, international business student Amiran Yaghout and Jo Ritzen on stage. Each had prepared a proposition about higher education in the Netherlands. Prof. Gerard Pfann was the chair.

Are universities like UM heading towards ‘excellence’ (for the talented few) or towards mere accessibility (for the many)? Yaghout asks. “There’s no contrast”, according to Ritzen. “Both have to fit in. The master’s programmes should be widely accessible, while colleges must stress excellence.”

Costs will rise for students, foresees Ritzen, who is prepared to bet a bottle of wine on it. “The tuition fees will double in the coming four years. The government is preparing a law to allow the rise.”

The leaving chair then switches to the faculties: are they well financed? Every department is always appealing to the board for more money, says Ritzen. “Except Medicine and this faculty. You’ve never complained about a lack of money for the bachelor’s programmes. I’ve sometimes wondered about that, because students have told me about their wishes for more contact hours. As a school you could have done better with more money.”

At the end of the debate, vice dean Tom van Veen thanks Ritzen for his support. “You’ve made invaluable contributions, in particular to the internationalisation strategy. But you also gave lectures about global economic developments to a large number of SBE students, which were always well received.”

These words followed a performance by guitarist Joep van Leeuwen and saxophone player Rob van Bergen, who played Bernstein’s (We’ll meet again) Some other time.


Maurice Timmermans



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