In May 2019 Martin Paul, president of Maastricht University, was guest editor-in-chief of Observant. The theme of this special issue, that came out on the day of the European elections, was Europe.
Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? PhD candidate Johanna Kreutz (28) dreams of a Mars rover that, instead of filming and taking samples on the red planet, would do so in the intestines.
“I was quite anxious, going to a commemoration of Second World War victims as a German.” On 1 May 2011, Professor Martin Paul became president of UM. Three days later, on 4 May, he lay down a wreath on behalf of the university during the Remembrance of the Dead ceremony in Maastricht. He immediately felt welcome and was “taken in” by the atmosphere. “It was all about remembering, not about exclusion at all. Of course, it was a solemn event. There was a uniformed concert band – very Limburgish – and a men’s choir sang a German church song, giving it a cross-border touch. It was very special.” This month, Paul begins his third term as president of UM and he’s acting as guest editor of Observant. His theme: Europe.
He’s prepared to threaten Brussels with a Nexit. He’s even prepared to mean it, if the EU spins out of control. Ruud Burlet, political leader of the conservative Eurosceptic party Forum for Democracy (FvD) in Limburg, engages in a debate with EU expert Professor Mathieu Segers. The latter doesn’t like threats. And he certainly doesn’t like pretending.
Changes need to be made to make the European Union understandable and accessible to all citizens, says Thilo Buchholz, president of the Young European Federalists Maastricht, in this open letter to the EU.
You don't need to tell anyone at Maastricht University that problem-based learning has a lot of advantages. But will a democratic society work better because of it? Do students learn skills that will make them more involved citizens? Teun Dekker, professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences Education, believes so. To test this out, Observant asked him to discuss PBL, democracy and Europe with a number of his students.
Jannis Besuijen/ 20/ research master’s student of Economics/ currently works 6 hours per week/ earns €14.12 gross per hour