McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Canadian and Netherlands universities sign agreement for joint global health programs

Published: November 15, 2012
Wim Geerts, HRH Princess Margriet of The Netherlands; Elizabeth Witmer, Patrick Deane and Gerard Mols
(Back row, left to right) Wim Geerts, Ambassador for the Netherlands; HRH Princess Margriet of The Netherlands; Elizabeth Witmer, chair of the Global Health Advisory Board look on as (front row, left to right) Patrick Deane, president of McMaster University and Gerard Mols, former rector magnificus of Maastricht University sign the memorandum of agreement.

Maastricht University of the Netherlands and McMaster University are expanding their joint graduate programs in global health.

In the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands, honorary chair of the global health program's advisory board and her country's ambassador to Canada, Wim Geerts, the memorandum of agreement was signed by Patrick Deane, president of McMaster  and Gerard Mols, the former rector magnificus of Maastricht University.

"Today we celebrate the valuable partnership between McMaster University and Maastricht University in the field of global health," Mols said. "Because of the partnership between McMaster and Maastricht universities, the global health program becomes a really worldwide experience, providing students the opportunity to work in international, multicultural and interdisciplinary teams."

The unique affiliation is in response to the growing need for a well-prepared global health workforce, to address the need to develop vaccines to fight infectious diseases, to seek answers for the worldwide rise in heart disease, diabetes and cancer or to find ways for aid agencies to work effectively with governments.

The two universities have a joint Master of Science Program in Global Health which has produced 122 graduates since beginning in 2010. These graduates are now working for agencies like the Red Cross, and in pharmacy, public health departments, and federal and provincial governments.

During the one-year program, students at the two universities work together remotely, have the option of studying at the other partner university as well as spend time working in a developing country and meet at a combined symposium. The current master's program has 44 students at McMaster and 50 students at Maastricht.

The new agreement lengthens the partnership for five years and adds opportunities to strengthen collaborative education programs; develop joint research and have additional affiliate institutions join the educational programs in global health.

During her visit, Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands will receive an honorary doctorate at McMaster's convocation ceremony Friday for her lifelong dedication to international humanitarian work.

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