Ron Jacobs appointed as new MBA Director

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Ron Jacobs has officially been appointed as MBA Director of UMIO | Maastricht University. In this capacity, Ron will serve as the new Captain overseeing the MaastrichtMBA programme.

Creating meaninful impact

Over the last 5 years, Ron has served as Head of Marketing and Communications at UMIO. Since June 2022, he was also Acting MBA Director following Boris Blumberg’s appointment as UMIO’s Executive Director. Ron has a background in Organisational Learning & Development and brings 15 years of experience in management education.

“I’ve witnessed the steep growth of the MaastrichtMBA programme over time and I’m extremely happy to see how it has evolved into its current successful shape; so naturally I feel privileged and excited to take on this role and keep enhancing the programme’s ability to create meaningful impact with everyone involved.” – Ron Jacobs

Ron Jacobs MBA Director

Contribution to a sustainable future

We are confident that Ron will be able to use his knowledge about and passion for professional development to continue building on MaastrichtMBA’s success path and help UMIO further advance its mission to develop talent of individuals for organisations and society at large, empowering them to contribute to a sustainable future.

“Being the Captain of the MaastrichtMBA has been a very full-filling and inspiring task, actually one of the most wonderful jobs at a university. And I am thankful to the MBA students and team for our unforgettable time together. For Maastricht University, UMIO, the programme and myself it is a good point in time to have a change in the programme leadership. I am very confident that Ron with his long experience in higher education management will bring new impulses and ideas to the programme ensuring that it will continue to flourish today and tomorrow.” – Boris Blumberg

Want to know more about Ron? We invite you to read our recent Q&A with him. We wish Ron lots of success in his new capacity!

New Brightlands AI Academy participants welcomed by Alderman Erwin Boom

Last month, a new round of participants started the Brightlands AI Academy programme to get upskilled on artificial intelligence. The ambition is to improve the ability of these working professionals to identify opportunities for AI applications within their own organisations, validate them for value and then adequately act as clients to AI specialists to realise the desired AI application.

Erwin Boom, alderman for economic affairs at the Municipality of Venlo, held the official opening of the programme. Boom emphasised that AI can add value almost everywhere, even this morning on the way to the programme: “With the deployment of AI, the lift to the 16th floor of Innovatoren could automatically come back to the ground floor, without you having to press the button.” Alderman Boom sees many meaningful opportunities and concluded by wishing the participants good luck.

After the alderman kicked off, a brief introduction by the teachers followed. The students then started the content of the first module. This module involves gaining more insight into the potential and added value of artificial intelligence and will take the first three weeks. This will be followed by three more modules: developing an AI-driven innovation, validating technical feasibility and building sustainable business success.

Certified AI business professionals

To complete the programme, participants pitch their business case to their employer or sponsor and receive a certificate of participation from UMIO | Maastricht University and Fontys. They can also take online exams to be able to call themselves a certified AI for Business professional.

Graduation EMCL Cohort 2018-2019

On September 16th, the 2018-2019 cohort of the EMCL had their graduation ceremony, in the city of Maastricht. The programme directors from both Royal Academy and Maastricht University conferred the MA degrees to the successful students, alongside the recognition of the Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude graduates. Present were distinguished professors from Maastricht University and international cultural leaders.

The ceremony was concluded with a celebratory dinner at the Grand Cafe in Vrijthof. 

Congratulations to all the graduates! 

EMCL Graduation

First Lifelong Development Day was a great success

The first Lifelong Development Day, held on 9 September 2022, was considered a great success by both organisers and visitors. Through a panel discussion, info market, and 10 different break-out sessions, provided by various departments of the Maastricht University, over 120 attendees were introduced to everything the university has to offer for professionals.

Initiated by UMIO, Lifelong Development Day was the first time various executive education branches of Maastricht University got together to showcase their combines portfolios. Together with the LAW.next (Faculty of Law), Language Centre, DEXLab, the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market, EDLAB, Facility Services, UNU-MERIT, SHE Collaborates, and the Maastricht School of Management, we put together a diverse programme that was very well received by the attendees.

After the event, we asked the attendees what they thought of the event. Respondents gave us an average of 4.4 out of 5, praising the “variety of subjects” during the break-out sessions, as well as the opening panel that “gave people something to think about”.  

With the presence of President Rianne Letschert during the opening panel, the Maastricht University underlined its ongoing commitment to lifelong development, further paving the way to make Lifelong Development Day a recurring event.

UMIO versterkt samenwerking met De Zorggroep

UMIO heeft onlangs de samenwerking met De Zorggroep – de grootste zorgaanbieder in Noord- en Midden-Limburg – verder versterkt. Om de ambities van De Zorggroep te realiseren en het leren-leren binnen De Zorggroep verder vorm te geven is er een ontwikkeltraject gestart voor alle teammanagers onder begeleiding van UMIO | Maastricht University. Het ontwikkeltraject is opgezet vanuit de strategie van De Zorggroep en de wens om beter te navigeren tussen begrenzing/sturen en professionele autonomie.

Het traject bestaat uit verschillende fasen. Op dit moment bevinden we ons in fase 1. Samen met een kernteam wordt onder andere gewerkt aan een verdiepingssessie waarin doelstellingen voor het traject, (persoonlijke) leerwensen en behoeften zullen worden opgehaald. Op basis hiervan wordt samen met experts van Maastricht University in kaart gebracht welke stappen er de komende tijd gezet gaan worden.

Het kernteam, dat bestaat uit een afvaardiging van beide organisaties, is de motor van het beoogde ontwikkeltraject. “De gedrevenheid van de Raad van Bestuur van De Zorggroep om een nóg grotere bijdrage te leveren aan de vitale gemeenschappen in de regio is bijzonder inspirerend geweest tijdens de eerste gesprekken met UMIO. Dit sluit perfect aan bij onze missie om gezamenlijk een betekenisvolle impact te realiseren voor individuen, organisaties en de maatschappij. Diezelfde gedrevenheid zie je ook terug in het volledige kernteam van beide organisaties en is daarmee een fantastische basis van waaruit we verder samen gaan optrekken”, deelt Ingrid Voncken, Director Executive Education bij UMIO.

Heijltjes and Rutten appointed “informateurs” in Maastricht coalition talks

Mariëlle Heijltjes – Professor of Managerial Behaviour at Maastricht University and Executive Director of UMIO – was appointed “informateur” to explore possible coalition permutations with the main parties from Maastricht’s municipal elections earlier this month. The request came from the “Senioren Partij”; the party that came out on top after the recent elections.

Mariëlle will take on this task together with Wil Rutten, an experienced executive advisor who acted as ad interim city secretary in Maastricht most recently and who has led earlier coalition talks in 2014 and 2018.

During a kick-off session on 24 March, both “informateurs” will introduce themselves and explain to the sixteen party leaders how they intend to go about their exploration. Frans Bastiaens, leader of the “Senioren Partij”, has already indicated that he wants a new municipal executive with broad support within the council and the city.

Public Health and Care Research Leadership Programme to offer second edition

Being a leader in the field of public health and care research requires more than being a good leader, and it requires more than being a good scientist. It requires a combination where you have competences concerning content, but also knowledge, skills and tools to understand and manage the context. The Public Health and Care Research Leadership Programme was designed to support future leaders in the field of public health and care research to become excellent leaders with a mission.

During a two-year learning journey, participants will engage in educational modules, individual coaching sessions, mutual learning groups, and build their own Leadership Development Portfolio.

International alliance

UMIO proudly partners with The Netherlands School of Public Health and Care Research (CaRe), Netherlands Institute for Health Sciences (NIHES) at Erasmus MC, and Cambridge Institute of Public Health (CIPH) at the University of Cambridge to offer a second edition of the Public Health and Care Research Leadership Programme, with the next cohort starting in July 2022.

Those interested in becoming a leading researcher in the public health and care research domain can send in their application.

UMIO and EHA start training programme for future leaders in cardiovascular medicine

UMIO and the European Heart Academy (EHA) have joined forces in developing a training programme for future leaders in cardiovascular medicine. The programme will start in April 2022.

Certificate of Advanced Studies in Cardiovascular Management and Leadership

The Certificate of Advanced Studies in Cardiovascular Management and Leadership (CAS-Leadership) will provide healthcare practitioners with the skills required to lead and manage the healthcare systems of the future. In contrast to the many generic leadership courses on offer across Europe, CAS-Leadership combines the core principles of effective leadership with instruction in essential modern skills such as hospital management, digital transformation, and dealing with complex systems. This leadership course is a transversal programme tailor-made for mid-career healthcare professionals with an interest in cardiology who want to become managers and leaders with broad societal and economic perspectives.

This programme is organised in partnership with the European Heart Academy; an organisation that trains the future leaders in cardiovascular medicine. In collaboration with selected excellent universities, the academy provides the ultimate cardiovascular degrees.

Complexity in healthcare

The healthcare sector is complex in the sense that many different stakeholders interact in a rapidly changing context. For example, patients are more and more empowered through easier access to information on health, doctors and nurses need responses to advances in new technologies that might fundamentally change how they prevent, diagnose and cure diseases, insurance companies influence procedures through how they finance and regulatory bodies shape what is possible and what is not. To be a leader in this context requires the ability to recognise diverse stakeholders, spot emerging new realities and navigate the often paradoxical impact these developments have on the organisation. This programme equips participants with exactly that.

It is unique because it not only provides participants with different evidence-based perspectives on management and leadership in this context but also helps participants translate these to their own personal leader role. In that way, the knowledge and experience gained becomes immediately actionable in their own work context.”

Prof. dr. Mariëlle Heijltjes – Executive Director UMIO & Professor of Managerial Behaviour

Second place for MaastrichtMBA in Corporate Knights’ 2021 Better World MBA ranking

We are proud to announce that MaastrichtMBA – the executive MBA programme of Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) – ranks an impressive second in a global list of MBA programmes that embrace sustainable development. The runner-up position in Corporate Knights’ newly published 2021 Better World MBA ranking was granted to MaastrichtMBA and SBE due to their conscious alignment of course line-up and faculty research along the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Sustainability showcase for top business schools

Corporate Knights is a leading sustainable business publication platform with a focus on how organisations, markets and governments are advancing social and environmental sustainability worldwide. Their 2021 Better World MBA compared 147 globally renowned business schools and MBA programmes across key performance indicators related to sustainable development. “Every MBA programme in the world should be instilling holistic purpose in leaders, ensuring they have the skills, tools and values to build a more inclusive, healthier economy that’s beneficial to society and in harmony with the natural world, and the Better World business schools are leading the way,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights.

Significant sign of quality

For the MaastrichtMBA programme, this high ranking by Corporate Knights provides a valuable benchmark towards prospective participants regarding the quality of education and reflects an ongoing demand from talented professionals and their organisations to create meaningful impact in the workplace and beyond. As part of SBE, MaastrichtMBA is also accredited by the leading international quality assurance bodies (AACSB | EQUIS | AMBA), which is another quality seal that confirms the highest level of research and education.

Seminar Trends in Toezicht 2021

This autumn, the first edition of the Dutch seminar “Trends in Toezicht” (trends in supervision) took place. The central theme was “The supervisor in a flexible organisation”. Each speaker fleshed out this theme from his or her own perspective. 

Led by Rob van de Wiel, general director of MECC Maastricht, we were taken through the enormous hectic of the past Corona year. How agile are you as an organisation and what does this mean for a supervisor? Inspiring break-out sessions, followed with a nice networking reception at the end. 

Hans Hoek (C3 Adviseurs en Managers) discussed the agility of partnerships. The central question was what regulators can ask for the flexibility and robustness of partnerships, and what they themselves can contribute to this. He emphasised the importance of preventing gut reactions, the hobbyism of managers and stimulating a social view. 

Johan Sinnema and Bas van der Velde (Rieken Oomen/Rijnconsult) interactively addressed the subject of agile leadership. What does adaptive leadership mean for the Supervisory Board and the relationship with management? Various important aspects of supervision were addressed, including the way of decision-making, cooperation, entering into relationships, switching speed and the use of diversity. 

Finally, Maurice Franssen (Orgfit) addressed the subject of agile organisation. One of his questions was whether we want to design organisations based on new insights, or whether we prefer to stay true to classical design principles. Besides pointing out the strengths and pitfalls of various models, he emphasised the importance of consistency and of managing paradoxes with regard to issues such as centralisation vs. decentralisation and self-management vs. hierarchy. Of course, he also addressed the role of supervisors in organisational design. 

The seminar took place in the renovated MECC Maastricht, a beautiful venue with a surprising new restaurant, and was made possible by UMIO | Maastricht University, Supervision Limburg, Bestuurderscentrum, Orgfit, C3 Adviseurs en Managers, Rieken Oomen/Rijnconsult and HRTouchpoints. The invitees were supervisors and managers who regularly attend our masterclasses and training courses and would like to stay informed about relevant developments in “the world of supervision”. Based on the positive feedback, we are already looking forward to organising the next edition in 2022!


Dit najaar heeft de eerste editie plaatsgevonden van het seminar Trends in Toezicht. Het centrale thema was “De toezichthouder in een wendbare organisatie”. Elke spreker heeft vanuit zijn of haar eigen invalshoek invulling gegeven aan dit thema. 

Onder leiding van de Rob van de Wiel, algemeen directeur bij MECC Maastricht, werden we meegenomen in de enorme hectiek van het afgelopen Corona-jaar. Hoe wendbaar ben je dan als organisatie en wat betekende dit voor de toezichthouder? Inspirerende break-out sessies volgden, met tot slot een gezellige netwerkborrel. 

Hans Hoek (C3 Adviseurs en Managers) ging in op de wendbaarheid van samenwerkingsverbanden. Hierbij stond de vraag centraal wat toezichthouders kunnen vragen over de flexibiliteit en standvastigheid van samenwerken, én wat ze hieraan zelf kunnen bijdragen. Hij benadrukte het belang van het voorkomen van onderbuik beslissingen, hobbyisme van bestuurders, en het stimuleren van een maatschappelijke blik. 

Johan Sinnema en Bas van der Velde (Rieken Oomen/Rijnconsult) behandelden op interactieve wijze het onderwerp wendbaar leiderschap. Wat betekent wendbaar leiderschap voor de RvC/RvT en de relatie met het bestuur? Diverse belangrijke aspecten van toezicht kwamen aan bod, waaronder de manier van besluitvorming, samenwerking, relaties aangaan, schakelsnelheid en het aanwenden van diversiteit. 

Maurice Franssen (Orgfit) ging tenslotte in op het onderwerp wendbare organisatie-inrichting. Eén van zijn vragen was of we organisaties willen inrichten op basis van nieuwe inzichten, of dat we liever trouw blijven aan klassieke inrichtingsprincipes. Naast het aanduiden van de kracht en valkuilen van verschillende modellen, benadrukte hij het belang van consistentie en het beheersen van paradoxen ten aan zien van zaken zoals centralisatie vs. decentralisatie en zelfsturing vs. hiërarchie. Ook ging hij uiteraard in op de rol van toezichthouders bij de organisatie-inrichting. 

Het seminar vond plaats in het vernieuwde MECC Maastricht, een prachtlocatie met een verrassend en nieuw restaurant, en werd mede mogelijk gemaakt door Maastricht University UMIO, Supervisie Limburg, Bestuurderscentrum, Orgfit, C3 Adviseurs en Managers, Rieken Oomen/Rijnconsult en HRTouchpoints. De doelgroep betrof toezichthouders en bestuurders die regelmatig deelnemen aan onze masterclasses en opleidingen en graag op de hoogte blijven van relevante ontwikkelingen in “de wereld van het toezichthouden”. Op basis van de positieve feedback zien we alvast uit naar het organiseren van de volgende editie in 2022.