- Welcome to our second newsletter of 2022, rounding up all the latest news and views on our research, training and education programmes.
- Here we look back over recent weeks, including several publications and events. We also look forward to seeing new applications for our double-degree MSc programme in Public Policy and Human Development, with the next deadline set for 15 June 2022 for non-EU/EEAS students and 15 July 2022 for EU/EEAS students.
- In April and May, we will host two PhD defences. In the first, Pham Quang Ngoc will outline the impacts of economic reforms in Vietnam since the late 1980s (28 April 2022). In the second, Tamara A. Kool will critically assess the role of policy in shaping conditions for refugees in Jordan to access and engage in the labour market (19 May 2022).
- In May, we will celebrate the 15th anniversary of successful partnership between the United Nations University, Maastricht University and the MERIT Foundation with a series of events in Maastricht.
- UNU-MERIT will organise a series of landmark events in the week of 16-20 May 2022 to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first collaboration between the United Nations University, Maastricht University and the MERIT Foundation, which led to the creation of UNU-MERIT. UNU-MERIT Director, Bartel Van de Walle, and Maastricht University President, Rianne Letschert, highlighted the importance of this partnership. Register here.
- To understand the risks of climate change and examine how vulnerabilities can be reduced, United Nations University (UNU) institutes in Germany (UNU-EHS), Belgium (UNU-CRIS) and the Netherlands (UNU-MERIT) in January launched the ‘UNU Climate Resilience Initiative’. Working with partners across the main flood-affected countries in Europe, as well as other flood-prone areas of the world, the initiative aims to share knowledge, shape policy, and drive action to better prepare for future extreme weather events. The initial findings will be presented at a Knowledge Summit, to be held on the anniversary of the floods in July 2022. Read more here.
- In January 2022, Dr Rasmus Lema joined UNU-MERIT as an Associate Professor. Dr Lema’s research agenda focuses on the role of new and emerging technologies in the green economy. In a recent interview, he explained how he intends to link this research to broader debates about transformative innovation and societal change. Read more here.
- Researchers of UNU-MERIT, the Maastricht Sustainability Institute and the Department of Chemical Engineering of Maastricht University have won a 1.5 million euro grant to contribute to an EU-funded project on plastic packaging recycling. The EU is allocating a total budget of 9.6 million euros for the SYSCHEMIQ project as part of the Horizon Green Deal programme. The project is intended to facilitate the systemic transition to a circular economy in the region. Read more here.
- Two new flagship programmes from UNU-MERIT, coming under the banner of ‘Comprehensive Innovation for Sustainable Development’ (CI4SD), feature in the first ever UN Climate Change Innovation Compendium, in chapters focusing on the Green Economy and on Capacity Strengthening. Read more here.
- How can developing countries combine green transformation with sustainable industrialisation? A new book argues that renewable electrification can go hand-in-hand with local economic development – but only via new and robust policy approaches. How fast is this technology going to be a hit? asks a new journal article, comparing more than 10,000 novel technologies registered at the European Patent Office over a 30-year period. Results show that complex, science-based technologies are often high impact, but may need a long time to take off. Read all our January publications including five journal articles, four working papers, and one book.
- How has academia responded to the urgent needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic? A multi-level global, regional and national study shows that the research community has responded quickly to COVID-19. What are the employment effects of import penetration in Africa? asks a new working paper exploring manufacturing industry-level data across 20 African countries over the 1990-2016 period and firm-level data. The results underscore the importance of building technological capabilities and investing in skill upgrading within firms while overcoming the pro-competitive effects associated with import penetration from low-wage countries. Read all our February publications including two journal articles, five working papers, and one news article.
- How did the research community respond to the COVID-19 pandemic? A new article shows that countries with academic capabilities formed strong alliances and that the highly developed countries with the highest number of confirmed cases are also the major academic contributors to the COVID-19 literature. What is the impact of social policy programmes on entrepreneurs in developing countries? A new working paper analyses the effect of participation in social policy programmes on the business performance of enterprises in Cartagena, Colombia. Read all our March publications including two journal articles, five working papers, and two public engagement activities.
- Apply by 15 June 2022* for our Master of Science in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP), a double-degree programme from Maastricht University and United Nations University (*15 July 2021 for EU/EEA applicants).
- What can you expect? A concentrated one-year programme; around four hours of class per day; training in small international groups; skills workshops, presentations and debates; personal guidance; and a challenging but rewarding programme!
- Read all about our Master’s programme on our dedicated blog, written by and for our staff, students and alumni.
- As of 1 May, the UNU-MERIT Alumni Office will become official with the addition of a full-time Alumni Officer, MPP graduate Akorshi Sengupta. The Alumni Office will be made up of Abbie Daley and Akorshi Sengupta and their focus will be on creating a comprehensive office that benefits both MPP and PhD alumni. You can contact the Alumni Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MPP and PhD alumni will join an upcoming Networking Event on 20 May 2022 in Brussels. Representatives from EU institutions, NGOs, NATO, and the private sector will also be present and offer a great opportunity for alumni and students to expand their network. The event is hosted in collaboration with Key2Advance.
Until next time, in early July, please check our social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. You can also stay up-to-date on all our major publications via our monthly ‘First Impressions’ roundup.
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