International bodies such as the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the G-8 have made the improvement of global health a priority. Dr. Jong-wook Lee, former director-general of the World Health Organization, has said that “in the face of today’s global challenges of poverty, inequities, disease and epidemics, there is an increasing demand for dynamic health leaders with sound technical skills.”
To meet these global needs effectively, McMaster University and Maastricht University in the Netherlands – internationally respected in health sciences, social sciences and business – are partnering in the development of an innovative Masters in Global Health degree program. Graduates of the program are expected to become the much-needed health leaders of tomorrow.
The 12-month program officially begins this September (upon Ontario Council on Graduate Studies approval) with a maximum of 25 students admitted each year at McMaster and another 50 at Maastricht. Student exchanges between the two universities will take place during the winter term.
“The foundation courses will be delivered simultaneously at McMaster and Maastricht. At both institutions, graduate students will have the opportunity to learn from guest lecturers who are well-known experts in global health and to study in small groups as both McMaster and Maastricht are highly regarded internationally for their focus on small group, problem-based learning,” said Andrea Baumann, associate vice-president, International Health, McMaster University.
At McMaster, the program includes globalization and development, global health management and global diseases. Maastricht will offer a program on implementing innovations on a global scale and an epidemiology/field methodology program. The program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in global health issues.
Students will take their first term (September to December) at their “home” institution. During the winter/spring term (January to April) students have the option of travelling to their sister institution or staying “home.” At the end of the winter term, all students from McMaster and Maastricht join in a three-to-four week learning symposium and field orientation in Hamilton or Maastricht or on site in a developing or underdeveloped country. Students return to their “home” institutions to complete their final research reports.