GlobaLinks September 2021

Dutch students compare healthcare policy between Hong Kong and home

Maastricht students present their research projects in a meeting with their supervisors.

Maastricht students present their research projects in a meeting with their supervisors. 

While travelling has been much restricted by the pandemic, it has not stopped CUHK from continuing to engage with the rest of the world. CUHK and Maastricht University (Maastricht), both members of the Worldwide Universities Network, have been active in exchanging research students. A total of 14 master’s and PhD students from both universities have received supervision from faculty members of the other university under the programmes offered by the Office of Academic Links and the Faculty of Medicine.

Since 2017, Prof. Tony Nelson from CUHK’s Department of Paediatrics has hosted 11 postgraduate students from Maastricht’s Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences and co-supervised their research projects on public health with Prof. Inge van der Putten from Maastricht. Two master’s students, Andrea Fernández Coves and Klara Szent-Ivanyi, undertook online research attachments during April–June this year. Their projects were particularly timely as they investigated the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare policy in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

Andrea interviewed healthcare practitioners in the two places via Zoom to compare the barriers in teleconsultation uptake. ‘I appreciate the great opportunity to work with the exceptional professionals at CUHK. I have learnt how to conduct a qualitative interview properly, how to contact potential interviewees, and how to adapt a paper for publication. My experience has been very rewarding.’ Klara, on the other hand, compared the vaccine licensing systems of Hong Kong and the Netherlands. ‘The collaboration with CUHK was an eye-opening experience. It was very stimulating to compare the pros and cons of both systems, and to understand the issues faced by stakeholders in both places.’

Prof. Nelson is happy to see that CUHK is one of the favourite choices for research attachments for Maastricht students. He looks forward to further strengthening the partnership on health education and research between the two universities.