Graduation Master’s degree at KIT: ‘Be the Kofi Annan that you want to be’


On Thursday 7 September 2017 a group of 61 students from 23 countries received their Master’s degree at KIT.

The joint graduation ceremony of the Master in International Health (MIH) and Master of Public Health/International Course in Health Development (MPH/ICHD) was attended by family and friends and representatives from Nuffic. Students, often dressed in colourful traditional clothing, received their degree from Course Director Prisca Zwanikken.

Olajumoke Onaolapo, graduate from Nigeria, said: “We learned as a group and celebrated and partied as a group, especially directly after the examinations.”

Students from around the world

Our newest alumni come from 25 different countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and USA.
They came from different corners of the world, like Afghanistan, Ghana, Nepal and Yemen.
This year again 5 students participated through a joint program with the Hanoi School of Public Health from Vietnam.

‘Be the Kofi Annan that you want to be’

Lindy van Vliet, Head of the Health unit at KIT, indicated: “We had Kofi Annan at KIT this week. Unfortunately, not many of us had the opportunity to meet him. But knowing he was in the building made me reflect on the enormous influence this one man has had on development, including global health. A true change maker! Having watched you grow and work the past year here at KIT, I know you all have it in you to be such a change maker. You can all be the Kofi Annan that you want to be!”

Future leaders in public health

Mark Schneiders, Director of KIT, addressed the graduates: “At KIT we are proud to empower our graduates and as such contribute to capacity building, improving health and health systems in country. Capacity building is at the core of KIT’s mission. As our graduates you have discussed and learned together how to face the challenges which you will encounter back home or in your future work. Challenges like infectious diseases such as ebola, but also the call for equity and poverty reduction and working with the private sector. We hope that now you are equipped to face those challenges.”

KIT Scholarship Fund

In order to give more students the opportunity to study a master’s program the KIT Scholarship Fund was established. This independent foundation aims to offer scholarships to talented professionals from low income countries to study a master’s program at KIT.

Prisca Zwanikken: “With KIT Scholarship Fund we want to continue to contribute to the training of future leaders in international health. Would you like to contribute this initiative? Your support to one student, can mean better health for thousands!”

Careers after graduation

Marjolein Zweekhorst, member of the academic board of the master programmes and professor at VU, said: “I met many of you this morning while we were discussing your careers. What struck me is your great enthusiasm and the fact that most of you already have a clear plan on how to continue after this degree. You indicated to me that you feel like you now have the skills that you need to take the next step in your career. This is good news for your home countries as well as a great compliment for the course.”

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