On Thursday 5 September 2019 a group of 60 students from 25 countries received their Master’s degree at KIT Royal Tropical Institute. On this festive occasion, the stage of the Queen Maxima hall showed an international group of very happy students dressed up in colourful traditional clothing from their countries of origin.
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 VU, Nuffic and other organisations. For students this moment was the achievement of a year of hard work and learning. Now they are ready to contribute to improving healthcare in their home countries.
KIT organises the Master in International Health (MIH) and Master of Public Health/International Course in Health Development (MPH/ICHD) in cooperation with the VU Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Marjolein Zweekhorst, member of the academic board of the master programmes and professor at VU, addressed the students: “One third of all of you graduated ‘with merit’ or “cum laude’. These are exceptionally high results. Your knowledge of health systems and your skills to strengthen those systems is very important. The world does not stop at borders and health problems are international. Your unique experience at KIT has equipped you to face those challenges”.
Jeffrey Eugene Dadzie, a graduate from Liberia said: “Studying at KIT was a serious journey. We had to study and work very hard but it was worth it! The diversity of our group with people from so many countries, different cultural, religious, professional backgrounds was unique. By bringing together people from so many different countries we learned much more than the academic part. We thank KIT staff for their continuous commitment to all of us. And we take this opportunity to thank Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme and all other funders who made this year possible. You have planted the seed, and now it will grow!”
Abdul Wasay from Afghanistan who studied a Masters in International Health a few years ago also addressed the audience. He said that in his work for Doctors without Borders in countries such as Iraq, DR Congo and Papua New Guinea, he uses what he learned at KIT every day. He called the education at KIT “Equipment for life”.
Students from around the world
Our newest graduates come from 25 different countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America. They came from different corners of the world, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, from Yemen to Chile. The majority of the students came from low-income countries and received a scholarship from Nuffic, Orange Knowledge Programme. Other students received scholarships and financial support from KIT Scholarship Fund, employers and other funding organisations.
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.
Mark Schneiders, Director of KIT said: “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. With KIT Scholarship Fund we want to continue to contribute to the training of future leaders in international health. We believe that support to one student can mean better health for entire communities”
Photo by Kopisusu Fotografie