The Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences started on 1 January 2007. The faculty was the result of a merger between the Faculty of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine.
The Faculty of Medicine was the first faculty to be established at Maastricht University. The University was officially established on the 9th of January 1976, although the first medical students began their studies in September 1974. The Faculty of Medicine was the second in the world that applied the Problem-Based Learning method. The other faculties of Maastricht University, i.e. Arts and Culture, Economics and Business Administration, General Sciences, Health Sciences, Law, and Psychology adopted educational systems and research organisations akin to that of the Faculty of Medicine.
The Faculty developed into a community with a staff of around 1200 (academics, administrative and support staff), and approximately 1950 medical students. Since 1992 staff and students are based at the complex of buildings of the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, and the University Hospital (Academisch Ziekenhuis Maastricht) which opened in 1991.
The Faculty of Health Sciences offered a broad range of disciplines that made the faculty unique, not only in the Netherlands but also in Europe. The format allowed students to integrate their discipline and research work into all areas related to society, sickness and health. By way of research and specific (undergraduate and postgraduate) education, the Faculty of Health Sciences contributed to the quality improvement in healthcare.
At the moment the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences has some 2,500 students enrolled in its broad spectrum of educational programmes leading to a Bachelor's and/or Master's degree. Health Sciences examines the relationship between health, lifestyle, disease prevention, care and cure. The Health Sciences curriculum covers the entire field of health sciences: biological, behavioural and social health sciences. Three questions take centre stage throughout the course:
1) What is health?
2) Which factors influence health?
3) How can we influence these factors?
To ensure a good quality of health care not only doctors are needed, but nurses and paramedics are also important, too. But also the expertise of other professionals is essential: the health scientists.