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Creating health literate societies: bridging the gap of inequality

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 611 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €1,000.00 per programme


Health literacy is an important asset for managing health in the 21st century. Health literacy entails the knowledge, motivation, and competency to access, understand, appraise and apply information to make decisions concerning healthcare, disease prevention and health promotion in everyday life to improve quality of life during the life course. People-centred care and co-production of health are new avenues for the future, which demands active citizens and responsive systems. However, recent research has estimated that almost one have limited health literacy and that under-served population groups such as the elderly, less educated people and groups with low socio-economic status are even worse off. Strategic action is needed to bridge the gap.

The aim of the course is to equip students with health literacy leadership skills to play an active role as professionals in creating health literate societies. Students will explore the concept and its application in research, policy and practice. They will gain competency in developing health literacy strategies and programmes in high, middle and low-income countries to bridge the global gap of health inequality. Through the problem-based learning method they will gain knowledge on how to measure health literacy, how to design complex health literacy interventions and how to build health literacy friendly organisations, communities, cities and societies.

This course consists of 32 class hours divided over 2-3 weeks. Students earn 6 ECTS credits when they obtain a passing grade.

At the end of the course students should:

With regards to knowledge and understanding
• Possess a detailed understanding of the concept of health literacy, its history, definition and potential future development,
• Have a strong familiarity with health literacy measurement knowing the key tools available and their advantages and disadvantages,
• Have a strong familiarity on how to design health literacy interventions and programmes,
• Possess knowledge on policy strategies and organizational attributes that play a role in developing health literacy friendly societies,
• Possess knowledge on how to develop health literacy leadership.

With regards to application of knowledge and understanding
• Be able to apply detailed knowledge concerning health literacy into a global context and understand the factors relevant for implementing health literacy in high, medium-and low-income countries.
• Have improved skills for elaborating health literacy challenges from case to case,

With regards to making judgment
• Be able to reflect critically on the discourse related to health literacy and how it can be influenced
• Be able to form opinion on the merits and demerits of health literacy related initiatives

With regards to communication
• Be able to work in a group to develop a critical and reflective contribution
• Be able to present a health literacy topic and discuss the findings
• Have improved the presentation skills

With regards to learning skills
• Have practiced active and self-directed learning skills
• Have applied and improved team working skills and team management skills.

K. Sørensen
K.J.M. Willems
M.J. Feeney

Recommend literature
The course literature includes research articles, reports and hands-on training material.

Apply now!
Application start
Feb 1, 2019
Application deadline
Jun 1, 2019 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time

15:00 Europe/Amsterdam time

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States