Maastricht University

Maastricht University, Times Higher Education, World University Rankings



Maastricht, Netherlands

Region: Europe

  • Overall score
  • Teaching
  • International outlook
  • Industry income
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A message from Maastricht University

Maastricht University (UM) is an international university located in Maastricht, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of the Netherlands. The city is known for the Maastricht Treaty, which established the European Union in 1992. The University occupies traditional buildings spread throughout the city centre and its medical faculties are based in state-of-the-art facilities in Randwyck.

Maastricht University stands out for its:

  • innovative teaching model: Problem-Based Learning
  • strong international orientation, coupled with a firm rooting in the (EU)region
  • integrated, multi- and interdisciplinary approach to education and research

Established in 1976, UM is the youngest of the 13 public universities in the Netherlands. With almost 16,000 students and 4,000 staff, UM offers a wide choice of academic programmes. UM graduates are highly appreciated on the international labour market and can be found all over the globe, for instance, doing research in Cambridge and Harvard or working for multinationals in countries as varied as Belgium, England, China, the United States, The Gambia, Turkey or Dubai.


Innovative education
Education at UM is unique thanks to both the content of our study programmes and our learning method: Problem-Based Learning (PBL). The strength of PBL lies in its:

  • Small-scale: Our small tutorial groups ensure that everyone gets involved in actively discussing how to solve socially relevant problems with fellow students. Qualified tutors guide the group process, ask critical, substantive questions, share their knowledge, and support students when needed.
  • Student-centred approach: PBL gives students the opportunity to learn from real-life cases by tackling specific problems, analysing them from various perspectives, conducting independent research and identifying their underlying mechanisms.
  • Active learning process: Students lead discussions and formulate their own research questions.
  • Collaboration: By working together as a group, not only can students learn from different viewpoints, but they also come to understand - and respect - the opinions of others when seeking the solution to a problem.
  • Diverse perspectives: We aim to make the tutorial groups as diverse as possible because working with people from different cultural backgrounds and different perspectives is of great value to the learning process. UM is launching an 'International Classroom Development' programme to further reinforce students' skills to succeed in the globalizing labour market.
  • Career preparation: Students not only learn the content of their field, but they also acquire competences in cooperation, leadership and research, by giving presentations, offering feedback, and discussing and analysing problems.

International orientation
Maastricht University is a fully bilingual (Dutch & English) university. We offer a wide range of bachelor's, master's and PhD programmes with a strong international and European orientation, most of which are taught in English. Almost half of the student population and a third of our academic staff is non-Dutch, making UM by far the most international university in the Netherlands, and indeed among the most international universities on the European continent.

Each faculty at Maastricht University has dozens of international partnerships and student-exchange agreements, and we encourage interdisciplinary and international collaboration. In addition, UM programmes place heavy emphasis on studying abroad, often including it as a core requirement for graduation.


Multidisciplinary research
Research at UM is based on socially relevant themes that are studied from various disciplines. The university has established a number of research institutes and focuses on multidisciplinary, interfaculty research in: Learning and Innovation, Quality of Life, and Europe and a Globalising World. As an international network university, we have an ingrained culture of collaboration within and between departments, as well as with external institutes, businesses and social organisations in the Netherlands and abroad.

Our research programmes rank among the top in the Netherlands and Europe. We recognise the value of bright, young researchers in contributing to the development of fresh and innovative ideas. That is why research plays an integral role in the majority of our master's programmes and why we offer a number of research master's focused solely on the training of future researchers.


Research and campus initiatives
Though Maastricht University is internationally oriented, it maintains strong ties to the region. Together with the Maastricht University Medical Centre and regional partners we expand our sciences portfolio in areas such as Medical Biotechnology, Neurosciences, Biobased Materials, Systems Biology and Smart Devices. Campuses initiatives as well as the activities of UM Holding and Studium Generale testify to this solidarity.

At UM, we are continually working to further strengthen our position as a research university. To this end, collaboration between the government, business sector and knowledge institutions in the region is crucial. This is what we call the 'triple helix' formula. Such partnerships also help to shape our major campus initiatives:

  • The Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen: an open innovation campus specialising in chemistry and materials.
  • The Maastricht Health Campus in Maastricht-Randwyck: a hotspot for medical biotechnology for life sciences and health - Brains Unlimited is one of the first concrete projects on this campus focusing on groundbreaking brain research, both fundamental and applied.
  • The Maastricht Inner-City Campus: This area combines faculties with a strong alpha gamma focus whose research is directly focused on immediate societal issues.

With these campus initiatives, UM is hoping to enhance its international appeal for top scientific talent, and foster additional opportunities for research funding. This will serve to further anchor the university in the regional economy.