World University Rankings 2014-15
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 beautiful landmark buildings spread throughout the most beautiful parts of the old city centre and its medical faculties are based in a state-of-the-art complex in Randwyck.
Maastricht University is well known for:
- Education innovation – UM focuses education and research on finding ways for people to learn better, including the widespread use of Problem-Based Learning
- Strong international orientation, coupled with a firm commitment to the economic, scientific, and social development of the Maas-Rhine (EU) region
- A multidisciplinary 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 3,200 staff, UM offers a wide choice of academic programmes. UM graduates do very well on the international labour market and can be found all over the globe, doing research in Cambridge and Harvard or working for multinationals in countries as varied as Belgium, England, China, the United States, Gambia, Turkey, and Dubai.
Education at UM is unique thanks to both the content of our study programmes and our widespread use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL). PBL works because it is:
- Small-scale: Our tutorial groups have between 12-17 students, allowing time and attention for everyone to get involved in discussions. This leads to a greater understanding of complex topics and greater interaction between students.
- Student-centred approach: The teacher (or tutor) acts as a guide to the group process, asking critical, substantive questions, sharing their knowledge, and supporting students only when necessary, meaning that students focus on one another (and thus the topic) instead of on the professor.
- Active learning process: Students lead discussions, formulate their own learning goals and research questions, do independent research and come together to share and compile results. The focus is on active engagement instead of passive listening.
- 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: Maastricht University continues to develop the International Classroom, wherein tutorial groups are as diverse as possible. Working with people from different cultural backgrounds and different perspectives challenges student to confront unfamiliar ideas and cultures. It is also essential to the challenges of an increasingly international world and labour market.
- Career preparation: Why wait until graduation to start applying the skills you’re learning? UM encourages students to apply their education as soon as possible, through cooperation, leadership, research, by giving presentations, offering feedback, and discussing and analysing problems. UM also offers myriad opportunities - through internships, honours programmes, research projects and institutional collaborations – for students to get real-world experience well before graduation.
- Real-world impact: PBL uses real-world ‘problems’ as a basis for learning. Students are given such problems to solve by analysing them from various perspectives, conducting independent research, and identifying their underlying mechanisms.
UM is making significant investments in further developing education through the creation of Edlab, or Education Laboratory, a centre for educational experimentation and collaboration between students, staff and the city.
Internationalism is central to UM’s strategic goals, curriculum, research and outlook. We want our graduates to feel like citizens of the world, able to live in, work in, and integrate with as wide an array of countries and cultures as possible.
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 are from outside the Netherlands, making UM by far the most international university in the country. The development of the International Classroom is one of our proudest achievements, not only in the diversity of students in each tutorial group but in the social and civic effort to make Maastricht an integrated, international city.
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. Many programmes also encourage or integrate foreign-language studies.
Research at UM is based on socially relevant themes that are studied and developed at the nexus of different disciplines. The university has established a number of research institutes and focuses on multidisciplinary, inter-faculty research. We encourage 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 regional partners we are expanding our sciences portfolio in areas such as Medical Biotechnology, Neurosciences, Biobased Materials, Systems Biology and Smart Devices.
At the centre of this is the Kennis-As Limburg initiative, a collaboration between the Maastricht University Medical Centre (MUMC+) and Zuyd University of Applied Sciences. Over the coming decade, this programme will see the expansion or establishment of joint campuses in Maastricht, Geleen, Venlo and Parkstad, featuring the following hubs of innovation and development:
- The Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen: a collaboration between UM, MUMC+, DSM, and the Province of Limburg. It is an open innovation campus specialising in technologically advanced, high-performance materials for the automobile industry and telephony, biobased materials, sustainable energy, clean technologies and the life sciences.
- The Maastricht Health Campus in Maastricht-Randwyck: a hotspot for medical biotechnology for life sciences and health – Brains Unlimited was the first concrete projects, focusing on ground-breaking brain research. Recently M4I (Maastricht MultiModal Molecular Imaging Institute) was also launched to do research into high-end, innovative imaging technologies.
- Campus Venlo in Venlo: the Greenport Venlo is among the most versatile agricultural areas of Europe. It is an inter-regional network of entrepreneurs, research, education and government. The country’s logistics ‘hot spot’, it is home to the University College Venlo and the MA programmes in Health Food Innovations and Global Supply Chain Management and Change.
- Smart Services Hub in Parkstad: The Parkstad region is home to a high density of companies, institutions and study programmes focusing on financial, economic and administrative services. The Smart Services Hub is an expertise and innovation centre specialising in ‘smart’ services and business intelligence.
- The Maastricht Inner-City Campus: Maastricht University’s core of faculties, institutes and university programmes, the Inner-City campus is focused on solutions to societal questions related to business administration, law and culture, and to addressing challenges such as sustainability, safety, tax regimes, international law, migration and greater valorisation of art and culture.
Campus Brussels: In the heart of the ‘European Capital’, UM maintains Campus Brussels as a centre for education, networking, events, courses, research and meeting areas near European institutions.