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Maastricht University: Go the extra mile in Maastricht

Maastricht University (UM) is the most international university in the Netherlands and, with more than 16,000 students and 4,000 employees, is still growing. The university is renowned for its innovative education model, international character and multidisciplinary approach to research and education.


Thanks to its high-quality research and study programmes as well as a strong focus on social engagement, UM has quickly built an excellent reputation. Today, it is considered one of the best young universities in the world. With the Times Higher Education ranking placing Maastricht as the 6th best in the world for young universities, and the QS ranking placing Maastricht 13th for universities under 50 years old. 

International classroom

Maastricht University (UM) is proud of its international study body. A full 51% of our students come from abroad. The majority of our programmes embrace international themes and are taught either entirely or partly in English. Our academic staff are also very diverse, with roughly 40% coming from abroad.

To make the best use of this diversity, UM has embraced the concept of the ‘international classroom’. This is a long-term project encompassing many activities and initiatives, but it is also a mindset among students and staff. The learning process benefits students working in small tutorial groups with people from different cultural backgrounds: by approaching problems from a variety of perspectives, students are acquainted with different ways of seeing things that enhance the quality of the discussion. In this way, the ‘international classroom’ serves to prepare students for the rapidly changing and globalising labour market.

Problem-Based Learning

UM is the European pioneer of Problem-Based Learning (PBL), the education model it has been working with ever since the university was founded. The model has earned the university many plaudits and the main reason many students choose to study at UM.

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) offers you a different way of learning from traditional university education. You work in small tutorial groups, engage in hands-on training and attend (far) fewer lectures. PBL is an active way of learning that gives you better retention of knowledge, enhances your motivation and encourages you to develop skills for life that are essential for the labour market in the 21st century.

So what are these ‘skills for life’? Research shows that PBL teaches you to:

• really understand the subject matter, rather just learning by rote
• collaborate with partners and small teams
• think critically with a view to solving problems
• study and work independently
• feel comfortable with public speaking

Living in Maastricht

Maastricht is a compact city of 120,000 people where there is never nothing to do, with over 100 clubs and organisations for students to join, 10 museums, 100 cafés and coffeehouses to while away time in, TEFAF, the world’s largest art exhibition and 17 music venues; Maastricht is a true melting pot of Latin and Germanic culture. Lying in the heart of Europe, a mere train ride away from many of the continent's largest cities, Maastricht is a beautiful city of cobbled streets and ultramodern architecture that has stamped its place into European history.