Maastricht University

Established in 1976, Maastricht University is a public research university, ranked sixth, globally, in new university listings. It has established an excellent reputation in a range of subjects, including biological psychology, law, business and economics, and clinical and health studies.

An overview:

Maastricht itself is situated in the southeast of the Netherlands. This historic and picturesque town spans both sides of the River Meuse and is one of the oldest in the country, with a population of approximately 120,000. Therefore its location is ideal for travels around Europe, with Belgium, Germany and France a short car, bus or train trip away, and excellent global connections available at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

The medieval city centre has been preserved by Maastricht University, which took over and repaired many old buildings for its own use, including the poorhouse, prison, monastery, several mansions, convent, and military hospital. The arts, humanities and social sciences are in the cobblestoned ancient centre, while the second campus, at Randwyck, houses medicine, psychology, healthcare and life sciences.

Maastricht University-What's life like?

Maastricht itself attracts many visitors, who wish to enjoy its canal cruises, visit nearby Neercanne castle and glorious countryside, and sample its famous, rich cuisine. Some 52 per cent of the 22,000 students at Maastricht University come from abroad, lending a cosmopolitan ambience to this essentially student town which offers nightlife, bars and festivals in a safe and lively environment. Art lovers can marvel at the works by Van Dyck and Rubens in the Bonnefanten Museum, while young hedonists tend to congregate in Maastricht’s many squares. There they people-watch and sip great coffees.

Maastricht University has three satellite campuses, in Brussels, Venlo and Bangalore. Its acceptance rate is currently around 48 per cent and  just over half of the courses are in English – particularly at Master’s and doctoral level – across six faculties.

Maastricht University-Where does it stand in the rankings?

Maastricht University145th  globally

Subject rankings:

Biological Psychology – 5th globally

Law faculty – 3rd in Europe and 23rd globally

Occupational therapy – 4th in Europe, 30th globally

Psychology – 18th in Europe, 94 globally

Masters in International Business – 25th globally

Public health – 15 in Europe, 71 globally

Medicine – 33rd Europe, 126 globally

Business – 38th in Europe; 141 globally

Economics – 39th in Europe, 126 globally

Clinical and health studies – 64th  globally

Business and economics – 72nd globally

Biochemistry – 105th in Europe, 284th  globally

This is merely a sample of the courses you can take at Maastricht University and an indication of how they stand up when compared to older, well-established universities. Since research is the key to rankings, Maastricht is likely to rise through the listings very quickly. For example, its highly respected Psychology and Neuroscience department has one of only four Tesla 9.4 MRI scanners in existence. This in its turn, facilitates groundbreaking research into cognitive neuroscience, developmental psychology and  neuropsychology. The Business School has Triple Crown Accreditation, placing it into the top 1 per cent of Schools of Management, and offers MBA and EMBA qualifications, while the faculty of business and economics provides courses in a wide range of subjects including fiscal economics, econometrics and economics at undergraduate level.

Maastricht University’s highly acclaimed faculty of law has four bachelor’s courses taught only in English, covering topics such as European comparative and international law, while the faculty of arts and social sciences’ courses are all taught exclusively in English. This may well explain why 70 percent of  its undergraduates are international students.

Windmills and tulips in the Netherlands

University College, Maastricht

Amalgamated in 2002, this liberal arts and sciences college offers three concentrations: humanities, life sciences and social sciences. Students choose a concentration and also follow a core curriculum, and have to take two courses from the concentrations outside their own. Admission is very competitive, with a low 13 percent of applicants being offered a place. Independent learning and problem-based learning underpin the College’s approach to teaching, and students graduate with either a BA or a BSc.Since fees at UCM are higher than those at the University of Maastricht as a whole, it is possible to apply for a tuition waiver at the time of applying, to cover the difference in fees for up to 36 months. You will need to send in a letter explaining that you have no parental support, access to funds or loans, and evidence your statement by providing copies of your parents’ tax returns. Requests for this waiver must be sent in along with your application and will not be accepted at a later point.

Maastricht University-What does the research focus on?

Research at Maastricht University focuses on a number of general areas:

  • Climate change
  • Sustainability
  • Healthy, affordable food
  • Demographic changes
  • Ageing
  • Climate change

and is undertaken in collaboration with businesses and academic institutions through shared programmes and institutes, generating spin-off products and companies as well as purely academic findings and research papers.

Maastricht University – approach to teaching and learning

First and foremost, problem-based learning, or PBL, is the foundation for education at the university. This consists of working in small groups and hands-on investigation of subjects, and is supplemented by lectures and electronic resources. The tutorial is at the heart of teaching, and small groups of students, usually numbering around 15, meet one to two times every week to discuss earlier learning and prepare the ground for the next topic. A student acts as the chair in the group and the lecturer/tutor remains on the sidelines, offering suggestions and ideas to guide the group. Practical work is also done in small groups, and usually takes place after a lecture, so the students can apply what they have learnt straight away.

Maastricht University-What are the requirements?

You may be asked to submit some or all of the following documents:

  • Official transcripts of your grades
  • A passport size photograph
  • Proof of English proficiency – IELTS minimum of 6.5, TOEFL 90; Cambridge Advanced Grade C.
  • A resume
  • Recommendations
  • A letter of motivation
  • Essay
  • Copy of your passport
  • Financial statements.
  • Master’s applicants should score 500-550 in the GMAT examination.

Certain courses may require coursework in maths or physics. You may be sent an online intake questionnaire to complete. This will ensure that you are a good match to the course for which you are applying.

Study at Maastricht University

Maastricht University-How do I apply?

All applications in the Netherlands are processed through the studielink portal, which opens at the beginning of October and accepts applications until the 1 May, for EU students.

The cost of submitting an application online is 100 euros.

Once you have been admitted, you will need to apply for a residence permit, which you can do through Maastricht University, who will start the process of receiving your registration.

For further information on the application process read our Study in the Netherlands section.

Maastricht University-What are the costs?

Tuition fees

EU students who attend Maastricht University pay the same as Dutch students, currently around 2200 euros a year. Applicants who have not done an undergraduate course before are entitled to a 50 per cent discount on their first year tuition. This scheme is likely to end in 2024-5. Students of Global Studies or the Science Programme will have a fee reduction to 2673 (from 3830) or 1157 (from 2314) respectively.

Financial help

The Dutch government offers a range of financial support, from housing to tuition fee expenses. For further information on loans and grants, see our Study in the Netherlands  section.

The majority of scholarships usually go to non-EU students from the developing world, so EU students are not eligible.

You can, of course, work in the Netherlands, up to 56 hours a month.

Cost of Living

Maastricht is far cheaper than Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague, and you need in the region of 800-1100 euros a month to cover all your academic, domestic and leisure expenses. Accommodation is, as usual, the main expense, and many foreign students share houses and apartments, which they rent at a smaller price outside the city centre. For example, a three bedroom apartment a short bicycle ride away will cost around 1200 euros a month. You should prioritise finding where to live as soon as you  accept a place. You can do that either through the university (which works with local landlords and  housing associations), or by registering with an estate agent, scouring Facebook and local small ads etc.

Here are a few examples of  average prices in Maastricht (in euros):

Meal in a mid-range restaurant:12-17

Local beer: 4

Cappuccino: 3.2

Litre of milk: 1

12 eggs: 1.93

1 kg apples: 2.74

1 kg potatoes: 1.2

Bottle of wine: 6

Packet of cigarettes (Marlboro): 8

Monthly utilities for a 85m2 apartment: 300

Oranges: 1.4

Cheese: 12

Monthly gym membership: 33

Cinema ticket: 10

And finally…

Student forums are virtually unanimous in their high praise for Maastricht University: its teaching style, lecturers, research emphasis and rich resources, not to mention the town itself, which is cosmopolitan, lively and historic. As a new university, Maastricht is powering up the global rankings and has already earned a reputation for academic excellence and innovative spirit. The future is looking bright for Maastricht University and its students – why not join them?

Elab has helped hundreds of young people apply to, and secure a place at, universities in the Netherlands. We are here to help, to give you practical information, make suggestions and offer advice

Call or drop us an email, so we can work together on your application to the brilliant University of Maastricht.

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