Universiteit Maastricht

Rankings and accreditations

International rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings

Maastricht University (UM) climbed to shared 88th place in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, up from number 101 last year. UM scored particularly well in terms of international outlook (e.g. percentage of international staff and students), citations and industry income (i.e. commissions from the business sector). Somewhat lower, but still above average, were its scores for research (47.7) and teaching (37.5). UM shares 88th place with Kyoto University in Japan.

The THE World University Rankings are based on 13 strict and comprehensive performance indicators for education, research, knowledge transfer and internationalisation.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings by Subject

In the THE Subject Rankings 2015, the UM has been ranked 62nd for Social Sciences which shows a significant increase of 12 places compared to last year. Furthermore, the UM has been ranked 45th for Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health which shows a decline of 2 places compared to last year.

The Subject Rankings are derived from the THE World University Rankings in which world class universities are assessed by 13 carefully selected indicators covering the areas of  teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. For a full overview of the results, please click here.

THE Top 100 Most International Universities in the World
UM ranks 17th in the Times Higher Education Top 100 Most International Universities in the World (2015). In this ranking, Times Higher Education has compiled a list of the top 100 most international universities using the “international outlook” indicator from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. This indicator examines a university’s international student numbers, its percentage of international staff and the proportion of its research papers published with a co-author from at least one other country. The list is drawn from the world’s top 400 of the World University Rankings 2014-2015. This top 20 position confirms UM's international profile.
For more information, please visit the THE website.

High scores in ‘under 50’ rankings

In two prestigious rankings that list the best universities worldwide under the age of 50, UM scores very high grades. In the 2015 edition of Times Higher Education 100 under 50, UM maintains its 6th position. In the 2014 QS ‘top 50 under 50’, UM, yet again, ranks 6th, thereby maintaining its position as best young university in Europe (read the news item).


QS World University Rankings

The QS World University Rankings adjusted its assessment methodology for ranking the scientific output of universities. Partly for this reason, Maastricht University dropped from 118th place to 169th place this year, following a three spot increase the year before. The QS World University Rankings are based on five indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-staff ratio, internationalisation and citations per faculty. The more often a publication is cited by fellow researchers, the more influential the research becomes. As citation rates tend to be much higher in the life sciences compared to the humanities, an advantage was given to universities with particularly strong life science profiles. QS corrected the difference this year, which helps to explain UM’s drop in rankings. Visit the QS website for the full ranking.

Shanghai Ranking

Marking a slight rise, Maastricht University has maintained its place in the top 300 in the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The ARWU, better known as the Shanghai Ranking, assesses universities on the quality of education, quality of academic staff, research output and academic staff performance.

CHE Ranking

The Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (CHE) Excellence ranking compares European research centres for prospective master's and PhD students. Every year the CHE University Ranking reviews a number of university programmes. The scores do not result in an actual ranking list, but are rather used to place several aspects of the study programmes, such as ’international orientation’ and ’overall study situation’, into three groups: top, middle or bottom group.

In 2013 UM’s Psychology master's were reviewed. Maastricht was distinguished by its internationally oriented master’s programmes, overall study and e-learning facilities, research orientation, support in studying abroad and the quality and breadth of the courses offered. Furthermore, with a score of 4.9 Maastricht was placed in the top group for citations in international journals.

Between 2009 and 2013, several UM programmes in the field of business and economics, health care, political science and psychology were reviewed. For almost all of the reviewed aspects, the programmes were placed in the top group.

CWTS Leiden Ranking

UM ranks 108th in the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2015, rising 2 places from the 110th position in 2014 (according to the PP 10% indicator, which means the percentage of the publications of the university that belong to the top 10% most cited publications). This ranking measures the scientific performance of 750 major universities worldwide based on Web of Science indexed publications from 2010-2013 of Thomson Reuters. When compared to the other 285 European universities assessed, UM ranks 44th. For both the domains of Biomedical & Health Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities, UM scores a 93rd place worldwide.

Financial Times

In 2014, Maastricht University's master's programme in International Business is ranked 37, being in the top 50 of the best business programmes in the world according to the Master in Management Programmes published by the Financial Times. In terms of value for money Maastricht ranked 4th.
In the Financial Times European Business Schools ranking of 2012 the School of Business and Economics is ranked 67.

Dutch rankings

Keuzegids Universiteiten

Maastricht University (UM) has been given high marks in the Keuzegids, the annual guide to Dutch universities. Of the 17 UM bachelor’s programmes included in the 2015 rankings, 8 came in first place. University College Maastricht (UCM), Knowledge Engineering and Economics & Business Economics were identified as top programmes across all higher education disciplines by receiving the Quality Seal.

The programmes that topped the rankings in their respective fields are Econometrics, International Business, Fiscal Economics, Tax Law, European Law School, European Studies, Knowledge Engineering and University College Maastricht. The School of Business and Economics did particularly well again, with 3 out of 4 programmes in first place.

'Keuzegids' master's edition

In the 'Keuzegids' master's edition of 2014, 14 of the 41 assessed UM master's programmes were ranked first, namely: Management of Learning; European Public Affairs; Public Policy and Human Development; Forensic Psychology; Economic Studies; Information and Network Economics; Financial Economics; Econometrics and Operations Research; Mental Health; Arts-Klinisch Onderzoeker (Physician-Clinical Investigator); European Public Health, Artificial Intelligence and the Research Masters Health Sciences and European Studies.

For more information, read the press release.


In the 2015 edition of the Dutch magazine Elsevier, students and professors rank universities based on their range of programmes, facilities, curriculum, quality of teaching, testing standards and overall organisation and communication:

·         Five bachelor’s programmes were ranked first: University College Maastricht, Psychology, Fiscal Law, European Studies and European Law School

·         Maastricht University ranks fourth in student ranking of the category ‘specialised universities’. Professors rank the university second in this category. The Elsevier editing team makes a distinction between 'broad' , 'specialised' and 'technical' universities depending on the range of disciplines and the number of programmes each university offers.

For the fourth year in a row, Elsevier has also published results for the master’s programmes. As it is not always possible to compare master’s programmes, national comparisons were only made for seven programmes. Of those seven, one UM master's programme was ranked first: Dutch Law. Fiscal Law, European Studies and Econometrics & Operations Research are all ranked second in their category. Medicine and AKO are also in second place, but their second place puts them on the bottom of their list.


UM has been granted both the institutional accreditation and the ‘Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation’ by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). These two quality marks are important in terms of UM’s future plans.

The ‘Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment’ focuses on university-wide internal quality assurance for study programmes. In 2011 the law allowed universities to apply for a special feature for the quality of the institution in its full width. The six-year university-wide accreditation means not only that UM has first-rate education, but also that it is supported by an overarching system that ensures the continuous high quality of the curricula.

You can read the full NVAO report here.

'Triple crown' accreditation

The Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) is internationally accredited by the renowned AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA, making it one of a few international schools with all three accreditations. The bachelor's and master's programmes in International Business offered at SBE also received in 2010 the NVAO "certification of internationalisation".

NVAO excellence label

NVAO regularly audits the institutions that it gives accreditations to. In 2008 the University College Maastricht was the first to receive a quality label from the NVAO for the achievement level of its graduate students. Only two higher education programmes have been awarded this label.