Rankings & accreditations

Maastricht University (UM) has built up a solid reputation, and is today considered one of the best young universities in the world. It consistently performs well in various national and international rankings.

In addition, UM has been awarded two prestigious quality marks from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO): the Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment and the Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation.

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings
Maastricht University (UM) ranks 94th place in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings , slightly dropping from place 88 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 (48.6) and teaching (39.2).

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 2016, the UM is ranked 65th for Social Sciences, showing a slight decrease of 3 places compared to last year. Furthermore, the UM is now ranked 59th for Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health, after having reached the 45th place last year. Business & Economics is a new category this year. UM obtained a spot in the top 50: it is ranked 45th. 

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, visit the THE subject rankings page  

THE Top 100 Most International Universities in the World
UM ranks 14th in the Times Higher Education Top 100 Most International Universities in the World (2016). 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 2016 QS ‘top 50 under 50’  , UM is the best young European university, with a 7th place. In the 2016 edition of Times Higher Education 150 under 50 , UM climbed to the fourth place.

QS World University Rankings
UM ranks 173rd in the 2016 QS World University Rankings, which shows a slight decrease compared to 2015, when UM took up 169th position. QS adjusted its assessment methodology for ranking the scientific output of universities. Partly for this reason, Maastricht University dropped from 118th place to 169th place in 2015, 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 in 2015. 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.

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 2015, Maastricht University's master's programme in International Business is ranked 24, being in the top 25 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 2015 the School of Business and Economics is ranked 63.

National rankings

Keuzegids Universiteiten
With 94 out of 100 points and three plusses (+++), University College Maastricht (UCM) was ranked the highest-rated bachelor's programme in the Netherlands according the Dutch university information guide Keuzegids Universiteiten 2016. 
UCM and also Knowledge Engineering recieved quality seal for being a leading academic programme that offers the best interdisciplinary academic education in the Netherlands.
Seven of the seventeen UM bachelor's programmes that were evaluated ranked first and twelve UM programmes were ranked in the top three (like last year). The top seven programmes in Dutch education are Econometrics & Operations Research, European Law School, European Studies, Tax Law, Knowledge Engineering, Maastricht Science Programme and University College Maastricht. The five other programmes that received a top-three ranking are European Public Health (2nd), Fiscal Economics (2nd), Health Sciences (3rd), International Business (2nd) and Psychology (2nd). 

Most of the highly-ranked UM programmes scored well in the fields of content, facilities and general skills. The figures reveal that UM's Problem-Based Learning model is paying off: Maastricht has the highest four-year graduation rate in the country. According to the students, the programmes prepare well for a future job.

'Keuzegids' master's edition
With a score of 63, Maastricht University (UM) has been ranked as the country’s third best university in the Keuzegids Masters 2016. Four programmes were designated ‘top study programmes’: Management of Learning (SBE), Financial Economics (SBE) and the research masters Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology (FASoS) and Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (FPN). This quality label is given only to those programmes that receive a score of 76 or higher in the Keuzegids assessment.

Twelve of the 44 UM programmes evaluated came first in their respective categories: Management of Learning, Forensic Psychology, Information & Network Economics, Financial Economics, Research Master Health Sciences, Global Health, Human Movement/Biology of Human Performance & Health and the research masters Arts & Culture and Cognitive & Clinical Neuroscience. The following programmes came in equal first place: International Laws, Econometrics & Operations Research and Physician–Clinical Investigator. 

In the 2016 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, Tax Law, European Studies and European Law School. Knowledge Engineering and the Maastricht Science Programme don’t have an equivalent in the Netherlands, but score very high (KE: 73) and above average (MSP: 67). Maastricht University ranks thrid in student ranking of the category ‘specialised universities’. 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. 

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 twelve programmes. Five UM master's programmes were ranked first: European Studies, Fiscal Economics, Psychology, Media Studies and Dutch Law.


NVAO quality marks​
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. 

Five programmes from the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics have been awarded the 'Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation' from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO): the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in International Business and the master’s programmes in Information & Network Economics, Management of Learning and Global Supply Management & Change. So too have four programmes from the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences: the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in European Public Health and the master’s programmes in Global Health and Health Professions Education. The bachelor’s programme at University College Maastricht as well as the master’s programme Forensic Psychology received the special NVAO quality label 'small-scale and intensive'.

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

'Triple crown'
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".