Rankings & accreditations

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

UM has been awarded two prestigious quality certificates: the Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment (from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) and the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation (CeQuint) (from the the European Consortium for Accreditation in higher education (ECA).

Rankings & Accreditations

International rankings

Times Higher Education (THE) World University Ranking* 
Maastricht University ranks 121st in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

The THE World University Rankings are based on 13 strict and comprehensive performance indicators for education, research, knowledge transfer and internationalisation. UM still scores very well in terms of international outlook (e.g. percentage of international staff and students; score 98). On the other THE-pillars UM scores 79.7 for citations, 49.1 for research, 39.9 for teaching and 82,1 for industry income.

Based on this ranking, THE publishes specialised rankings each year, such as:

  • THE Young Universities Ranking
    UM scores particularly high marks when the university is compared to other young universities. In the THE list of universities under 50 years old, UM scores 6th place worldwide.
  • THE World University Rankings by Subject
    The THE World University Rankings are based on 13 strict and comprehensive performance indicators for education, research, knowledge transfer and internationalisation. UM is ranked on the following subjects:
    Subject 2021 position 2020 position
    Business and Economics 62 73

    Social 

    Sciences

    126-150 151-175
    Law 34 40
    Education 27 23
    Life Sciences 126-200 751
    Psychology 73 79
    Clinical, Pre-clinical and Health 70 67
    Computer Science 251-300 251-300

    For a full overview of the results, visit the THE subject rankings page.

  • THE Best universities in Europe
    Maastricht University occupies the 36th place in this year's first annual publication of the Best universities in Europe ranking. This ranking shows the top 200 of Europe's leading universities. For more details, visit the THE Best universities in Europe page.
  • THE World University Impact Rankings

    These Impact Rankings are based on the 17 Sustainability Goals (SDGs) of the UN. This year, UM participated in three of these rankings for the first time, with the following results: 
    o SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing: place 70 out of 871 institutions worldwide
    o SDG 5: Gender Equality: rank 201-300 out of 776 institutions
    o SDG 13: Climate Action: shared 88th place out of 566 institutions

QS World University Rankings**
In the 2022 QS World University Rankings, UM ranks 233th. Visit the QS website for the full ranking.

Based on this ranking, QS publishes specialised rankings each year, such as:

  • QS ‘top 50 under 50’
    In the 2019 QS ‘top 50 under 50’, UM is the 19th best young university worldwide.
  • QS Employablity
    The university has been included in the QS Employability ranking for the first time this year, ending up in position 171-180 (out of the 500 universities evaluated). UM was assessed based on public data; no data were submitted by the university that were included by the QS in the assessment. This ranking includes the reputation of UM as an employer, the places that UM alumni occupy in a 'high achievers list', cooperation with international companies and the percentage of graduates who have a part-time or a full-time job within 12 months after graduation.
  • QS by Subject
    UM scores in the top 100 for 7 subjects: Anatomy, Medicine, Psychology, Education, Law, Social Policy & Administration and Sports-related subjects.

Shanghai Ranking***
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 249th in the 2020 CWTS Leiden Ranking (10th in the Netherlands), based on the publications of the university compared to other publications in the same discipline that year. This ranking measures the scientific performance of more than 900 major universities in 55 countries, based on Web of Science indexed publications from 2014-2017. In the domain of Biomedical & Health Sciences, UM scores 106th and in the domain of Social Sciences & Humanities, UM scores 94th.

  • For the collaborations rank, the number and proportion of a university’s publications that have been co-authored with one or more other organisations are measured. UM reached place 193 (10th in the Netherlands).
  • Universities are also assessed based on their number of open access publications. UM is ranked 159th (8th in the Netherlands).
  • On gender, UM ranks 303st (7th in the Netherlands). However, this method is contestable because the calculation is done based on the author’s first name, classified with websites based on gender statistics.

Financial Times
In 2020, Maastricht University's master's programme in International Business was ranked 50th, according to the Masters in Management ranking. In the Financial Times European Business Schools ranking of 2019, the School of Business and Economics was ranked 61nd.

The School of Business and Economics has been lauded among the best in the world when it comes to sustainability, ethics and social purpose, by the business news outlet the Financial Times. In a bid to showcase best practices in business schools across the globe, the Financial Times has published a list of universities, promoting the projects run by the universities that are making a significant social impact. SBE's best practices in teaching and research made it into the top answers, validating their dedication to contribute to a better world by addressing societal problems, by co-creating knowledge and developing team players and leaders for the future.

National rankings

Keuzegids Universiteiten 2021*

  • In the 2021 Keuzegids Universiteiten, which ranks bachelor’s programmes, the three UM Liberal Arts colleges retain their top positions. Maastricht Science Programme (MSP) heads the list of Dutch Colleges and both University College Maastricht and Univeristy College Venlo retain their quality seals as well.
  • Five UM bachelor programes are ranked first in their category: Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, European Studies, Fiscaal Recht, Fiscale Economie and the Maastricht Science Programme

Quality assessment 
The Keuzegids assesses several aspects of our education. As the country’s most international university, UM scores highest in the categories international exchange and international outlook. The quality of English as the language of instruction at UM is also ranked top of the table. Most UM programmes score particularly high for their practice-oriented approach, their facilities and their curricula.

Keuzegids Masters 2021

The Keuzegids bases itself on the results of the 2019 National Student Survey (NSE) and no longer provides a ranking, as total scores are no longer calculated. Only the information on enrolment and the percentage of international students has been updated.

On the basis of the information obtained, however, it can be stated that the following master's programmes are rated best:
Data Science for Decision Making, Fiscale Economie, Global Supply Management and Change, Health Professions Education, Human Decision Science, Learning and Develoment in Organisations, Mental Health, Recht en Arbeid, Systems Biology and the Research Masters European Studies Kunst en Cultuurwetenschappen and Economic and Financial Research. UM is also rated very highly in terms of internationalisation and facilities.

Elsevier Best Studies 2019*
In the annual ‘Best Studies’ edition of the Dutch magazine Elsevier, universities are ranked based on the quality and variety of their programmes, facilities, curriculum, teaching quality, testing standards and overall organisation and communication. In 2019, the following UM programmes are ranked:

  • 3 bachelor’s programmes are ranked 1st: Arts and Culture, European Studies and University College Maastricht.
  • University College Maastricht is ranked 1st and University College Venlo is ranked 2nd (the colleges switched places this year). Both colleges belong to the same category. All Maastricht colleges, including the Maastricht Science Programme received an exceptionally high student rating.
  • Fiscal Economics is the most improved course in terms of student assessment. 

Elsevier also publishes results for the master’s programmes. As it is not always possible to compare master’s programmes, national comparisons were only made for 14 programmes. Three UM master's programmes were ranked 1st: Artificial Intelligence, Health Sciences (Research) and Cultures of Art, Science and Technology (Research)

It is notable that the master’s programme Economics and Operations Research shows a significant improvement in student satisfaction. Learning and Development also has very satisfied students.

* The results of the 2019 edition are identical to the results of 2018, since both are based on the National Student Survey 2018.

Accreditations

The quality of university programmes is regularly evaluated by national and international accreditation organisations. 

NVAO quality certificates
UM has been granted to prestigious quality certificates by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO)

  • the ‘Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment’ 
  • the ‘Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation’

NVAO Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment
The ‘Institutional Quality Assurance Assessment’ focuses on university-wide internal quality assurance for study programmes. 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. 

For this certificate, NVAO evaluated, among other things, the quality assurance system, the planning and control cycle, the way in which programmes are improved, the governance and organisational structure, and how the process of university decision-making promotes the quality of education.

NVAO Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation
In 2013, UM was awarded the NVAO’s Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation. This accreditation is for six years and is an external acknowledgement of the university’s efforts towards internationalisation. According to the NVAO, internationalisation is ‘in UM’s DNA’.

The following programmes have been awarded the NVAO Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation:

School of Business and Economics

  • BSc in International Business
  • MSc in International Business
  • MSc in Information & Network Economics
  • MSc in Management of Learning
  • MSc in Global Supply Management & Change

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

  • BSc in European Public Health
  • MSc in European Public Health
  • MSc in Global Health
  • MSc in Health Professions Education

Dutch & European Quality Certificates for Internationalisation
A number of programmes from Maastricht University have been awarded the 'Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation' from the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). For this quality feature, NVAO uses the Frameworks for the Assessment of Quality in Internationalisation that were created by the European Consortium for Accreditation in Higher Education (ECA).  The ECA is the first quality assurance agency to assess the quality of internationalisation in compliance with current international quality assurance practices. Once a programme is awarded the NVAO quality feature, they can apply for the ECA Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation.

The following programmes have been awarded both the NVAO Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation and the ECA Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation (View the full ECA report) :

School of Business and Economics

  • BSc in International Business
  • MSc in International Business
  • MSc in Information & Network Economics
  • MSc in Management of Learning
  • MSc in Global Supply Management & Change

Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences

  • BSc in European Public Health
  • MSc in European Public Health
  • MSc in Global Health
  • MSc in Health Professions Education

NVAO quality certificate ‘small-scale and intensive’
The University College Maastricht bachelor’s programme at as well as the master’s programme in Forensic Psychology received the special NVAO quality label 'small-scale and intensive'.

NVAO quality certificate for the excellent achievement level of its graduates
In 2008, University College Maastricht was the first to receive an NVAO quality label for the excellent achievement level of its graduates. It is an exceptional additional certificate, on top of the regular accreditation, for programmes that excel in a specific area. Only two higher education programmes have been awarded this label.

'Triple crown' of accreditations
The Maastricht University School of Business and Economics is internationally accredited by the renowned AACSB (American), EQUIS (European) and AMBA (UK), making it part of an elite group of international schools with all three accreditations. This means that graduates of the school can take their degree anywhere in the world.

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