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.

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 2017 edition of Times Higher Education 200 under 50 , UM is placed sixth.In the 2017 QS ‘top 50 under 50’  UM is the 13th best young university worldwide.

QS World University Rankings
UM ranks 200 in the 2017 QS World University Rankings, which shows a slight decrease compared to 2016, when UM took up 173rd position. UM scored well on the indicators 'international faculty' and 'international students'. It scored the highest of all Dutch universities in the latter category. The university scored much higher on the 'citation per faculty' category this year, primarily because the number of citation years increased from five to six. However, UM scored lower on 'employer reputation' this year. One of the reasons for this is the change in methodology: as of this year, the opinions of the national respondents weigh just as heavily as those of foreign employers, while this used to be 70% and 30% respectively. Given the international nature of UM and the fact that many of its alumni are employed by international companies, this shift probably had a negative impact on the score. Visit the QS website  for the full ranking.

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 221st in the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2017, rising 11 places from the 232nd position in 2016 (based on the publications of the university compared to other publications in the same discipline that year). This ranking measures the scientific performance of over 900 major universities in 54 countries, based on Web of Science indexed publications from 2012-2015. For the domain of Biomedical & Health Sciences UM scores 101st (like last year) and in the domain of Social Sciences & Humanities, UM rose from place 88 to place 73.

Financial Times
In 2016, Maastricht University's master's programme in International Business is ranked 25, being in the top 25 of the best business programmes in the world according to the Master in Management Programmes 
In the Financial Times European Business Schools  ranking of 2016 the School of Business and Economics is ranked 60.

National rankings

Keuzegids Universiteiten
UCM and Knowledge Engineering recieved a quality seal from the Dutch university information guide Keuzegids Universiteiten 2017 for being a leading academic programme that offers the best interdisciplinary academic education in the Netherlands.
Six of the seventeen UM bachelor's programmes that were evaluated ranked first and thirteen UM programmes were ranked in the top three. The top six programmes in Dutch education are University College Maastricht (98), European Public Health (70), European Studies (56), Tax Law (62), Knowledge Engineering (82) and the Maastricht Science Programme (68). The seven bachelor's programmes that obtained a top 3 listing are Econometrics (3rd, 64), European Law School (2nd, 58), Fiscal Economics (2nd, 60), International Business (2nd, 68), Psychology (2nd, 66), Health Sciences (3rd, 54) and Medicine (3rd, 68). UCM belongs to a small group of twenty Dutch bachelor's programmes that have made the top-quality education list for five consecutive years.

Most of the highly-ranked UM programmes scored well in the fields of content, facilities and general skills. The assessment of the university's information provision was less positive; a familiar issue at the university. The recent launch of the student portal - which allows students to consult personalised study information at any moment from any device - is the first step towards improving the university's (online) information provision.

'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. Five programmes were designated ‘top study programmes’: Management of Learning (SBE), Financial Economics (SBE) and the research masters Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology (FASoS), Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience (FPN) and International & European Tax Law (FoL). 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 2017 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: Cultuurwetenschappen, European Law School, European Studies, Fiscaal Recht en University College Venlo.
  • University College Venlo ranks 1ste and University College Maastricht ranks 2nd place (the colleges switched places this year). Both colleges, that are ranked in the same category, get a very high student rating. (UCM 83 and UCV 88).
  • Maastricht University ranks third in the student ranking of the category ‘specialised universities’.

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. Two UM master's programmes were ranked first: Economics and Psychology.


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".