Forty years FHML: First medical students

Photo gallery

This carrousel shows the pictures provided by members of the Class of '74.

Maastricht University (formerly known as the 'Rijksuniversiteit Limburg') was officially established in 1976. Faced with a shortage of medical professionals in the late 1960s, the Dutch government recognized the demand for a new place of higher education. Leaders from the Province of Limburg, most notably Sjeng Tans, successfully lobbied for a new medical school to be erected in the City of Maastricht. The development of the medical school would not only preserve Maastricht’s intellectual life, but would be a vital asset to the entire province, especially since it as was experiencing economic challenges following the collapse of the Limburg coal mining industry. 

It was decided not to wait for official recognition, instead the newly established school, known as Medical Faculty Maastricht (MFM), welcomed the first 50 medical students in September 1974. This university was not only a new institute, but one that offered an innovative approach to academic education in the form of problem-based learning. At the end of 1975, the Dutch Parliament approved the statute needed for this institution to receive national education funds and be able to award academic degrees. On the 9th of January, 1976, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed the university’s founding charter at a ceremony held in the Basilica of Saint Servais. In June 1980, the Rijksuniversiteit Limburg observed the graduation of its first 43 graduates.

In honour of Maastricht University’s first medical students, 1974, we will dedicate this part of the website to those who took a chance on registering at a new university with an innovative teaching method. They were the pioneers who forged the trail to what has now become a thriving international institute of education: Maastricht University.

Fifty students started in September 1974 – thirteen of the original group were women. One student left after the first day because he had been accepted to Amsterdam and one quit after six months.
From the recent information provided to us the alumni have 45 children, 11 of which have either studied or are currently studying medicine. Five of the original group reside in another country and they rate their quality of life as 7 to 10. 

Continue reading

Biographies of the "Class of 74" Additional biographies of the “Class of 74” will be posted once every two weeks   
Read the story of alumna Anna Marie Frusch in UM webmagazine  
Read a letter of the "Ministerie van Onderwijs en Wetenschappen" dated 11 July 1974