Looking forward to the 2020-2021 academic year

MSc Biobased Materials

We are busily preparing for on-site education taking into account all COVID-19-related preventive measures, as well as developing online options for students who cannot yet come to Maastricht due to COVID-19 restrictions.

In this blog, you can follow our progress for the master's programme Biobased Materials. See you soon: on campus if you can, online if you need to!

Biobased Materials - Starting Grant - Wildeman

The newest updates will appear at the top. To make sure you can keep track, we have highlighted a few particularly important messages that you can directly view using the menu below.

Highlighted messages

Questions? Contact us! 

UM COVID-19 Safety protocol

Everyone | 14 August 2020

UM wants to provide its students and employees with a safe working and learning environment during this pandemic. This protocol shows how (the possibility) of spread of COVID-19 at UM can be prevented as much as possible.​ 

You can find the full protocol here

International (non-EU) students Visa information

(prospective) students | 9 July 2020 

The steps to apply for a Dutch visa and residence permit can be found here. If you have questions about Visa applications, especially for applications processed outside the usual deadlines, please contact the Visa Office.

As a reminder, the Sciences master's programmes are providing flexibility for traveling to Maastricht by offering both online and on-campus education options. This applies to students with delays in their visa application process.

"Soft cut'' Admission to the Sciences master's programmes

Prospective students | 8 July 2020 

The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science is making it possible to admit students to a Dutch master's programme for the academic year 2020-2021 under certain conditions, even if these students have not yet completed their bachelor's programme. This type of conditional admission is also referred to as a ‘soft cut’.

Students from an UM bachelor's programme
In order to be able to enter UM (pre)master programmes for academic year 2020-2021 based on the 'soft cut' admission criteria, a standard of at least 80% of the ECTS from year 3 of the bachelor's programme needs to be obtained (i.e. a maximum of 12 ECTS from year 3 of the bachelor's programme may be missing, year 1 and year 2 need to be fully obtained).[1]

Students from an external bachelor
When a student from a bachelor's programme from outside UM wants to enrol in a (pre)master's programme at UM based on the 'soft cut' admission criteria, this will be done via the above-mentioned standard[2]; the UM master's program will assess whether the student in question can be enrolled conditionally, bearing in mind the 80% standard.

Other applicable exceptions 
Exceptions of the 12 ECTS will be made when applicants that have pending Bachelor thesis credits (usually higher than 12 ECTS). In case a student has yet to complete their bachelor thesis, the Admissions Committee will ask the student for a description of their thesis status. For cases in which the student has started their bachelor thesis but are missing advance components to obtain credits including defence, written thesis submission, or pending minor data collection, admission will be granted provided the student is not missing credits from other courses and thesis completion is realistically obtainable within the first half of the academic year 2020 - 2021.

[1] Exception: The student still has to complete 1 or more course units of year 3 of the bachelor's programme that covers more than 12 ECTS and of which it is feasible for the student to complete these course units within the academic year 2020-2021.

[2] Exception: In the case of a four-year (foreign) bachelor's degree, a maximum of 20% of the ECTS from the last year of study may be missing.

Update: Educational format coming academic year

Everyone | 26 June 2020 - updated on 9 July 

Our aim is to provide education on-site if we can, online if you need to with a lot of interaction between students and teachers. We will make the most of the space we have so that you can safely come together in the ‘international classroom’ to collaborate, socialise and interact. In this update, we would like to inform you on several educational aspects of the coming academic year. Please note that these educational formats are set for the first 2 periods of the academic year 2020-2021 and will be adjusted accordingly taking into consideration the developments of COVID-19:

  • Lectures: all lectures will take place online and recordings will be available throughout the course.
  • Skills: All skills training will take place on-site. If you are not able to travel to Maastricht due to COVID-19 related measures, you will discuss with the course coordinator how to fulfill your skills. If you have questions, please contact us and we will help you sort this out.
  • Tutorials: Will take place in a hybrid format meaning tutorials will be on-site and students that are unable to attend on-site due to health/travel limitations will join the session online. Each course coordinator will publish in the course manual what/how many meetings are scheduled online versus on-campus. If you are not able to travel to Maastricht due to COVID-19 related measures, your tutorial sessions will take place online. A tutor will supervise all team sessions, navigating between groups both online and on campus.
  • Individual self-study: You can carry out your individual research this online and/or in several learning spaces throughout UM’s campus. With the reopening of our school’s buildings, approximately 25% of the existing lounge spaces will be available. The inner-city Library is open to up to 100 students as of 1 July and will gradually increase this number whenever possible.

Does this mean that I am not required to be in Maastricht?
We strongly advise you to come to Maastricht to take part in education on campus. However, if you are not able to travel to Maastricht due to COVID-19 related measures, there will be online alternatives for lectures and tutorials.

When do I need to communicate whether I will be in Maastricht by September?
The Master Sciences Programmes will send out a questionnaire in which you indicate whether you will be attending the introduction week online or on-campus. Those students that indicate they will attend the introduction week online will receive an email to discuss their education modality for Period 1.

Looking forward to 2020-2021

Everyone | 18 June 2020 

The Master's programmes team is working hard to start education in the fall, on campus if you can, online if you need to. This flexible modality will allow you to participate in our staple “international classroom” while accommodating traveling of physical distancing restrictions. We're looking forward to welcome you soon and in the meantime, stay safe!

Dr. Julia Massimelli Sewall 
Director of master's programmes Sciences:
MSc Biobased Materials & MSc Systems Biology 

A video message from the FSE Dean

Everyone | 15 June 2020

From the video: "We will offer an interesting mix of on campus and online activities. All programmes are very busy developing an interesting programme for you, which combines these two types of education."

"Some of you may not be able to come to our university, because you are still in the country where you live. Because we are developing online activities, this is not going to be a problem - you can join the online activities and will become part of our student community."

View the whole video message

Prof. Thomas Cleij
Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Improving ventilation in our buildings

Everyone | 12 June 2020

Maastricht University is being supported by Royal HaskoningDHV to determine the maximum occupancy per room and to optimize our ventilation systems as much as possible. 

When determining the occupancy per room, the university initially accounts for seven square metres per person. This is based on the government's 1.5-metre standard and the ventilation standard resulting from the so-called Building Code. Read more about the measures we're taking, and the considerations they are based on.

Facility Services team
Supports education, research and operations at Maastricht University

Save the date: MSc Biobased Materials Introduction Days

Prospective students | 28 May 2020

Save the date! Our master's Introduction Days will take place on Thursday 27 & Friday 28 August 2020. During these days, you will receive valuable information about studying at Maastricht University and life in Maastricht.
We can’t wait to meet you, so the introduction days will go ahead as planned – be it online, in person or as a mix of both. You will receive more information about the programme once we know what form it will take. For now, block August 27 and 28 in your agenda!

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Ivanka Dzon
Event coordinator

We hope to welcome you!

Everyone | 15 May 2020

From 31 August, Maastricht University's motto will be: education ‘on campus’ at the university if possible, online if necessary (due to coronavirus measures). But even then, always in connection with Maastricht. 

We remain committed to the Maastricht University Student Experience—education where the focus is on the student. We make the most of the space we have on our campus to meet the needs of our students to come together in the ‘international classroom’ to collaborate, to socialise, to interact. After all, getting an education is about so much more than just earning credits! Read more

Dr. Nick Bos, prof. Rianne Letschert and prof. Martin Paul 
Executive Board Maastricht University