16 November 2017
Prof. dr. Martin Paul, president of Maastricht University:

An international community in Maastricht

“With over half of our student population being from abroad, Maastricht University is the most international university in the Netherlands. And we are very proud of that. This position is underlined by our ‘Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation’, awarded by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).”

CvB - Martin Paul

International Classroom
“What attracts international students to Maastricht are the things that make us stand out, such as our International Classroom and our Problem-Based Learning teaching methodology. This means that students from all over the world learn together in small, diverse groups by solving problems which often correspond to real problems in society. But they also learn from one another: the diversity of backgrounds leads to a diversity of viewpoints, and that enriches the learning experience enormously. In the globalising world we live in today, it’s also of crucial importance to be able to work together with all kinds of people and develop an open mind. Those are the kinds of skills you learn here in Maastricht.”

European and global focus
“What also appeals to international students is our focus on the European dimension, but also the global perspective in our study and research programmes. Think of European Studies, European Law School and Global Health, and our research institutes ITEM, the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cooperation and Mobility, and CERIM, the Centre for European Research in Maastricht. Last but not least, our European and global perspective is also reflected in the important role of our university in international networks such as YERUN and WUN.”

Feel at home
“For our international students and staff, we find it very important to provide a welcoming atmosphere, so they can easily feel at home in our diverse, international community. We do that by offering languages courses and buddy programmes, but also by working together closely with our local and regional partners. Most importantly we’re putting a lot of effort into creating bonds between the local community of Maastricht and our student population.”

Positive effect on the Netherlands
“International students have a positive, long-term effect on the Netherlands: increasing numbers are staying here after they graduate, and they contribute to Dutch society and the economy. Those who return to their own countries very often become informal ambassadors, and continue to interact with institutions in Maastricht, Limburg and the Netherlands on many levels.

“When they graduate, our students take with them an international group of friends for life, skills that will benefit them throughout their careers, good prospects on the international job market and, last but not least, a soft spot for Maastricht in their hearts.”