European flags in front of EU parliament building Brussels

UM - The European University

The European dream is alive in Maastricht

Maastricht University positions itself as THE European University of the Netherlands. This is only natural as we are located at the crossroads of three countries in the heart of the continent. Europe is part of our DNA and therefore a key feature of our education, research and societal outreach activities.

Our city has been inextricably linked with Europe since 1992, when the Maastricht Treaty sealed Europeans’ commitment to develop a collective union. This milestone on the road to closer European integration started an unprecedented dynamic experiment, which carries on to this day. It was a catalyst for a number of important development such as the Euro and European citizenship, extending European cooperation to many new areas. The landmark treaty raised the profile of Maastricht as a truly European city. 

In addition, the Maastricht Treaty triggered key innovations in European higher education. In the past 30 years, Maastricht University (UM) has taken on a pioneering role, offering truly European education to students, based on its Problem-Based Learning (PBL) philosophy, shaping them as European citizens – well-informed, tolerant, culturally aware, mobile and multi-lingual, with ambitions to work across the Netherlands, Europe and the world.

Expertise centre on Europe

By being the European university of the Netherlands, we have become an expertise centre on Europe for people from all over the world and a living lab for international and intercultural collaboration. This is characterised by four main distinguishing features:


We have flourishing comprehensive bachelor’s programmes and dedicated master’s programmes that focus on European affairs, for example a bachelor’s study in European Public Health and a master’s in European Public Affairs. In these study programmes, more than 40% of our students study abroad, of which more than half in Europe.

UM Strategic Programme 2022-2026

We also lead Europe’s top-scoring European University alliance the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE), which is setting up one of the first time multi-campus European Universities, and already offers many students from our university the opportunity to enrich their degree with courses and activities across Europe.


Research on European affairs is an integral part of the research efforts at our faculties. To give two examples: the Maastricht Centre for European law (MCEL) studies the law of the European Union in its constitutional and political context. Politics and Culture in Europe (PCE) examines questions of European democracy, governance, and foreign policy.

Dedicated (research) centres such as the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM) and Studio Europa Maastricht (SEM) study Europe and European integration from a multi-disciplinary perspective. The Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation and Mobility (ITEM) is a dedicated expertise centre that explores opportunities and bottlenecks in cross-border mobility and cooperation.


As a socially responsible university, we actively facilitate public debate on European affairs on a daily basis, both within the Netherlands and beyond.

Campus Brussels creates an open space for conversation between academics, practitioners, and the audience with the Fireplace talks on prominent global issues or trending topics. Studio Europa Maastricht (SEM) stimulates active and critical debate with public engagement at its core. An example would be the organisation of the Maastricht Debate with the lead candidates of the European political parties for the role of European Commission President.

Ambassador for Europe

UM is the only Dutch university with a dedicated campus in the European capital. Our Campus Brussels is an inter-faculty community hub for teaching, research and outreach. Our own academic embassy in the heart of Europe.

UM and Europe news, stories, press releases, videos and much more on our News and Stories page. Read our UM Strategic Programme 2022-2026 for more information about our vision and ambitions.

 'The European University of the Netherlands: A Caring & Sustainable University'