Internationalisation is anchored in Maastricht University’s DNA and can be seen and felt wherever you go across the university. Internationalisation lives in the spirit of our university and is further stimulated by the international members of our academic community. We are proud to be counted amongst the best young universities in the world and offer our students, staff and researchers a dynamic academic environment at the intersection of local, regional and global affairs. Our International Classroom, strategic networks and partnerships, international joint programmes and exchanges, and emphasis on cross-border mobility opportunities for staff contribute to the high quality of our education and research programmes. This allows us to develop skilled and employable graduates who are ready for the national and international labour markets.
With about 50% of our students and 40% of our academic staff coming from abroad, and our active publication in international research journals, UM is the most international university in the Netherlands. Each year, we welcome more than 1,000 foreign exchange students, while almost 40% of our own students participate in study abroad programmes. All of this has earned UM the Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation awarded by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).
Watch the video to catch a glimpse of the international atmosphere of Maastricht, with its international faces representing more than 100 different nationalities.
We are focussed on further asserting our status as a European university with a global outlook while being closely connected to our surrounding community. Through our strategic vision on internationalisation, and our cooperation with companies, governments and other educational institutions, UM plays a leading role in the creation and diffusion of world-class knowledge and innovation. We also focus on internationalisation at home by developing our international programmes, themes and our efforts in the international classroom. We aim to provide an international learning experience and environment for all students and staff.
Internationalisation is firmly embedded in UM’s CORE (Collaborative Open Research Education) strategic programme 2017-2021 as an integral component of all our activities.
At UM, we constantly seek out new opportunities to collaborate internationally and continue to intensify collaborations with our current partners in various networks. We participate in two leading European and international university networks: the Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) and the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN).
We currently have cooperation agreements with nearly 400 partners across the world. Complementarity, geographical balance and ranking position are some of the key elements we look at when selecting our partners. As UM is located at the centre of an EU border region that is inhabited by 3.9 million people between Aachen, Hasselt, Heerlen, Maastricht and Liège, we are also actively collaborating with partner universities nearby.
Our Brightlands initiative, Campus Brussels, MUNDO capacity-building projects, and several renowned research centres, provide UM's students and staff with many additional opportunities for personal and professional development
Maastricht University has embraced the concept of the ‘International Classroom’, which has become a mindset amongst our students and staff. The International Classroom underlines the benefits in the learning process of our students when they work in small tutorial groups with people from different cultural backgrounds. By approaching problems from a variety of perspectives, students are acquainted with different ways of seeing things and that enhances the quality of the discussions. In this way, the International Classroom prepares students for the rapidly globalising labour market.
In addition, a large proportion of the educational programmes at Maastricht University are accessible to international students from all over the world, as many of them are offered in English. Many of our programmes also have an international or European focus, and all of our programmes include international issues and perspectives. We also offer more than 20 joint and double degrees as well as a variety of exchange and preparatory programmes.
UM started internationalisation 20 years ago, so its quality has been well established. UM and Wageningen are the only Dutch universities that have been awarded the Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation.
According to NVAO, internationalisation is embedded in the DNA of Maastricht University. This is not a static process. The UM institute for educational innovation EDLAB continues to work on the further development of the Problem-Based Learning model and the International Classroom.
International students in the International Classroom perform better and have a positive effect on their fellow students, according to the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education, Nuffic. The fact is that 15 of the 18 Bachelor's programs at the UM are ranked in the national top 3 (Keuzegids 2018), and that the three international colleges (University College Maastricht, Maastricht Science Program and University College Venlo) carry a quality mark.
The choice of the language of instruction at UM is based on learning goals, labour market prospects and student group composition. It is documented in the Education and Examination Regulations (OER).
|UM score||National average|
|Preparation for job market||3.75||3.2|
Due to the diverse composition of students, staff and researchers, and active participation of UM in mobility and research programmes, a multitude of languages are spoken at all levels in and around the UM campus. UM is a Dutch public university, where the official languages of instruction are Dutch and/or English, located in a multilingual (EU)regional context. Because of this, UM has an integrative and pragmatic approach to language, regarding it as a means to communicate, an instrument to acquire and share knowledge, and the base of (inter)cultural understanding and labour market participation.
UM professors score the highest* on English proficiency of all Dutch universities, a large number of our students are taking part in both free and paid language courses, and an increasing UM participation in initiatives and (European) projects focused on language learning, is bringing in new perspectives and training opportunities.
As the context of language usage is continuously evolving, additional steps will be taken to maintain and monitor language levels and further enhance the opportunities for language learning across the UM and the wider community.
The rules for the usage of language at UM can be found in the Code of Conduct for Language.
At the basis of the UM language policy is the concept of lifelong learning, through which three groups of UM stakeholders are actively encouraged to learn and use languages. These three stakeholder groups are:
Research done at Maastricht University focuses on topics of global relevance and is placed in an international context. Cooperation with renowned universities and research institutes in the region and beyond is a vital element of UM research. Just a few examples of UM’s international research centres are the Centre for European Research in Maastricht (CERiM), the Institute for Transnational and Euregional cross border cooperation (ITEM), the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) and Regenerative Medicine Crossing Borders (RegMed XB). With our global character, UM attracts academics and students that wish to pursue their research and education in an inclusive and international-oriented setting.
We believe it is of the utmost importance to create a welcoming atmosphere and to facilitate the rapid integration of the international members of our community, both students and staff. We do this through targeted social activities, buddy programmes and additional services such as visa support and language courses.
We also work to promote the cross-border mobility of our students and staff and encourage participation in exchange programmes with our partner universities. In addition, many of our alumni work abroad, and we do our best to keep them connected with the UM community.