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Eight master's programmes absolutely top notch, one or two below par

Keuzegids Masters 2017: UM in second place of nine general universities

MAASTRICHT. Eight Maastricht master's programmes belong to the absolute top ranks in the Netherlands, says the Keuzegids Masters 2017, which was published last week and investigated 42 of the 51 Maastricht master's. One or two UM programmes score below average. Maastricht University as a whole is in second place in the category of ‘general universities’ that consists of nine institutes. The difference with number one - Tilburg - is minimal (6.3 and 6.25).

The rankings in the Keuzegids Masters 2017 are based on student assessments (Study selection database, January 2017) for 80 per cent and on the expert judgement of national inspector NVAO for 20 per cent. The guide awarded a so-called ‘quality mark’ to eight Maastricht programmes (these are programmes that scored 7.6 or higher), which may call themselves top programmes in 2017. The programmes concerned are European Public Affairs and Management of Learning (both 8.6), the research master's of European Studies (8.4), Information and Network Economics (8.2), the research master's of Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology (8.0), the research master's of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Econometrics and Operations Research and International and European Tax Law (all three scoring 7.8).

Three programmes dangle at the bottom of the list, scoring below five: Movement Sciences (4.0), Globalisation and Development Studies (4.8), and Art and Culture Sciences (3.8). As far as the latter programme is concerned, Keuzegids states: “There is still a great deal of work to be done in Maastricht. The students feel that the lessons are not inspiring and facilities - such as the number of workspaces - are not up to scratch.” Respondents from Movement Sciences were dissatisfied too: “They find the lessons uninteresting and monotonous. What they miss, is variety in methodology. The lecturers also receive scathing criticism. The students feel that they are not actively involved in their study progress.” For Globalisation and Development Studies, there is not only criticism, but also some praise: “Maastricht and the UvA receive quite a lot of criticism about content, lecturers and practical orientation. Maastricht was praised for the number of lectures and work groups.”

A remarkable fact is that the master's programme of Dutch Law tops the list (of a total of ten programmes) with 5.8; a relatively low mark sometimes says very little about the place in the rankings. Another striking fact is that three Health Sciences master's programmes constitute the top three of their list. They took the lead before Twente, Rotterdam (with two programmes on the list) and Amsterdam. The master's programme of Arts Klinisch Onderzoeker (AKO, doctor/clinical researcher) is in first place too.

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