MAASTRICHT. “Few real peaks, but broad quality,” concluded the Keuzegids Masters 2015, which was published this week, about Maastricht University. It is paying off: the UM is “the best broad masters’ university in the Netherlands”. At the same time, not a single Maastricht masters’ study reached the top twenty of best studies.
To gain a place in the top twenty of best studies, the score, which is based on the students’ assessments from the National Students Survey and expert assessment from the sexennial programme accreditations, the minimum has to be 8.4. Only the Maastricht master of Management of Learning comes close with 8.2 and in its category – didactics – does not only take first place but also receives the quality mark that is reserved for studies that score above average. There are eight other assessed UM masters that gained first prize in their categories (see box). Furthermore, a considerable number of the total of 38 programmes assessed came in second (nine) or third place (six).
There are also a number of distinctive lows. International Law and Law and Labour, for example, do not get further than eighth place (both scored 5.6), as does Biomedical Engineering (score 4.8). Fiscal Law is in sixth place (score 5.4), Medicine also ranks low with a sixth place (score 5.4). The same applies to Healthcare Policy, Innovation and Management (5.2). The efforts by the Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences to drastically improve the various programmes, have clearly not worked its way through to this master’s guide.
Maastricht is in first place (with an average score of 6.35) in the category “general university”, followed closely by Nijmegen and Tilburg. The UM reached third place last year, even though they had more first places (fourteen of the 41 programmes assessed). Wageningen takes the lead in the university category of Technology and Agriculture.
Undisputed top study in the Netherlands – with a score of 10 - is Fine Art at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem, followed by the same study programme in Rotterdam and Nanoscience at the University of Groningen (both 9.8).
The best master’s programmes in the Netherlands are almost all small, with an average of some fifty to sixty students each year, the Keuzegids has noticed. According to the editors, this is no coincidence: “There is more personal attention, the lines of communication with lecturers and other staff are short, students know each other better.”
The best UM master’s of the country:
Management of Learning
Research master of Health Sciences
European Public Health
Research Master of Arts and Social Sciences
International and European Tax Law
Public Policy and Human Development
Econometrics and Operations Research