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"More students from abroad help to expand UM's reputation"

Maxim: the bachelor-master system has failed to mobilise students
Only 5% of UM students (and 2% of students in the Netherlands) consider doing a master's degree abroad, according to an Observant survey (this page). More mobilisation of students in Europe was one of the reasons to introduce the bachelor-master system in most European countries in the first place, but with this outcome it seems that the system has failed to achieve its goals. Observant asked UM students their opinions.

This outcome may be so, but there is still a "huge advantage" to the bachelor-master system: after three years you have the chance to rethink your study path, says first-year Econometrics student Julian Slotman. Although he won't have to choose a master's programme particularly soon, he knows already that he wants to stay in Maastricht: "Because of my sorority and student association, I don't feel like moving to another city for one year."

Third-year student of International Business Economics Mathilde van Dijk believes it's a good thing that the former four-year curriculum has been cut into two - unequal - parts: "I don't know yet which master's it's going to be, but I won't automatically stay in Maastricht. A while ago, I attended the course Choose your Master at the university's Career Services. There, you explore what you want in a master's. Does the programme have to be practical or research oriented? Do you want to move to another city? What kind of university do you prefer? No, there wasn't a clear outcome - it's not like one programme is the right one for me - but I know now that with my interest in IB there are more options besides UM. With the bachelor-master structure it seems like you have lots of options, but in the end, there are usually only a few universities that offer programmes in your field of specialisation. The other day, we received the Nobiles Masterguide in the mail, which offers an overview of all master's degrees in the Netherlands. My housemates and I are really digging into the material at the moment."

Belgian Charles Germain, from the French-speaking part of the country and student of IB, hopes that with the bachelor-master system more students from abroad or other cities in the Netherlands will come to Maastricht: it will enhance UM's reputation in other countries. "Now, for example in Belgium, UM is still not that well known." Germain is considering doing a master's programme here in Maastricht: "There's a new track in marketing and finance, which is unique. This uniqueness is what I'm looking for - I want to offer companies something different when I'm applying for a job."



Irene Smeets



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