Maastricht University – UM is a public university founded in 1976 and known as the second youngest of the thirteen Dutch universities. Currently, they have more than 16,000 students and more than 3,000 Academic and Administrative staff. Most of their Bachelor’s programme is in English and still offering traditional programme and has an honours Liberal Arts College.Show more
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I really enjoyed studying at UM. Especially the tutorials are a big plus as it gives you a unique opportunity to develop debating skills and argumentation skills, allows you to directly ask questions and often creates a close bond between students and professor. This is something not many universities have!
I’m a second-year Psychology student at Maastricht University. The main point that distinguishes this University from other Universities (in Holland) is their so-called Problem Based Learning (PBL) system. The main part in every PBL-session is that you discuss the literature that you’ve read along with about 10 other fellow-students. The advantage of this system is that it more or less forces you to prepare for every meeting, making sure that you study throughout the whole course. Up until now, I have passed all of my exams and I think it’s mainly due to this system.
Even though this system sounds really great, it makes you also a lot more dependent on your fellow students. It is sometimes unclear if a certain topic is important to know, and tutors do sometimes lack knowledge about certain topics, leaving questions unanswered.
So, even though the PBL-system at Maastricht University is definitely a helpful system providing more and effective learning, it still lacks certain things that should be looked into to improve the system even more.
I am a second-year student at Maastricht University, following the European Studies program.
First of all, the program and the courses are really well developed. You get a lot of free time, but your schedule changes every period.
Maastricht University follows the PBL program, which does not function as I had in mind. Although there are group meetings for every course, which forces you to do your work and readings on time, some courses do not fit the PBL setting which makes it hard to form a group discussion.
Maastricht University has a very international community, which is one of the things I really like. You meet a lot of people from different countries and cultures. For European Studies, this is very beneficial because everyone can provide information about their own country during PBL.
Overall, studying at Maastricht University is very enjoyable and interesting, but feedback on exams and communication between students and professors can be improved. Often, feedback on exams and assignments are in the form of scans, with feedback written on them. However, this is hardly readable and planning a meeting with tutors/professors can be hard.
Luckily, I am one of the few people that have had the luxury of studying at two different universities; Erasmus University Rotterdam (henceforth called EUR) and Maastricht University (henceforth called UM). I studied Business Administration last year in Rotterdam and now European Studies at UM. UM has what’s called PBL (Problem Based Learning). This has its advantages and disadvantages over traditional learning (sitting in a lecture hall).
– you’re actively working with the study material
– you hear 10-15 different points of view, as opposed to just one from the lecturer
– small-scale, so a lot of personal interaction with others
– no big pressure to ask the tutor something, because of the smaller scale
Now, it also has a couple of drawbacks that I feel have to be mentioned
– if you don’t do your preparation for a tutorial, you will miss out on a lot of perks
– sometimes multiple people have not done their preparation
– you are dependent on other people and vice versa
All of these pros and cons are subjective. Some people think the pros outweigh the cons and others think the exact opposite.
The university advertises itself as a very international university. And I will have to agree, to some extent. I can only speak for my own faculty and studies. I cannot comment on other faculties and studies as I do not have a first-hand experience. At my studies about 70% is from a foreign (not from the Netherlands) country. Up until now, I have not noticed anything that might suggest that one “group” is treated differently than the other. It does not matter if you’re from the other side of the world or if you were born and raised in Maastricht. Everyone is equal.
The city is obviously also a big part of your academic career at UM. I personally love the city of Maastricht. It is not a very big city, but this makes it very cozy. Don’t expect there to be a lot of clubs, Maastricht is a typical pubs and bars city. Something that has to be mentioned, is that UM does not have just one campus or campus housing. Be mindful of this.
To finish off my experiences so far: I am really enjoying my time studying at UM. It is a smaller university compared to others, but it’s quite personal.
I’m studying Data Science for Decision Making at the university. I think it’s a great program but given the PBL (Problem Based Learning) approach, it is expected for every student to put in more hours of independent study. However, the teachers and staff are friendly and support students during their studies. The university is also very helpful in obtaining the residence permit and fulfilling other formalities for international students. However, University doesn’t have its own accommodation, so getting a room is a bit difficult.
I performed my master of Biomedical Sciences in Maastricht University. UM is known for its international character and for its Problem-Based Learning system. I definitely agree with the second one but I have some objections about the first one. UM could be much more international than it is and much more helpful for international students. I am saying that because people that did their bachelor there, had no issue understanding and following the program since they already knew the system, but also they were more privileged in comparison with international students. Also, I was expecting from the coordinators and the professors of the specific program to be more supportive and lenient. On the other hand, from my point of view, this Problem-Based Learning system gave the opportunity to develop the critical thinking and to acquire scientific curiosity. Furthermore, the one and a half year practical training, in 2 different laboratories, gave a lot of theoretical and practical experience and the chance to improve the technical skills. I would recommend the Biomedical Sciences’ Master of Maastricht University.
I would say that Maastricht University didn’t provide me the best experience of university life. I conducted the Biomedical Sciences master program there. The study program by itself was quite good, even it was a more advanced repetition of the bachelor program with the same title, which is offered by the university. The program is based on PBL (problem-based learning), meaning that the students should be ready during the courses to prepare anytime a case relative to the lecture is given and present it immediately. This is a fact that anyway helps you to think and act very fast and learn how to present your thoughts in public (if you are willing to learn to do it correctly). I think it was one of the few good things of the program, even it was quite tough. Moreover, the modules of the study plan were quite well thematically organised. On the other hand, I expected to meet a more international environment as it was so much advertised, but I didn’t. Most of the people that had joined the program were people that had finished the similar bachelor program of the university. Nevertheless, the most unpleasant thing was that the majority of the professors was not the most kind and understandable persons. Thus, I am sorry to say that I am not a fan of this university and I would hardly recommend it, cause I think that are many universities that could offer similar programs without having too important cons, as the last one I mentioned.