Maastricht University

Maastricht University was founded in 1976 and is the youngest university in the Netherlands. Since its foundation, the university has put great emphasis on its international education and its innovative educational system. By introducing the Problem Based Learning System special emphasis is drawn to team work, own initiatives and problem based thinking. Thanks to its international and innovative character, Maastricht University has been chosen as the best Dutch University by institutes such as ‘Elsevier’ and ‘Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs’ several years in a row.

School of Business and Economics (SBE)
With approx. 4400 students the School of Business and Economics (SBE) is the largest faculty of Maastricht University. The university and in particular SBE are popular amongst students of various nationalities, especially Dutch and German. This popularity can partially be attributed to the fact that SBE is the only Dutch faculty where the course of study is fully taught in English. Due to the popularity of the studies “International Business” and “Economics and Business Economics”, there is now a numerus fixus with both programmes having a decentralized selection procedure. Thanks to this system the best students have the highest chance of being admitted. Next to good grades the selection committee lays an emphasis on the social competence of the students and their international experience. 

The high quality of the faculty is again proven by three important accreditations. The faculty is one of very few business schools to have been awarded the Triple Crown Accreditation. This means they have received:

  • the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business)
  • the EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System)
  • the AMBA (Association of MBAs) accreditation

Maastricht University is proud of the good reputation and international accreditation of its most prestigious faculty. The School of Business and Economics also achieved outstanding results in internationally renowned rankings:

  • The study program “International Business” has been ranked #1 in the Netherlands by Elsevier, the Dutchmagazine for higher education. This is the fourth time in five years the program has received this honour.
  • According to a survey by the Financial Times in 2011, the study track “International Business” belongs to the top ten in Europe and reached an incredible third place in the category “value for money”. Furthermore, SBE placed 14th in the category “International Faculty Staff”.
  • In the CHE University ranking SBE scored a top position in almost all categories.
  • The SBE managed to hold its 6th place for the second consecutive year in the top ten world university ranking by the Times Higher Education 100 Under 50.
  • The Maastricht University was ranked among the world’s best universities last year as well after placing 98th in the 2013–2014 Times Higher Education World University Ranking.

International character of the SBE
The international character of the faculty is not only shown in the number of accreditations, it is also shown in the students population. Currently, approximately 65% of the total student population at SBE has an international background. Furthermore, the international character can be seen in some features of the educational program. Most important is the obligatory semester abroad, during which students spend a full semester at a university in a foreign country. This semester is entirely arranged by Maastricht University, made possible by its broad range of partneruniversities, among which are top business schools such as Berkeley, Babson College and Stern in New York. Four years ago the faculty also introduced a ‘Case Competition Skills’. This is a training for the top 16 business students, preparing them to take part in several international case competitions (prestigious case study competition between several top universities). Out of the top 16 students the best eight are chosen to represent Maastricht in these competitions. In 2010, our team won the Asian Business Case Competition in Singapore, leaving behind top teams such as UC Berkeley and the National University of Singapore.

Education format
As mentioned previously, Maastricht University uses the Problem Based Learning System. This teaches students to work in teams and draws emphasis to analytical thinking. Furthermore, it links theory to practice by requiring students to work with cases that are based on real life scenarios. Apart from the theoretical format of education, Maastricht University also includes several skills in the educational program. These skills are seen as essential to perform in business life. Amongst others, presentation skills, discussion skills, writing skills, computer skills and project skills are taught to the students. Throughout the entire study programme, course coordinators make use of presentations and academic papers as assessment methods. Finally, students are fully prepared for an international career by having their full educational program taught in English.

Programs within the SBE
Within the faculty there are several programs, the largest being International Business and International Business Economics. These programs are rather similar; the difference being that the latter draws slightly more emphasis on quantitative economics. Within these programs several majors and minors can be chosen, namely Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Information Management, Organization and Strategy. Every student first enjoys a basic education in all fields during the first two years of the three-year program. In the final year a major and a minor are chosen to specialize in a certain field. Next to these programs the faculty also offers programs in International Economics Studies, Economics and Management of Information, Econometrics and Fiscal Economics. As Master programs, the university offers a wide range of choices and has just recently added a new Master programme to their portfolio, called Sustainable Finance.