The Maastricht Region provides a wide range of excellent national and international education centres at all levels, and for all ages. Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht University, and at least one, sometimes more secondary schools are also consistently towards the top of the national and international rankings. The Open University in Heerlen is one of the largest e-learning universities in the world. Right over the border are the renowned universities of Aachen and Liège. And there are three university hospitals within a 25 km radius: unique in Europe!
International education and education focusing on medicine and technology are all strongly represented in the Maastricht Region. This is down to the business community in the region, in which countless medical, technical, and internationally-focused companies are based.
Maastricht University, sixth in the rankings of young universities worldwide, is known nationally and internationally for the quality of its education and research. With 50% of its students coming from abroad, it is the most international university in the Netherlands.
University College Maastricht (UCM) is a Liberal Arts and Sciences Honours College of Maastricht University. This extensive, interdisciplinary programme is suitable for motivated students with a broad academic interest. UCM was selected as the best Liberal Arts and Science programme for the third consecutive time by the Keuzegids, an annual guide featuring all university programmes available in the Netherlands. UCM was also selected as having the highest scoring BA programme for the second year running.
The OU is one of the largest e-learning universities in the world. Just over the border are universities of all shapes and sizes: the University of Liège, Hasselt University, and RWTH Aachen University, one of the best technical universities in Europe. With over 42,000 students, RWTH Aachen University is larger than all the Dutch technical universities put together!
The Dutch higher vocational education (HBO) programmes in Sittard, Heerlen, and Maastricht provide top-quality education.
Zuyd University of Applied Sciences has twice been voted the best large university of applied sciences in the Netherlands*. The Hotel Management School Maastricht, the Maastricht Academy of Performing Arts, and the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts are all nationally renowned. The Fontys teacher training course in Sittard-Geleen is the best in the Netherlands.
The education institutions are placing increasing emphasis on collaboration with the regional business community, meaning that the alignment between theory and practice is improved and job prospects are increased.
* Keuzegids HBO 2008 & 2010
The Arcus College is the largest provider of education in Parkstad, and the range on offer comprises a broad spectrum of programmes. One notable programme is the call centre course, which cannot be studied anywhere else in the Netherlands.
ROC Leeuwenborgh provides career guidance and education from Maastricht, Sittard-Geleen, and Maastricht-Aachen Airport. The Aviation Competence Centre, the knowledge and education centre for aviation technology, is a unique institution here.
The two regional educational centres work together with the regional business community, with the aim of properly connecting the courses to their practical application, and to improve employment opportunities for graduates. In terms of health-care institutions, for example, government, care, well-being, and educational institutes are working together on overcoming the challenges arising from care and replacing them with training for care professionals and technicians. A good example of this is the new Care Technician course.
There are fifteen UWCs across the world, once of which is located at a brand new campus in Maastricht. The school provides education to over 500 pupils aged between 2 and 22. UWC's philosophy is that education is a force that connects people, nations, and cultures and which contributes to a peaceful, sustainable future. Pupils of over 100 nationalities study at UWC Maastricht.
AFNORTH International School is highly notable as it complies with the curriculum requirements of four countries from nursery to secondary school. Pupils in English-speaking classes follow the curricula of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. German-speaking classes follow the educational requirements set in Germany.
The Maastricht School of Management is one of the oldest, most international business schools in the Netherlands. The MSM offers MBA programmes primarily focusing on the professionalization of management and organization in and for emerging and developing countries.
The secondary schools in Heerlen, Maastricht, and Sittard-Geleen provide top-quality education, renowned at a national level. There are no waiting lists here.
Some of the secondary schools are among the very best schools in the Netherlands. Scholengemeenschap Groenewald - a comprehensive school - in Stein ranked as the number one VMBO GT (vocational secondary education - mixed theoretical education) school in 2014, and the Porta Mosana College in Maastricht was in the top five best-performing schools.
In Maastricht, Heerlen, Brunssum, and Landgraaf, lessons are taught in both English and Dutch at bilingual schools.
Technical institutes have been established in Geleen, Gulpen, and Heerlen. These are schools which place an additional focus on science and technology, through the teaching of research and design, for instance. Technicians are working on specific tasks together with the business community and higher education in order to establish a link with practical application.
The Maastricht Region is home to a large number of primary education centres. This means that a primary school can almost always be found close to your home.
There are no waiting lists, and the primary schools are small in scale. The primary schools in the Maastricht Region are the best performers in the Netherlands (source: RTL Nieuws, 2013) according to the Cito test scores (CITO: central institute for test development; the CITO test is taken at the end of the child's primary education phase to determine which type secondary education would be most suitable).
There is also a wide range of options available as regards the type of primary school: Catholic schools, ecumenical schools, Protestant schools, schools based on religious or ideological principles, and public-authority schools, along with Jenaplan and Montessori schools.
There are five 'academic' primary schools in the Maastricht Region, in Maastricht, Montfort, Kerkrade, and Sittard. Academic primary schools are set apart by the way in which they connect the professionalization of incoming and incumbent teachers with research and innovation in education. Students are challenged to learn in a research-focused way.