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Maastricht is a city in the south of the Netherlands, close to the borders with Belgium and Germany. There are five universities in Maastricht, as well as several smaller higher education institutions and around 32,000 students.
Maastricht has a rich history, having developed as an important Roman crossing point on the Maas river and gone on to become a key strategic location for a range of European empires.
It is famous for its combination of rich heritage and vibrant nightlife. Many of the city’s original medieval walls and towers are still standing, representing some of the oldest intact examples of such architecture in Europe.
The Maas river runs through the city, serving as an attractive central point and featuring a number of footbridges (including the Sint Servaasbrug, which is the oldest stone footbridge in the Netherlands).
Maastricht is also well known for the attractive tree-lined squares in its inner-city Binnenstad district, around which many pubs, cafes and restaurants are situated.
Though Maastricht itself is one of the oldest cities in Europe, its universities are comparatively young. The largest, Maastricht University, was established in 1976, but has already become famous as the site of the signing of the Maastricht Treaty: the agreement that confirmed the founding of the European Union in 1992. It has since been ranked in or around the top 100 universities in the world.
Other prominent universities in the city include the Maastricht School of Management, which offers internationally accredited postgraduate business qualifications including one of the longest-running MBA programmes in Europe.
Maastricht has a vibrant economy that takes full advantage of the city’s location at the crossroads between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Several multinational companies have bases in Maastricht, including Mercedes-Benz, Vodafone and DHL. Fittingly, given its role in the formation of the EU, Maastricht is also home to a number of European agencies, such as the European Journalism Centre, Eurocontrol and the European Centre for Work and Society.
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