UTFacultiesBMSEducationBMS Quality AssuranceThe quality of our education (UT page)

The quality of our education

The University of Twente aims for excellent education and groundbreaking research.

Through an extensive quality assurance system and frequent evaluations and communications, the University of Twente (UT) has insight into the performance of the University itself, its programmes and its staff. This enables UT to identify areas for improvement, ensure targeted deployment of resources in specific areas, and ensure that the University's goals and ambitions are met.

How does UT ensure quality programmes?

Quality is essential for our bachelor’s and master’s programmes. These programmes must meet strict standards and guidelines set by the national government and the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). The NVAO plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality of higher education in the Netherlands and Flanders.

Both internally and externally, the quality of our education is closely monitored. The process of quality assurance is organised at various levels and involves various parties, such as the Executive Board, deans, programme directors, teachers and students. Everyone has their own responsibility when it comes to monitoring educational quality. Moreover, every six years there is an external assessment by a panel of experts for both the University as a whole and individual programmes.

Tools for improvement and evaluation

To evaluate and improve educational quality, UT uses a variety of instruments. Several times a year, the University gauges student experiences and opinions through questionnaires and student panels in order to gain insight into the programmes and facilities offered. In addition, each programme is evaluated through annual development plans and reflection meetings with the Faculty Board. An innovative dashboard has been developed that collects a large amount of data and provides insight into all essential information for each programme. This tool facilitates internal dialogues regarding our education's current status and casts a glance at future developments and trends.

Who contributes to the quality of education?

  • Students

    UT has a high level of student engagement. Students contribute to improving the quality of our education in a variety of ways:

    • Students make their voices heard through surveys, such as the Student Experience Questionnaire, the National Student Survey (NSE) and the International Student Barometer (ISB).
    • In conversations with their programmes, for example in student panels, students provide direct feedback on their teachers and programme management.
    • Student representatives talk, think, and decide about education at different levels (in the programme, faculty, and across the University).
    • Student associations play their own role in evaluating programmes and identifying bottlenecks. In addition, they are important discussion partners regarding the management of programmes.
  • Lecturers

    The importance of good lecturers to the quality of education is substantial. At UT, lecturers often have a dual role, being that of both educator and researcher. This combination provides inspiration and a constant challenge for lecturers and students.

    To help teachers develop their abilities in the field of education, UT offers an extensive range of training. Moreover, every lecturer is in principle required to obtain a Basic Certification for Teachers (BKO).

    In addition, some lecturers or course co-ordinators write evaluation reports to continuously improve their skills. However, it is important to note that this is not practised in the same way across all faculties. Therefore, this matter needs further consideration.

  • Education Committees

    Each programme (or group of programmes) has a programme committee. In this participation body, students and teachers are represented at the programme level. The programme committee consists of an equal number of teachers and students. In general, this committee gives advice to the programme director regarding improving and guaranteeing the educational quality of the programme. These responsibilities make the programme committee an important interlocutor for the programme director.

    The programme committee has the right of consent regarding certain sections of the Education and Examination Regulations, as well as the right to consult on other sections. It also evaluates the implementation of Education and Examination Regulations, and advises on the quality assurance system, annual evaluations of courses and modules, the curriculum (including admission criteria), and examination criteria for the final assessment and thesis.

  • Examination Committees

    In addition, each programme (or group of programmes)  also has an Examination Committee. This committee has the legal task of monitoring the quality of degrees and testing independently from the management of the programme. It sets guidelines for testing and examination and assesses whether students meet the final attainment levels of their programme. Annually, the examination committee produces a report, which is addressed to the dean of the faculty under which the programme falls, with recommendations to improve the quality of testing and procedures within the programme.

  • UT Quality Assurance Platform

    The quality assurance co-ordinators of each faculty meet at the UT Platform for Quality Assurance (UTpK). Within this platform, developments within UT and national developments pertaining to quality assurance are discussed, working methods are harmonised and common practice regarding educational quality assurance is shared. The platform also acts as an advisory body for UCOW, UT’s Advisory Board on Education, in which the education portfolio holders of all faculties are represented. Because UT's faculties are different in size and structure, the role and function of the quality assurance co-ordinator is also different in each faculty. Through this platform, everyone is informed about important information and developments and is enabled to co-ordinate strategies and learn from each other.

  • Quality Assurance Team

    The Quality Assurance Team is a dynamic collective of employees coming from the central services S&P and CES. Their main goal is to provide integral support in quality assurance. This ranges from institutional processes to various development projects or even accreditation support at the programme level. The team focuses on shaping broad-based University policies and developing tools to support them.

  • Third parties and alumni

    Engaging external parties is essential to the quality assurance of our programmes. Therefore, we systematically solicit feedback from external parties. Through work field committees and advisory boards, we send out surveys to organisations and companies about what skills graduates need in their fields of work. To find out how alumni look back on their studies, the University of Twente participates in the National Alumni Survey (NAE).

Institutional quality assurance test

In the fall of 2019, UT hosted the Institution Test for Quality Assurance (ITK). All Dutch universities are periodically assessed in an institution test conducted by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).

The ITK is a periodic evaluation of an institution's internal quality assurance. It looks at how the internal quality assurance system works together with the quality culture to ensure that its own vision of good education is actually being realised.

On 22 March 2020, UT received the review committee's advisory report: our University met all criteria and received a positive decision, meaning there is great confidence in the University's internal quality assurance system. The next institutional review will take place in 2025.

Quality Agreements 2019-2024

UT has drawn up ambitious quality agreements for the period from 2019 to 2024, aimed at improving the quality of education. Various programmes worked intensively together within their faculties to shape the plans. Subsequently, these faculty plans were translated into five programmes:

1. Community building
2. Learning facilities
3. Teaching professionalisation
4. Developing students’ talent
5. Global citizenship

In order to realise these ambitions, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has made study advance funds available. These ensure financial support for the realisation of the agreements. For UT, this means an amount of approximately 2.5 million euros in 2019, which will increase annually to about 7.5 million in 2024. Annual consultations will be held between decentralised and central participation bodies in order to discuss and distribute plans and resources.


Please contact the QA-team (qa-team@utwente.nl) if you have any questions about the organisation of ensuring the quality of our education.