Please find below a summary of the main points of the UT language policy.

Main language of the organisation

  • Inclusion is the guiding principle in communication on campus. When communicating with non-Dutch employees or students, the official language is English. In the case of communication between Dutch employees or students only, the choice of language is left to those present.
  • Formal communication with students and staff takes place in English.
  • Individual customer contact takes place in the language chosen by the persons or parties involved, taking into account the inclusivity principle.
  • With legally binding documents the University of Twente observes Dutch Law. Translations in English will be provided in English, where possible. Still, the Dutch version of legal documents is often binding and prevails.

Language of governance

The language in decision-making processes, i.e. the language of formal bodies at the University of Twente (CvB, CvB-D, SB, Faculty Boards, UC-OW, UC-B, UC-OZ, and UC-I) will be English as of 1 January 2019. This means that:

  • All documents and formal decisions are drawn up in English.
  • The language of the meeting is based on the principle of inclusiveness: if a non-Dutch person is present, the language of the meeting is English. If the language of the meeting is Dutch, the decisions must be drawn up in English.
  • Exceptions are possible when external parties are involved or for legal reasons. The documents to be discussed may then be provided in Dutch, but this will be at the discretion of the director concerned (for example: meetings with the municipality or purchase contracts). Formal decisions and action points must be available in English.
  • When a Dutch document from an external party is being discussed, an English summary and/or an English translation of relevant passages should be available.

Transition Period 

The year 2019 has been designated by the Executive Board as a transition year. This means that the Service Departments are expected to adopt English as language of governance in the course of the year, leaving room to deal with the challenges that come with the language transition.

Language within Participation Bodies (FR and University Council)

Communication with the FR and University Council is in English. These bodies are encouraged to also produce their written communication in English.

Other Type of Meetings

On the basis of the principle of inclusiveness, these meetings are advised to follow the same line as the formal bodies. Minutes or documents are often shared more widely within the organisation and used as input in formal meetings. 

Language proficiency requirement employees

The Dutch and English language skills of employees must be in line with the tasks assigned to them. Minimum requirements for English language proficiency have been set for each job profile, varying between B1 and C1 according to the Common European Framework (CEF). Please, consult the below documents on this matter provided by the Human Resources department.

In addition to the minimum language proficiency level as set out in articles 5.1 and 5.2 of the Language Policy, all employees of the University of Twente have a language development plan in line with their working environment. 

Recruitment of staff

Language of job vacancy texts is English, unless …

the target group to be reached or the job requirements ask for a Dutch language approach, as is the case with some support staff vacancies. The language of vacancy texts is then in Dutch or in Dutch and English. For detailed information on language in recruitment, consult the Recruitment Guideline, provided by HR.

Minimum Language Proficiency Requirements in Recruitment

The UT Language Policy urges to include the desired level of English in job vacancy texts. From a recruitment perspective, it is advised not to do this, due to labour shortage and have candidates drop out because they do not meet language requirements. The University of Twente offers a wide range of language courses to help new employees reach the required language proficiency.

Language of Job Interviews

The language of job interviews depends on the vacant position and situation. It is up to those involved to determine the language. The testing of English language skills must be functional and can take place in various ways. For detailed information, consult the Recruitment Guideline (see above), provided by HR.