The TEM (Twente Educational Model; in Dutch: Twents Onderwijsmodel or TOM) is characterized by the integration of project-led education (PLE) and other teaching methods in thematic fulltime study units – i.e. modules.
A project is at the centre of each module. By programming the other module components around these projects, an integrated complex is created. Students' learning needs are primarily driven by the project, in which they can also apply knowledge gained from the other module components.
In a module various components are logically clustered around one central subject or theme. Different disciplines can meet within one theme. For example, a realistic assignment given to a group of students may presuppose a certain degree of knowledge from various disciplines. The group then acquires this knowledge as independently as possible, albeit under tutor supervision. Some knowledge may also be offered in direct instruction, but only if there is a specific reason to do so. This might be the case if the ‘threshold of understanding’ appears to be (quite) high, e.g. because it is regarded as inspirational, or because a wider context is called for.
The first module also has an umbrella topic. The umbrella topic allows for students to be offered a broader insight into how one single theme can be approached from various disciplines. Furthermore we hope that students working together simultaneously on the same theme, each from their own programme, will promote communication and group formation
The University of Twente holds the view that its alumni should have developed themselves in three professional roles: researcher, designer, and manager (in Dutch: the 3 Os). These roles complement one another. During projects in the bachelor’s programme, students lay the academic foundations for each role. Further specialization in one of the ‘three Os’ is reserved for the master's phase. Developing one or more roles is at the heart of each project. By following various modules and by assuming different roles in project groups, students can find out where their talents and preferences lie.
Studying at university requires a healthy dose of independence. The pace is faster than you’re used to and you will be expected to take responsibility for your own results and progress. However, we won’t just leave you to get on with it. At the beginning of your bachelor's programme, you will be allocated a mentor (or tutor). This is the person you can talk to about how things go, what you find harder or easier than expected, and any problems that may arise. Due to the set-up of the first part of your bachelor's programme, after six months you will have a good impression of what the programme is all about and how hard (or easy) it is for you. In case of difficulties your mentor will help you to look for alternatives. These may include a different approach to studying, or a switch to another programme or even another form of education. Six months is an important reference point; if you reach the end of your first year with fewer than 45 of the required 60 credits, you will be given a negative binding recommendation as to whether or not to continue your studies (BSA). This implies that your bachelor's programme is not the right choice for you, and you will not be permitted to continue it. You can avoid this situation by making the necessary changes before it’s too late.
Studying is in itself a full-time job. We expect our students to be well-motivated and willing to invest time and energy in their academic performance. This does not mean that you shouldn’t take a weekend job or make time for a sport or hobby, but they should never interfere with your studies. Project education is an intensive way of learning and a lot will be expected of you. Afterward, however, your efforts will be well rewarded and you'll have an exciting and memorable time at university to look back on.
Student counselling and Advice is the first point of contact for students with concerns and circumstances interfering with academic performance. Your Study Adviser is there to provide guidance about your programme, timetable, or academic progress. You can also approach him or her regarding personal problems, disability, or learning difficulty issues. A Study Adviser can either help directly, refer you to other services, or help you to draw up a study plan that fits your circumstances. Student counsellors offer guidance on a range of issues including personal problems, finances, academic progress, as well as confidential questions or complaints. The diversity coordinator/disability services coordinator works across university departments to help solve problems related to your religious identity, sexual orientation, cultural background, disability, medical or psychological condition. Pressures can intensify at certain times of the academic year, or arise unexpectedly in our personal lives. The student counselling service can help you find a solution, or at least view the issue from a more manageable perspective.