A new educational model was introduced in 2013, the same year that I started my Technical Computer Science programme. This model is known as the ‘Twente Educational Model’.
The main difference between this educational model and those used by other universities is that all of the subjects taught in a given quarter are interrelated. Another difference is that the model is not purely based on lectures in which you listen to a lecturer or professor. It also involves a range of practical assignments, including practical classes, challenges (small, one-day projects), and projects. What is really great about this educational model is that the material taught in lectures can immediately be used in the practical parts of the module. This educational programme has a study workload of about 40 hours per week. While there are relatively few lectures, many hours are devoted to tutorials, practical classes, and projects. You spend the bulk of those 40 hours at the university. In addition, most modules are assessed by interim tests, rather than by exams. These tests are usually held on Fridays, either once a week or once every two weeks. The advantage of this approach is that you keep up with the course content, and that you often don’t need to study over the weekend. The last two weeks of a quarter are often devoted to project work. This period is reserved purely for work on the current module’s project. You choose your own workspace, and draw up your own work schedule. These weeks are always fun because you are given a lot of responsibility, but it’s hard work. There is a sociable and pleasant atmosphere, because you are working – together with your team – on a single product, from which everyone wants to get as much satisfaction as possible.
In short, the Twente Education Model focuses on putting your knowledge to work in everyday practice and on expanding your social skills, in addition to expanding your knowledge. Thus, at the end of your course of studies, you are well placed to succeed in business.
Aside from your studies, there are all sorts of opportunities to expand your horizons. One of these involves taking on an active role in Inter-Actief, the study association for Technical Computer Science and Business & IT. Here you can sit on various types of committee, such as events committees, travel committees, publishing committees, committees related to the course of study, and IT committees. In short, there is something for everyone. In these committees, you will learn skills such as how to conduct meetings, teamwork, taking on responsibilities and implementing the tasks involved. In later years, these skills will prove very useful – in the world of business. It also provides you with an opportunity to relax. Simply put, there is a lot of fun involved in organising activities and taking part in them. This work can also help you to familiarise yourself with the business community, by means of lunchtime lectures and company visits.