Study programme

Design your own programme

University college of 
Doing it my way


Our educational philosophy at University College Twente is built on the premise that as a student you stand at the centre of your own learning and personal development. It is your responsibility to shape your educational path by building on your multiple talents. And we’re confident that you can do it! Essentially, we are creating a new kind of university college – with and for students! We’re giving back to students the joy of discovery, we’re letting go and trusting that as a student you know best what you want and need to learn. We are open to discussion and student initiatives, and we encourage the kind of collaboration among students that leaves no room for competitiveness, but instead opens the door to innovation.

To facilitate all of this, we have implemented a system in which students design, reflect and evaluate on their own learning. This allows every student following the ATLAS curriculum to finish with an individual set of knowledge and skills that will open doors to different career paths and Master’s programmes.


Planning your learning starts on your very first day in the ATLAS programme. Almost immediately, you will start writing your Personal Development Plan (PDP), together with your mentor – a teacher we have specially assigned to personally guide you forward on your academic journey. The PDP will be your road map through the semester. And like all modern navigation systems, you can update it on the go if you decide you’d prefer to try a different route. We believe this approach will strengthen you in articulating what you want to learn, and how.


At University College Twente learning not only starts with you, it also ‘ends’ with you. Choosing your own path within courses can only work if there is an honest assessment of your achievements in the light of the goals you have set yourself. However, at University College Twente we don’t believe standardized tests and grades will help you in your learning or stimulate you in developing your talents. So we don’t use grades to assess your performance. No examinations, no grades. Instead, we put you in charge of evaluating your own development: we want you to show us how you think you can prove you have met your leaning goals.

Each semester you will write a Self-Evaluation Report (SER) based on the ambitions you described in your Personal Development Plan. The SER is more than a reflection on your progress and development: it shows that you are in charge of providing proof of – and insight into – what you have learned in that particular semester. To help you do this, we use a portfolio system, in which you can upload the evidence of your progress. For example, your portfolio might include  essays, peer reviews, prototypes for a design project, recorded presentations showing your progress in public speaking, feedback from your physics teacher on how well you understand Newtonian Mechanics et cetera. At the end of each semester your SER will be discussed and assessed by a panel of lecturers. Your admittance to the next semester is based on this assessment.

Find out more about the curriculumproject-based learning and going beyond the curriculum.

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