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Ariana Need appointed Dean of the Twente Graduate School at the University of Twente

As of 1 January, Professor Ariana Need will be appointed as Dean of the Twente Graduate School (TGS) by the Executive Board of the University of Twente (UT).

As the Twente Graduate School reaches its tenth anniversary this year, it is set to advance to its next phase of development. The Dean’s appointment heralds the start of new efforts to intensify the PhD community, the PDEng network and create a university-wide Graduate School with a clearly defined identity and strong mutual connections.

The plan is for Ariana Need to work together with the Doctorate Board, faculties and external partners in developing and implementing a vision for the TGS for the third cycle of education at UT. This will encompass such areas as the quality of the PhD programme, PhD success rates, the well-being of PhD students and PDEng candidates, guidelines for their supervision, fundraising for grants and scholarships and guidelines for an approach to PhD programmes that puts people first. This will result in new alliances and programmes with external partners and funding bodies.

Professor Need joined UT in 2009 and holds the chair in Sociology and Public Policy in the faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS). She will continue in this role alongside her position as Dean of TGS and will also continue to teach on the Master’s programme and supervise PhD candidates.

During her time at UT, Ariana Need has held a range of different positions alongside her chair. In 2014, she took on the role of Assistant Dean of the faculty of BMS for 18 months, where her responsibilities included launching the Tech4people investment programme aimed at encouraging collaboration between disciplines. Since 2015, she has served as confidential adviser of the accused in scientific integrity complaints procedures. Since 2017, she has sat on the Scientific Advisory Council and chaired the Public Administration department in the faculty of BMS. Since February 2019, Ariana Need has also chaired the Personal Circumstances Committee (PCC).

Since 2012, Ariana Need has also been a member of the Social Sciences Council of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).


Rector Magnificus Thom Palstra responded enthusiastically to the appointment: “Ariana is extremely committed to the success of PhD students, has a clear vision of the profile and further development of TGS and is fully qualified to build a community.”


Ariana herself has this to say about the appointment: “The Twente Graduate School’s mission is to supervise and educate outstanding researchers and technology designers, many of them just embarking on their careers. A key factor in carrying out this mission effectively will be the creation of a prominent and inspiring international intellectual community with a focus on inclusivity. I look forward to working on this with PhD students, the academic staff and the whole TGS team.”


Contact: Bertyl Lankhaar, University of Twente Executive Board spokesperson, mobile: +31 (0)6 2002 7435