Reflection on UT's finances (with video)

As we have communicated earlier, the landscape for universities is changing rapidly, posing some serious challenges. We feel a great responsibility to steer our organisation and our people through this in a good manner. We are proud of our academic community and value being able to continue our great work together in the best possible way. That is why making our organisation fit for the future is so important.

Finances are under pressure due to various developments. In particular, for UT, declining student numbers due to demographic change and possibly also as a result of the internationalisation debate may play a major role in the near future. However, there are more factors, although it is not yet clear how some of them will impact us. Last week, universities were confronted with possible new financial setbacks. The Dutch coalition's outline agreement contains new plans for budget cuts in education and research. This affects all universities, including ours. Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) expressed its concerns on behalf of all universities in a statement. We share those concerns.

Spring Memorandum

We are currently working with many within the UT on the Spring Memorandum, which is the financial framework for the budget for 2025 and beyond. In this process, we see the challenges becoming greater than previously anticipated. Whereas for this year, we have to save around 12 million euros structurally, in 2025, we will have to add an additional savings target of some €13 million. This means we need to speed up finding solutions and implementing them. This is a real challenge as this is very complex in a period of continuous uncertainty.

As the Executive Board, we recently had a conversation about the challenges we face and how we deal with them, led by Huub Ruel, who is involved with University College Twente as Academic Development project leader, and who regularly leads discussions on various occasions. You can watch the video below.

Building blocks

As mentioned, it is important to future-proof our organisation. So that we are more resilient and can successfully face the challenges of the (near) future. One way we do this is by focusing on our core tasks. We wrote about our priorities earlier.

In our approach, we have formulated a number of Building Blocks, which we are now working on. With the current financial perspective, these Building Blocks have become more important. The Lead Deans (faculty deans linked to strategic redirection packages) are responsible for realising the Building Blocks. Some Building Blocks are already starting to yield results, while others may need more support to get going.

To organise that support, we decided to set up a core team for the Building Blocks. This consists of support staff and academic staff colleagues from the service departments and faculties and is led by Mariëlle Winkler (SP). The team helps the Lead Deans organise their Building Blocks quickly. For example, by sparring with the Lead Deans on working methods, or on involving the participatory bodies. They are also responsible for all communications around the Building Blocks, and investigate where there is overlap between the Building Blocks and how we can deal with it most efficiently. The core team does this pragmatically: it does not take over the work in the Building Blocks, but mainly ensures that the Lead Deans are relieved in key areas."

The core team meets every 2-3 weeks with a steering committee with representatives from faculties, departments, and the Executive Board.

Questions or comments

In the coming period, we intend to address the financial situation more often in video interviews. For that, we are building upon the Perspectives initiative we have started earlier. Do you have any questions or comments on this topic? Do not hesitate to send us an email via This will help us to address the concerns and questions in the organisation in the best possible way.