Budding engineers from the province of Noord-Holland will soon be able to study closer to home. From September 2019, the University of Twente and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam are planning to launch a joint engineering and technology programme based in the Dutch capital. By offering an Amsterdam-based Bachelor’s programme in engineering and technology, both universities are seeking to attract more young people.
Research has shown that many school leavers in Noord-Holland with an interest in engineering and technology end up studying another subject due to the lack of options in their own region. The new programme will make use of innovative teaching methods, and occupy a unique position among the engineering and technology programmes currently on offer in the Netherlands. The University of Twente and VU Amsterdam are currently exploring all available opportunities.
By collaborating, the universities are looking to address the vast shortage of technically skilled graduates in the Netherlands. Research shows that the number of school leavers who choose an engineering and technology degree is 50% lower in Noord-Holland than in regions where there is a university of technology, even though just as many pupils leave school with the qualifications to study engineering and technology.The University of Twente and VU Amsterdam hope that by offering a broad-based engineering programme at Bachelor’s level in Noord-Holland they can interest more young people in a career in technology. Graduates of the programme can then go on to take one of an extensive range of Master’s programmes, with VU Amsterdam primarily offering options in the exact sciences and the University of Twente offering options in the engineering sciences. National industrial organizations, the local business community and the City of Amsterdam will be actively involved in this joint educational innovation.
Enriching the current landscape
This new three-year Bachelor’s programme will combine the expertise of both universities, operating on the principle that, by joining forces, a university of technology and a comprehensive university can deliver graduates capable of tackling the key issues that face our society. The innovative design of this programme will ensure that it genuinely enriches the existing landscape of higher education in the Netherlands. The programme is taught by staff from both the University of Twente and VU Amsterdam, which will enable students to familiarize themselves with the research priorities and areas of innovation at both universities. The students will therefore visit the University of Twente’s campus in Enschede on a regular basis. Since VU Amsterdam has no accreditation for engineering and technology programmes, students will be enrolled at the University of Twente. The two universities are still in discussion with various parties regarding the exact form and content of the programme and opportunities to become stakeholders in this new initiative.
The plans will be developed in the months to come and are expected to be presented before the summer.