Over 4,200 students from 80 countries have started their studies at the University of Twente this academic year. This represents a slight increase compared to the 2020-2021 academic year when student enrolment only just hit the 4,000 mark. The comparison is based on the preliminary figures published by 1cHO, the Netherlands’ education database.
The intake of bachelor’s students has risen by 9 percent this academic year, with over 2,800 students embarking on a UT bachelor’s programme. While the intake of Dutch students has shown a slight decline of 6 percent, the overall growth can mainly be attributed to the number of students from the European Economic Area (EEA; all EU countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland), which has more than doubled. The intake from countries outside the EEA has increased by 9 percent.
The intake of master’s degree programmes has remained more or less steady. Almost 1,450 students have begun their master’s degree at the University of Twente this year. Here too there is a slight decline in the number of Dutch students and an increase in the number of students from the EEA and outside the EEA ( 40 percent and 14 percent respectively).
Last year, the University of Twente also saw an increase in the number of applications. At that time, there was a striking rise in the number of Dutch students, as COVID-19 restrictions caused them to opt en masse for programmes at universities in the Netherlands rather than studying abroad. Last year’s peak has led to a visible decline in the intake of Dutch students at almost all universities in the Netherlands this year, as the intake for this group appears to be stabilising again to some degree. Young people are once again able to travel and take a gap year after leaving school.
The significant rise in the intake of EEA students can also be partly attributed to COVID-19, with more students opting for programmes in Europe due to restrictions on travel to other parts of the world. Last year, the number of students from outside the EEA fell due to COVID-19, as the pandemic prevented them from studying abroad. The number of enrolments among this group has not yet bounced back to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Since 2016, the University of Twente’s intake figures have continued to indicate modest growth in both bachelor’s and master’s programmes. Vinod Subramaniam, Chair of the Executive Board, clarifies the University of Twente’s position: “The labour market has a great need for well-educated technicians and as a university, we feel a responsibility to help meet this need. But we also recognise that we are slowly reaching the limits of the number of students a university like ours can accommodate. The growth in recent years was sometimes accompanied by growing pains, particularly when the pace was faster than we were able to handle in some areas. This has recently become apparent in the student housing shortage and the necessity of restricting enrolments for two of our most popular bachelor’s programmes: Technical Computer Science and Psychology. We continue to monitor the limits of what we are able and willing to take on in the interests of high-quality academic education, a safe and pleasant study environment, and of course a manageable workload for our staff.”
The education database 1cijferHO is the leading source of educational and student data in the Netherlands, published in January each year. The database is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, DUO, Statistics Netherlands, the Council for Higher Professional Education, and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands. It comprises data on student intake, current enrolments and degrees conferred. This then serves as a basis for calculating pass rates, dropout rates and how long it takes students to complete their studies.