Fifty years of High Tech Human Touch: the University of Twente, which at its founding in 1961 was still called the Twente Technological University of Applied Sciences (in Dutch: THT Technische Hogeschool Twente), managed to distinguish itself early on by integrating technology with the social sciences. In addition, the 'third technical university of applied sciences' also distinguished itself with her campus terrain and approach to education.
In 1961, the House of Representatives agreed to the establishment of a third technical university of applied sciences in Enschede. Enschede was selected to be the location over Alkmaar and Deventer. The existence of a strong manufacturing industry (textiles, metal, electrical engineering, chemicals), the necessity for innovation of the textile industry and the firm lobby of that textile industry together with the Eastern government agencies, probably were important factors in making this decision. Just as the fact that the municipality of Enschede made the Drienerlo estate available for the first campus University of the Netherlands, this probably was an important factor in making this decision.
Construction started in September 1962. The assignment given to the architects ir. W. van Tijen and ir. S.J. van Embden, was as follows: create a great technical university of applied sciences. The severe winter halted construction for a long time. The University of Twente, then still called the THT, was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Juliana on 14 September 1964. The first class consisted of two hundred students, including four girls. It wasn't until the summer of 1986 that the university received her current name: the University of Twente. This was the result of the changes in the Dutch Academic Education Act in 1984, as a result of which Dutch HBO schools could take the name University of applied sciences. It was decided to change the name in order to prevent confusion. In 2011 the university celebrated her 50th Dies Natalis in the company of Queen Beatrix.
Picture above: architects ir. W. van Tijden and ir. S.J. van Embden on the Drienerlo estate