Academic calendar: year cycle and holidays



Academic planning

The academic planning contains the planning of the academic year. In addition to the planning information there is also information about special holidays when UT is closed. When planning, we take the UT event calendar into account to prevent occupational issues. 

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  • About Academic Calendars

    The academic calendar is the collection of preconditions considered when scheduling UT's academic timetables.

    For example, the academic calendar lists the start date of the academic year, lecture and exam weeks, holiday periods, etc. All UT academic timetables are based on the academic calendar. All education institutions have their own academic calendar, albeit often under a different name (e.g., academic schedule or institutional calendar).

    The principles of the academic calendar are as follows:

    • The University is closed for two weeks during the Christmas holidays, coinciding with the Christmas holiday dates for primary, secondary and special education recommended by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
    • The academic year starts on the Monday sixteen weeks before the first Monday of the Christmas holidays.
    • This is the first day of the first of two semesters of identical length (in net terms), divided into two-quarters of identical length (in net terms).
    • One holiday week is scheduled for the third quarter, the exact dates being decided upon by each individual institution.
    • An additional lecture week is scheduled for the fourth quarter to compensate for many official public holidays in this quarter.
    • For the holiday week falling in the third quarter (to be scheduled separately by and for each of the three institutions), UT follows the recommended spring holiday dates established by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science for the region where UT belongs.
    • UT decides upon the best way of scheduling timetables for any possible resits held during the summer holidays each academic year. Our experiences with the Bachelor-before-Master Rule and the student progress evaluation play a part here. Still, the summer holiday dates of the region's primary and secondary schools are also considered. However, the law does not permit the scheduling of resits in September.

    In the above, we used the phrase "any possible resits", as offering resits is not a statutory duty. However, in practice, it is to be expected that most programmes will offer resits in the summer.

  • Holidays and Closing Days

    The University of Twente is closed on all recognised general and Christian holidays and on all collective closing days. No educational services will be provided on these days. The library is an exception and has different opening hours.

    There are three general holidays and all three fall on fixed dates:

    • New Year's Day (1 January)
    • King's Birthday celebration (27 April; as of 2014)
    • Liberation Day (5 May)

    If the King's Birthday celebration falls on a Sunday, it is celebrated on the preceding Saturday.

    There are six Christian holidays and not all six by definition fall at the weekend:

    • Good Friday (always a Friday)
    • Easter Monday (always a Monday)
    • Ascension Day (always a Thursday)
    • Whit Monday (always a Monday)
    • Christmas Day (25 December)
    • Boxing Day (26 December)

    For more information on the arrangements pertaining to the UT's collective closing days (or 'bridging days') and for a listing of all collective closing days already determined, see the page about UT closing days.

Related UT web systems


The University of Twente distinguishes between lecture rooms and rooms (project rooms), which can be individually booked by staff and students using the Resource Booking application.

Many project rooms - dispersed over the campus - became available to students at the start of the new 2013-14 academic year. It concerns rooms in the Spiegel, Ravelijn, Horst, Bastille and Vrijhof (Library) buildings.

Students can book these rooms themselves using resource booking

Students can book these project rooms using the Resource Booking website. All students with an s-number can use this service. Rooms can be booked up to one week before the intended reservation date. They can be booked twice, two hours per week per project room. Resource Booker shows the facilities available in the rooms. Booked rooms are also visible in the timetable system.

The Vrijhof project rooms are available as self-study places in the final two weeks of the quartile.

Using rooms

The rule for using project rooms is that they must be left behind in the same state as they were found. Project rooms are inspected every day. In the event of vandalism or complaints, an investigation will be carried out to find the culprits. These culprits will be held responsible. The faculty concerned will also be informed. That said, we, of course, expect everyone to make proper use of the rooms made available by the UT.

Lecture hours

08:45 - 09:45

1st period

09:45 - 10:30

2nd period

10:45 - 11:30

3rd period

11:45 - 12:30

4th period

12:45 - 13:30

5th period = lunchbreak

13:45 - 14:30

6th period

14:45 - 15:30

7th period

15:45 - 16:30

8th period

16:45 - 17:30

9th period

17:45 - 18:30

10th period = dinner break

18:45 - 19:30

11th period

19:45 - 20:30

12th period

20:45 - 21:30

13th period

21:45 - 22:30

14th period

Exam starting times

So as to make the starting times of exams clearer for both students and teachers, all written exams have started at the same time of the first morning or afternoon lecture.

  • Morning exams start at 08:45 
  • Afternoon exams start at 13:45
  • Evening exams start at 18.15

During the situation we can deviate from these starting times. Please check your Timetable for the actual times.


In this FAQ, you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about planning and timetables.

  • Year Planning
    • Does UT coordinate its academic calendar with that of other institutions?

      In summary

      Yes, so as to facilitate certain forms of cooperation, in particular with the other 4TU-universities.


      As of the 2009-2010 academic year, the three 4TU Universities of Technology have employed a common academic calendar. The universities started up this form of coordination so as to optimally facilitate both students and teachers following and teaching courses at all three institutions (including by way of distance learning, such as by offering virtual lectures). The experiences obtained in the 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 academic years resulted in a positive assessment of the 4TU academic calendar principles, which now apply for an indefinite period of time.

      In addition, the University of Twente strives to join up with Saxion Universities of Applied Sciences prior to each academic year and arrange part of the introduction activities for first-year students together. This allows for new students of both institutions to truly get to know both of them, easing the barriers of switching from one institution to the other.

    • Why is half a semester referred to as a 'quartile'?

      In summary

      For lack of a better term. Refer to the explanation below.


      In the spring of 2003, the Executive Board requested the (then) Academic Timetable Work Group to draft a 'semester timetable' in line with international practice, including the use of the word 'semester'.

      We put the word 'semester' between quotation marks, as it literally means 'six months', whereas half an academic year for most institutions actually amounts to some five months. What's more, the academic calendars of the UT and of most other institutions are based on the number of weeks, not months.

      The result was a calendar which saw the semesters being divided into two equal parts. Subsequently, we had to find a new, fitting term for these 'half semesters'.

      • Using the word 'quarter' for such a period was not a good option. Apart from the formal definition of the term (Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal: "period of three months"), most people predominantly associate the term with a period of exactly three months. In fact, they even associate it with a specific three-month period: 'the first quarter', for example, is the period from 1 January up until 31 March of a given calendar year".
      • The word 'trimester' was not an option either, as the calendar we had just replaced was commonly known as the 'trimester timetable'. Moreover, as we explained already, we preferred not to use terms referring to a period counted in months.
      • The word 'academic period' was unsuitable for being too vague, as the second period of the fifth lecture of a certain course - to provide an example - may also be referred to as an 'academic period', as can the entire period between one's first day at primary school and being awarded one's final degree after successfully completing a continuous period of schooling and study.

      The word 'quartile' was found to be most suitable, given the definition provided by Van Dale's Groot Woordenboek der Nederlandse Taal: "... this set being divided into four parts". This is why we have opted to use this word, which has by now become the commonly used term.

      The use of the word 'quartile' to mean half a semester is by this time so commonly used within the UT that we do not believe it wise to try and change the term.

    • Why does UT have only one week of holidays apart from the Holiday Season?

      In summary

      Because the summer holidays would otherwise be too short for teachers who need to mark exams taken in June or are involved in the summer resits or the introduction for new students.


      There is no organization with the authority to determine when universities are to have a holiday period. (And such authority only exists to a very limited extent for primary and secondary schools.) The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science determines the staggering of the summer holidays (and, since the start of the 2013-2014 academic year, also the Christmas and May holidays) for primary, secondary and special education and publishes recommended dates for the other holidays. In practice, many schools and institutions keep to the recommended dates. Universities and universities of applied sciences, therefore including the University of Twente, are free to decide on their preferred academic calendar, including holiday periods.

      By law, (Section 7.4(6) of the Higher Education and Research Act (WHW)), universities are to have their programmes amount to 1,680 academic hours per year. Assuming a nominal 40-hour work week, this comes to 42 academic weeks per year (42 weeks x 40 hours = 1,680 hours).

      In the uniform 4TU academic calendar, these 42 weeks are (ever since the 2009-2010 academic year) spread out over four quarters, in total amounting to (4 x (8 weeks of lectures + 2 weeks of exams)) 40 weeks. The remaining weeks are reserved for scheduling resits and additional summer period exams.

      In addition to this total of 40 weeks of lectures and exams, the academic year also comprises two weeks of Christmas holidays, one week of spring holidays in the third quarter and one so-called compensation week for the official public holidays in the fourth quarter. This adds up to 44 weeks. Following this period, teaching staff administering a written exam in the fourth quarter exam period are formally given four weeks (20 work days) to assess and grade these exams. If students are allowed to resit the exam within the same summer period, this process needs to be sped up. The regular assessment and grading term thus lapses 48 weeks after the start of the academic year. Teachers who are also involved in the summer period resits are required to be present in the relevant week, and teachers involved in the introduction activities for new students are required to be present two weeks prior to the start of the new academic year.

      This means these teachers see little left of their summer holidays. Should the academic calendar contain holiday periods - excluding the Holiday Season - lasting longer than one week, this would mean that these teachers would have even less of a summer holiday.

      This is the main reason for the University of Twente not to have autumn holidays, but to have spring holidays instead (since the 2008-2009 academic year).

    • What happens in a leap year again?

      In summary

      Every year between 1901 and 2099 divisible by four (including the year 2000) is a leap year, its month of February gaining an extra day: 29 February. This means the year 2012 was a leap year, the next one will be 2016, the next after 2020, etc.


      We refer to the total time the earth needs to circle around the sun once (and go through all four seasons once) as a 'year'. We refer to the total time the earth needs to spin around its own axis (and go through its day-night cycle once) as a 'day'.

      Precise astronomical measurements have confirmed that a year (presently and on average) contains 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 45.19... seconds, or 365.24219... days. It is, of course, far from practical to have a year contain a fractional number of days, and that is why the 'leap year', containing one extra day, has long been in use. The name 'leap year' comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, in a leap year the day of the week will advance two days (from March onwards) due to the year's extra day inserted at the end of February (thus 'leaping over' one of the days in the week).

      In 46 BC, Julius Caesar introduced the so-called 'Julian' calendar, in which every fourth year was a leap year. On average, this produces a year of 365.25 days. However, this results in years being too long by approximately 365.25 - 365.24219... = 0.00781... days (or about 11 minutes and 15 seconds). By around 730 AD, science had advanced to the point that this error was recognized, but it took centuries before it was acted on.

      In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII, to correct the drift of ten days accumulated over time in one go, ordered that Thursday, 4 October 1582 would be followed directly by Friday, 15 October 1582. He also ordered that from that time on, every period of 400 years would only contain 97 leap years. By this order, a year is approximately 365 + 97/400 = 365.2425 days in length, an approximation of the factual state of affairs which is sufficiently accurate for the time being. Naturally, Pope Gregory chose to introduce the correction at such a time that no Christian holidays would be left unobserved for the year. Yet still his order was widely resisted: many people believed that by leaping directly from 5 to 14 October 1582, they would literally lose ten days of their lifespan.

      This 'Gregorian' calendar was immediately accepted in Catholic countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Poland. France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the then southern provinces of the Netherlands would follow soon after. The northern Netherlands only abandoned the Julian calendar at around 1700 AD, Great Britain waited until 1752, while the Soviet Union only made the switch in 1918. This has lead to some dating issues. The major British mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, for instance, was born on Christmas Day in 1642 according to the calendar used in England at the time - but for much of the world, it was already 4 January 1643. And the Russian October Revolution (of 25 October 1917) is commemorated on 7 November - the Julian calendar in 1918 being twelve days behind the Gregorian one, as compared to the ten days in 1582. *)

      The Gregorian calendar spreads the 97 leap years over each 400-year period as follows:

      • the base year has 365 days (resulting in 0 leap years per 400 years);
      • exception to this rule: every year divisible by four becomes a leap year (resulting in 100 leap years per 400 years);
      • exception to this rule: the last year of a century does not become a leap year (resulting in 96 leap years per 400 years);
      • exception to this rule: if the last year of a century is divisible by 400, it becomes a leap year after all (resulting in the desired 97 leap years per 400 years).

      The additional leap day was attached to February, as that month was the final month of the year until 456 AD, and therefore had the least amount of days. This latter fact is partially the result of the Roman Emperor Augustus shortening the month of February by a day so he could add this day to the month of August, named after him, and have it be equally long as the preceding month of July, named after Julius Caesar. So up until the year 456, the year started with the month of March (to have the year start in spring), which fact also explains why September, October, November and December literally mean the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth month, respectively.


      The years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were no leap years, 2000 was, 2100, 2200 and 2300 will not be, etc. Everyone born after 1900 and deceased prior to 2100 will never witness a situation in which not every fourth year is a leap year.

      *) Standardizing local time generally took even longer than standardizing dates. Different localities in the Netherlands kept their own clock right up until 1 May 1909. So the last day which had various towns in the Netherlands keeping different clocks was Friday 30 April 1909, which also just happened to be the day Queen Juliana was born.

    • Why do some years have 53 numbered weeks?

      In summary

      Each year is comprised of 52 'complete' weeks plus one or (in the case of a leap year) two 'extra days'. These extra days add up to an extra numbered week - week 53 - in some years.  


      An 'ordinary' year contains 365 days, which means 52 weeks plus one extra day, while a leap year contains 366 days, which means 52 weeks plus two extra days. If every year were to have just 52 weeks, this would lead to too many of these 'extra' days after some time.

      Take any period of 28 consecutive years. This period contains seven leap years and 21 'ordinary' years. This 28-year period thus contains (7 x 2) + (21 x 1) = 35 extra days in addition to the 28 x 52 weeks. As 35 days amount to exactly five weeks, every 28-year period contains five years of 53 numbered weeks.

      By agreement, a week is set to begin on Monday and to end on Sunday. A week is numbered in the year containing most of the days of that week. So if, for example, 29 December is a Monday, it would be the first day of week 1 of the new year, as most of the seven days of that week (29, 30 and 31 December, and 1, 2, 3 and 4 January) are in January, and therefore in the new year.

      If 1 January of any 'ordinary' year is a Thursday, 31 December of that same year must also be a Thursday, as the year contains 52 weeks and one day. The week containing the date of 1 January of that year must therefore be week 1 of that year (for 1, 2, 3 and 4 January all fall within that week) and the week containing the date of 31 December must be week 53 (for 28, 29, 30 and 31 December all fall within that week).

      The same reasoning applies to any leap year in which 1 January is a Thursday, though in that case the date of 31 December must be a Friday instead of a Thursday, because of the added day in February.

      If, in a leap year, 1 January is a Wednesday, that year's 31 December must be a Thursday, as this year contains 52 weeks plus two extra days. This year, too, contains 53 numbered weeks (for 28, 29, 30 and 31 December are in week 53).


      All years - both 'ordinary' and leap years - in which 1 January is a Thursday, as well as all leap years in which 1 January is a Wednesday, contain 53 numbered weeks.

      Note (1)

      The principles of the uniform 4TU academic calendar apply independently of the number of weeks in a calendar year. This 'additional' 53rd week always results in the summer holidays being extended by a week, albeit not in the year containing these 53 numbered weeks. 

  • Planning and Booking
    • When is the timetable available?

      The conditions in processing the timetables is changing and based on daily practical experiences the publication is under pressure.

      The UT publishes their timebtables per quartile. We strive to publish 4 weeks prior to the quartile. The first quartile will be published before the summer holiday.

    • Where can you find your schedule?


      Your schedule can be find on the website A login with your S- or M number is required. 


      All lessons/activities have been organized in Courses. Most Courses are organized in workgroups/studentsets. To find your schedule, press the button "Add Timetable", choose the right college year and press "Module/Studyprogramme". You can find your education by using the search bar or by selecting your faculty to find your course.  

      Modules 01, 05 and 09 are courses in the first quartile (September - November); Modules 02, 06 and 10 are courses in the second quartile (November - January).
      So module 01 means first year in the first quartile. 

      After the button Timetable, please select your studentset. There is a variety of group size in one education, so that is the reason for using studentsets. One lesson you have been scheduled with two other groups, the other lesson you are scheduled with nine groups. After choosing your studentset press the "OK" button (bottom right and then "Close" (bottom left). 

      You can search for the right week for your schedule. Your schedule is only visible when it has been published. An activity contains the subject, teaching method, teacher and the cncerned studentsets.

    • Why can't I find a specific course?

      Courses are scheduled per quartile. So it is possible you are looking for a course which has not yet been scheduled. If you are unable to find a course you believe should have been scheduled, please contact the Scheduling Team.

    • What are poolhalls and where can I find them?

      Im Summary

      The education by Universiteit Twente is being giving in two different types of rooms:
      1) rooms that are managed by the faculties and rooms that are managed by the Reservation Desk from the Facility Management.  
      2) The used name of the last type of rooms is "poolhalls". There is a overview of the "poolhalls" available. All the rooms contains a standard AV equitment. To see a use of the rooms, you can use Timetables and use the option "location view". 

    • Why are so many exams held in the Sports Centre?

      In summary

      Many exams are held in the sports centre, as the regular lecture rooms lack the capacity to host all exams scheduled for the same time.


      The number in the 'capacity' column in the list of pool rooms lists the capacity of a given room for education and lecture purposes. However, the capacity in terms of hosting exams is far less. For instance, rooms with fitted furniture require that two seats be kept empty between each student taking the exam, and an empty row between two rows of students. The exam capacity of such a room therefore only amounts to about one sixth of its capacity for education and lecture purposes.

      This means that the regular lecture rooms lack the required capacity to have all exams scheduled for the same time be held. The Sport Centre rooms provide extra capacity, also because the available furniture can be rearranged.

    • For teaching staff: When entering my name at the Timetables website, the results do not show all courses I teach; how can this be?

      The Timetabling Team is not always aware of which courses are taught by which staff member. If you are unable to find a specific course, try again under Subject or Module/Study Programme. To have your name added to a course you teach, simply send an email to the Timeable mailbox of the faculty concerned.

    • In which cases should I book a room with the Scheduling Team, and in which cases with the Reservations Office?

      Please contact the Scheduling Team for all matters requiring scheduling in a timetable which are directly related to education. For all matters not related to education (e.g. colloquia, inaugural lectures and doctoral degree ceremonies), please contact the Reservations Office. To make a reservation for a project room, you can use Resource Booker.

    • How do I book a project or lecture room?

      Project rooms can be booked using the Resourcebooker application.

      For all bookings not related to education, please contact the Reservations Office.



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All contacts

Contacts for BMS staff:

L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
Timetabling Officer
I. Zoontjes - Visser (Ingrid)
I. Zoontjes - Visser (Ingrid)
Timetabling Officer
H.N. Breuking (Rik)
H.N. Breuking (Rik)
Timetabling Officer

Contacts for EEMCS staff:

P.W. Heuvelink (Peter)
P.W. Heuvelink (Peter)
Timetabling Officer & Information Specialist timetabling & occupancy analytics
N.E. Eppink (Nadie)
N.E. Eppink (Nadie)
Timetabling Officer
L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
Timetabling Officer

Contacts for ET staff:

J. Vrugteveen (Jörgen)
J. Vrugteveen (Jörgen)
Timetabling Officer

Contacts for TNW staff:

P.M.D. Vrieling (Pauline)
P.M.D. Vrieling (Pauline)
Timetabling Officer
D.M. D'arcy (Danya)
D.M. D'arcy (Danya)
Timetabling Officer

Contacts for UCT staff:

L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
Timetabling Officer

Contacts for PreU staff:

L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
L.M. Grijpma (Laura)
Timetabling Officer

Contacts for UT Language Centre staff:

H.N. Breuking (Rik)
H.N. Breuking (Rik)
Timetabling Officer

General contact:

M.M.J. Lindemann (Margriet)
M.M.J. Lindemann (Margriet)
Teamleader Timetables & Examinations Office

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