Shaping 2030

Last edit: 2 Oct 2023

Shaping2030 is the University of Twente's mission, vision and strategy for 2020-2030

The process of realising the Shaping 2030 strategy document started in January 2019 with a series of inspirational sessions and round table discussions attended by nearly 650 UT staff members and students. Al the input finally came together in one document. Of course, it's up to all of us to bring the strategy into practice. Below you can find more information and relevant documentation. 


At the University of Twente, we have a clear mission:

The University of Twente is the ultimate people-first university of technology. We empower society through sustainable solutions.
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The UT believes in a focused ambition that involves setting clear priorities in education, research and innovation at the touchpoints between these challenges and our identity. Given the UT’s mission to be a university of technology that puts people first, we direct special attention to three societal themes and the challenges they pose; these can all be framed in a single question:

How can we contribute to the development of a fair, sustainable and digital society between now and 2030?
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We are ambitious and realistic. We cannot do everything at once, nor on our own. We will keep relying on our strengths, cherishing individual excellence, and encouraging healthy competition. To realise our vision in the coming decade, we present a strategic, step-by-step roadmap for change in 2030, based on three strategic goals:

  • Shaping individuals - fostering ownership and talent
  • Shaping connections - proximity: outside in & inside out
  • Shaping society - a quest full of challenges

These three goals are outlined in the full document of Shaping 2030, along with examples of goals (What) and actions we will take to reach them (How). This is only a kick-off, of course - we invite all of you, as individuals, groups, labs, and partners, to join the conversation and work with us on translating the vision into your specific reality.

UT Strategy game

A serious way to implement our UT Strategy is with the UT Strategy Game. It brings UT's core values to life in a playful and interactive way. You play the game with 6 to 9 people, from the same team. To end up with the most impact points, your strategic insight, entrepreneurship and team player skills will be called upon. UT strategy game is there for anyone who values team development and wants to further integrate Shaping2030 into everyday work. If you want to plan a gamesession, please contact Elke van Bogget.


I. Brüninghoff (Ines)
I. Brüninghoff (Ines)
Policy advisor Work, Organization and Health
E.E. van Bogget MA (Elke)
E.E. van Bogget MA (Elke)
Project Officer

Our stories

The UT is all about people: people first, as we call it. Everything we do focuses on people, in line with our university's High Tech Human Touch philosophy. In the past period, we shared a story every week. Scientists, support staff, and students; in the series they shared what inspires them so that their daily work could be a source of inspiration for others. Read all our stories via

Shaping Expert Groups

Six Shaping Expert Groups were formed to connect initiatives and support staff in reaching our Shaping 2030 goals. At the beginning of 2023, these groups presented their final advice. Below you will find, in brief, more information about every SEG and relevant links for further details and their final documents. 

  • Innovation of Education

    Many of today’s challenges require an interdisciplinary approach to create the best possible solutions. To take our responsibility as a university to educate future generations, we should further enhance our teaching and learning approaches with state-of-the-art tools and technologies. The Shaping Expert Group Innovation of Education (SEG IoE) was active from 2020 to 2022 and focused on the learning experiences of our students.


    The main goal of the SEG IoE, was to facilitate and stimulate the development and diffusion of educational innovations among the broad community of academics at University of Twente – with a specific focus on those areas that are important for realizing University of Twente’s Shaping 2030 vision.

    Cornelise Vreman – de Olde: “International prominence in the field of CBL and LLL is our long-term ambition. We want to be the university that shows that if you are looking for solutions, the UT is the innovative institution where we can make things happen. With room for everyone who wants to work, learn and develop in science and education but also anywhere else within our organization.


    The SEG-IoE was active in different domains of education. An important example is the advice on the definition of Challenge-Based Learning, involving programme directors, teaching fellows, students, and (vice-) deans. The SEG-IoE also provided input in the development of a Life-Long Learning proposition at UT. With the termination of the SEG-IoE activities, this advisory/ sounding board function has disappeared.


    There are many educational developments at the University of Twente, we embrace the idea of connecting our teachers and students so that they can co-operate in educational innovations. On the CELT website you can find inspiration with toolkitscourses, testimonials and more. And do you know our BMS Teaching Academy? The BMS Teaching Academy supports and facilitates educational innovations, talent development of teachers and students.


  • Citizen Science

    As the societal relevance of our research should be tangible, one could argue it is rather strange that often, we only have citizens take part in the latter stages of a research project. Early involvement and close collaboration in all stages of scientific education and research may well benefit the societal impact of our work.

    Citizen science in itself is never a goal. The term citizen science refers to an equal basis for collaboration in tackling societal challenges using scientific methods. It is something that can evolve either bottom-up (from within society) or top-down (initiated by scientists). Citizen Science may be supportive as it forces new questions to be asked, new insights to be brought to the table and, at the same time, increases the self-learning ability of our society. Even in academic fields where you least expect it, the involvement of citizens can be of great value.

    The Shaping Expert Group explored these different opportunities, to helps us bridge the gap between science and society.


  • Individuals and Teams

    What steps do we need to take to be the university where everyone feels recognised and rewarded? What is the unique UT-way of working for staff and students that connect us all and give us wings to soar, that makes us proud to be part of the People-First University of Technology? 

    Motivated by the principles and ambitions of Shaping 2030, The Shaping Expert Group Individuals and Teams support the University of Twente in developing its people-first strategy through continuous dialogue in flourishing inclusion and diversity in education, research, valorization, and leadership, on the road towards Open Science. 

    In the past two years, our Shaping Expert Group Individuals & Teams on Recognition and Rewards organised round table discussions from which we were able to distil a lot of information on the current situation that already led to ideas for new policy-making, for instance, on talent management and a new form of annual talks. 

    The work of the SEG individuals and Teams is done, but that doesn't mean we are ready. There is a Recognition & Rewards team in place to help UT becombing a place were everyone feels recgnised and rewarded. You can find more information about the follow-up on the topicpage Recognition and Rewards


  • Digitalisation

    The University of Twente strategy document Shaping2030 sets out many goals with respect to digitalisation at the University of Twente, such as strengthening digital skills across the organisation, designing digital education, digital mobility in terms of time and space, setting up a challenge platform and much more.

    Digitalisation is an integral part of the university’s ecosystem. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated the importance of integrating digital resources into the work that we do. The shaping expert group on digitalisation consisted of a group of experts in the field of digitalisation. They worked together on how to accelerate and bolster our education and research, as well as the university’s operational ecosystem, through digitalisation.


    To help explain digitalisation, the Shaping Expert Group Digitalisation followed a classification by Reinitz:

    • We digitise information. Digitisation is the transition from an analogue to a digital form. For example, we digitise courses by recording lectures and placing them online, by making digital variants of exams, etc.
    • We digitalise operations. Digitalisation describes using digital technologies and information to transform individual institutional operations (such as payroll, procurement, research administration, and course delivery). The missing piece in digitalization, the thing that keeps it from being a digital transformation, is when the original operation is fundamentally changed in order to increase the effect, in whatever way, of digitalisation.
    • We digitally transform (institutional) processes. Digital transformation takes place when we change existing processes (and thus ways of working) in order to attain a high degree of effectiveness of digitalisation. An example is changing a complete course setup to scale the number of online students while making use of digital technology.

    Overall we state that digitalisation is the process of technologically-induced change by simultaneously aligning operations, strategy, business processes, and organizational and IT structures to technological advancements. We do not make a strict distinction between digitalization and digital transformation but assume that proper and effective digitalization simply implies digital transformation.

    Digitalisation thus encompasses a "process of change by aligning many things to digital technological advancements." Such a process of change has a major impact that goes way beyond the application of digital technology. Effective digitalisation generally implies a change in our way of working, and with that the support needed by digital technology. At the same time, digital technology is also an enabler for new and better ways of working.

    Source: Reinitz, Betsy. “Consider the Three Ds When Talking about Digital Transformation.

  • Inclusion

    The Shaping Expert Group (SEG) Inclusion was established to support our organisation in achieving our Shaping2030 Inclusion goals, by making use of the expertise, energy, and intrinsic motivation of UT's community members. 

    To achieve the goals and ambitions, the SEG organised a series of open dialogues, in round table meetings around the question: "What do you need to belong and develop to your full potential at UT?” They also gave presentations to many people from the UT community and interviewed quite a few people too.

    A short overview of what has been accomplished:

    • round table meetings for international students and staff and for staff working on internationalisation
    • 15 interviews with employees and students with a disability and with staff working on this theme.
    • 19 interviews with first generation students
    • round table meetings for employees and students on belonging related to ethnicity
    • round table meetings for employees and students on belonging related to sexual orientation,  gender identity and gender expression
    • round table meetings for students on belonging related to religion and 1 round table meeting for employees on this theme
    • round table meetings for employees, PhD candidates and students on belonging related to women's equity
    • More than 100 presentations to groups and individuals in service departments and faculties across UT

    The SEG Inclusion's mandate finishes in December 2022. The report containing the results of the round tables and interviews, conclusions and recommendations for the UT organisation, can be found on the UT topic page Diversity, Equity and inclusion.

    If you have any questions about the work or report of the SEG Inclusion, you can turn to former SEG lead Laura Vargas at

    Relevant links and documents

  • Sustainability

    Sustainability is an essential part of the Shaping2030 strategy. In 2030, sustainability is a prerequisite for everything we do at the University of Twente: our research, our education, and the choices we make in how we run our own organisation. To do this, we need to change the way we work, think and do.


    The Shaping Expert Group sustainability, brought al the initiatives that are en were starting up across the UT community together in an overview. To show the UT community, and the outside world, all the sustainable initiatives that are being realised. Second, the SEG initiated and supported new initiatives, to boost and suport the process towards becoming a sustainable organisation in 2030. The SEG worked together with the Green Hub, SEE Programme and other groups across the university.


Embedding Shaping2030 in teams

In the period 2019 and 2022 a Shaping Team worked in different departments to help implement Shaping2030. Team development and embedding UT's core values; Open Entrepreneurial and Inclusive were always the common elements. If you want to anchor Shaping2030 further in your team, please contact Leontien Kalverda for anny question or support in this. 

L. Kalverda MSc (Leontien)
L. Kalverda MSc (Leontien)
Program Manager Shaping 2030


Here you will find an overview of all relevant documents for Shaping 2030.

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