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 own 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 digital, fair, and sustainable society between now and 2030?
Due to a low intake in the technical programs and economic developments, fewer Master’s graduates are entering the labour market than are required, at both regional and national level. This led to the establishment of the Bachelor’s program in Mechanical Engineering in Amsterdam from 1 September 2019. The experiences and results of this collaboration are positive, so both universities have decided to explore how it can be intensified and widened.
From the joint core values of the two universities three themes are chosen for further exploration: “Resilience”, “Circularity” and “Talent”. Scientists from both universities are being invited to carry out the joint exploratory studies. Close coordination will take place with the deans of both universities in order to form these ‘coalitions’. For UT, these are the deans of EEMCS, ET and BMS. These coalitions will be supported internally by S&P.
The aim is to have the results of the exploratory studies by the end of 2020.
Master’s education is a key ingredient in safeguarding the UT’s identity as a research-intensive university. But despite enduring discussions across several fora, a coherent Master Vision never materialized. The Master Vision Dossier addresses this need. It produces a UT-wide vision that can be reflected in the faculties’ educational provision. The Master Vision document is in its final stages. The process involved an extensive range of university stakeholders including inter alia Deans, Vice-Deans for education, M&C, the Platform for Educational Innovation and a student representative. The next step is to empower faculties to elaborate this Vision into their education.
BI-STUDIO has the objective of creating useful business insights to support data driven decision-making. BI-STUDIO is available for every decision-maker within the University of Twente. Business insights provide information, trends and cross-functional relations/insights, concerning education, research and business operations.
The UT contributes to various national sector plans. Within the sector plans we currently strengthen our foundations in the domains of Bèta and Technology research, as well as our education in these domains. Based on these disciplinary strengths, the UT is able to deliver significant contributions to solutions for societal challenges via interdisciplinary collaboration within the UT and with external parties.
S&P heads the project team that coordinates the UT-involvement in the sector plans. Together with the faculties and other service departments the team enables monitoring and evaluation of the sector plans. The team also addresses the strategic relevance of the sector plans for the UT: how do the strengths emphasized in the sector plans contribute to realizing ambitions of the faculties and the ambitions formulated in the Shaping2030 Strategy and the new Research Strategy?
The need for a Lifelong Learning programme stems from ambitions set out in the Shaping2030 strategy. Lifelong learning has been a hot topic at UT for years but has not yet materialised in an accepted vision or strategy for implementation. Moreover, lifelong learning is an increasingly relevant task for higher education, which is evident in national and international discussions. Higher Education Institutions – in the region and beyond – are all actively engaged in finding optimal ways to deliver lifelong learning. The overarching objective of this programme is to ensure that UT develops a widely accepted policy on lifelong learning, grounded in a common vision and strategy. Factors to make lifelong learning a success at the UT will be identified among internal and external stakeholders. Depending on the results of this inventory, specific projects might be initiated to strengthen lifelong learning at the UT.
To ensure the quality of education for students, the working field and society – national and international – several processes are in place within UT. Merijn is involved in policy regarding quality assurance on education.
She is also involved in the monitoring of the quality agreements that consist of educational ambitions that contribute to the improvement of the quality of education. These ambitions were developed by the UT community and concern five UT programmes: Community building; Learning facilities; Teaching professionalization; Talent development of students; and Global citizens.
The quality agreements run from 2019 until 2024. Because extra income of the study loan system is made available, a monitoring process is in place. Merijn facilitates this process.
Shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19, S&P kicked of a Scenario study for the University of Twente. This project assessed several plausible scenarios for the future of higher education, and looked at how the University of Twente can best respond to that. The outcomes of the project were approved by the Strategic Board of the University of Twente in October 2020. S&P plans to conduct this exercise on a regular base, to make sure that the University can optimally prepare for a society that is increasingly uncertain.