The University of Twente stands for High-Tech, Human Touch. Technology and society are interconnected and one cannot exist without the other. We approach technology in the context of its relevance, applying insights from the social sciences and management disciplines as well as from the natural sciences in a technological context. The University of Twente wants to ensure that its students become professionals who are able to acquire and apply knowledge and who can contribute new knowledge to their field of study through curiosity and a critical attitude. In order to achieve this, we design our bachelor's programmes in accordance with our own Twente Education Model (TOM). With this model, we teach students to function properly in three roles: those of researcher, designer and organizer (the Twente profile). These three roles are interwoven in all bachelor's programmes at the UT.
The Twente Educational Model is a response to many of the challenges that higher education faces. Our ever-changing society requires different knowledge and skills than before. Many of the professions that people have today did not even exist twenty years ago. There is also no way of predicting what our students will be doing twenty years from now. We do know that flexibility will be required: our students will probably work in a more complex and rapidly changing environment and their jobs will be less secure and less permanent than today’s jobs. That is why we want to educate students to become entrepreneurial “T-shaped professionals.” They know all the ins and outs of their field of study and can contribute to its development. They are also capable of venturing off the beaten path and applying their knowledge in a broader context, in collaboration with other disciplines and with society.
Using high-quality source materials that students can easily acquire and supplementing these with a unique learning experience can be a challenge. The University of Twente wants to utilize these sources in its education and invite students to integrate sources in their academic experience. The ability to find, critically assess, combine and use new information is an important skill in the twenty-first century. Our campus in particular is a place where knowledge can be shared, where it is possible to collaborate with fellow students and where “live” interaction between teachers and students takes place.
Before the implementation of TOM, the University of Twente faced the challenge of increasing its study success rates while operating on a lower budget. We aspire to have at least 70% of our students obtain their bachelor's degree within four years. In 2015, all bachelor's programmes include at least twenty contact hours a week during the first year of study. These contact hours are the on-campus learning experiences, for which a teacher, student assistant or tutor is present. By offering education in an efficient manner, for example by offering lectures to multiple degree programmes simultaneously or by using online learning materials, we want to reduce the costs and increase the quality of education.