TNW Meeting about Vision 2020

August 29, 2014

Hans Hilgenkamp was host and welcomed the audience and especially Ed Brinksma and Victor van der Chijs.

Ed Brinksma started to introduce the strategic vision (Vision 2020) by elaborating on the process of establishing this new vision. During the process every member of the UT-community has been encouraged to contribute to the vision. Several opportunities were offered: meetings at faculties, discussion with university counsel, Think Tank –event (create the UT of tomorrow), internet, social media. He emphasized that the outcome is meant to be a guidance on our way to meet the future. The outcome is not meant to be a fully drawn up implementation plan. The UT needs to stay flexible to navigate into the future full of uncertainties and new challenges.

Ed Brinksma stated that our point of departure is promising. The UT has got a clear and unique profile to solve complex problems combining different points of view: High Tech, Human Touch. Nevertheless, the world is changing: globalisation, more competition, war for talent, less funding from the government, et cetera. Quality alone is not enough to distinguish ourselves globally.

Distinguishing aspects of the UT are: entrepreneurship, interdisciplinarity and being innovative.

Discussion points:

•How harvesting the dual aspects of the UT, while TNW is mainly technology-driven? There is a high aggregation level needed to involve big companies. For example a CEO of Shell looks at the complete integrated spectrum of challenges.

The UT should be able to create a unique proposition: build a picture, conjure up an integrated view (‘flag a programme’’) and then try to involve industry.

The UT should try to be a leader in finding new ways.

•In order to finding new ways, we need to create space, facilitate bottom up initiatives. The University College ATLAS offers this space for staff and students. Furthermore this is also the idea of the DesignLab.

•Students (in the foreseeable future) require to have more freedom, being more in charge of their own choices. ATLAS and the DesignLab accommodate these (future) requirements.

•What is the role of services of the UT in realising the ambitions of Vision 2020? There should be a synergy, a seamless integration, between primary and secondary processes. But there is always tension between the local /taylor made support and the university as a whole in need of coherence.

•We need to get the books in order. The overall costs of our university are too high. The UT should reduce overhead. Other means for funding should also be found. There is a new role for business to explore.

•A Dutch PhD-position is expensive, the Dutch system is not competitive.

•What is the ambition in quantity of students to solve our worries? It is not a stand-alone ambition. We still strive for 10.000 students. There are two reasons for growth. Firstly, to maintain our position as a research university we need to keep up our volume of master-students and attract enough PhD’s, secondly we need to show our strength to partners (of industry).

•Looking at the volume of staff: TU/e has more temporary academic staff as the UT , that fact offers more flexibility. In the end improving quality of staff is more important.