University of Twente

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University of Twente
Universiteit Twente
University of Twente logo - english version.png
Former name
Technische Hogeschool Twente
Motto in English
High Tech, Human Touch
Budget€ 329 M[1]
RectorThom Palstra
Administrative staff
3,150 (2019)
Students11,136 (2019)[1]
Affiliations4TU, CESAER, ECIU, EUA

The University of Twente (Dutch: Universiteit Twente; Dutch pronunciation: [ynivɛrsiˈtɛit ˈtʋɛntə], abbr. UT) is a public research university located in Enschede, the Netherlands.

The UT collaborates with Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology and the Wageningen University and Research Centre under the umbrella of 4TU and is also a partner in the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). A European collaboration project by innovative universities. Together we combine our knowledge in the field of education, research and valorization in order to increase our innovative strength and use it to contribute to enhancing the position of the Dutch and European knowledge economy.

The UT is ranked 65th in the Reuters's 2017 European Most Innovative Universities, and, 184rd worldwide in 2019 according to the Times Higher Education magazine.[2]


University of Twente entrance

The university was founded in 1961 as Technische Hogeschool Twente or (THT). After Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology, it became the third polytechnic institute in the Netherlands to become a University; the institution was later renamed to Universiteit Twente (University of Twente) in 1986, as the result of the changes in the Dutch Academic Education Act in 1984.

The Dutch government's decision to locate the country's third technical university in Enschede, the main city of Twente, had much to do with the north-eastern province's rich manufacturing industry (textiles, metal, electrical engineering, chemicals). Another important consideration was the fact that the local economy needed a boost to compensate for the dwindling textile industry. Just as the fact that the municipality of Enschede made the Drienerlo estate available for the first campus University of the Netherlands. [3] [4]


Drienerlo tower on the campus

The University of Twente was built on the former country estate of Drienerlo, situated between Hengelo and Enschede; the 140-hectare estate consists of woodland, meadows and water. Architects Van Tijen and Van Embden designed the first — and so far only — Dutch campus university along American lines where students and staff live, work and pursue their leisure activities on campus.[5] Through the years, several other important architects and artists have made their own contributions to the design of the campus.

Students and staff at the University of Twente continue to form an active academic community; the Student Union, which is run entirely by students, promotes the interests of all student societies and also manages several premises, including the student social centre in the heart of Enschede.[6] Besides, over a hundred sports, cultural, international, social and business associations are part of the student life in the University of Twente.



The current director of the university is professor Thom Palstra; the other two members of the executive board are Victor van der Chijs (President Executive Board) and Mirjam Built-Spiering (Vice-President)[7]


There are five Faculties at the University of Twente, each Faculty is in turn organized into several departments:

  • Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) - i.a. Communication studies, psychology, public administration, educational science & technology, European studies, environmental & energy management and Risk management
  • Engineering Technology (ET) - i.a. Mechanical engineering, civil engineering, industrial design engineering and sustainable energy technology.
  • Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) - i.a. Electrical engineering, applied mathematics, interaction technology, internet science & Technology and computer science.
  • Science and Technology (ST) - i.a. Chemical engineering, applied physics, biomedical engineering, health sciences, advanced technology and nanotechnology.
  • Faculty of Geo-information Sciences and Earth Observation (ITC) - i.a. Spacial engineering, cartograpy, geo-information science & earth observation.

Next to the programmes administered by the faculties mentioned above, University College Twente offers the broad honours BSc programme in Technology and Liberal Arts and Sciences, or ATLAS for short, and the Twente Graduate School offers post graduate education (PhD and PDEng).[8]



"Het Ding" "(The Thing)", by Jasper Latté and Jaap Hos

Research institutes[edit]

  • MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology
  • TechMed Centre
  • Digital Society Institute (DSI)

Knowledge and research centres[edit]

  • Center for Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Science (CEPTES)
  • Center for European Studies (CES)
  • Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS)
  • Center for healthcare operations improvement & research (CHOIR)
  • Centre for integrated manufacturing and development (CIPV)
  • Center for clean technology and environmental policy (CSTM)
  • Nikos - Dutch institute for knowledge intensive entrepreneurship
  • Science, Technology, and Policy Studies (STePS)
  • Twente Water Centre (TWC)
  • 4TU Resilience Engineering Centre
  • 4TU Centre of Excellence for Ethics and Technology


The degree programs at the University of Twente range from business administration and psychology to applied physics, engineering and biomedical technology. Most students combine coursework in their major subject with a coherent set of minors in another discipline. A growing number of foreign students are finding their way to the UT. Almost all postgraduate programs (and several undergraduate programs) are taught entirely in English. Half of all PhD students at the UT now come from outside the Netherlands.[citation needed]

In the applied sciences, the emphasis is on nanotechnology, process technology, engineering, information and communication technology, and the biomedical sciences.

The University of Twente sets great importance on the useful application of knowledge in the society. Patents, lifelong learning programs, and spin-off companies testify to this commitment, as does UT's intensive involvement in research programs that enhance knowledge infrastructure in the Netherlands. So far, the UT has produced over 1,000 spin-off companies; more than any other Dutch university.[9] UT is also one of the founders of Novel-T, formerly Stichting Kennispark Twente, a startup accelerator and support program for university spin-offs.[10][11]


University rankings
ARWU World[12] 401–500 (2019)
THE World[14] 201–250 (2020)
USNWR World[15] 336 (2019)
QS World[13] 186 (2020)

The Leiden Ranking (2016) ranked the University of Twente 127 in Europe.[16]

The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities (2016) ranked the University of Twente 215 overall in the world and 75 in Europe.[17]

The 2016 QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Twente 177 overall in the world.[18]

The 2017 Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked the University of Twente 153 overall in the world.[19] Also, the University was ranked 82 overall in the world in the field of Engineering and technology and 61 in the field of Computer Science.[20]

In 2016 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) ranked the University of Twente 301-400 overall in the world.[21]

The University of Twente also holds the title of the most entrepreneurial university in Netherlands and was voted the best Dutch university in the area of valorization.[22]

Timeline of rectors[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Facts and Figures from 201o". Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  2. ^ Editorial, Reuters. "Top 100 European Innovative Universities Profile". U.S. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  3. ^ "History of the University of Twente". Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  4. ^ August 2019|
  5. ^ "Life at the University | Campus Life | MSc University of Twente". Universiteit Twente. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  6. ^ "The Student Union". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Members of the Executive Board". Retrieved 2 December 2016.
  8. ^ "University of Twente, Faculties". Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  9. ^ "University of Twente Top universities".
  10. ^ "News | Kennispark Twente becomes Novel-T | University of Twente - Enschede". Universiteit Twente. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  11. ^ "Founders Novel-T". Novel T. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
  12. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019". ShanghaiRanking. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  13. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2020". Top Universities. Retrieved 2019-07-15.
  14. ^ "World University Rankings 2020 - University of Twente". Times Higher Education (THE). Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  15. ^ "Best Global Universities 2019". U.S. News Education (USNWR). ). Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  16. ^ "Leiden Ranking 2016". Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  17. ^ "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities". Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  18. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016".
  19. ^ "Times Higher Education World University Rankings". Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  20. ^ "Times Higher Education World University Rankings - Overview University of Twente".
  21. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016". Retrieved 2016-12-05.
  22. ^ "University of Twente again voted the most entrepreneurial university in the Netherlands".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°14′33.85″N 6°51′11.75″E / 52.2427361°N 6.8532639°E / 52.2427361; 6.8532639