University College Twente on its way up

| Maaike Platvoet

Last year, the number had risen to 27, but this year no less than 64 students have already enrolled on the University College ATLAS at the UT. This is very positive news for the Academy of Technology and Liberal Arts & Sciences, which was still under heavy pressure only a half year ago.

At the end of 2014, the University Council still questioned the poor intake, as this lagged behind the targets. Furthermore, the University College has been allocated quite some funds. Dean Jennifer Herek responded that the effort to make sure the Academy would grow, would "take some time". In addition, the Academy should work on its visibility. Whether ATLAS has succeeded in this after such a short time, seems still a little early to say. Nonetheless, the preliminary enrolment gives a very positive picture.


Director of Education Kees Ruijter suggests two important reasons why the intake has started to grow. "It takes quite some time before the target group and all those who advise them, are fully aware of our existence and have a clear understanding of what we have to offer. We have put considerable efforts in increasing our visibility and the awareness of what we have to offer. On the basis of a separate website (, eds.) and visits to some fifty schools and conferences, we were able to reach a great deal of potential students as well as to explain what distinguishes us from similar educations. In our experience, a substantial conversation on education and the educational innovation we have to offer, is essential to get the message out."

In addition, Ruijter also thinks that the Academy's own students have played a key role: "They have contributed to the provision of information. In previous years, we had to explain the intentions of the programme. Now, potential students can actually experience what studying at ATLAS is really all about. And that is so much more convincing. Furthermore, our students are really proud of their education, and this has also resulted in high scores at the recent National Student Survey (NSE). And this results in an even more positive message."


During the fall of 2016, the debate on the future of the University College between the Executive Board and the University Council will be continued. However, at that time, the assessment whether ATLAS will be able to attract sufficient students, can be based on two intake periods (September 2015 and September 2016).

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