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University of Twente Student Priorities

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Spring 2016 Priorities

Project Pitch Video Spring 2016

The initial exposure of young students towards the entrepreneurial mindset and environment is not particularly well developed as compared to the other aspects in the Twente area.

This finding was discussed and reaffirmed by the other parties present during our first stakeholder meeting.

Based on this experience the discussion quickly zoomed in on the aspect of personal development that promotes a more experimental, hands-on, entrepreneurial and proactive mindset.

Essentially asking the question of how do we get students to…

  * think about why they are here!

  * develop a personal identity.

  * set their own personal goals.

  * select their assignments and work on these goals.

  * develop their own moral compass.

  * try something new more often.

  * stimulate their own curiosity.

…and develop these ideas early enough so they can pick courses in an intentional and goal oriented way.

The new education system introduced in 2013 the Twente Education Model. Already tried to address these aspects. However, due to the inherent inertia of tutors and tutees, these ideas still need more time to come full fruition. In that way, additional support to could support these concepts.

The team realized that while there are many facilities available for personal self-development, start-up funding and extracurricular content like the Honours Program many students don’t know about them and even worse do not care to know about them.

It seemed like an imperative focus for this UIF-Team to stimulate the personal development of young students so that the available resources are used more effectively.

Furthermore, it is necessary to have a positive and inclusive environment available on campus. The DesignLab as it stands today fulfills this role and will likely be a fitting and great place from which the UIF program should operate.

The aspects above can be summarized by 4 simple goals.

            1. Keep spreading the ideas and find mentors that can help with that.

            2. A need for self-development!

            3. Entrepreneurship needs to be valued by staff and students alike.

            4. The necessity of an inclusive environment for all the points above.

Mid-term and long-term goals

The University Innovation fellows present in Twente needs to be established. (Mid 2017) While there are many students run organizations none of them work in this context. Therefore, it is very important that the presence of the UIF committee and students are consistent and well established across the various parties across campus.
The first project associated with this is to hold launch event(s) and brainstorm sessions with various parties, in order to get our name out there.
Subsequent to this initial goal the UIF-Twente team needs to become a well-trusted institution on campus. Essentially, requiring the development of a UIF-Twente brand. This aspect is very important to assure the future effectiveness of this project. It is very difficult to determine a fixed milestone for this project, however, within one and a half years (early 2018) UIF should be a well-established name.

Subsequent steps to establish a students self-development as the focus of the UIF program

In the first brainstorm session, the necessity for support for early’s students self-development was established.
Establishing a space a center and sanctuary for self-development. 

One approach towards stimulating self-development is offering students feedback and a safe place within which to receive this feedback. The DesignLab at this university could fulfill this function admirably. The goal is to establish this space connected to an easy and repetitive schedule with the ideas of self-driven learning as well as an ethical and moral understanding of once impact. No later than February 2017 should relate events start taking place in the DesignLab. This should allow students to get in touch with the program by the end of the academic year(July 2017).

Spring 2017 Priorities

Project Pitch Video Spring 2017

The collaboration between the university as an organization and the university as a research facility is at the moment not as good as it could be. Many resources such as the knowledge and skills of students are not considered. The university is rather seeking help for the realizations of inside projects from outside companies and is therefore not using the talent that is right in front of them.

The first priority of the spring 2017 fellows is therefore to enhance the collaboration between different UT organizations and bring them into contact with the students.

The main goals we try to reach are:

  • Awareness about all the possibilities the University holds for its students, researchers and staff, especially in areas of self-development, where students take control of their skillset development.
  • Collaboration between staff, students and research in terms of resources as well as in term of skills and knowledge.
  • Create an atmosphere where it feels natural for university to have many on-site projects run by students. A university where facilities and events are run by students can take real pride in their entrepreunerial students.

Steps improve collaboration and communication within UT organizations, students, researchers and staff members

In order to create an atmosphere of greater collaboration between the different members of the University we would like to propose different projects.

  • Week of possibilities
  • Student pool
  • Add paragraph to Newsletter about board decisions and use platform such as Loomio so that students can add their opinions and suggestions.

Week of Possibilities

Our first priority in order to face the problem of collaboration we encountered during our analysis of the campus is to set up a week of possibilities to show all different parties of the university what possibilities in terms of collaboration they have. The idea is to introduce all different organizations of the university and what this organization can provide in terms of resources and knowledge or skills. It is all about increasing the awareness of all members of the university about what different facilities and organizations the university has to offer.

Student Pool

Our second priority will be to set up a pool of students, where students can indicate what kind of skills and education they have. By signing up for that student pool they agree to be approachable for university intern project that otherwise would have been given to companies. The basic idea is to use the talent of students and give them real world problems on which they can work. Students can make valuable work experiences and the university can save money by first asking students to look for a solution. Students will be paid for working on the project. In order to avoid the problem of unreliability of students fixed deadlines will be discussed and the university can decide at every step to outsource the project when they have the feeling that the students are not able to finish the project correctly or on time.

News of UT board

Our final priority would be to focus on the lack of communication and collaboration between the board of the university and the students and staff. We would like to have discussion with the UT news and the board about possibly adding a paragraph on the board’s decisions to the end of the monthly student newsletter. We would then like to set up a page on a platform such as loomio, for us to reiterate what that paragraph states and allows students to provide their opinions and suggestions. This format of a pool could enable the board to obtain a more all-encompassing view of what the student body thinks.

Fall 2017 Priorities

University of Twente has an exceptionally excellent innovation & entrepreneurship ecosystem. The previous cohort has recognized a lack of awareness of all available opportunities. We still see this as the main point of improvement, and therefore strive to increase awareness, following our predecessors. University of Twente is ambitious. It wants to be a "European Innovation Hub". An internationally oriented university. Therefore our main focus is working towards a better Integration of internationals at the University of Twente. Our goal is to make the UT a more welcome and comfortable place for them. 

The main goals we try to reach are:
  • Enhance the collaboration between Dutch and international students, bring them together and create an welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for them.
  • Increase the rate of international students in extracurricular activities
  • Raise awareness to about the wide variety of available entrepreneurial and innovative opportunities 

Prototypes for better integration of internationals

We would like to propose 4 projects to contribute to these goals:

Buddy Programme

The buddy programme is introduced to close the gap between culture and study associations that are existing on campus. At the moment, those associations are not cooperating. In order to change this and create a connection between the international and Dutch students in those associations, the buddy programme is introduced. Here, the associations are meant to unite their forces to organize an event together where students come together, meet, connect and share insights.

Once a year, one study and one culture association are going to be picked randomly. Those are meant to work together towards a workshop/ event/ meetup/ drinks. Thereby, they are free to cooperate with the University’s culture department which can support the event with resources.

At the day of the event, the students have the opportunity to connect and meet up. This will get the associations and their members together and therefore reach out to more students uniting internationals and Dutch students.

Add-on to Campus App

The Campus app is a newly released app about the University of Twente. It has many features, such as viewing your timetable, exploring the campus and much more. However, it also has many opportunities. The University of Twente is a very innovative and entrepreneurial university. However, these opportunities are often invisible for many students. This app could make a difference in the visibility of opportunities at the University of Twente.

The idea of this prototype is to add innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities in the ‘explore’ section of the UT Campus app. At the moment there are only options such as Parking, Food & Drinks, Housing, Research, and Education. We want to add the ‘Innovation’ and ‘Entrepreneurial’ sections under Explore. So that students can see what they are and where they are. Students can also see events that are hosted by Innovative and Entrepreneurial organizations and add those to their interests.

DesignLab and Studium Generale

When looking at the engagement of students and possibilities to improve that, we looked at two major event hosting organizations on campus. DeisngLab is the makerspace at the University of Twente. Aside from that, it also hosts many events. Studium Generale is located almost at the opposite end of the university, and mostly organizes lectures, sometimes in cooperation with other study associations.

If you could combine these two organizations to organize a free-food event together, you would combine audiences and grab students attention with free food. This would cause students to come to these events, in which you can raise awareness of the DesignLab for example, and thus stimulate engagement.

Phased Studying for Entrepreneurs

Provide students the possibility to work as an entrepreneur alongside their studies by allowing them to spread their study load over a longer period of time. Currently, this is only possible for students practicing top-level sports or top-level arts. By making this available for entrepreneurs as well we hope to stimulate those students to keep studying while growing their company, which fits well into the slogan of the university “The Entrepreneurial University”.

Spring 2018 Priorities

The University of Twente has an incredible amount of I&E resources available and a rich I&E ecosystem, but we quickly found a bottleneck: Students either don’t know that they exist or the I&E components of the ecosystem are not interconnected enough. We want to find ways to get people, ideas and I&E champions to get connected–across study programs, organizations and projects. We want to get more people to interact with the facilities on campus and get a stronger flow of ideas going. In addition, we want to enable university facilities/blocks/divisions (study programs, international office, student services, scholarship office etc.) to view themselves as holistic services (and not silos), and design themselves using insights from user-centered service design.
So, our strategic priorities lie along the lines of:
  • Improving the interconnectivity of and awareness about the I&E ecosystem of the University of Twente.
  • Improving I&E integration with the study programs of non-business majors.
  • Empowering various relevant university divisions to design themselves from a systemic perspective that removes silos and creates holistic experiences for their users. 

Prototypes of quick wins complementing our strategic priorities

A one-stop solution for curated, syncable calendars of UTwente 


  • The sheer number of events at the University of Twente.
  • The diverse, widespread platforms, social media and website pages for publishing those events.
  • The lack of any option for real-time synchronization between student calendars and calendars of event organizers.
  • The above points leading to a lack of awareness of events and opportunities at the UT, and also a negative impact on the interconnectedness of the I&E ecosystem of the university.  


Creating a single, organized website of curated calendars that can be synced with existing infrastructure of google calendars that students are already familiar with and use. The websites would be categorized based on organizers (DesignLab, Novel-T, Library, Company Fairs, Week of Inspiration etc.) and on various event categories (entrepreneurial events, social events, cultural events etc.). Interested event organizers can send their subscribable google calendars to be added to the website’s calendar collection.

Idea Tinder

The need

As the University of Twente highly values entrepreneurship and innovation, ideation is no problem
for the UT’s students. Students come up with new ideas throughout their studies, extracurricular
activities on campus or in their free time. All the facilities allow a great possibility of realising the
ideas. However, an idea only the creator is enthusiastic about, will not reach many people.
Therefore, feedback is essential not only throughout the process of the idea development but also
in the early stages. The students need a platform where they can easily share their ideas and get
feedback on them. It offers the ideator the valuable feedback they need of potential customers.

The value

  • Ideators get early on feedback on their ideas → allows them to assess potential of idea
  • Gives overview of what ideas are developing around I&E network of University of Twente
  • Ideas can be ranked according to popularity → quick overview of most popular ideas
  • By sharing ideas people can get in touch with new fresh ideas they like → build teams

Interactive map of campus facilities

On the campus of the University of Twente there are a lot of organizations, companies, and facilities. Using an interactive map of the campus, we would like to create a clear overview of all possibilities on campus. The map should be well integrated so all information students need is provided in one tool. The University of Twente has recently released a campus app where you can find a map of the campus. 
The idea of this prototype is to extend the information with companies and services on campus. Furthermore, it should be possible to find contact details in the map.

Student of the week

To allow students to connect on a more personal level and get people from different friend groups talking, we'd like to introduce a student of the week programme. We'll start testing it within study associations. The student of the week will give a student a platform to talk about their ideas, hobbies or projects he's currently working on. This will be in the form of an interview, which is published online and printed in the room of the study association. Hopefully we can get a committee set up that likes to work on these stories. It will lower the bar for conversation, get ideas flowing and creates a story behind the unfamiliair faces you see walking in the hallway. It creates a more personal atmosphere on campus.

Related Links

University Website

University of Twente

Wiki pages

University of Twente of Twente Student Priorities

University Innovation Fellows

Fall 2016

Marjanne Luinstra

David Goedicke

Jos van 't Hof

Arian Hohmann

Spring 2017

Elisabeth de Vijlder

Lennart van de Velde

Mélanie Droogleever Fortuyn

Sarah Roediger

Fall 2017

Sevim Aktas

Rianne Hagen

Titus Venverloo

Wim Kamerman

Spring 2018

Suhaib Aslam

Kaz Middelhoek

Marthe Oldenhof

Julian Sotscheck