News in brief


New year

TU Delft will mark the opening of the 2011-12 academic year on 5 September with a special event held at the Aula.

This year’s theme will be ‘Get the best out of yourself’. Students and employees are welcome to attend the event, which starts at 15:30. In his opening address, Executive Board President Dirk Jan van den Berg will explain how the University can get the best out of itself in these difficult times. Guest speaker Jan Douwe Kroeske will aim to encourage students to achieve great things in his keynote speech, titled ‘Get the best out of yourself: engineers for a sustainable future’.   


Shanghai ranking

All thirteen Dutch universities are among the top 500 universities in the world, according to the recently released Shanghai ranking of the world’s universities. The universities of Utrecht and Leiden are the only Dutch universities ranked in the top 100, while Delft is ranked in the 151-200 range. Dutch universities have gained ground in the Chinese ranking of research univiersties: Utrecht rose two places and is now ranked 48, while Leiden went from 70th to 65th place. In 2010, the University of Tilburg failed to make the list, but now shares the 401-500 ranges with 99 other institutions. As usual, US universities occupied the top spots, with the exception of two British universities: Cambridge (5) and Oxford (10). Harvard was ranked number 1t. The University of Tokyo was the best Asian finisher, ranking in 20th place.



Children raised in Chinese-Dutch community in the Netherlands are excelling at school, routinely achieving better grades than native Dutch children.  According to statistics recently released by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), two-thirds of children from Chinese immigrant families graduate to the highest levels of Dutch secondary education, compared to only one-half of all native Dutch children. Moreover, the Chinese-Dutch are more likely than all other ethnic population groups in the Netherlands to proceed on to university studies after graduating high school. Some 110,000 Dutch-Chinese live in the Netherlands. The Dutch-Chinese are also more successful in the Dutch job market, frequently holding high-level positions and rarely ranking among the unemployed. The SCP states that the reasons for this success can be  found in the fact that the Chinese highly value education and work hard.



Within six to eight years, the universities of Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam will merge to form one ‘super university’, which will be named Leiden University, according to sources familiar with university community report, the NRC Handelsblad newspaper reports. Several alumni, TU Delft employees and others have since protested against the proposed merger. Many of naysayers warn that the name TU Delft should at least be preserved, because it is internationally well known.  


No confidence

Dutch consumers are troubled by the European debt crisis, with Dutch consumer confidence falling to near record lows. According Statistics Netherlands, the key performance consumer confidence indicator fell by nine points in August to -21. Another key economic indicator fell by 22 points to -38, as consumers expressed concern about the weak economy. Meanwhile, the Netherlands’ unemployment rate increased to 5.3 percent in July, with 413,000 reportedly unemployed, which is 22,000 more unemployed than in June, marking the first time that the country’s unemployment rate has exceeded 400,000 people.


Microwave toilet

TU Delft researchers have received a grant worth approximately 500,000 euros from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a new kind of toilet that does not require water nor a sewage system. Using microwaves and a process called ‘plasma gasification’, the toilet will turn human faecal waste into a synthetic gas. This gas will in turn be used to produce electricity.


New students

Approximately 750 new international MSc students have thus far registered for study programmes at TU Delft. Half of these students come from European countries, significantly more than in 2010, when 250 Europeans enrolled at TU Delft. In 2009, the number of European students was even smaller: 160. The Greeks are the largest group (142), even outnumbering the Chinese (116). Elco van Noort, head of the TU’s International Office, explains: “Greeks need a European diploma to get a decent-paying job. When they look at international rankings, they see that England is too expensive and that Switzerland’s capacity is too small. So they come to us.” And he adds that the reason why fewer non-EU-students (-12 percent) have enrolled this year is financial. “Our tuition fee has increased considerably: from 8,800 euros to 12,500.” This year’s enrollment figures are still preliminary. 

gezien de Rijksbegroting,

Editor Redactie

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