Nuffic award for TU Delft

In March 2014, TU Delft was awarded the Orange Carpet Award for reaching out to international students via their MOOCs.
Started in 2009 by Nuffic, the Orange Carpet Award is a prestigious recognition.

“The award originally started to reward the institution that does the most to welcome international students. Now, the nomination is also open to initiatives that stimulate exchange of people and ideas across borders and the incoming and outgoing traffic of students,” says Guus Staats, the spokesperson for Nuffic.

TU Delft’s Massive Open Online Courses, which launched in collaboration with EdX in 2013, reached out to over 80,000 students. Only 5% of them were from the Netherlands. Other nominees for the award were the MBA programme of the Maastricht School of Management and an initiative of the Van Hall Larenstein University – both of which were found by the jury to increase cross-cultural and international cooperation.  

“TU Delft was awarded because of the progressive way in which the institution provides MOOCs. They offer students all around the world access to the institution’s expertise, whilst strengthening its international position as well as promoting the Dutch higher education system as a whole,” adds Staats.

Five new courses in the Fall

Even for the team behind the MOOCs, the global reach of the courses was its most successful aspect. Given how well the MOOCs were received, the university started the Delft Extension School earlier this year. “The Extension School bundles all our open and online education and will further develop our offerings for MOOCs but also for online courses,” says Willem van Valkenburg, the head of the Education Technology team of TU.

Besides the on-going courses, three new courses start this season: Introduction to Aeronautical Engineering (already started), Next Generation Infrastructures and Credit Risk Management. Five new courses will start in the Fall: Biobased products, Delft Design Approach, Functional Programming, Responsible Innovation, Problem Analysis – all offered on EdX.

While the university already has good infrastructure in place, they will look into what can be improved moving forward. “This will also improve the online facilities for our campus student,” adds Van Valkenburg.

The biggest challenge, however, is to remain ahead of competitors in the global arena. “Education is more and more becoming an international market. This means that we have to compete with universities around the globe. A challenge for us is to stay in the lead and make sure our pace of innovation is high enough. I think that with the introduction of the Extension School we are taking a big step forward.”

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