TU Delft wants to grow to 40 thousand students

No controlling of student numbers, but rather growing to 40 thousand students. That is what the TU Delft executive board wants.

The TU Delft Executive Board sees the steady growth of recent years as one of the causes of pressure on the city, staff and students. (Photo: Justyna Botor)

This is stated in a message sent by the Executive Board to employees on Thursday 15 September. Just before that, the deans and directors among others were informed. With this, a consultation round commenced immediately, in which the Executive Board wants to talk to all kinds of stakeholders to “create a picture of how we can best meet this challenge”. This should lead to ideas and conclusions that in turn will feed into the discussion on the TU Delft Strategic Framework 2024-2030.

In that strategic framework, the board wants to take a clearly different course from the current framework, which was based on controlling student numbers. “Rather than looking at what we can handle, the focus should be on what is needed and how we can achieve that”, the board writes. Needed, according to the board, are engineers who can solve “the major societal issues of this century”. “Here lies a great responsibility, which TU Delft is committed to taking. By increasing our student numbers to 40,000, we can aim for 5,500-6,000 engineering graduates a year.”

To spare the city of Delft, the board is looking at The Hague and Rotterdam to enable a so-called ‘multi-campus strategy’. According to the board, this is obvious because TU Delft is already in The Hague with one study programme and far-reaching cooperation is under construction with Erasmus MC and Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

Today, just under 28 thousand students are enrolled at TU Delft

The Executive Board believes that while a growth strategy is “radical” and “challenging”, it is also necessary. In the current Strategic Framework (2018-2024), it said it was aiming for a maximum of 25 thousand students – to keep workload, pressure on the city and costs manageable. In the absence of any steering instruments, the university went over that maximum already in 2018. Today, just under 28 thousand students are enrolled at TU Delft. The board sees the steady growth of recent years as one of the causes of pressure on the city, on employees and on students. “We believe that something needs to be done to overcome this, and looking at less conventional solutions might open new doors.”

With the new idea, the board is following the advice of a committee led by Jo van Ham, former vice-president of the TU Eindhoven and former director general of higher education at the Ministry of Education. The consultation round in the coming months is intended to show whether there are enough opportunities to actually take it further.

  • Be sure to keep an eye on Delta for an interview with Rector Magnificus Tim van der Hagen.
  • What do you think of the executives board plan? Share it with us.
Editor in chief Saskia Bonger

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.