Twente Educational model (TOM) and High Tech, Human Touch

The University of Twente has implemented the Twente Educational Model (TOM) in all of its nineteen undergraduate (bachelor’s) programmes. TOM is a transformational innovation, involving the introduction of modules as the organizational principle, and Project-Led Education as the driver of didactical change. 

In order to ensure that graduates are equipped for the 21st century, the UT seeks to develop students towards T-shaped cross-disciplinary professionals in line with the UT profile of ‘High Tech, Human Touch’, i.e. to link technology and social sciences. To support the development of the T-shaped student, all TOM programmes share a common theme in the first module. For the sciences programmes, a shared Maths learning line has been implemented. Also, several programmes share one or more modules. And ten specific High Tech Human Touch modules will be available in the electives part of the programmes, in the first half of year 3.

Several of the TOM programmes are taught in English. 

The overall objectives of this transformational innovation are: to establish a distinctive profile, aligned with the University’s High Tech, Human Touch motto; to educate graduates to have a cross-disciplinary T-shape; to improve study yields; to reach a 10% reduction in undergraduate education costs. 

  • Introducing  the modular system is a good stimulus for teachers working in teams instead of individual
  • The option to provide a module  that is shared by different educational programmes
  • Harmonisation towards a standardised end-of-module Student Experience Questionnaire has strongly enhanced transparency in quality assurance.
  • Because of the scope of the implementation, i.e. all bachelor’s programmes and the combination of programme organisational change (modular) and didactical change (Project-Led) this is a challenging implementation.
  • Two pilot implementations have preceeded that full implementation. This proved very useful in terms of requirements, pitfalls and critical success factors.
  • Several organisational changes were implemented. The introduction of the (academic) module coordinator is an important example.
  • Large scale introduction of Project-Led Education requires an extensive redevelopment of rooms for teaching and learning.
  • Changing over to a system of modules intended as ‘mini curricula’ required the redevelopment of educational computer systems like for grades administration.