Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences:
‘Prepare engineers for industry’
Last month, the foresight report ‘The PhD system works’ of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences was published. The Academy concluded that the Dutch PhD system works, is future-proof and highly qualified, delivering independent minds. However, it is important to better prepare candidates for careers outside academia, and there must be room for other forms of qualification after the master's degree, such as the PDEng.
The report recognises the need for what the PDEng programs of 3TU.SAI have been offering for many years: engineers preparing for work at a high level in industry. Whereas a PhD candidate delves deep into an investigation, a PDEng bends to the application of knowledge to design something new. Unlike PhD candidates, PDEngs are getting prepared for a career outside academia. In the first year of schooling, alongside substantive courses, the training of soft skills gets intensive attention. PDEngs are being prepared for the new and unexpected and learning to break through walls whilst keeping a bird’s eye view. Not only should there be a good technological design, it also should be able to solve the actual problem, be financially viable, have support among users and so on. The second year of the PDEng training consists (mainly) of an individual major design project which is carried out at a company. In addition, the report of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences confirmed that the degree of Professional Doctorate is in place at the PDEng courses, which are classified next to the promotions in the third cycle of the European Qualifications Framework.
The renewed Orientation year for highly educated persons offers the best of two worlds. The criteria of the scheme have been relaxed, offering international talent more opportunities to look for work in the Netherlands.
The aim of the orientation year is to offer international talent an opportunity to start working as a highly skilled migrant or, for example, to start their own business. Under the new scheme, more groups will be eligible for the orientation year. In addition to graduates in the Netherlands or graduates studying at a world-class university abroad, the scheme can now also be used by researchers.
Multiple orientation years
It is no longer necessary to apply for an orientation year directly after graduation. Those interested in an orientation year may apply within three years after graduating or completing their research. This offers them the opportunity to first go back to their countries of origin and return to the Netherlands later to look for a job. A further plus is that, under certain conditions, the orientation year may be applied for not once, but multiple times. Each time a graduate obtains a new degree or a researcher has completed new research, they may again apply for an orientation year.
No work permit requirement
The work permit requirement (TWV) and the points system that applied to the Orientation year for highly educated migrants have been fully revoked. This means that people may work without a work permit (TWV) during the orientation year and are permitted to do all kinds of work, from a temporary job or part-time job to a paid or unpaid internship.
For the application form and more procedural information on the new orientation year, go to www.ind.nl.