The University was founded in 1961 as the Technische Hogeschool Twente, the Netherlands’ third higher vocational institute of technology later to become a university (the other two being Delft and Eindhoven). The Dutch government’s decision to locate the new institute in Enschede, the main city of Twente, had much to do with the North-Eastern province’s rich industrial history.
The University of Twente was built on the former country estate of Drienerlo, situated between Hengelo and Enschede. On this beautifully landscaped 140 hectare estate, comprising woodland, meadows and water, architects Van Tijen and Van Embden designed the Netherlands’ first - and so far the only - campus university along American lines. Students and staff live, work and pursue their leisure activities on campus. Through the years, several other important architects and artists have made their own contributions to the design of the campus.
Students and staff at the University of Twente continue to form an active academic community. The campus enjoys excellent sports and cultural facilities that have stimulated the development of a rich mix of student societies, student social events, and a constant flow of new initiatives. The Student Union, which is run entirely by students, promotes the interests of all student societies and also manages several premises, including the student social centre in the heart of Enschede.
The University of Twente is an entrepreneurial research university with special focus on technological developments in the knowledge society. The university needs to be responsive to the requirements of the knowledge society and also has a special responsibility to develop and implement a broad knowledge potential in science and technology. In order to meet these challenges, the University of Twente advocates the establishment of a single Federation of Technical Universities in the Netherlands in 2010. The three technical universities agreed to join forces in 2005 and on 7 February 2007 the 3TU Federation was launched. The 3TU Federation aims to operate effectively at both national and international level. Within the 3TU framework the University of Twente promotes outstanding educational standards and world class research that leads the way in a number of specific areas. In pursuit of these goals, the University of Twente also wants to stimulate economic and social development regionally: in Twente, the North-East of the Netherlands, and in the Gronau-Twente Euregio.