New setup master programs for TU/e Graduate School

Mandatory period abroad. Courses of 5 or 2.5 credits only. For students starting on their master’s in 2015, it might just become reality. TU/e is busy shaping its Graduate School, where everything after the bachelor phase is merged. The most important elements are more options, ‘the student comes first’, international experience, and an improved way to continue to a designer's program, a PhD, or a job.

All courses are good for 5 or 2.5 credits and are concluded within a single term. It’s one of the changes that will probably be implemented upon the start of the Graduate School. Jan Fransoo, who’s been the dean of the Graduate School since late 2013, explains: “We want to tie in with the Bachelor College, where courses are already taught that way. Most courses will be worth 5 credits. A limited number of 2.5-credit courses will be available to meet part-time lecturers and very specific areas of expertise.” 3-credit courses are allowed until September 2017.

Another striking idea is to have all master students go abroad. Fransoo: “It’s important to us that students leave TU/e with some international experience. Programs are free to decide whether they opt for an internship abroad, or courses in another country. “We’ll be lenient regarding the rule, especially if a student has a good reason to want to stay home – for personal reasons of some sort, for example. But not feeling like going is not a good enough reason.” International students at TU/e don't need to go abroad.

Other important Graduate School ingredients include more options to choose from, a greater focus on professional skills, the lecturer as mentor, and a better preparation for a PhD or a design program.

The introduction of the Graduate School was one of the topics at yesterday’s University Council meeting as well.  The mandatory period abroad and the 5-credit courses were asked about the most. Groep-één wants to know if it makes sense for each and every study program to include a foreign experience. A member of the Faculty Group fears students will expect their departments to arrange the whole trip, since it’s a mandatory element. The Eindhoven Student Council is wondering how the quality of the programs can be monitored, and all parties are worried about the extra workload. Rector Hans van Duijn has said it’s all in a very early stage still, and the topic will be covered in more detail in due course.

In the time to come, people will be working on the realization of the master programs. The Graduate School is also recruiting international students actively, among other things.

On Thursday, Cursor will publish an elaborate article on the Graduate School.

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