Master students not required to go abroad

Going abroad will not be mandatory for TU/e master students after all. Still, international experience will be a program requirement. Said experience will be included in the standard program in September 2015, but students are free to opt out. International students didn’t have to meet the international requirement anyway, since they’re already abroad.

Graduate Program Directors have come to an agreement on above topic as well as other aspects involved with the redesign of the master phase. From next academic year onwards, every program will have to include international experience. Students will have to get at least fifteen credits abroad, or they can choose to stay. In that case, they’ll have to take courses or do an internship in the Netherlands.

So far, experience abroad wasn’t included in any program, really. Students were free to choose whether or not they wanted to go abroad. Innovation Sciences is an exception: currently, IS students are expected to go abroad. For 2020, TU/e has formulated the objective that ninety percent of graduate students will have some form of experience abroad. According to Jan Fransoo, Dean of the Graduate School, this is the way to realize that objective.

Previous plans for the Graduate School included the requirement for master students to take courses or do an internship abroad. That idea is now off the table: Fransoo says they’ve opted for a ‘more gradual’ approach.

The Graduate Program Directors also agreed on a Skills Lab for Bachelor and Graduate College students last week. Fransoo explains: “We’ll create an online platform where students can find tools to improve their skills. Think of online training, instruction tools, and course references.” Students starting on their master will be assessed on their level of certain skills. With their mentor, every student will then determine what skills they’ll be working on. For the upcoming academic year, the Skills Lab will consist of approximately seven skills, including writing, presentation, and entrepreneurship.

It’s also been decided the honor’s program in the master phase will be good for twenty credits that are not included in the standard study load. Graduate programs will have optional honor’s tracks where students can take courses from designer and PhD programs. Alternatively, they can submit a proposal themselves within a free, broadening curriculum. Both options are fifteen credits. The Honors Academy offers a five-credit package to improve personal development at an honor’s level.

Jan Fransoo says formal decisions have not yet been made, but “we expect the outcome of our consultations to be laid down and implemented as such”.

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