Mechanical Engineering caps graduation places

The graduation preferences of Mechanical Engineering students are limited to too few research groups. The research groups of Henk Nijmeijer and Maarten Steinbuch, in particular, can no longer offer the same quality of supervision if student numbers continue to rise. This has prompted the department to introduce even stricter ceilings on numbers. Starting in the coming academic year, students will ‘reserve supervision capacity’ at a research group. The subsequent selection procedure will take place once a year.

Students of Mechanical Engineering have experienced a placement procedure since September 2015. But this approach did not have the desired effect, says Program Director Camilo Rindt. “Too many students were still being assigned to their first choice. What's more, we expect even more students in future and in order to continue to guarantee the quality of supervision, it is increasingly necessary that we distribute students better across the groups.”

And so a new approach is being adopted. Whereas previously the number of FTEs in a group was counted and the students were then distributed proportionally, soon the vital criterion will be the maximum supervision capacity the research group has to offer. The dean and the research groups will establish this capacity afresh each year.   

The measure will become effective September 1st. Students wishing to join the Master's program in 2017/2018 have been able to state their top three preferences since June 1st. They are required to upload a resume and letter of motivation for their first choice.

According to Rindt no particular students will be given priority, not even foreign students wishing to come to TU/e to join a particular research group. “I have already informed the international students who have been admitted about the new procedure. Actually, that's not a quarter from which I am expecting any opposition. International students are typically used to selection.” Rindt has every confidence that the majority of students will be assigned to their first choice.

The information available about the various research groups has also been taken in hand. Working with an external company, study association Simon Stevin has clarified the information about the research groups, see here.

Rindt lets it be known that the same problem has also arisen at other departments. “Some research groups at EE have the same problem, and the director of education at BMT is monitoring the procedure closely. For the Operations Management and Logistics Master's program a similar procedure has been up and running for some time now, but that is at mentor level rather than group level.”

Share this article