Based on the number of advance registrations, the three programs at TU/e with an enrollment restriction are still growing in popularity. The number of advance registrations for the Bachelor’s programs at both Building Environment and Industrial Design, with an intake limit of 325 and 180 first-year students respectively, continued to rise compared to last year.
Data provided by the Business Intelligence Cluster on its website, shows that this increase is largely the result of the interest expressed by international students both in and outside Europe. Coming academic year, 293 first-year students are expected to enroll at Building Environment, and 168 at Industrial Design, according to the BI Cluster’s most recent forecast. The site does however emphatically state that the impact of the corona crisis was not included in these forecasts.
Interest from international students in the Bachelor’s program at Computer Science & Engineering has gotten “rather off balance” at this point, according to program director Erik de Vink. He says that approximately one thousand out of a total of over 1,200 advance registrations sent in before 15 January came from abroad. Just a year ago, De Vink expressed his dissatisfaction with the decision to raise the intake limit at his program, from 275 to 325 first-year students, for the academic year 2020-2021. At the time, the number of advance registrations was 1,044. According to De Vink, this could lead to over three hundred first-year students in the academic year 2020-2021, resulting in problems regarding supervision and housing capacity. However, the corona pandemic with its series of restrictions hadn’t yet swept across the country at that time.
It has led to a serious decline in international student inflow, De Vink now says. In the end, 267 first-year students enrolled in the Bachelor’s program at Computer Science & Engineering last September. De Vink: “Foreign students make up about sixty percent of the total number. We except that number to grow in the coming years, and the interest from students outside Europe is likely to increase as well, which really seems to be a trend.”
De Vink says that the decline in inflow hasn’t reduced the department’s problems with education. “Since a fair number of students from the previous academic year moved on to the second year, which wouldn’t had been the case if the binding study advice had applied (the BSA was postposed last year due to corona, ed.), our teachers have to spend more time supervising this group. These students often have a hard time catching up, and sometimes they decide to leave after all. That’s a shame because of the investment of time from our teachers, but also because of the time invested by the students themselves. In addition, over sixty students started with the Pre-master this year, which is significantly more than the usual number of twenty. That too causes an extra load for our teachers.”
Coming back to the foreign inflow, De Vink says in conclusion that only a relatively small number of foreign Bachelor’s graduates at his program actually transfers to a Master’s program at TU/e, it seems. De Vink: “I recently asked a policy officer about this and was told that thirty percent of these students transfer to a Master’s program.” A number that puts industry’s emphatic call not to apply an enrollment restriction at technical programs in a slightly different perspective. Yesterday, Cursor announced that Mechanical Engineering will also reintroduce an enrollment restriction for the academic year 2022-2023.