From remote work to growth ambitions

It was the end of 2021 and we were all in nervous anticipation of what was coming. What would be the impact of the Omicron subvariant on the work and study life at TU/e? Now, we seem to be in somewhat calmer waters. Relatively calm, of course, because there are already a lot of projects lined up for the coming year that will demand a great deal from employees. As for the students, it remains to be seen what effect two years of pandemic life has had on the generations that were forced to spend much of their time studying at home and whose social contacts fell away.

photo Svetikd / iStock

There is an old Dutch saying: ‘Wie schrijft die blijft’, which can be translated as “recording is rewarding”. The motto refers to keeping accurate books and records. Cursor constantly publishes about what is going on at our university, which makes us kind of like bookkeepers too. Our job is to record the university’s developments over the years for students and staff.

This year started off with a new subvariant of the coronavirus, and as a result, we were back to working from home and wearing those dreaded face masks. Fortunately, omicron turned out to have less of an impact than we had feared, and by March, we were once again allowed to travel on public transport without having to cover our faces.

Career Expo

University life was picking up again; in-person education was once again possible and the student association scene came back to life as well. On March 10, the Career Expo was allowed to take place as originally planned: bringing students in direct contact with the recruiters of the companies they might join in the future. Two years prior, in March 2020, it had been this very event that was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic outbreak. But those days are now far behind us.

However, what will remain a major concern is the fact that we have multiple generations of students who, due to the pandemic, had to miss out on a great deal of actual student life, first having to miss the Intro and then having to sit at home behind their laptops to attend their classes and take exams. That group has a lot of catching up to do, and hopefully, we will be able to help them do that. As such, student well-being is put even higher on the agenda.


As the pandemic fades and university life returns to normal, other issues are coming to the fore. In September 2023, the university will launch the Bachelor College 2.0. Early next year, Cursor will speak with Dean Ines Lopez Arteaga about the latest developments in this process. Sustainability is given an even more prominent place in our research. How will we see that reflected in the coming years? What are our next steps for SQUAD, the long-term operation undertaken by the support services in 2021? What follow-up actions have been taken with regard to the implementation of our new educational concept, Challenge Based Learning (CBL)? What efforts are being made to keep the workload for scientists and support staff manageable? How are we doing in terms of promoting social safety at TU/e, after the introduction of the Social Safety Plan a year and a half ago? How do we deal with the increasing internationalization and the challenges it brings with it? And who will step into the shoes of outgoing Rector Frank Baaijens before the summer break?

And lastly, a subject that has been widely discussed and extensively described in recent months: the Executive Board’s upscaling plans, which would mean a major increase in intake numbers for our master’s programs in particular after 2026, allowing us to provide more engineers, especially for the companies in the Brainport region, which is growing rapidly as well. To that end, we are anxiously awaiting the Cabinet’s Spring Memorandum. Because only if the Memorandum contains financial commitments can this party go ahead, as the President of the Executive Board Robert-Jan Smits so aptly put it recently. 

So there is no shortage of new material and topics for Cursor’s bookkeepers to look forward to and sink their teeth into. Because recording is rewarding. After today, we too will be taking a break and on Monday, January 9, we will start filling up our website and social channels with news, background stories and columns again. We wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

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