ATLAS University College Twente: a novel approach in interdisciplinary engineering education

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ATLAS University College Twente offers a residential, interdisciplinary engineering program that aims at educating the ‘New Engineer.’ The program has embraced the concept of self-directed learning, meaning that students attain most of the program’s learning goals in their own way. ATLAS is organized in semesters, each with their own specific learning goals. These so-called semester goals define a framework that allows students to build their own academic profile as New Engineers and, at the same time, safeguards that all students reach the intended learning outcomes of the program itself. One of the core values of the program is integration. Students follow mandatory courses in the domains of mathematics, natural - and social sciences, and work in interdisciplinary projects. ATLAS also offers interdisciplinary electives, designed and executed by teachers with different disciplinary backgrounds.
Moreover, students are encouraged to use their extensive elective space to further build up their interdisciplinary profile as New Engineers. The program was successfully accredited in 2018 and is in a continuous state of development and innovation. This contribution discusses the set-up of the curriculum, its
interdisciplinary components, its radical educational approach, assessment method, and future program developments and challenges.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngaging, Engineering, Education
Subtitle of host publicationBook of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online), 20-24 September, 2020
EditorsJan van der Veen, Natascha van Hattum-Janssen, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Tinne de Laet, Ineke ten Dam
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020 - Online, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sept 202024 Sept 2020
Conference number: 48


Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference on Engineering Education, SEFI 2020
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
Internet address


  • Engineering education
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • New Engineer
  • Self-directed learning


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