Rector Magnificus Universiteit Twente

Rector Magnificus Universiteit Twente

Published Deadline Location
18 Feb 6 Mar Enschede

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Job description

University of Change Leaders

With the forthcoming departure per November 2020 of prof.dr. Thom Palstra, the current Rector Magnificus, the University of Twente (UT) is seeking a successor who can collegially lead the university and who will play a critical role in the realisation of the ambitions laid down in Shaping2030, the bold vision and strategy of UT for the new decade.

The position

Within the collegial board of UT, the Rector is responsible for the development and implementation of UT’s education and research strategies and policies in close cooperation with other university bodies. He/she focuses on further strengthening UT’s education, research and innovation policies and bolstering the agenda of UT as a leading research university through active (international and interdisciplinary) collaboration.


University of Twente (UT)


UT is looking for an ambitious Rector, who is able to co-lead a large and ambitious professional organization.

The ideal candidate:

  • has proven leadership qualities in academia and has the ambition to realise and expand on the strategy and ambitions of UT as outlined in Shaping2030;
  • is an eminent and experienced scientist with a background in one of the UT research areas, and broad understanding of the scientific disciplines represented at UT;
  • has an entrepreneurial mindset;
  • is a team player at heart, in collaboration with his/her colleagues on the Executive Board as well as with the deans and scientific directors, and the university as a whole;
  • understands the Dutch and international academic landscape;
  • is proficient in English and Dutch, or only in English and willing to acquire Dutch language skills. 


The Rector embraces and embodies Shaping2030, the bold mission and vision of UT. He/she has a collaborative approach and is capable of mobilising and bonding the organisation. The Rector is eager to further strengthen UT’s track record as one of Europe’s most enterprising universities. He/she is a proven leader in academia and has a track record in directing complex (improvement) processes in education, research and innovation. He/she is able to advance and execute the ambitious scientific agenda of UT and is resourceful in leading UT towards the realisation of its aspirations. The Rector promotes the principle of shared responsibility, according to which the Board sets the framework, in consultation with the deans, scientific directors, and the directors of the service departments. 

The Rector is a respected scientist who is comfortable with the ambitious academic environment of UT, and who supports UT’s distinct cross-disciplinary High Tech, Human Touch approach, as well as its societal orientation. Working closely with the deans and scientific directors, the Rector, as scientific leader of the university, gives shape to the ambitions of the university in the fields of education and research. The Rector encourages the faculties and institutes to continuously improve the quality of education and research, and he/she promotes their societal impact. The Rector drives scientific quality by guiding professorial appointments, is chairman of the Doctorate Board, and guards over UT’s clear, substantive university profile, nationally and internationally.

He/she endorses and will further develop the Twente Educational Model as a unique and innovative, modular educational model, and promotes the newly established ECIU University as a groundbreaking form of educational collaboration on a European scale. 

Internationally oriented
The Rector represents UT in relevant national and international networks. He/she actively encourages the international positioning of UT and acts effectively on developments at home and abroad that affect UT’s scientific research and education. He/she is acquainted with the various systems of scientific education and research in Europe, the US and the BRIC countries. He /she is familiar with funding opportunities in Brussels and The Hague. In addition, the Rector maintains, from a scientific perspective, relations with international businesses and community organisations, and is able to build bridges between science and society. Along with the deans and scientific directors, the Rector ensures and strengthens UT’s leading position in education and research, both nationally and internationally. 

Personal characteristics
The ideal candidate is a visionary and collaborative person, while also an effective manager. He/she has the personality to lead people in an inspiring way and to challenge the organisation. He/she is ingenious, has wit, is sociable, dependable and has a natural desire to lead organisations to a higher level. He/she embraces the philosophy and ambitions of Shaping2030. 

UT welcomes both Dutch and international candidates. The candidate is available for two terms of 4 years.


The Supervisory Board of UT has simultaneously advertised this pivotal vacancy internally and externally. It is being assisted in this procedure by Egon Zehnder. 

Prospective applicants are requested to send a letter and their current CV by March 6, 2020.

Send your application by email to:

All applications will be treated confidentially.

For more information, please call Bart Blommers (Consultant Egon Zehnder):
+31 20 710 4168. 

Interviews will take place March 25 – 27, 2020. 
Assessment and screening will be part of the selection procedure.

Conditions of employment

The Dutch law for public sector salaries, WNT (Wet Normering Topinkomens), is applicable to this position.


University of Twente UT, founded in 1961, is an eager, fast-growing and entrepreneurial university that is at the forefront of new technology. The university fulfills a role as catalyst for change, innovation and progress in society. UT has approximately 12,000 students, 3,000 staff, and an annual budget of around EUR 350 million.

UT has started the new decade with a new and ambitious mission, vision and strategy: Shaping2030, our roadmap to a fair, sustainable and digital society. As the ultimate ‘people-first’ university of technology, we build on our ‘High Tech, Human Touch’ philosophy to empower society through sustainable solutions.

The organisation of UT consists of the Executive Board (EB), reporting to the Supervisory Board, the University Council, five faculties, three institutes and the central service departments. The Executive Board, the deans of the faculties, the scientific directors of the institutes, the director of Strategic Business Development and the secretary of the university form the Strategic Council, which shares responsibility for university-wide themes and policy proposals.

The Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board is led by Anton Schaaf. Its other members are Joep van Beurden, Nienke Boersma, Clemence Ross-van Dorp and Linda Steg.

The Executive Board

The Executive Board consists of three actively practicing collegial members: the President, Rector and Vice-President. They are appointed by the Supervisory Board. The Executive Board is responsible for the strategy, management and administration of the university.

    • The President - Victor van der Chijs, since October 1, 2013.
    • The Rector – Thom Palstra, since November 1, 2016.
    • The Vice-President - Mirjam Bult, since September 1, 2015.

Faculties and institutes

UT has five faculties that employ the academic staff and provide education. The five faculties are:

    • Science & Technology
    • Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Engineering Technology
    • Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
    • Behavioral, Management & Social Sciences.

Students rate UT as the best university of technology in the Netherlands for both BSc and MSc education. UT has three powerful interdisciplinary research institutes of national and international renown: MESA+ (Nanotechnology), TechMed Centre (Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine) and the Digital Society Institute.

The faculties and institutes are supported by a Strategic Business Development unit, which connects excellent research to external needs and vice-versa. UT is regionally, nationally and internationally oriented, and works closely with industry and other universities in The Netherlands and abroad. Early on, UT successfully established itself as the "entrepreneurial university". UT has an impressive track record in the area of knowledge transfer.

Recently, the university was once again recognized as the most entrepreneurial university in the Netherlands, as well as the university with the highest societal and economic impact. For more information about the UT organization, please visit the website:


  • Professor; Associate professor; Assistant professor; Lecturer
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €7401—€9812 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 1092550


University of Twente (UT)

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