TU Delft: Facts & Figures

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King William II of the Netherlands founded the Royal Academy of Delft on January 8, 1842. The school was designed to educate civilian engineers and trade apprentices, many of whom would go on to work in the colonies for the Dutch East India Company.

Just 22 years later, the Royal Academy was disbanded by royal decree, giving a way to the Polytechnic School of Delft. The newly formed school educated engineers and architects, much needed during the rapid industrialization of the 19th century.

In 1905 the school was renamed yet again, becoming the Technical College of Delft, and was granted university rights, allowing the school to award academic degrees.

The school grew rapidly after WWII and, in 1986, was officially given its current name: Technische Universiteit Delft (TU Delft or Delft University of Technology), underlining the quality of the education and research provided by the institution.[media:factfile]

Total students enrolled (2010): 17,000
International students: 2,600 (15% of student population, 2010)

Student origins breakdown (2009):

  • Belgium: 340
  • Germany: 100
  • Greece: 100
  • Italy: 100
  • China: 340
  • Iran: 150 students
  • India: 140
  • Suriname: 100
  • Indonesia: 80
  • Turkey: 80

Delft students make up almost 18% of the city population of 96,000.

Overall ranking (2011):
Times Higher Education: 151 in the world, 33 in the world for technology, 55 in Europe, 1 in the technology field in the Netherlands
QS World Rankings: 103 in the world, 18 in the world for technology

You may have heard of picturesque Delft is as the home of Delft Blue pottery, but it’s also known as the home of one of the top technical universities in the Netherlands. With more than 100 nationalities on campus, it’s got a surprisingly international feel. The city of Delft is also easy to navigate; most students bikes to and from campus.

Much of student life at TU Delft revolves around student societies; more than half of the students belong to an officially recognized society. Generally, societies fall into one of two categories: social and study. Social societies are open to all students and study societies are open to students following a particular programme.

TU Delft has organized several student bloggers to give prospective students a sense of life at TU Delft. Check those out here. TU Delft also organises an extensive welcome for international students each year.

Read what international student Chris Watson has to say about his experiences at TU Delft.

Motto: Challenge the Future

One of three universities of technology in the Netherlands, TU Delft offers eight faculties and a variety of English-language programmes. Of the 15 BSc programmes, one is taught in English – Aerospace Engineering, and all of the 30 MSc programmes are taught in English. There are also seven joint Eramus Mundus MSc programmes and numerous other double degree opportunities.

The school focuses on technological development, encouraging creative and independent thinking with an emphasis on problem solving.

Ranked among the top universities of technology in the world, TU has partnerships with more than thirty leading universities all over the world, enabling international experience, cooperation and exchange. TU Delft is also a member of the prestigious IDEA league of five leading engineering universities in Europe.

TU Delft’s high education and research standards are backed up by outstanding facilities, including wind tunnels, a flight simulator, clean rooms, Europe’s second high voltage lab, a high speed computer network and extensive sports facilities.

Acceptance rates:
Of 3,075 international student applicants to the MSc programmes in the year 2010, 1,713 students were accepted. This rate is determined by the number of applications and their quality; this is not necessarily a rate the university has to achieve.

Read more about the admission requirements for bachelors and masters programmes.

In 2011, three BSc programmes will limit enrolment numbers.

As an international student, you will also likely need a residence permit and possibly a visa. Read more about those here.

Tuition for Dutch and most other EU students is set annually by the government. For 2011-2012, this is € 1,713. For non-EEA students, the tuition is:

  • Bachelor's programmes € 8,096 per year
  • Master's programmes € 12,650 per year

Cost of living:
According to the TU Delft website, students will spend approximately € 1,500 to get settled in and then between € 850 - € 1,100 per month on living and study costs. This includes food, accommodation, transport, books, and obligatory health insurance.

Financial assistance:
TU Delft offers Excellence Scholarships ranging from partial tuition waivers to full scholarships. For more on Dutch grant options, see the Nuffic grant finder search engine here.

EU students with valid residence permits can also get part-time jobs. Students from outside the EU must get a work permit in order to get a part-time job and, even with this permit, may only work for a maximum of ten hours per week (which can be condensed into 3 months of full-time work).
Read more about this on the Nuffic website.

TU Delft can arrange housing for international students who meet certain requirements. Read more here. There is limited space, so it’s best to apply early. If you don’t fit the profile or the spots are all full, there is information about finding your own housing here.

In addition to being a tourist town, best known for its pottery, Delft is a student town, with all the social opportunities this usually entails. The Beestenmarkt – a small square in the centre of town – is known for its many outdoor cafés, bars and restaurants. The terraces will be packed whenever the sun shines.

Speakers is a popular club with the student crowd. Open til 4am, this 16+ club also includes a café. De Koornbeurs is also a top student destination with weekly dance parties, regular performances on one of the two stages, a brown café with an assortment of beer, 4-euro-dinners are served every weeknight for those who sign up in advance and, from Tuesdays to Thursdays, there’s a teahouse open from 6pm – 8:30pm. If you’re 18+, and looking for something to do on a Tuesday or Thursday, you can also go to Lorre, which calls itself the student nightclub.Of course, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, both known for their nightlife, are just a short train ride away, so the party potential is almost unlimited.

Who’s the boss:
President: Drs. D. J. van den Berg
Rector: Prof. Ir. K. Ch.A.M. Luyben

Alluring alumni:
Two TU Delft alumni have received a Nobel Prize: Jacobus van 't Hoff in Chemistry in 1901 and Simon van der Meer in physics in 1984.

Other interesting TU Delft alumni include Lodewijk van den Berg, Dutch-American astronaut on the STS-51B mission and Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, member of the Dutch Royal Family.

BMW’s Chief of Design, Adrian van Hooydonk also graduated from TU Delft.

Brochures must be requested from the website.


Visiting address:
Jaffalaan 9a (ingang Mekelweg)
2628 BX Delft

Mailing address:
Postbus 5
2600 AA Delft
The Netherlands

T: +31 (0)15 27 89111
[email protected]

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