Fifty years of ‘high tech, human touch’: The University of Twente, which at its founding in 1961 was still called the Twente Technological University of Applied Sciences, managed to distinguish itself early on by integrating technology with the social sciences. In addition, the ‘third technical university of applied sciences’ also distinguished itself with her campus terrain and approach to education.
In 1961, the House of Representatives agreed to the establishment of a third technical university of applied sciences in Enschede. Enschede was selected to be the location over Alkmaar and Deventer. The existence of a strong manufacturing industy (textiles, metal, electrical engineering, chemicals), the necessity for innovation of the textile industry and the firm lobby of that textile industry together with the Eastern government agencies, probably were important factors in making this decision. Just as the fact that the municipality of Enschede made the Drienerlo estate available for the first campus university of the Netherlands, this probably was an important factor in making this decision.
The University of Twente, then still called the THT, was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Juliana on 14 September 1964. The first class consisted of two hundred students, including four girls.