Gerrit Kuiken is the programme director at Hanze for the education in the energy sector. This summer he drafted a road map to create a high quality framework for energy-education in the North of the Netherlands. With the start of a Center of Expertise (ENtrance) in this field the Hanze University of Applied Sciences has marked energy as an important sector.
“We are focusing on renewable energy. Last year, together with EUREC -partners (a European network of leading research centres in the field of energy), we started offering an international master of science in the Energy Academy Europe. Students who already have a bachelor- or master-degree participate in that programme. The master we already offer focuses on hardcore physics, but we’d also like to create a programme for other target groups.”
These new master programmes are essential for the ambitious goals Kuiken has set out in his road map. In 2022, 1500 students have to find employment in the energy sector. To get there, Hanze UAS seeks collaboration with large companies like NAM and Gasunie in the north of the Netherlands. The master programmes will have a specific focus on applied research, Kuiken explains.
“We will offer academic masters, but the research will always have a focus on practical applications. That is our aim here in Groningen. Due to the population decline in this area there is a strong demand for highly educated personnel. Our plans should help to meet this demand.”
As a result of the European cooperation a lot of foreign students found their way to Groningen. According to Kuiken this number will continue to grow in the coming years. “We hope these students will eventually stay in this region, or at least the Netherlands, to seek and find employment. We will do our best to reach that, in cooperation with the local business here.”