TU Delft Faculty of Aerospace Engineering takes measure for 30% female intake in bachelor's programme

News - 26 January 2024 - Webredactie Communication

The percentage of female students starting in the Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft has not been increasing for several years. The percentage is currently around 20%. "That is not enough as far as we are concerned. That’s why we want to increase the proportion to 30% at once with the intake of the coming academic year," says Director of Education Joris Melkert.

Therefore, after much deliberation, the faculty has decided to adopt a preferential policy for the intake of the Aerospace Engineering bachelor's programme, starting in the 2024/2025 academic year. With this, the faculty will raise the intake percentage of female students to 30 per cent.

Currently, there are almost 3,000 applications for 440 study places. After the selection process, about 1,000 students remain who are deemed qualified for the study and also belong to the top 30% of all applications. From these 1,000 students, allocations are made on the basis of ranking and 30% is now reserved for women in the procedure.

That 30% is based on (inter)national laws on target numbers of women in top positions in business and on the theory that a minority of 30% has reached a critical mass and can therefore make an impact in a large group.

A better gender balance is important for the inclusive and diverse learning environment, which the faculty wants to offer to students.

"We have already done a lot to increase the number of female students. For instance, we have worked on more role models and we have changed the tone of voice in communication and selection to better suit a diverse target group. The government has also been working for a long time to increase the number of women in engineering. This has had results, but not enough in our view. This while female students are simply doing very well with us. So an additional measure is needed," said Joris Melkert.

TU Delft's Faculty of Aerospace Engineering (LR) is the first Dutch faculty to introduce a preferential policy for women but it has been happening more often internationally.

The measure is a pilot and, for now, will only be introduced at the Aerospace Engineering faculty for admission to the 2024/2025 academic year. Prospective Aerospace Engineering students will receive the results of the selection on 15 April.