Opening Academic Year

AI & us: imagining the future

Shopping, driving, dating and even working: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing our daily lives. What will our future with AI look like? How can we influence it in a positive way? On Monday 5th of September, we will take a look ahead during the Opening of the Academic Year 2022-2023 with the theme:
'AI & us: imagining the future'.

The event will take place live in the Aula on campus Woudestein and will start with the cortège from 14.45 hrs. The ceremony will begin at 15.00 hrs.

Registering for Opening Academic Year

Registration via the online registration form is required for access to the programme in the Aula and the reception. The official language is English. Questions about (registration for) the Opening Academic Year? Please send an email to

Opening Academic Year 2022 - Trailer

(Re-)watching the Opening of the Academic Year online

The event can also be followed via a livestream. After the Opening of the Academic Year, the recordings can also be viewed here.


Some people eagerly look forward to a future with much more AI, while others fear its dangers. It is therefore essential to find a way to exploit the full potential of AI while minimising the risks. But how do we achieve such a future? These top speakers will take you through their vision:

  • Refik Anadol

    Refik Anadol is a world-leading artist and designer who creates dreamlike environments using data-driven machine learning. He breaks down the barriers between the physical and digital worlds. His work includes the famous 'Machine Hallucination', an immersive audiovisual installation. The project processed datasets of publicly available images of New York City, including more than 300 million photos, and 113 million other raw data points.

  • Ed Brinksma

    Ed Brinksma, the President of the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is a steering committee member of 'Convergence Alliance'. This is a collaboration between our university, Erasmus MC and TU Delft where we work together on solving the major problems of our time. As professor of computer science, Brinksma has a great affinity with the subject of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and as a result, can provide his perspective on how to use AI to solve major social challenges of our time.

  • Tomas Moska

    Tomas Moska is an EUR alumnus, founder of the Turing Society at our university and of the international Turing College. The Turing College is a data science and AI edtech career school that enables students to learn at their own pace on a peer-driven remote learning platform.

  • Meau

    Singer-songwriter MEAU will perform live during the ceremony. Her single 'Dat Heb Jij Gedaan' (You Did That) became the number hit in the Netherlands. Moreover, she won the Edison 2022 award for best newcomer.

  • Elfie Tromp

    The Rotterdam writer and performer Elfie Tromp will host the ceremony. Her new novel Pieta was published in 2021, a compelling mosaic story about a city under pressure.

Alexander Santos Lima

Practical information

  • Date and time

    Monday, 5th of September 2022 from 15:00 to 16:30 hrs. Drinks will be served after the ceremony.

  • Language

    The language of the ceremony is English.

University prizes

During the Opening of the Academic Year, the Executive Board presents awards to outstanding researchers and students of our university. By doing so, we recognise the talent we have and express our appreciation for scientists and students who have made a significant contribution:

  • Education Prize
  • Rotterdam Thesis Award
  • Student Societal Impact Award
  • Sustainability Award

Education Prize

Every year the Education Prize, made possible by the Erasmus Trust Fund, is awarded to a lecturer who has made a special contribution to education at our university. Who will win this year's honorary title 'EUR Teacher of the Year 2021'?

Rotterdam Thesis Award

The Rotterdam Thesis Award is a joint prize awarded by Rotterdam City Council and Erasmus University Rotterdam and is made possible by the Erasmus Trust Fund. With this prize both parties want to stimulate students to actively contribute to the development of the Rotterdam region. Which EUR student has written the winning thesis this year?

Student Societal Impact Award

The winner of the Student Societal Impact Award, made possible by the Erasmus Trust Fund, has shown exceptional leadership by starting and executing a project that has a demonstrable positive impact on society. Who will win this year's award?

Sustainability Award

Erasmus University has set itself the goal of creating a working and studying environment that is circular, CO2-positive, healthy, attractive and biodiverse and inspires the best performance. The Sustainability Award, made possible by the EUR Sustainability Programme, and presented for the second time this year, goes to the member or members of our university community who have contributed most visibly to this goal.


Students helping out in the campus garden

Erasmus University Rotterdam has set itself the goal of becoming a CO2-neutral university by 2024. To achieve this goal, we are making our campus, education and research more sustainable. 

Sustainability is also central to the organisation of the Opening of the Academic Year. Together with our production partner Bee Agency and all suppliers, EUR is making an effort to create an event with the smallest possible carbon footprint. By compensating the unavoidable emissions, we ultimately create a CO2-positive event!

During the Opening of the Academic Year, we will also award the Sustainability Award to the staff member, student or alumnus who has shown the most commitment to a sustainable future in the past year. In these areas, we are working in a sustainable way:

  • Catering
  • Decor and furnishing
  • Energy
  • Transport and transportation
  • Compensation of emissions


  • We use seasonal products as much as possible
  • All products are supplied by local suppliers
  • We do not serve meat dishes 
  • We only use sustainable solutions for serving
  • Quantities are adjusted to prevent food waste

For all the catering around the Opening of the Academic Year, we will establish the total food footprint together with Vitam catering en Erasmus Food Lab. With this we indicate our environmental impact for this event. During the reception, which takes place after the opening, there is the opportunity to exchange ideas about sustainable catering with students from Erasmus Food Lab. The sustainable catering is supported by a video that can be viewed on the spot.

Decor en furnishing

To avoid waste and unnecessary production of materials, the decor is hired from Ideeëntheater. In this way, no pieces of scenery are made especially for this project, but we make creative and efficient use of existing parts, which will also be used for other concepts after our project. In addition, this supplier is used for the decoration of the event at other locations at the university.


Erasmus University Rotterdam makes as much use as possible of self-generated sustainable energy, for example by using solar panels. Around the Opening of the Academic Year, we actively reduce energy consumption by using intelligent lighting, LED lamps and adjusting ventilation and temperature control according to the actual number of attendees.

Transport and transportation

Our own staff, the staff of our production partner and our suppliers limit the use of polluting transport methods. We prefer to use bicycles or public transport. Sometimes, however, it is unavoidable to use a car or truck, for example to transport large materials. In such cases, electric vehicles are preferred.

Compensation of emissions

It is inevitable that the Opening of the Academic Year will also have a negative impact on the environment, no matter how much effort we put into mitigation measures. That is why the EUR finds it important to fully compensate the emissions of the event, and we go even further. With this CO2-positive event, we are setting the standard for the future!

Wat can you do?

Transport and transportation

Choose green transport! We ask our guests to come to the campus by bike or public transport if possible. If that is not possible, we recommend the use of an electric (rental) car and/or shared transport. There are already many initiatives in this field:

Would you like to know more about what our university is doing in the field of sustainability? Or would you like to contribute to it yourself, in any way you can? Read about all our innovations in the field of sustainability.

Photography & video

Photographs and video recordings will be made during the Opening of the Academic Year. It is possible that you are recognisable in the picture. As a visitor, you give permission for the storage and use of these images for commercial purposes.

Looking back to last year

Opening Academic Year 2021

Opening Academic Year 2021

Alexander Santos Lima
Arie Kers
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Arie Kers
Arie Kers
Arie Kers
Arie Kers
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima
Alexander Santos Lima

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