Erasmus University Rotterdam educates students for a future that is unknown, but in which change is the only constant factor. How can we best prepare students to make a difference in a world where climate change, aging, and AI play a major role? On Monday, September 4th, we looked ahead during the Opening Academic Year 2023-2024 with the theme 'The future of higher education’.
The Opening Academic Year 2023-2024 also kicked off the 22nd Lustrum celebration of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Later in this lustrum year, we celebrate our 110th anniversary. The deep connection between our university and the city of Rotterdam comes to life in the Laurenskerk, where the Opening Academic Year takes place.
(Re-)watch the Opening of the Academic Year online
Did you miss the Opening of the Academic Year? Via the link below you can watch the recordings of the event.
The role of the university in technological development
In her keynote speech, internet pioneer, and director and founder of Waag Society Marleen Stikker had the audience reflect on the development of technology and how to stay within planetary boundaries: after all, technology has a large ecological footprint. In doing so, she stressed that technological innovation cannot go without social innovation.
As always, the Opening of the Academic Year is the moment to award prizes to outstanding members of our academic community. This year's Education Prize (this prize is made possible by the Erasmus Trustfonds) was awarded to Bonnie French (assistant professor Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences). Jury member and rector magnificus Annelien Bredenoord praised her ability to create an inclusive and inspiring learning environment where students feel inspired, challenged, understood and safe to discuss sensitive issues.
The Executive Committee of the Faculty Association of Erasmus School of Economics received the annual Sustainability Award from the hands of Vice-President of the Executive Board Ellen van Schoten. The EFR managed to develop into the Netherlands’ first CO2-neutral study association and plans to use the prize money to organise a sustainability festival on campus Woudestein. The Rotterdam Thesis Award is a joint annual thesis prize of our university and the Municipality of Rotterdam. This year, Mayor Aboutaleb awarded the prize to Enoch Tabak for his outstanding thesis on the alleged regional economic benefits of large distribution centres.
Art special for Opening Academic Year
The work of artist Sigrid Calon (b. 1969) is a constant exploration of composition. She is always looking for new associations and perspectives, whether it is a square meter of fabric or the facade of a building. Calon fuses shapes, colors, and volumes in an atmosphere characteristic of her and combines graphic elements in surprising ways in different materials. Her creative process involves constant research and redefinition.
The monumental installation ’WOVEN GRIDS SC_1’ marks a new phase in the development of Calon's visual language. The series consists of 40 65x65 cm. textile works developed at the TextielLab of the Textielmuseum in Tilburg. The use of Jacquard woven wool creates an extra dimension of structure. The compositions appear relatively simple but have a power that continues to amaze. From a distance the emphasis is on the graphics; when getting closer, in each work a new world full of details and tactility reveals itself. This forms an extraordinarily captivating combination that invites you to keep exploring.