Being an Erasmian: Creating positive societal impact
Opening Academic Year

Opening Academic Year 2019-2020

Monday 2 September 2019

Our world is changing fast: for us and for our students. There are challenges at every corner, as well as potential. It’s this potential that we at EUR see in our strong disciplines, in the way they connect, as well as in the way we ourselves conduct our research and education: shaped by our identity, the ‘Erasmian way’.

This past academic year we’ve translated our mission statement, ‘Making a positive societal impact’, into a new strategy. During the realisation of this strategy we’ve focussed on giving shape to a future oriented education, on quality research that remains connected to society, and on the further development of our ‘Erasmus Initiatives’. We’re preparing new academics and social leaders to be ready to face the challenges of the future. That’s what makes us typically ‘Erasmian’: critical and entrepreneurial, always in conversation with the world around us, and aiming toward impactful solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.

On Monday, 2 September, during the opening of the new academic year, Kristel Baele will present Erasmus University’s new strategy: developed in a unique and energising process of design, as ‘one university’ alongside students, academics, professional-service staff, and stakeholders.

Technological advancement have been at the core of large global changes: they affect our ways of living, our ways of working, learning, as well the ways in which we conduct research. During her lecture, guest speaker and Emeritus Professor Donna Dickenson will discuss the impact of new medical technologies on societal issues with regards to ethics, inclusivity, and equality.

Guest speaker

Donna L. Dickenson (1946) is an American philosopher who specializes in medical ethics. Her academic career spans a period of nearly forty years and includes many senior posts at major British Universities. She is Emeritus Professor of Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of London, fellow of the Ethox and HeLEX Centres at the University of Oxford and visiting fellow at the Centre for Ethics in Medicine, University of Bristol. She has written over 20 books on medical and bioethics. In 2006 she received the prestigious international Spinoza Lens Award for her conbtributions to public debate on ethics.


Business administration students Sofia Ali and Tania Bhulai set up a foundation: Diandre. The foundation helps refugee students settle in at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Photography Claudia Broekhoff


  • 14.45 p.m. Doors open and guest reception
    15.15 p.m. Ceremonial entrance
    15.30 p.m. 

    Welcome and launch strategy by Kristel Baele, President of the Executive Board

     Guest speaker Prof. Donna Dickenson

    Awarding of University Awards

    • Education Prize
    • Research Prize
    • Prof. Bruins Prize
    • Prof. H.W. Lambers Prize
    • Rotterdam Thesis Award
     Student in the spotlight
     Official Opening Academic Year 2019 – 2020 by Prof. Rutger Engels, Rector Magnificus
    17.00 p.m.Reception


  • Location

    The Opening of the Academic Year 2019-2020 will take place in the Auditorium, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, Rotterdam.

Please take your seat in the auditorium no later than 15.10
English will be spoken throughout the ceremony.

For questions and additional information, please contact: or +31 10 408 1761