Opening Academic Year 2023-2024

The future of higher education
AOY 2023 header.
Monday 4 Sep 2023, 15:00 - 16:30
Spoken Language

Laurenskerk, Rotterdam

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Michelle Muus

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 will look ahead during the Opening Academic Year 2023-2024 with the theme 'The future of higher education’.

Registrations are now closed.

The Opening Academic Year 2023-2024 also kicks 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.

Registration Opening Academic Year

Registration via the online registration form is required for access to the programme in the Laurenskerk and the reception. The language of the ceremony is Dutch, with simultaneous interpretation to English available. There will be a reception after the ceremony at the same venue.

Watch the Opening of the Academic Year online

Are you not able to make it to the event? The event can also be followed via a livestream


To help address societal issues such as climate change, energy transition and inequality, higher education needs to reinvent itself. What can we actually teach students that they cannot ask ChatGPT? How can we challenge and empower students to colour outside the lines? These top speakers will take you into the world of tomorrow:

  • Ahmed Aboutaleb

    Mayor Aboutaleb will join us to discuss possible collaborations with Rotterdam partners to increase the social impact of education.

    Ahmed Aboutaleb
  • Marleen Stikker

    Marleen Stikker – pioneer in the digital world, director of Waag Amsterdam and founder of De Digitale Stad (‘The Digital City’, UNESCO Digital Heritage). She believes that society needs open technologies to tackle social challenges: ‘If You Can't Open It, You Don't Own It’.

    Marleen Stikker
  • Ed Brinksma

    Ed Brinksma – Executive Board President and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Twente.

    Portret of Ed Brinksma in Polak Building.
    Alexander Santos Lima
  • Aubrey Ngo

    Aubrey Ngo, a third-year student pursuing International Bachelor’s in Communication and Media share the student perspective of tomorrow's education.

    Aubrey Ngo
  • Vanessa Abel

    Vanessa Abel - As the Programme Director of ErasmusX, a team of educational innovators, Vanessa Abel is at the forefront of the execution of initiatives that push the boundaries of technology and uphold versatile education. She believes that by focusing on personalized learning approaches we can create an educational ecosystem that prepares individuals to navigate an ever-changing world.

    Vanessa Abel
  • Hermes House Band

    Music will be provided by the legendary Hermes House Band, the renowned party band with shared links and history with the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

    Hermes House Band
  • Nizar El Manouzi

    Klokhuis presenter and alumnus Nizar El Manouzi will host the ceremony.

    Nizar el Manouzi

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 image. As a visitor, you give permission for the storage and use of these images for commercial purposes.

More information

For more information, visit the Opening Academic Year page.

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