Opening Academic Year: Building Vital Cities, Empowering Vital Citizens

Burgemeester Ahmed Aboutaleb
Burgemeester Ahmed Aboutaleb

How do we ensure that the expanding cities are also dynamic, providing an optimal environment in which residents are able to develop? This question is key at the Opening Academic Year 2017-2018, which is all about the Erasmus Initiative ‘Vital Cities and Citizens’. Guest speaker is Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam.

Cities are expanding: even now, more than half the global population lives in urban areas. In 2050, that will have risen to 66 percent. In these cities, the social structure and culture is becoming increasingly complex through globalisation, technological changes, migration and growing social inequality.

So how do we ensure that cities are also dynamic, providing an optimal environment in which residents are able to develop? A city which is creative and diverse, a safe meeting place for different social groups.

Theme and guest speaker

Theme of this year’s Opening is ‘Building Vital Cities, Empowering Vital Citizens’. The Opening Academic Year 2017-2018 is all about the Erasmus Initiative ‘Vital Cities and Citizens’. Through this multidisciplinary research and education project, Erasmus University wants to contribute to the quality of life in urban areas.

Guest speaker is Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, one of most recognised and outspoken mayors in both The Netherlands and worldwide. He advocates a leading role for cities and urban regions. The municipality of Rotterdam is particularly active in themes such as resilience, sustainability, social cohesion and the We Society. Rotterdam is also the international city to which the university is closely connected.

Programme

President of the Executive Board Kristel Baele will deliver the opening speech, Rector Magnificus Professor Huibert Pols will officially open the new academic year. Also, during the ceremony, the university awards will be handed out. The ‘Student in the spotlight’ has the opportunity the present his or her special project in front of a packed auditorium.

And for the first time, the Opening of the Academic Year will be moderated by a student (Mayeul de Kerros, student IBA).

More info and registration here.

More information

Press Office Erasmus University Rotterdam, + 31 10 408 1216