‘Tolerating inequality biggest mistake of mankind since communism’
Tolerating inequality is the biggest mistake of mankind since communism. The gains of globalisation and technology must be fairly shared, according to Minister Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. She was the guest speaker at the Opening of the Academic Year of Erasmus University Rotterdam on Monday, August 29th, 2016. Furthermore, the university announced to launch a double degree program with Codarts and Willem de Kooning Academy. Also, the university will enable fifty student refugees to study in Rotterdam.
Guest speaker Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and an alumna of the Erasmus University, addressed in her speech inequalities caused by globalization. The ‘winners’ are the global elites and the emerging countries, but there are also ‘losers’: 10 percent of world's poorest people and the middle class in Western countries. She called inequality the biggest mistake of mankind since communism. “We must ensure that the gains of globalisation and technology are fairly shared. If we fail, the backlash against open societies will grow.”
In order to make globalisation work, politicians need the help of academics. “We either make globalisation work for everyone, or we get nationalisation – which works for no one. I reject the latter, and I hope you do, too.”
Theme of this year’s opening was Meeting tomorrow’s challenges. According to President of the Executive Board Kristel Baele, globalization is one of the challenges we face. Universities should take the lead in solving such problems. Baele talked about two specific themes: the importance of education (in addition to research) at universities and the effects of advancing digitisation. Erasmus University is well prepared, according to Baele, to respond to both. "Entrepreneurship is in our DNA and has put us in an excellent position to offer tomorrow's challenges."
Rector Magnificus Prof. Huibert Pols talked about the educational plans of Erasmus University. For example, Erasmus University, Codarts and Willem de Kooning Academic jointly launch a double degree program, to educate ‘artist-scientists'. In addition, Erasmus University wants to enable 50 refugees to study in Rotterdam.
Also, the academic prizes were also handed out and William Klaver was the ‘Student in the spotlight', presenting his project to promote volleyball among children in Rotterdam.
All speeches here.