Opening academic year 2014/15
On Monday 1 September Maastricht University celebrates the opening of the academic year 2014/15. This year’s theme is ‘Women in academia: change ahead?’ The programme of the opening of the academic year consists of a symposium and the official celebration at the ‘Theater aan het Vrijthof’. In addition, the prize winners of the Student Award and the Edmond Hustinx Prize for Science will be announced, and UM’s very first 50 students honoured.
The higher up the career ladder you look, the fewer women you see in universities in the Netherlands. Twenty percent of Maastricht University professors are women – not bad compared to other Dutch universities, but this can and must be improved. The morning programme focused on how to promote the flow of women through the ranks in academia. The idea was to inspire an active policy that encourages more female academics to climb the career ladder.
The official opening ceremony took place at the ‘Theater aan het Vrijthof’. The keynote speaker was Dr. Jennifer Barnes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for International Strategy at the University of Cambridge. Barnes has had an impressive career, from opera singer to president of an all-female college in Cambridge to her present executive role. She has extensive experience in higher education and has advised peers in more than 25 countries on partnerships between the business sector, government and universities.
Student Award and Edmond Hustinx Prize for Science
Traditionally, the winners of the Student Award and Edmond Hustinx Prize for Science were announced. The Student Award was presented to Rob van Gassel, Laura Fransen, Veronique Schiffer en Yuri Foreman, the initiators of the “Gezondheidsuniversiteit’. This year’s Edmond Hustinx Prize for Science was awarded to Dr. Judith Cosemans.
UM's first students honoured
An extraordinary part of this year's opening ceremony was the tribute to our very first students. Although the university was not officially established until 1976, these 50 risk-taking pioneers started their medical studies in 1974 and thus helped lay the foundations of Maastricht University. Many of these students were present during the ceremony and received a special commemorative coin. A video report was made with unique images from the seventies.