4 Sep 2017

Opening academic year 2017/18

On Monday 4 September 2017 Maastricht University celebrated the official opening of the academic year 2017/18. This year’s theme was: ‘Can academics change the world?’.


Video registration of the OAY celebration:

Opening Academic Year 2017

Whereas eight years ago we enthusiastically shouted ‘Yes we can!’, in 2017 the value of scientific research is sometimes called into question. It is therefore necessary these days to show how scientific research and education make a difference in the world of today and tomorrow. Without selling short the immeasurable value of basic science, this academic ceremony focused on the concrete ways in which academics try to change the world.

Alaa Murabit, Libyan/Canadian physician and UN-appointed 'Global Sustainable Development Goal Advocate', was the keynote speaker. She discussed the role of universities in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the importance of education for a sustainable future. In addition, three UM initiatives that impact the world at regional/national, European and global levels were presented.

The Student Award and the Edmond Hustinx Prize for a promising young researcher were also awarded.

Action Research competition
During the morning symposium, ‘action research’ was the central theme, with Shyama V. Ramani, professor of Development Economics at UNU-MERIT, as the keynote speaker. Students (bachelor’s, master’s and PhDs) pitched their ideas for a project involving ‘academic entrepreneurship’, for which they could win an award and receive personal guidance from Prof. Ramani.