University seeks connection with city and region

Opening of the 2015/16 academic year on Monday 31 August 2015

On Monday 31 August, Maastricht University will celebrate the opening of the 2015/16 academic year with a symposium and an official ceremony. The theme of this year's celebration will be ‘Building the Community’. Building the community is something Maastricht University does every day. Not only our own community of students, alumni and staff, but also the wider community, which includes the city and the region. Various projects that link student and city will be introduced. The Refugee project, for example, connects refugees and students and enables them to share stories and experiences. Neighbourhood platform Argus highlights the cooperation between students and student organisations in the neighbourhood. And various Maastricht student associations have invited locals to get to know their associations, to name just a few initiatives.

During the morning symposium, from 9.30 to 12.30 in the Aula at Minderbroedersberg, more than ten of these projects will be introduced in a TED-like format. Also, a panel discussion will be held with students, Maastricht University, Mayor Annemarie Penn-te Strake and Student&Stad Alderwomen Mieke Damsma. The expert and guest of honour during the afternoon programme, Professor Leo Penta, will also participate in the morning programme and the discussion.

Official opening ceremony

The guest speaker during the academic ceremony, which will be held from 15.15 to 17.00 at Theater aan het Vrijthof, is Professor Leo Penta, president of the German Institute for Community Organizing in Berlin. Professor Penta is renowned for putting his community-building expertise into practice, especially in projects in disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Germany and previously in the US. The programme will include a speech by Maastricht University President Prof. dr. Martin Paul, and the presentation of the Student Award and the Edmond Hustinx prize for science by Rector Magnifnicus Prof. dr. Luc Soete, with musical accompaniment by an ensemble from the South Netherlands Philharmonic.


To view the full programme for the opening of the 2015/16 academic year on Monday 31 August, visit

Live stream and Twitter#
The programme can also be followed live on the Maastricht University website and via Twitter: #oay15.

Also read

  • A bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences gives you ample choice for where to apply your detailed knowledge of sickness and health. Whether you want to work in or outside of the lab. Lobke Meels is an inspiring example of pursuing a career outside of the lab. She combined her bachelor’s programme...

  • We are proud to announce that the open executive programmes of Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE) have been included in the global top 80 by the Financial Times in their Open-enrolment Executive Education Ranking 2024. 

  • Aline Sierp received €50,000 in the NWO SSH XS funding scheme for the project ‘When the Past Determines the Future: The Role of Memory in Foreign Policy Decisions’. In the project, Aline will explore how political decisions are shaped by history.