VUB opens academic year in European Parliament

VUB opens academic year in European Parliament

“Europe, EUTOPIA, and the need for a new Renaissance” - Friday 29 September at 15.00

In previous years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has opened the academic year at a series of special locations in Brussels – Abattoir in Kuregem, the Gare Maritime, Jubelpark and Bozar. This year, rector Jan Danckaert and chair of the board Karsten De Clerck are inviting students, colleagues and prominent guests to the opening of the 2023-2024 academic year in a setting that’s iconic for the whole of Europe: the hemicycle of the European Parliament.

In this room where the most significant European debates take place, Jan Danckaert will deliver his opening speech, called “Europe, EUTOPIA, and the need for a new Renaissance. Danckaert: “The European Parliament is the ideal location for an academic opening session under the banner of our EUTOPIA network. My message is: Europe and the world need a new Renaissance and a new Enlightenment. Alliances like EUTOPIA contribute to this.”

EUTOPIA is an alliance of 10 European universities with VUB as a founding member. Based on European values such as inclusion, openness, sustainability and the defence of academic freedom, EUTOPIA aims to provide answers to the major challenges of our times. With this opening session under the banner of Europe and EUTOPIA, and with testimony from the entire EUTOPIA network, VUB aims to emphasise the crucial importance of European cooperation for excellence in teaching, research and innovation. During the session, Jan Danckaert and the rectors of the other nine EUTOPIA universities will sign an agreement that will make EUTOPIA a true reference point for academic partnership and connection across Europe.

The academic opening in the European Parliament takes place on Friday 29 September and will start promptly at 15.00. Please note: there will be strict access controls and security measures in place, including thorough checks of identity. We therefore urge you to register soon and to arrive at the entrance at least 90 minutes before the event begins on 29 September. ​

More information:

To the members of the press: given the stringent security measures, please confirm your attendance with Peter Van Rompaey:

Eutopia - VUB | Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Invitation VUB Opening Academic Year 2023-2024
Invitation VUB Opening Academic Year 2023-2024


Peter Van Rompaey
Peter Van Rompaey Senior advisor corporate communications en rectorcommunicatie


About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.


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