VUB opens academic year in European Parliament

VUB opens academic year in European Parliament

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

In previous years, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel has opened the academic year in locations that could be called, without exaggeration, icons of Brussels.

This year, rector Jan Danckaert and chair of the board Karsten De Clerck invite you to the opening of the academic year 2023-2024 in a setting that is iconic for the whole of Europe: the hemicycle of the European Parliament.

In this arena where the most significant European debates take place, Jan Danckaert will deliver his opening speech, emphasising the vital importance of European cooperation for excellence in teaching, research and innovation. And beyond that: the need for a new Renaissance

Jan Danckaert: “The European Parliament is the ideal location for an academic opening session in the context of our EUTOPIA network. My message is: Europe and the world need a new Renaissance and a new Enlightenment. Alliances such as EUTOPIA contribute to this.”

To translate these words into actions, he and the rectors of nine European universities will sign an agreement that will make EUTOPIA a true reference point for academic partnership and connection across Europe. 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.

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Leading European speaker Federica Mogherini

Federica Mogherini is rector of the College of Europe and a former EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security. She is the leading European speaker who will give an extra dimension to VUB’s academic opening session in the European Parliament. She will deliver a guest speech devoted to Europe and EUTOPIA. During the opening, the audience will also hear from the chair of EUTOPIA, Tiziana Lippiello, rector of ​ Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, and from EUTOPIA student representatives.

The academic opening in the European Parliament takes place on Friday 29 September and will start promptly at 15.00.

More information:

In light of the strict security protocols, please confirm your attendance by 26 September to Sam Jaspers on 0499 28 34 00.

Sam Jaspers
Sam Jaspers Woordvoerder a.i., perscontact wetenschap & onderzoek


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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