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Prominent figures from academia, the business world and the city of Amsterdam will open the new building of Amsterdam University College (AUC) – a prestigious joint institute of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and VU University Amsterdam (VU) – on Friday, 21 September

Amsterdam University College (AUC)


Helga Nowotny, who is responsible for the allocation of billions of euros of European research funds as president of the European Research Council (ERC), will give the keynote speech. Nowotny is a member of the International Advisory Board of AUC and will discuss the relationship between teaching and research. Moreover, she will place particular emphasis on interdisciplinarity, research skills, adopting a critical attitude and social engagement. Berry Marttin, a member of the Executive Board of Rabobank Netherlands and chairman of the International Advisory Board of  AUC, will highlight the role of higher education in a globalising society.


Lodewijk Asscher, City of Amsterdam Alderman for Education, will conduct the opening ceremony. Asscher has been an ardent supporter of AUC and its philosophy of combining excellence and diversity since the institute was established. The City of Amsterdam supported AUC with a start-up subsidy.


AUC’s new building is located at Science Park Amsterdam. Architect Francine Houben of Mecanoo, who designed the new AUC building and Robbert Dijkgraaf, director of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and one of the founders of AUC, will present their vision of the ideal school building in a short film to be shown during the opening ceremony.


Mecanoo architects’ design for the new AUC building symbolises the wish to create ‘a home for students', while simultaneously blending in with the more businesslike architecture of the other buildings located at the Science Park.

Please note: the ceremony is closed to the general public; attendance by invitation only.

Amsterdam University College (AUC)

About AUC

AUC is a joint educational institute of the UvA and VU and an example of successful cooperation between the two Amsterdam universities. Under the motto Excellence and Diversity in a Global City, AUC offers students from around the world a selective and residential educational programme. The English-taught liberal arts and sciences programme offers students the opportunity to explore broad societal and scientific issues across a range of disciplines. Intensive and small-scale seminars are held by high-calibre international staff. Great emphasis is placed on science courses and academic skills.

About Science Park Amsterdam

Science Park Amsterdam, an area of approximately 70 hectares, is an international science knowledge centre developed by the UvA, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and Amsterdam city council. The Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam, NIKHEF, AMOLF and CWI research institutes, and SARA Computing and Networking are all housed at the Science Park. In addition, approximately one hundred companies in the fields of life sciences, ICT and business services are located there.

Note to editors:

For more information please contact Mariëtte Diderich, phone: 020 525 8781 or email: Journalists wishing to attend are requested to register in advance with Mariette Diderich.