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The 2016-2017 Academic Year kicked off at the University of Amsterdam on Monday, 5 September. Besides the commencement of classes, the new academic year was also officially opened in the Old Lutheran Church (Aula) and closed with a festive reception in the Atrium.

Dirk Gillissen
Photo: Dirk Gilissen

Many students and lecturers had their first classes on Monday morning, while several Executive Board members and deans attended first year courses to give a guest lecture.

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Programme in the Aula

The official opening in the Aula was dedicated to the UvA’s social mission in the city and beyond. In her speech ‘The Democratic Shorfall’, Executive Board President Geert ten Dam spoke about the tension between accessibility, quality and international collaboration.

In a spoken column, author and journalist Hassan Bahara threw light on diversity and the discussions on the subject within the academic community. This was followed by a contribution from student assessor Lianne Schmidt.

Special edition Room for Discussion

Room for Discussion, the weekly discussion platform for students from UvA Economics and Business, specially moved its ‘living room’ to the Aula in celebration of the opening of the academic year. Maarten Hajer, until last year director general of PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and professor of Public Policy at the UvA, and currently faculty professor of Urban Futures at Utrecht University, took a seat on the Chesterfield sofa for an interview with Dylan Ahern and Igno Notermans.  


Twenty slides, each shown for twenty seconds: meet PechaKucha. This short, visual presentation takes 20x20 = 400 seconds, or 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Bert Vercnocke, postdoctoral researcher in Theoretical Physics, and Marte Otten, Psychology lecturer, presented their research by way of PechaKucha.

Festive closing in Atrium

The opening of the academic year was concluded in the Atrium with a live concert by the band Sunday Sun.

Dirk Gillissen
Photo: Dirk Gilissen

Sunday Sun consists of Koen-Willem Toering, Yoshi Breen, Dave Menkehorts and Jan Teertstra. In June 2012 the band released their first single, followed by two more later that year. In that same year the band were awarded the title 3FM Serious Talent for their track ‘Highly Respected Rebel’. The band recently released their second album ‘Live Out Loud’ and are currently on tour.