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As of 1 January 2015, Prof. Marijk van der Wende will be stepping down as dean of the Amsterdam University College (AUC), a joint excellence initiative of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and VU University Amsterdam (VU). Van der Wende will take a sabbatical leave at Harvard University, where she will work as a visiting scholar on a research project focusing on higher education in China in the age of globalisation. The appointment of a successor is in progress.

Marijk van der Wende
Photo: AUC

Van der Wende began in 2009 as the founding dean of AUC, a selective three-year honours Bachelor’s programme in liberal arts and sciences. Prior to that, she led the preparatory phase (2007-2009). Last month, AUC celebrated its fifth anniversary.

‘With a clear vision, extensive expertise in the field of higher education and a large international network, Marijk van der Wende has succeeded in making AUC a success’, said VU Rector Magnificus Frank der Duijn Schouten. ‘She was able to generate support for our plans within the city of Amsterdam and the Ministry of Education. Moreover, she managed to secure the commitment of prominent corporate sponsors to support the AUC Scholarship Fund, which aims to further diversity and excellence in AUC’s student body’.

‘Marijk van der Wende has established a wonderful institution, with a solid organisation, excellent lecturers and talented and enthusiastic students from around the world’, said UvA Rector Magnificus Dr. Dymph van den Boom. ‘AUC enhances Amsterdam’s appeal as an intellectual and innovative hub. At the same time, it meets a growing demand for graduates with international skills and a broad-based education. Three graduating classes have already been awarded the joint UvA-VU Bachelor’s degree’.

Van der Wende comments: ‘It has been a great opportunity and a privilege to put theory and ideas into practice and I am grateful for all the trust and support that I got from so many parties.’