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VU New Year's Gala

We put the spotlight on our amazing students, lecturers and other staff at the VU New Year's Gala on 26 January 2023!

Who can call themselves the student or lecturer of the year 2022? Which support staff member deserves an ode and which lecturer will receive the prestigious Van der Duijn Schouten Teaching Award? We will find out at the festive and musical VU New Year's Gala, where all of the VU awards will be presented.


Date: Thursday 26 January 2023
Time: 16:00-17:00 with drinks afterwards.
Location: Aula, VU main building | or via livestream

Livestream New Year's Gala

Livestream New Year's Gala

Were you unable to attend the New Year's Gala? You can still watch it via the recorded livestream.

Awards and nominees

  • Bachelor's and Master's Thesis Award

    Thousands of students toil over many theses every year. Who wrote the best thesis? Emeritus professors of VU Amsterdam choose the winners from three nominees per award. The winners receive € 2,000 each.

    The nominees of the Bachelor's Thesis Award

    • Nikita Kors (BETA)
    • Philipp Sommerhalter (BETA)
    • Merel Stroes (School of Business and Economics)
    • Regina van de Wall (Religion and Theology)

    Winner: Merel Stroes

    Read the jury report

    The nominees of the Master's Thesis Award

    • Tahmina Arzomand (Medicine) 
    • Charlotte Parree (Law)
    • Bjorn Kwee (BETA)

    Winner: Charlotte Parre

    Read the jury report

  • Student Talent Award

    The Student Talent Award is awarded annually to a student who not only achieves good grades, but also knows how to put the concept of academic education into practice in a ground-breaking way. The winner receives € 4,000.

    The nominees

    • Michael Elizabeth Gasior (Behavioural and Movement Sciences)
    • Valerie Dupuits (School of Business and Economics)
    • Amarylle van Doorn (Medicine)

    Winner: Amarylle van Doorn

    Read the jury report

  • Teaching Talent Award

    Per faculty, students have nominated their best young teacher. The nominees have a chance of winning the €4,000 award to be spent on VU Amsterdam education.

    The nominees

    • Geert Schenk (Medicine) 
    • Wiebe de Jong (Social Sciences) 
    • Lachezar Yanev (Law) 

    Winner: Lachezar Yanev

    Read the jury report

  • Van der Duijn Schouten Teaching Award

    The winner will receive €7,000 to spend on their own education.

    The nominees

    • Sebastiaan Dönszelmann (Behavioural and Movement Sciences)
    • Yvette Taminiau (Social Sciences)  
    • Yolande Voskes (Medicine)

    Winner: Yvette Taminiau

    Read the jury report

  • Tribute to support staff

    VU Amsterdam cannot do without its support staff, who all help to keep this university running based on their own expertise. Two special support staff members will be put in the spotlight by Vrije Schrijver (Writer in Residence) Gustaaf Peek during the VU New Year's Gala.

    The two support staff members who received an ode were:

  • Who is the smartest?

    There is also a prize for the audience to win. With questions from the nominees, the New Year's Gala quiz will test your knowledge and, in addition to eternal fame, you can also win the ‘De Slimste Mens’ (the smartest human being ed.) board game.


  • Ernest van der Kwast

    Ernest van de Kwast was born in Mumbai, India. He has his breakthrough as a writer with the autobiographical novel Mama Tandoori (2010), that became a bestseller in the Netherlands and Italy. In 2015 the novel De ijsmaker was released, which won the Dioraphte Literatour Prijs, and in 2016 Het wonder dat niet omvalt. In 2016/’17 he was Vrije Schrijver (Writer in Residence) at VU Amsterdam.

  • Gustaaf Peek

    As of June 2022 Gustaaf Peek has been appointed Writer in Residence at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. 

    Peek (born 1975) is a Dutch writer, editor and screenwriter. He made his debut in 2006 with the novel Armin, which was followed by Dover. For his novel Ik was Amerika (I was America) he received the BNG New Literature Prize and the F. Bordewijk Prize. Godin, hero was Book of the Month in the famous Dutch talkshow DWDD and made it to the shortlist of the Libris Literature Prize. His screenplay for the feature film Gluckauf was awarded a Golden Calf. He also wrote the pamphlet Verzet!

  • Musical interlude

    Singer Dorona Alberti and pianist Ferry Lagendijk provide the musical interludes.

Recognition & Rewards

  • VU Amsterdam Awards

    VU Amsterdam attaches great importance to good and inspiring education, students and lecturers. To underline this importance, VU Amsterdam annually awards Education Prizes to special lecturers and students who deserve to be put in the spotlight. Read more.

  • Lecturer @VU?

    Are you curious about how junior lecturers within VU Amsterdam are being put in the spotlight even more? Or would you like to know how VU Amsterdam motivates university lecturers to develop leadership qualities? Read the article in Strategy Times #3.