Opening of the Academic Year, 3 September 2018: Creating Bright Communities

Bright Communities

Join us as we celebrate the start of the new academic year! Help us think about how we can create Bright Communities. This should not be too difficult, as we are living in a Connected World now, in which worldwide networks increasingly determine our economy, our culture, our relationships and our immediate surroundings. But how, we must ask, have loneliness and fake news become such major topics in a world such as this? During the Creating Bright Communities programme, we will discuss how we can coexist in harmony and build a prosperous future together.

Programma Opening Academisch Jaar

15.15 uur
Reception in the Foyer
16.00 uur
Opening speech by Mirjam van Praag, the President of the Executive Board, on the role of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in a Connected World
by Hugo de Jonge on the challenges for students, government and the university in the Connected World
Talk show
with students and scientists hosted by VU alumnus and politician Tanja Jadnanansing, in which the opportunities and potential drawbacks of Bright Communities will be discussed
Afrobeat grooves
by the Amsterdam band KOFFIE to shake things up
by Mirjam van Praag

17.30 uur
Drinks in the Foyer
Mirjam van Praag
Hugo de Jonge
Tanja Jadnanasing

The ceremony will take place in the Aula in the Main Building at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam.

We kindly invite professors to take part in the procession. Please be in the foyer no later than 15 minutes before the start of the programme. It would be greatly appreciated if you were to wear your university gown.

Do you have any questions? Please send an email to

The ceremony can also be followed live, via this page, on Monday 3 September.

Don’t forget to visit the VU On the Roof Film Festival from 4 to 8 September, which also focusses on the theme ‘Living in a Connected World’.