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Opening Academic Year 2017/18: ‘Can academics change the world?'

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On Monday 4 September 2017 Maastricht University celebrates the official Opening of the Academic Year 2017/18. This year’s theme is: ‘Can academics change the world?’.

Whereas eight years ago we enthusiastically shouted ‘Yes we can!’, in 2017 the value of scientific research is sometimes called into question. It is, therefore, necessary these days to show how scientific research and education make a difference in the world of today and tomorrow. Without selling short the immeasurable value of basic science, this academic ceremony is focused on the concrete ways in which academics try to change the world.

The official opening of the academic year will take place in the afternoon at the academic ceremony in the Franz Palm lecture hall. Alaa Murabit, Libyan/Canadian physician, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal Global Advocate is the keynote speaker. She will discuss the role of universities in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, and in particular the importance of education for a sustainable future. In addition, three UM initiatives that impact the world at regional/national, European and global levels will be presented.

The Student Award and the Edmond Hustinx Prize for a promising young researcher will also be awarded.

Action Research competition
During the morning symposium, ‘action research’ will be the central theme, with Shyama V. Ramani, professor of Development Economics at UNU-MERIT, as the keynote speaker. Students (bachelor’s, master’s and PhDs) will pitch their ideas for a project involving ‘academic entrepreneurship’, for which they can win an award and receive personal guidance from Prof. Ramani.

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