Universiteit Leiden

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University ceremony

Opening academic year

Monday 5 September 2022
Kloksteeg 16
2311 SL Leiden

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The opening ceremony of the academic year 2022-2023 will focus on the theme of Peace & Security. The ceremony will be opened by Annetje Ottow, President of the Executive Board.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Leiden alumnus Wopke Hoekstra will give the keynote speech on these topics and will then further discuss this with Leiden researchers. Students will also talk about what peace and security, or the lack of these, mean to them.

Students from the University have nominated the lecturer of the year and the University community has chosen the best ambassador of the University. They will be presented with a prize during the ceremony. Collegium Musicum, the music ensemble by and for students, will provide the music.

After the ceremony, at around 17:00, there will be a reception.


Entry of students followed by the cortege of executives


  • Opening by the President of the Executive Board, Annetje Ottow
  • Keynote speech by Wopke Hoekstra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister
  • Panel discussion with the Minister and Leiden researchers
  • Music by vocalists of Leiden Student Choir and Orchestra Collegium Musicum
  • Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl in converstation with students: Studying in a situation of restrictions: students discuss their experiences
  • Presentation of the LUS Education Award for the best teacher of the past year. Chosen from nominations by students.
  • Presentation Mr. K.J. Cath award for the best ambassador of the University in the past year. Chosen from nominations by the University community.
  • Closing speech by the President of the Board of Governors, Annetje Ottow


Expected end time of the official programme. Drinks.


  • Annetje Ottow President of the Executive Board

    Annetje Ottow is responsible for strategy, knowledge transfer, alliances and external relations, international relations, communication, alumni policy, a safe environment, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability at the University. Ottow is also the point of contact for the campus and for campus development in Leiden city centre. 


  • Wopke Hoekstra Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister

    Wopke Hoekstra MBA studied law at Leiden University from 1994 to 2001. After working for Shell and McKinsey & Company, he became a member of the Dutch Senate on behalf of the CDA in 2011. From October 2017 to January 2022, he was Minister of Finance in the Rutte III government.  In January 2022, he was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister in the Rutte IV cabinet.

Panel conversation

  • Joachim Koops Panel moderator

    Prof. Joachim Koops is Professor of Security Studies, Director of the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University and Jean Monnet Chair on the European Union’s Role in Security and Global Affairs. His research focuses on EU, UN and NATO approaches to peace and security, innovative approaches to (education) diplomacy and inter-organizational approaches to global security governance. He is currently leading the Effectiveness of Peace Operations Network’s (EPON) evaluation of the OSCE mission in Ukraine and is a member of the Advisory Expert Group on NATO and the Protection of Civilians in Conflict zones.


  • Larissa van den Herik Professor of Public International Law at the(Grotius Centre for International Legal Studies

    Larissa van den Herik is a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration and Chair of the Advisory Committee on Public International Law Issues to the Netherlands Government (CAVV). She has published and advised on the UN Security Council and specifically UN sanctions reform and terrorism, and on the work of the UN International Law Commission (ILC). Her areas of expertise also include international criminal law and particularly the law on genocide and crimes against humanity, the role of international commissions of inquiry, and sanctions more generally. She was also a member of the independent commission that evaluated the Law on Intelligence and Security Agencies (Wiv 2017), chaired by Rene Jones-Bos.

  • Vanessa Newby Assistant Professor, Institute of Security and Global Affairs

    Vanessa Newby is a scholar specialising in peacekeeping, peacebuildingthe Women, Peace and Security agenda and the Middle EastIn 2020 she formalised the Netherlands Chapter of the prestigious Women in International Security (WIIS) association, of which she is President. She is leading impactful initiatives to advance the role of women in international peace and security.

  • Isabelle Duijvesteijn Hoogleraar International Studies/Global History bij het Instituut Geschiedenis

    Isabelle Duyvesteyn  is a world-renowned expert on topics related to nature of war and peace in the developing world, irregular warfare and strategy, the history of terrorism and counterterrorism, strategic culture and intelligence and rebel governance. She has been a member of the Dutch national Advisory Council for International Affairs assigned to advise the Netherlands government on issues of peace and security and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Netherlands Defense Academy. 

  • Gjovalin Macaj Assistant professor

    Gjovalin Macaj holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford on universal accountability for human rights. Gjovalin is an early career researcher whose policy relevant research on human rights, the EU, and the UN, has attracted the interest of various governments and organizations. He advises the Albanian government on peace, security, and human rights issues in the context of Albania's membership in the UN Security Council.

Hester Bijl in conversation with students

Presentation of LUS Education Prize

  • Catrin Böcher Chair Leiden University Student Platform

    Catrin Böcher followed the Master’s programme Industrial Ecology, having already earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science: International Relations and Organisations. She is the current chair of the Leiden University Student Platform (LUS), the student think tank that selects the winner of the annual Leiden Teaching Prize, which is awarded at the opening of the academic year. The LUS advises the Executive Board of the University – the Rector Magnificus and President – on topical matters related to teaching and student affairs. The LUS was founded in autumn 2013.

Mr. K.J. Cath award presentation

  • Martijn Ridderbos Vice-chairman of the Executive Board

    Martijn Ridderbos, RC, studied Business Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam. After graduating, he began his career as a business consultant for government and non-profit organisations. In 2013 he became Chief Financial Officer and Director of the  National Service Centre of the Public Prosecution Office. Until 2017 he was also Assistant Professor of Public Management at the School of Governance of Utrecht University, where he taught public management and public financial management. In May 2017 he was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board of Leiden University. His portfolio includes finance, ICT and real estate. 

Vocalists of the Leiden Student Choir and Orchestra Collegium Musicum.

The Teaching Prize has been awarded since 2000 to university lecturers who distinguish themselves with their innovative teaching and their interaction with students. Following a round of nominations by students,  and attending several lectures, the Leiden University Student Platform selects three finalists. The winner receives a research grant of 20,000 euros and becomes a member of the  Leiden Teachers’ Academy. The award is presented by Catrin Böcher.

The biennial Mr. K.J. Cath award is named after lawyer K.J. Cath, who was president of the Executive Board until 1988. The university community nominates students and/or staff who, with their research or teaching - or their support of research and teaching - have promoted the standing of Leiden University. The award consists of a certificate and an amount of 2,500 euros. 

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