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Opening Academic Year: maximum of 75 attendees

As a result of the current corona measures, attendance at the Opening of the Academic Year on 6 September will be restricted to a maximum of 75 persons. The ceremony can, however, be viewed online by taking part in a video wall.

The government has determined that activities on location can be attended by a maximum of 75 people. This measure applies to all activities within the University, including ceremonies such as the Opening of the Academic Year. Those people who have already registered for the occasion have since received an email with further information.  


The Executive Board is disappointed that the Opening of the Academic Year will again have to take place in a  slimmed-down form. ‘Unfortunately, we still need to exercise some patience before we can celebrate our academic ceremonies once more in a full Pieterskerk,’ commented Annetje Ottow, President of the Executive Board, who will deliver the opening speech on 6 September. ‘At the same time, we are delighted  that we are able to teach on campus again; our students and lecturers have been eagerly looking forward to this for a long time.’ 

Taking part in the video wall

Fortunately, the Opening of the Academic Year can be viewed digitally. A video wall will be installed in the Pieterskerk, so that those who are interested can still attend the ceremony in a creative way. You can register to take part in the video wall via this calendar item.


The theme of the Opening of the Academic Year is well-being. The keynote speech will be given by Jennifer Cumming, Professor of Sport and Exercise Psychology at the University of Birmingham (with a reaction by professor Andrea Evers). In a round table session, Annetje Ottow, Hester Bijl and Martijn Ridderbos, the three members of the Executive Board, will discuss how aspects of this broad theme fit within the University’s new strategic plan. The Leiden University Student Platform will also present the Teaching Prize to this year’s chosen lecturer. As usual, there will be musical interludes throughout the ceremony.

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