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Dean Andrej Zwitter at Opening Academic Year: "Scholarship for underprivileged children in Leeuwarden"

07 September 2022
The cortege always brings attention in the city

Campus Fryslân wants to tackle poverty in East Leeuwarden by guiding children to university studies, with a fund of which well-known Dutch people will become ambassadors. The initiative was unveiled Tuesday by Dean Andrej Zwitter, during the official opening of the academic year in the Grote of Jacobijnerkerk. The plans for the fund are submitted to the municipality of Leeuwarden and the province of Fryslân.

First-generation children

The campus wants to take care of children on the Eastside of Leeuwarden, who are often the first in their family to go to university. With its own fund, the faculty will receive resources to give children financial opportunities to study. Many children in disadvantaged neighborhoods, often from immigrant backgrounds, do not even know of the existence of a university, argues Zwitter, himself a first-generation: ''How can you take the next step if you don't know where to take it?''

"Let's not despair"

In his speech, he urged students and staff not to lose heart, even though we live in a time of very great challenges. "Drought, floods, heat, a war in Ukraine while we are just coming out of a pandemic. But, despair is the killer of action. It is not our fault that the world is the way it is. But it is our fault if we leave it as it is. Let's pick up the shards and get to work."

Opening of the Academic Year

The new academic year kicked off yesterday with a traditional cortege through downtown Leeuwarden. Because the faculty is located outside of Groningen, Campus Fryslân is allowed to host a separate ceremony from the official Opening in Groningen, which took place on Monday. This yea'rs opening was extra special, as the first cohort of the Bachelor's programme Data Science & Society was present.

The Gemma Frisius Lecture in the Grote of Jacobijnerkerk, was delivered this year by Prof. Linnet Taylor (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society), on students' interaction with technology. After the lecture, Esmé Johnson introduced herself as the new student assistant, a position in which she will represent the student population of Campus Fryslân in meetings with the faculty board. Abduhalim Albakkor represented the faculty council and introduced students to the council's role within the campus. A student from the bachelor's programme Global Responsibility & Leadership gave a musical performance.

Last modified:26 September 2022 12.12 p.m.

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