Distinguished guests from the worlds of academia and business and from the city of Amsterdam opened the new building of AUC on Friday, 21 September.
Helga Nowotny gave the keynote speech, discussing the relationship between teaching and research, and emphasising the importance of interdisciplinarity, research skills, adopting a critical attitude, and social engagement. Nowotny, who is a member of the International Advisory Board of AUC, is President of the European Research Council (ERC), which is responsible for the allocation of billions of euros of European research funds. Berry Marttin, a member of the Executive Board of Rabobank Netherlands and chairman of the International Advisory Board of AUC, will highlight the role of higher education in a globalising society.
Lodewijk Asscher, City of Amsterdam Alderman for Education, conducted the opening ceremony. Asscher has been an ardent supporter of AUC and its philosophy of combining excellence and diversity since the University College was established. The City of Amsterdam supported AUC with a start-up subsidy.
AUC’s new building is located in Science Park Amsterdam. Architect Francine Houben of Mecanoo, who designed the new AUC building, and Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) and one of the founding fathers of AUC, gave their vision of the ideal university building in a short film to be shown during the opening ceremony.
The Mecanoo architects’ design for the new AUC building symbolises the wish to create ‘a home for students', while simultaneously blending in with the more businesslike architecture of the other scientific and educational buildings in the Science Park.