Involvement in society
The field in which Tilburg University operates is of direct relevance to contemporary social issues. Our faculties and scientific institutes are actively involved in making their knowledge and expertise available to businesses and organizations through initiatives aimed at collaboration, knowledge transfer and valorization of scientific knowledge.
Science and practice are linked in Knowledge Click. The Center mediates in assignments between Tilburg University on the one hand and businesses and non-profit organizations on the other. Almost 1,100 assignments were carried out in 2009.
Many academics air their views via the media in discussions of current social relevance; they also make scientific contributions to various influential advisory bodies and social organizations like the Scientific Council for Government Policy and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands. Alumni occupy leading positions in the private sector, at both national and international level, in the world of politics and in other social organizations.
We also regularly organize public lectures on present-day themes, such as pensions or the economic crisis, during which our professors enter into detailed debate with the audience. Through the ‘Kinderuniversiteit’ (‘university for kids’) [link], we also aim to introduce children to the world of academic study in an informal and appealing manner. Children from the top streams of primary education are given the opportunity to listen to a ‘real professor’, who then answers any questions they may have.
As a university, our roots lie in the Christian-humanist culture of the continent of Europe. Even today, this rich tradition inspires us to reflect and focus on values in relation to science. The Centre for Science and Values, for example, is where employees, students and any external interested parties can contemplate the question of the role of religion and values in research and education.
The Nexus Institute is the place for anyone interested in European cultural heritage. This is an independent institute, which is based at our university and is a focus for cultural-philosophical debate. Nexus has played host to countless internationally respected intellectuals – Nobel Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa gave the opening lecture at the 2010 Nexus symposium, for example. Other prominent names who have spoken in the past include philosopher Jurgen Habermas and Sonia Gandhi, the widow of the murdered Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, both of whom addressed an auditorium that was positively overflowing.