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Dutch Minister Alexandra van Huffelen speaks on Digitalization at Opening Academic Year Tilburg University

Published: 24th August 2023 Last updated: 25th August 2023

On Monday, September 4, at 16:00 hrs., the Opening of the Academic Year takes place in Tilburg University’s Auditorium. Around this year’s theme, ‘Talent and Labor Market’, an interesting program has been composed for the university’s students, staff, and relations.

alexandra van huffelen

Outgoing Dutch Minister for Digitalization Alexandra van Huffelen will share her thoughts on digitalization and (generative) AI. Tilburg University is deeply honored that she has agreed to come and inspire our academic community and encourage us to play our role. Also in response to her keynote, Professor Boudewijn Haverkort will show to what extent we as an academic community address digitalization in our research.

The academic session will be opened with an honorary doctorate to Professor Sabina Leonelli of the University of Exeter. Professor Maureen Sie of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD) is the honorary supervisor. The honorary doctorate will be presented to Professor Leonelli because of her academic merits, in particular in the field of the impact of Big and Open Data on research and the scientific and social implications of the implementation of Open Science. Her work connects the Humanities and Digital Sciences and is thus closely linked to the profile we pursue within our university strategy.

At the end of the meeting, Hugo Reumkens, chairman of the Board of Governors, will officially bid farewell to Paulina Snijders, Vice-President and member of the Tilburg University Executive Board. On September 1, 2023, Paulina Snijders will join the Board of Directors of the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG).

Program Opening Academic Year 2023-2024

  • Opening by Rector Magnificus Wim van de Donk
  • Presentation of honorary doctorate to Professor Sabina Leonelli of the University of Exeter by Professor Maureen Sie
  • Presentation of Support Award by Vice-President Paulina Snijders
  • Presentation of Teacher of the Year Award by Vice-Rector Magnificus Jantine Schuit
  • Key-note by outgoing Minister of Digitalization Alexandra van Huffelen
  • Response to key note by Professor Boudewijn Haverkort
  • Presentation work of art by Fransje Gimbrère
  • Farewell Vice-President Tilburg University Paulina Snijders by Hugo Reumkens, chairman of the Board of Governors
Note to editors

The press are cordially invited to attend this Opening of the Academic Year on September 4 at 16:00 hrs. in the Auditorium of Cobbenhagen building. For registration and more information, please contact spokesperson Imre van der Meulen at or phone (+31)(0)13 - 466 2613.