26 March 2018 from 15:00 to 17:15

The birthday of the university

382nd Dies Natalis Utrecht University

On Monday 26 March 2018, Utrecht University celebrates its 382nd Dies Natalis in the Dom Church. Here, the celebration is visible through a live stream.

Live stream


Dies speech by Minister of Education Ingrid van Engelshoven: EnglishDutch
Speech by Rector Magnificus Bert van der Zwaan: EnglishDutch


Businesses such as Google and Amazon invest billions in Big Data, artificial intelligence and knowledge robotisation. The world is changing at a rapid pace. The fundamental question we have to ask ourselves is how we should respond to the digital revolution currently taking place – as a higher education sector, as a university, and as individual students and lecturers. What should we change to stay relevant, what do we want to keep, and why? To what kind of society do we want to contribute?
In her Anniversary Address, Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven will reflect on the challenges these developments pose to the education sector as a whole. Subsequently, Bert van der Zwaan will outline why Utrecht University, with its tradition of high-quality multidisciplinary research and small-scale teaching,  is well positioned to remain in the global vanguard.  His address marks his departure as the 333rd Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University.

Honorary doctorates

During the Dies Natalis, Utrecht University will grant two honorary degrees to Professor Joan C. Williams and Professor Albert-László Barabási. Naomi Ellemers is honorary supervisor of Professor Williams and Hendrik Dijkstra and Henk Stoof are honorary supervisors of Professor Barabási.

Bert van der Zwaan, College van Bestuur
Rector Magnificus Professor Bert van der Zwaan.

Departure of the Rector Magnificus

The Anniversary Day will also mark the departure of our Rector Magnificus, Bert van der Zwaan. Over the last seven years he has strengthened the position of Utrecht’s education and research with vision and passion. With his boundless energy, he has put the teaching profession more firmly on the map, made our Master’s degree programmes future-proof and enhanced the university’s research profile. Bert is a highly involved rector who readily engages in debate, shows genuine interest and always keeps his door open to students and staff.

Teacher awards

The Executive Board will present two teacher awards: the Outstanding Teacher Award and the Teacher Talent Award.

Start date and time
26 March 2018 15:00
End date and time
26 March 2018 17:15
Entrance fee
More information
Dies Natalis