386th Dies Natalis

The birthday of the university


On behalf of the Executive Board of Utrecht University, you are cordially invited to attend the hybrid celebration of the 386th Anniversary Day on Friday 25 March 2022, at 16:00.

The livestream will start on Friday 25 March at 16:00

The theme of the event will be: Curious Collaborations. We teach, carry out research and share the knowledge and insights that provide the buildings blocks of tomorrow – all of which takes place across the boundaries of the various disciplines. Wherever different perspectives are shared, this leads to ‘curious collaborations’ and solutions that move the world forward.

Keynote speaker: Jim van Os

The keynote speaker for Anniversary Day 2022 will be Professor of Psychiatry Jim van Os, who will be discussing mental health care as a ‘wicked problem’. Despite the existence of 10,000 mental health care institutions, waiting lists are growing, there has been an increase in involuntary admissions and those who desperately need help have difficulty gaining access to those facilities. Professor Van Os believes that the problem cannot be solved through more effective management of mental health care capacity. The underlying issues are more fundamental. What exactly is psychological suffering? Where does it come from? What can be done about it and how should the health care system be set up? During the Anniversary Day keynote, Van Os will set out his search for answers to those questions, take us through the various disciplines involved and speak on radically new forms of collaboration – involving both patients and insurance companies – that will be kicking off this year.

Van Os’ approach is a superb example of the way in which the University wishes to work. At times, ‘curious collaborations’ may still feel slightly unfamiliar. However, we are committed to engaging in this novel approach and taking an open and inquisitive attitude.

Curious Collaborations

Curious Collaborations will be the common thread throughout the Anniversary Day celebrations. We will be reflecting on the five-year anniversary of the Utrecht Young Academy – a group of young, talented scientists who are leading the way in terms of unexpected partnerships, both within the University and with Wageningen University & Research, UMC Utrecht and TU Eindhoven. We will be giving the floor to students studying sustainability issues across national borders within the very first CHARM-EU Master’s programme to be accredited in five countries. We will be presenting the Teacher Awards to two superb lecturers as well as conferring honorary doctorates on Professor João Mano and Baroness Minouche Shafik – two incredibly inspiring scientists with whom we will be intensifying our collaboration in future.

Hybrid form

The event will take place in hybrid form. This means attendance at the Dom Church will be limited to a small number of guests, in accordance with the guidance in force at that time. Guests will receive a personal invitation to attend in person. The ceremony will be available to follow live on our livestream.

You are cordially invited to join us!

Yours faithfully,

The Executive Board of Utrecht University,
Anton Pijpers, President
Margot van der Starre, Vice President
Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus
Merel Dekker, Student Assessor

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