Why a Utrecht Research Agenda?

In 2021, Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht celebrated 385 years of science in Utrecht. Science begins with amazement and curiosity. Can fish get corona too? Research is never finished and asking a challenging, inspiring question may be even more relevant than finding the right answer. Because one question can change the world.

That is why Utrecht University and UMU Utrecht invited every Utrecht resident to make a contribution to the development of science from their amazement and curiosity in this anniversary year. No matter how young or old you are, where you live and what background you have. Every question matters, because every question can be the start of groundbreaking research. Because wherever questions from various worlds come together, unexpected insights come about.

The questions from Utrecht serve as a foundation for our own Utrecht Research Agenda. This agenda could lead to new research or twists to existing research.

One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world

Portret Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousafzai

This quote by Malala Yousafzai, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2014, is an important source of inspiration for the Utrecht Research Agenda. Malala is known for her fight for access to education and knowledge for girls. Her motto makes it clear that we need everyone to think about the future together. Building bridges between the various worlds is essential in that. For this reason, we are creating the Utrecht Research Agenda together with all Utrecht residents who wanted to think along with us.

Malala was fifteen years old when a Taliban fighter on the bus back from school carried out a targeted attack on her. She was seriously injured by a bullet in her head and neck. Part of her skull was repaired at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham with a prosthesis made to the shape of her head from titanium using a 3D technique. 

November 10 has been declared Malala's Day by the United Nations. With this, the UN calls attention to the tens of millions of children and youth who, due to their social background, have no or only with the greatest difficulty access to education and knowledge. The fourth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations articulates the goal: ensure equal access to quality education and promote lifelong learning for all. Access to education contributes to the ability to participate fully in society.