Anka Mulder

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Opening Academic Year 2014-2015

We live in exciting times. For example, more information will be created this year than in the last 5.000 years together. And more than 2,4 billion people use the internet. There are also great worries, about climate change, energy, population growth, etc. As society changes, so does the engineering profession.

This is also a challenge for our university: how do we prepare our students for tomorrow’s society? There is a saying about education which goes as follows: “We teach today’s students with with yesterday’s knowledge, for a future we don’t know”. What we do know is that we have about 5-7 years, starting next week.

Teaching students what we ourselves have learnt is not sufficient. In the words of Albert Einstein: ‘You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it.’ So we have to teach students how to look at problems from a different perspective than our own. Our lecturers, professors, board and support staff have to evaluate education constantly and include today’s insights and research results in our educational programmes.

In an earlier post I mentioned that we have started a discussion about what we believe tomorrow’s engineers need to know, understand and do. The coming academic year we will continue this discussion, together with our professors, lecturers and students. And we will start September 1st, at the Opening of the academic Year. I look forward to it. See you there?

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