Erasmus University Rotterdam must continue to be at the forefront of developments in the years ahead through interdisciplinary collaboration and far-reaching internationalisation. Sound finances are needed to underpin these ambitions. This was the message of executive board president Pauline van der Meer Mohr in her New Year’s speech on Monday 6 January 2014.
In her speech Pauline van der Meer Mohr focussed on looking ahead to the next four years. The finishing touches were being put to the strategic plan that runs up to the end of 2018. At the core of the new plan is the desire to keep on taking the lead in creating, integrating and disseminating knowledge, placing emphasis for one thing on the collaboration among the disciplines. Alliances are needed to consistently access sources of research funding in the Netherlands, the European Union and internationally. Medical Delta is an example of an innovation consortium created by the universities of Delft, Leiden and Rotterdam.
Pauline van der Meer Mohr stressed that Erasmus University is concentrating its efforts on internationalisation, in other words recruiting more international students and internationalising the curriculum. “In order to remain relevant, we must continue to change and transform. Just as we have done in the past 100 years”, said the board president.
Financial constraints Pauline van der Meer Mohr closed with a word about the financial constraints confronting Erasmus University. Government funding is being cut back and market share is diminishing. Economies are imperative to avoid structural shortfalls and to continue investing in innovation in the coming years. The target is to save six million euro by structuring the support services more efficiently. That entails a reduction in around 110 ftes, an operation that has to be carefully accomplished and achieved as much as possible through natural attrition. The faculties will be making savings of five million euro. The plan is to increase the university’s revenue by two million euro.
100 years Erasmus University Rotterdam
Pauline van der Meer Mohr proudly reviewed the centennial activities of the past six months. Another round of great events is in store in the next six months as part of Erasmus University’s centennial celebrations, including an open campus festival and the European Universities Games.
The Executive Board president spoke about the renovation of the campus. January would see the doors of the new Food Plaza being opened. The construction of a multifunctional education building would also begin in 2014.