TU Delft opens academic year with online game

Most universities open their academic year with a livestream. TU Delft has chosen to start with an online game. Your guides? The voices of Tim van der Hagen and Rob Mudde.

You can win a TU hoodie by playing the game (Photo: TU Delft)

Now that the coronavirus is making a resurgence, the fourteen Dutch universities have decided to hold online openings of the new academic year. Via a livestream, students and employees will be able to take a look inside every university in the country.

Traditionally, the opening of the academic year attracts large crowds. But now that the number of coronavirus infections is on the rise again, universities are weary of hosting large groups of people indoors.

Luckily, there are plenty of online options, according to university association VSNU. This year, the fourteen universities are working together to organise an online festival on Monday 31 August for the opening of the academic year, complete with a block schedule of the line-up. Of course the impact of the coronavirus crisis will feature prominently on the agenda.

Guest of honour at Erasmus University is the mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb, who summoned representatives from student associations to a meeting this summer after a growing number of members had tested positively for coronavirus. The Open University has scheduled talks with chairman of the Security Council Hubert Bruls. He put a stop to unfair fines for violations of coronavirus measures in student housing.         

Members of parliament will be contributing as well. Minister of Education Ingrid Van Engelshoven has been invited to Radboud University Nijmegen, TU Eindhoven has invited State Secretary Stientje Van Veldhoven (Infrastructure and Water Management), and Minister Sigrid Kaag (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) will be attending the festivities at the University of Groningen.

Play the game
TU Delft’s plans remain shrouded in mystery for the time being, with the announcement of an online game. A teaser clip has been released for those who are curious. Set to booming music, viewers see the camera pan out across a deserted campus to a mythical gate. A clock shows a countdown: only ten more days until the gate opens. Everyone who plays the game could win a TU Delft hoody.

The voices of rector magnificus Tim van der Hagen and vice rector magnificus Rob Mudde will guide you through the game. On the site about the opening of the academic year, you can also see the digital avatars of both Van der Hagen and Mudde.

Rector magnificus Tim van der Hagen (left) and vice rector magnificus Mudde (right) will guide you through the game. 

But not everyone in higher education will be celebrating the openings at home. The unions and WOinActie are organising a bicycle protest that day to draw attention to the issue of large number of researchers and lecturers on flexible contracts.

HOP, Evelien Flink / Delta, Annebelle de Bruijn 

Editor Redactie

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