Winning initiatives Van Bergen Award 2015 announced
The Van Bergen Fund aims to promote contacts between Dutch and international students in order to achieve a better understanding of each other's cultures. At the Symposium for Diversity and Inclusion the two winners of the Van Bergen Award 2015 were announced.
International Friendship Cup
These year two winners were awarded. The first is 'Strengthen Academic and Career Communication between Dutch and Chinese Students', a proposal by Gang Chen, Lin Jiang, Feng Jiang, Li Kong, Can Cui and Weiwen Zhong. This initiative aims to connect Chinese and Dutch students. The jury was especially charmed by the idea for an International Friendship Cup, a sporting event open to all students of Leiden University.
The second winner is the project Global Villages, a proposal by Leonore van Til, Francine van der Kooij, Merel Thijssen, Mark Knijnenburg, Max Balder, Nicole Hoogelander, Ruben Groen and Dirk van Hoorn from international student association AIESEC. The students plan to organise multiple ‘global villages’, big events with speakers, workshops, cooking and culture for Dutch and international students. Each village will focus on a specific region of the world and its political situation, cultural heritage and culinary traditions.
This year’s nominees are the Independent Media Platform - an international online platform for essays and news items from and for students -, and the Leiden University Case competition - an initiative aiming to bring together teams of international and Dutch students to compete in a business challenge.
Previous success stories
'The Van Bergen Award has brought forth a lot of great initiatives over the years', Isabel Hoving told the audience. International student Thanos Souliotis joined her on the stage to briefly look back at one of the winning initiatives of last year: the Leiden International Arts & Theatre Foundation. Souliotis: 'With the help of the Van Bergen Fund we were able to organise and produce five theatre plays. Theatre is about problem-solving and communication, and is a great opportunity for all the international and Dutch students involved to get to know each other better and form solid friendships.'
The Van Bergen Fund
The Van Bergen Fund was established in 2005, on the retirement of Joris van Bergen, Vice-President of the Executive Board. The Van Bergen family decided to use the farewell gift they received to promote the international cultural exchange of students.