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Young academics to help design policy

Rectors’ team reinforced to bring in fresh views and voices

Five young academics of the VUB have been chosen to take on administrative tasks for a year in addition to their academic work to support the rector and vice-rectors. Civil engineer Tine Tysmans will work for the vice-rectorate of Education and Student Affairs. Civil engineer Jeroen Van Schependom will take care of the vice-rectorate Research Policy. Language and literature scholar Ann Peeters is responsible for the vice-rectorate Internationalisation. Industrial engineer Maarten Messagie will work on the vice-rectorate Innovation and Valorisation. And finally, physicist Vincent Ginis will assist the rector.

These five academic staff members will have the opportunity, with the current management team, to develop their leadership potential and inspire the rectoral policy team. They will devote one day a week within their current tenure to this new role. Each will work closely with the rector or a vice-rector in a specific policy area to gain a tangible view of what leadership and policymaking means in practice.

“By giving young academics the opportunity to hone their policy competencies and weigh in on VUB policy, the university aims to increase its policy capability. The voice and views of our younger colleagues are absolutely essential. After all, they are also the leaders of the future”, says rector Caroline Pauwels.

In the policy plan “The future is a foreign country, they do things differently there”, Caroline Pauwels talked of wanting to invest in leadership. VUB has grown strongly in recent years and good leadership is one of the conditions needed to make that growth sustainable.