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Victor van der Chijs ECIU President

University of Twente Executive Board President Victor van der Chijs has been appointed President of the ECIU, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The University of Twente is one of eleven European universities affiliated to the ECIU.

Asta Pundzienė and José Mendes were elected as ECIU vice-president and treasurer.

Mr Van der Chijs succeeds Lluis Tort (Autonomous University of Barcelona), taking on the task of moulding the consortium’s further development. This will involve greater emphasis on the public profile of educational innovation, on the link between research and business, and on further strengthening cooperation in entrepreneurship.

Brussels office

Victor van der Chijs has been Vice President of the ECIU since spring of 2016. In that role, he has been actively shaping the future of the consortium. The foundation for the organization’s future plans was laid in Amsterdam, in the summer of 2016. As a result, the ECIU will soon be opening an office in Brussels, enabling it to exert greater influence on EU policy. The universities of Tampere (Finland) and Nottingham (UK) have also joined the consortium recently.


In his new role, Mr Van der Chijs is pushing for a central role for entrepreneurship and for still greater commitment from ECIU members. He states: “The ECIU has great potential and we are currently working hard to execute our strategic agenda. We are formulating new aspirations for this twentieth anniversary of the ECIU. Our common goal is to enhance knowledge sharing between scientists, and to make more research funding available by tapping into grant programmes in Europe and elsewhere. We also want to actively engage in the debate surrounding the new European framework programme for research and innovation. Finally, we are launching the ECIU Start-up Discovery Journey, a new European programme of excellence for entrepreneurial students and PhD students.”

About ECIU

ECIU, founded in 1997, is a Consortium of universities set up to share information and knowledge about good practices and the challenges that each member faces with regard to university governance and cooperation with society. In seeks especially to share values and harmonize positions so that it can present itself to European instances and other universities and university networks as an entity capable of accompanying and influencing the European agenda in the field of higher education cooperation policy and regional research and development.   

About Victor van der Chijs

Victor van der Chijs (1960) studied Law in Amsterdam and completed postgraduate education at the Amsterdam School of International Relations and INSEAD. Van der Chijs worked at ING, lastly as Vice President Structured and Project Finance in Hong Kong. In 1998 he started at Schiphol Group, first as Director of Public Affairs, while in later years he became responsible for Schiphol’s activities in the USA. In 2003 he took on responsibility for all of Schiphol’s international activities. A year later he was asked by Rem Koolhaas to take on the management of OMA, wherein recent years Van der Chijs was able to manage the structure, processes and culture of OMA in such a way that he allowed room for the professionalism of the architects, resulting in a newly focused organisation. This development has contributed to OMA’s leading position as a world-class, creative enterprise. From October 2013 Van der Chijs has been the president of the University of Twente.

About the Presidium

Victor van der Chijs, Asta Pundzienė and José Mendes will form the Presidium of the ECIU Executive Board for the next three years. Victor van der Chijs is President of the University of Twente, founding member of ECIU. Asta Pundzienė is vice-rector for research & innovation of Kaunas University of Technology, which joined ECIU in 2016 as its only Lithuanian member. José Mendes is vice-rector for research of University of Aveiro, which is also a founding member of ECIU.