Hester Bijl new Rector Magnificus of Leiden University

RISE congratulates Professor Hester Bijl for becoming the first female Rector Magnificus of Leiden University. We are looking forward to continuing the collaboration on gender diversity in her new role!


“Professor Hester Bijl will be appointed Rector Magnificus of the Executive Board of Leiden University on 8 February 2021. She will be the first female Rector Magnificus of Leiden University. Bijl has been Vice-Rector Magnificus of the University since 1 November 2016. Carel Stolker, who has served as Rector Magnificus and Chairman of the Executive Board for eight years will stand down on the day of the Dies Natalis 2021. This will mark the beginning of his retirement.

As of 8 February 2021, the University will adopt a different administration structure, with separate roles for the Chairperson and Rector Magnificus.

The Board of Governors welcomes the appointment of Hester Bijl, who in the role of Rector will be responsible for both education and research at Leiden University. Chair Ab van der Touw: ‘The Board has great respect for the way in which as Vice-Rector Magnificus, Hester Bijl has given shape to her portfolio of education as well as her achievements in the area of societal impact and her collaboration with partners in the Leiden region, including the Leiden Bio Science Park. Hester Bijl has played an important role in the Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON) relocation project and has provided excellent leadership in the process of obtaining a positive assessment in the Institutional Audit. Hester Bijl is an ambitious administrator who builds communities and is very popular with not only students and lecturers but also external parties.”

Read the full news item of Leiden University here.

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