And the winners are...

The Van Bergen Fund aims to promote contacts between Dutch and international students at Leiden University in order to achieve a better understanding of each other's cultures. At the Symposium for Diversity and Inclusion Isabel Hoving, Leiden University’s Diversity Officer and this year’s chair of the Van Bergen jury, announced the two winners of the Van Bergen Award 2015.

The winners of the Van Bergen Award 2015 are:

International Friendship Cup (sports event) to strengthen the communication between Dutch and Chinese Students, a proposal by Gang Chen, Lin Jiang, Feng Jiang, Li Kong, Can Cui and Weiwen Zhong, calling themselves Leiden Science China Community. This initiative aims to connect Chinese and Dutch students. The jury was especially charmed by the idea that the sporting event International Friendship Cup should be open to all students of Leiden University.

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 of 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 there were so many inspiring submissions, the jury decided not only to award two initiatives with funding for their proposals, but also to announce two nominees who will be given the chance to further develop their plans in cooperation with the Van Bergen Fund,”  Isabel Hoving said. The 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.


Click here for more information about the Van Bergen Fund.

Previous succes 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 created five performances with fifteen Dutch and international students. Theatre is about problem solving and communication, and as such it is a great opportunity for all the international and Dutch students involved to get to know each other and form solid friendships.”

Click here to read more about the previous winners.


Two winners

A proposal for an International Friendship Cup (a sports event) to strengthen the communication between Dutch and Chinese students and a proposal to organise global villages. These are the winning ideas of the Van Bergen Award 2015.

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