Academic activities

Opening of the Academic Year

All universities open their academic year with a gathering of professors and guests. Often held on the first or second Monday in September, it is an opportunity to announce the plans for the coming year. At Nyenrode, it is the custom to invite a keynote speaker to give a lecture after which the rector magnificus officiates the actual opening of the academic year.


To complete their doctoral research, PhD students are required to write a doctoral dissertation. It should contain the research results and their conclusions. One or more professors supervise the PhD students’ research and support their work on their dissertations, but to be awarded the title of doctor, each PhD student must defend his or her dissertation before a special committee. Each candidate may appoint two paranymphs – seconds – who provide primarily mental support during the defense ceremony.


Most degree programs conclude with a festive graduation ceremony. At many of the programs, all the graduates of one year receive their degree certificates at the same time, while others have several award ceremonies per year. Students who have completed one of Nyenrode’s intensive open (executive education) programs do not receive a degree certificate but a specific Nyenrode certificate.

Emeritus status

When a professor is granted emeritus status, it means that he or she is to retire. “Emeritus” means “to have finished serving” or “at rest”. However, many professors with emeritus status remain attached to “their” universities because they want to supervise a number of PhD students, for instance. This can be done for a period of five years after retirement. Occasionally, a professor who is about to retire will hold a valedictory lecture.

Honorary doctorates

An honorary doctorate is a doctorate awarded to persons who have made exceptional contributions to science, although that work is not recorded in a doctoral dissertation. Sometimes, someone is awarded an honorary doctorate for non-academic feats, such as political or social relevant achievements.

Academic Brown Bag Presentation 

During Academic Brown Bag Presentations our faculty members, together with visiting academics, share research projects in an informal setting during lunch presentations.

Benefits to speakers

These meetings are beneficial to speakers for many reasons. They may:

  • Receive valuable feedback
  • Rehearse presentations for upcoming academic events
  • (learn how to) Defend an upcoming dissertation
  • Help further establish research projects
  • Network with relevant contact from within and outside Nyenrode

Active participation

Whilst enjoying their lunches, participants are invited to engage in discussions, ask questions, share relevant theories and suggest additions or improvements to the speakers.


Interested in our lunch presentations? Please contact Sam Solaimani to apply to be a speaker or participant.

PhD conference

During a PhD conference, professors, researchers and PhD students gather to discuss current academic issues and to give feedback on research propositions, paper proposals and PhD theses.