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Victor van der Chijs has been appointed President of the ECIU


April 7, 2017

Victor van der Chijs has been appointed President of the ECIU


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Mr van der Chijs
succeeds Lluís 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. He will work together closely with Professor Asta Pundzienė
(vice-rector research & innovation of Kaunas University) and
Professor José Mendes (vice-rector research of University of Aveiro), who were
elected as vice-president and treasurer at the ECIU Board meeting in Mexico.

Brussels office 

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 University of
Nottingham (UK) and Tampere University of Technology (Finland) 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

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 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
, founding member of ECIU. Asta Pundzienė is
vice-rector for research & innovation of
, which joined ECIU in 2016 as its only
Lithuanian member. José Mendes is vice-rector for research of

University of Twente

Entrepreneurship has been part of the University of Twente’s DNA for over many decades: seeing opportunities where others don’t, taking risks when no one else would and setting up successful teamwork to achieve ambitious goals.