Ambitious plan by Erasmus Trustfonds and Erasmus University Rotterdam for new endowment fund

Monday, 31 August 2015

Erasmus Trustfonds and the Erasmus University Rotterdam have combined forces to create the largest university endowment fund in the Netherlands. It is our joint aim to create a significant and independent source of income for research and education at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. We announced our collaboration (which is laid down in an agreement on July 1, 2015), at the opening of the Academic Year 2015-2016.

The initiative stems from the new vision of the Erasmus Trustfonds to jointly build the “university of the future”. To develop EUR into a top university with leading scientists, renowned for the (social) relevance of its research and education that matters. A university that attracts the best students, produces future leaders and through distinguished approaches to research and application contributes to the major societal challenges and developments in the coming decades.

The city of Rotterdam plays a key role in the plans, not only as the cradle of the Erasmus University, but also because of the growing international reputation and the ability of the city to act as a ‘living laboratory’ for large-scale research and experiments that can have worldwide application.

Big leap forward
The initiative fits in with the development of the Erasmus Trustfonds. Over 100 years ago Rotterdam entrepreneurs contributed the funds needed for higher education in the city, which became the Erasmus University. The Trustfonds aims to foster the growth and development of the university. The fund boasts an excellent reputation as an independent and trustworthy organisation that funds a variety of initiatives. It is sometimes referred to as “one of Rotterdam’s best kept secrets’. Now, more than 100 years after the start, the Erasmus Trustfonds is  renewing the entrepreneurial spirit of its founders and the city of Rotterdam with this major leap forward to create new and significant resources for the university.

Michiel Muller, president of the Erasmus Trustfonds: “We can be proud of what we have achieved together over the past century for the city and the university. But of course we must also look to the future. In the spirit of our founders, we are therefore launching a new fund that will contribute to the great challenges of our city and society. With this we hope to make a significant contribution and leave something permanent behind for future generations.”

Independent revenue stream
The campaign will enable philanthropic individuals, businesses and funds to contribute and connect with Erasmus Trustfonds’ goals and ambitions. This responds to the trend that donors want to make a difference and be part of making major initiatives happen. And the growing willingness of alumni for giving something back to their university, “learn, earn and return.’

Pauline van der Meer Mohr, President of the Executive Board of the university, said “Erasmus University is among the best universities in the world. We are proud of our position and want to retain and develop this into the future. The best universities in the world have large endowment funds, generated through philanthropic donations. Erasmus University needs such an independent revenue stream, enabling us to conduct groundbreaking research, attracting top scientists to Rotterdam and support the best students with scholarships. The Erasmus Trustfonds is our natural partner in this major step.”

The following short film about the endowment fund will take you into the vision and the ambitious goals of the Erasmus Trustfonds and the Erasmus University.