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Message from the Supervisory Board

In this section, the Supervisory Board (SB) accounts for its supervision of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) in the year 2021.

Independent supervision

The SB is the employer of the BoT and supervises the execution of the Trustees’ tasks and how they exercise their powers, for example in respect of balancing the interests of internal and external parties. For the SB, the interests of the university and the social mission of EUR are paramount. Among other things, the SB is charged with approving the administrative and management regulations, the budget, the annual financial statements, the Board report and the institutional plan. The SB also oversees the structure of the quality assurance system. The SB appoints an auditor to make a financial report to the Supervisory Board. In addition, the SB advises the BoT on matters at hand.

Members of the Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board is composed in such a way that the members can operate independently and critically with respect to each other, the Board of Trustees and other stakeholders. The members of the SB are appointed for a period of four years by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OC&W) and the SB is accountable to this Minister.

There were no changes in the composition of the SB in 2021:

  • Jaap Winter (Prof. dr.) - Chair
  • Hans van Duijn (Prof. dr. ir.) - Vice Chair and Chair of the Quality Committee
  • Pascal Visée (mr. drs. RA) - Member of the Supervisory Board and Chair of the Audit Committee
  • Laura van Geest (drs.) - Member of the Supervisory Board and member of the Audit Committee
  • Ellen Giebels (Prof. dr.) - Member of the Supervisory Board and member of the Quality Committee

Mr Visée stepped down as a member of the Supervisory Board on 28 February 2022. The SB thanks Mr Visée for his great commitment and contribution during the two terms he served on the SB, in particular as Chair of the Audit Committee. Mr Vas-Bhat (dr.) was appointed by the Minister as a member of the Supervisory Board to succeed Mr Visée effective 1 March 2022.


Taking into account the character of the university, its activities and the desired expertise, the Supervisory Board has drawn up a profile for its size and composition. This profile is public. For a further explanation, see www.eur.nl/over-de-eur/organisatie-en-bestuur/raad-van-toezicht. Appendix 1 sets out more information about the Supervisory Board, including the positions and ancillary positions of the members of the Supervisory Board.


The SB had an Audit Committee and a Quality Committee in reporting year 2021.

The Audit Committee focuses on both EUR's finances (including internal control and risk management), IT policy, IT security, other business operations and real estate. The Quality Committee focuses on the quality of education and research, and how this quality is stimulated and secured within EUR and in collaborations.

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee met four times in 2021 and advised on the following topics, among others, during these meetings:

  • EUR Multi-year budget 2022-2025
  • Annual financial statements 2020
  • Erasmus Perspective 2022 (the framework memorandum)
  • Highlights reports (financial forecasts)
  • Audit Charter and Audit Plan
  • Audit & Review Agenda 2022-2024 and periodic update of Internal Audits results in 2021
  • Semi-annual report Campus in Development (for the purpose of real estate strategy)
  • Roadmap Procurement 2021-2024
  • EUR Reserve Policy 2021
  • Auditor's management letter
  • 1 October census enrolment figures and impact on funding
  • IT (Information security plan, cyber security risk signalling)

The external auditor appointed by the Supervisory Board reported his findings to the Audit Committee.

Quality Committee

The Quality Committee met four times in 2021. The topics discussed at these meetings included:

  • Open Science
  • Research data management
  • EUR Internationalisation Policy 2021-2024
  • EUR PhD Policy and PhD Survey
  • Midterm evaluation HOKA/Institutional Quality Assurance Test (ITK)
  • Awards of research grants and prizes
  • Professorial policy
  • Student wellbeing, also in relation to the Covid period.

Meetings of the SB and BoT

The Supervisory Board met four times in a regular meeting with the Board of Trustees in 2021 and twice in a joint strategy session. In the 2021 joint meetings, the SB and BoT discussed the following regular topics concerning which the SB has a legal authority.

2020 Annual Report and 2020 Annual Financial Statements

The Audit Committee discussed the 2020 financial statements and the accompanying audit report in the presence of the auditor in May 2021. The EUR 2020 Annual Report and 2020 Financial Statements were approved by the SB in June 2021.

Erasmus Perspectives 2022-2025 and EUR Budget 2022-2025

The Erasmus Perspectives 2022-2025 (formerly the Framework Memorandum) was discussed in the Audit Committee meeting in May 2021 in the presence of the auditor and explained at the Supervisory Board meeting in June and adopted for publication. EUR Budget 2022-2025 was discussed in the Audit Committee in November and approved by the SB in December


In 2021, the 2022 administrative and management regulations (BBR-EUR) were approved by the Supervisory Board after adoption by the BoT.

Other topics

In 2021, the 2022 administrative and management regulations (BBR-EUR) were approved by the Supervisory Board after adoption by the BoT.

In addition to its statutory duties, the SB spoke with the BoT about a variety of topics including:

  • COVID-19: In 2021, the SB was informed about the measures that the BoT, in consultation with the CTO and CMT, is taking to ensure the safety of students and staff and to allow education and research to continue as well as possible. This included the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, short-term and long-term measures, the impact on employees and students and how the university can help, the impact of the crisis on EUR’s liquidity and equity, and research on working and studying from home.
  • EUR Framework Recognition and Appreciation, as a basis for initiating a culture change for recognising and valuing academic staff.
  • IT Security,partly in light of current social developments (more digitally supported education and conducting research and working from home).
  • Collaboration with external parties and the social role of EUR.
  • Enrolment of students and foreign students and the extent to which EUR can influence enrolment flows.

Other consultation platforms

Strategy sessions

In two strategy sessions in 2021, the SB and the BoT jointly discussed various (social) developments that are relevant to the strategic positioning of EUR in the medium and longer term.

Consultation with the Chair of the Supervisory Board of Dutch Universities

In the reporting year, the Chairs of the Supervisory Boards of Dutch universities met twice. Among the issues discussed were the future of the university system and science.

Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Centre and Convergence

Consultation took place in 2021 between the Supervisory Board and the Board of Trustees of EUR and the Supervisory Board and Board of Trustees of Erasmus MC. During the consultative meetings, a number of common topics were discussed, such as the effects of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of staff and students, the various construction projects at Woudestein campus and Erasmus MC campus, and diversity and inclusion goals.

The Convergence EUR TU Delft -Erasmus MC started in 2019. The SB has been updated and involved by the BoT in several discussions about this partnership. The ultimate goal is to create social impact, with the region as a living lab. For the Convergence, a separate governance structure has been established with a Convergence Executive Board and a Convergence Supervisory Board. The Chair of the Supervisory Board participates in the latter. In 2021, the three Convergence pillars started: Resilient Delta, Health & Technologyand Al, Data & Digitalisation. The Framework Agreement, signed in 2021, also establishes agreements on operations within the Convergence that are coordinated from the Convergence Office. The Convergence Executive Board has decided to double the available cooperation budget for 2022.

Consultation with the University Council

During the reporting year, the Chair and a delegation of the SB met twice with a delegation of the University Council (UC). The discussions were fed back to the BoT. The SB and the UC have experienced these discussions as positive and constructive.

Self-evaluation of the Supervisory Board

In accordance with legal provisions, the Supervisory Board monitors the quality and performance of individual members and of the Supervisory Board as a whole. A self-evaluation took place at the end of the reporting year 2021. This included input from the BoT on collaboration, developments in the knowledge and skill levels of members, the impact of COVID-19 and screen-based meetings on their own performance and the time demands of supervision.

Board of Trustees

In accordance with the SB's role as the BoT’s employer, evaluation discussions were held by the SB in 2021 on the cooperation with the BoT as a whole and on the role of individual BoT members. Appreciation was expressed for the content and atmosphere of the meetings and the stability of cooperation, which also has a positive impact on the organisation.

As discussed at the time of his appointment in 2020, Prof. Frank van der Duijn Schouten made his interim Rector position available as of 1 October 2021. The recruitment for a permanent incumbent was completed by the SB in 2021 in accordance with the applicable procedure. The SB is very pleased that Ms Annelien Bredenoord (prof. dr.) could be appointed as Rector Magnificus for a period of four years as of 1 October 2021.

Governance and Compliance

Erasmus University Rotterdam applies the Code of Good Governance for Universities 2020. This annual report serves an accountability purpose, indicating the organisation’s compliance with the Code.

Contacts within EUR

During the COVID-19 period, the SB could not make visits to faculties. Now that the COVID measures have been lifted, the SB is happy to visit the various faculties again. In 2021, the SB ensured that a diverse range of topics were discussed at various meetings, allowing for obtaining a broad view of the organisation. This regularly included department directors and other knowledgeable EUR staff.


As in the previous year, COVID-19 placed a large burden on the University in 2021. The wellbeing of both the students and staff of EUR was a matter of concern to the BoT and the SB throughout the year. The SB commends EUR staff for succeeding in keeping education and research going in such difficult circumstances, and, as a university, in playing a meaningful role in society.

The SB is convinced that the BoT has contributed significantly by providing a sound basis for a stable and stimulating working environment. The Supervisory Board greatly appreciates the balanced role of the Board of Trustees, which was expressed, among other things, in the joint substantive and strategic discussions in which an atmosphere of future orientation and mutual inspiration prevailed. The SB noticed that the individual BoT members experience a strong result-oriented development on their own portfolio and involve the organisation well. The various departments, the Deans and the University Council were closely involved in university policy and the strengthening of EUR's academic reputation.

Finally, on behalf of the SB, I would like to express great appreciation for the efforts and commitment of all EUR staff members who, despite the stubborn COVID-19 crisis with several lockdowns, once again stood firm for the students and the organisation of education and research in 2021. This was not always a given in view of the necessary restrictions from the government. It required a great deal of effort, inventiveness, perseverance and positive work ethic.

A big compliment is therefore in order for the EUR community. With unity and hard work this enabled us, even in 2021, to achieve the strategic goals and ambitions of EUR and maintain its position as a leading university with social impact in a valuable way.

On behalf of the Supervisory Board Erasmus University Rotterdam,

Jaap Winter (Prof. dr.), Chair

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