Hans van Ginkel assumed office as the fourth Rector of the United
Nations University (UNU) on 1 September. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Rector van Ginkel on 20 March to succeed outgoing Heitor Gurgulino de Souza who completed his term as Rector on 31 August.
Rector van Ginkel is a citizen of the Netherlands and had been Rector Magnificus at the University of Utrecht since 1986. As Rector Magnificus, he has worked hard to develop North-South academic cooperation between his university and universities in Africa, South-East Asia, and in South and Central America. He has also contributed extensively to the work of various international organizations: since 1992 he has been a UNU Council Member and in 1996 he was appointed to a UNESCO Steering Committee to help guide their 1998 "World Conference on Higher Education."
Rector van Ginkel obtained his doctoral degree in social sciences from the University of Utrecht. He is the author of many urban and regional development-related publications. And in 1994 he was awarded the Knight in the Order of the Netherlands' Lion-one of the Netherlands' highest distinctions.
Biographical information about Rector van Ginkel is provided below.
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For more information and to arrange interviews with Rector van Ginkel, please contact:
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Rector van Ginkel was born in Indonesia on 22 June 1940 and has lived in the Netherlands since 1951. There he completed his kandidaats and doctoraal exams as well as his doctor's degree (Ph.D.) at the University of Utrecht. His masters thesis was titled "The Morphology and Functions of Ancient South-East Asian Cities in the early 17th century" and focused on the urban, economic and historical geography of South-East Asia. His Ph.D. thesis was titled "Suburbanization and Recent Residential Environments." It helped define effective policies that the Dutch Government subsequently used to understand suburbanization in the highly urbanized western part of the country. He has also received an honorary doctorate from Universitatea "Babes-Bolyai" in Romania for his work in geography as well as internationalism.
From 1965 to 1968, he taught geography and history at Thomas à Kempis College, Arnhem. Since that time he has remained active in secondary education, serving as chairman of national committees responsible for the renewal of curricula and national examination programmes in geography, as the programme leader of full-time and part-time teacher training and as a member of advisory committees on programmatic links between top-level secondary schools and universities.
Since 1988, he has been the chairman of the National Science and Technology Week Foundation, which focuses on informing the general public, in particular youth, about developments in science and technology. In early 1997, this foundation merged into the National Foundation "Science and Technology, the Netherlands" of which Prof. van Ginkel serves as chairman, with Prince Claus as the honorary president.
From 1968-1985, he worked at the University of Utrecht in the Faculty of Geographical Sciences which more than doubled the number of its students from 650 to nearly 1,400 during the period 1970 to 1985. In 1980, he was appointed a full professor in human geography and planning. From 1982-1985, he served as dean of the faculty. Prof. van Ginkel became a member of the Executive Board of Utrecht University in 1985. He served as Rector from 1986 until assuming the Rectorship of UNU in September 1997.
Prof. van Ginkel's special fields of interest are urban and regional development, as well as population and housing studies. He has a strong interest in aspects of the application of geographical knowledge in society, in particular in urban and regional planning, public housing and housing markets, and
From 1988-1993 he was the independent chairman of the Regional Council of Utrecht in which Utrecht and 10 surrounding
municipalities, together with representatives of the Chamber of
Commerce, provincial and national authorities prepared the strategic plan for regional development. He has also served as a member of the Utrecht Network for Innovation and Economy established by the Regional Council of Utrecht in 1994.
Prof. van Ginkel has a strong interest in science policy and has served as Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of Advisory Councils on Science Policy (1991-1997) and as a member of the National Foresight Committee on Science Policy (1993-1997). Since 1997, he serves as a member of the Advisory Council on Science and Technology which provides advice to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as well as the Ministry of
Economic Affairs of the Netherlands.
He has also maintained a strong interest in internationalism. Since 1986 he has served as the treasurer of the Netherlands Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic). He has also served a member and chairman of the governing board of the International Training Centre for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences at Enschedé. Since 1989 he
has been a member of the Board of the European Association of
Universities (CRE), serving as vice-president since 1994. Since 1990 he has been a member of the Administrative Board of the International Association of Universities (IAU), serving as vice-president since 1995. He is one of the founders of the CRE-Copernicus Programme, which seeks to enhance the contributions of European universities to sustainable development. He has also been the chairman of the CRE-Academic Task Force for Bosnian and Croatian universities. He was
also the initiator of the CRE-Institutional Audit Programme, which is meant to stimulate a culture of quality among diverse European universities.
As the Rector of the Utrecht University, he developed
North-South academic cooperation programmes between his university and universities in Africa, South-East Asia, and South and Central America. In 1991, he initiated the Utrecht-Unitwin Network, linking several universities in Europe (Lund, Bochum, Oporto) with the southern African universities of Maputo (Mozambique), Harare (Zimbabwe), Windhoek (Namibia) and Western Cape (South Africa). He also extended these links to South-East Asia and Latin America, bringing such universities as Gadjah Mada (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), Hassanudin (Ujung Pandang, Indonesia), Chulalongkorn (Bangkok, Thailand), Cochabamba (Bolivia), Georgetown (Guyana), Paramaribo (Suriname), Heredia (Costa Rica), León, (Nicaragua), and Guatemala (Guatemala) into the Utrecht University network.
Rector van Ginkel has also contributed to the work of various international educational organizations: since 1992 he has been a UNU Council Member and in 1996 he was appointed to a UNESCO Steering Committee to help guide the 1998 "World Conference on Higher Education."
Prof. van Ginkel is an active author in his fields of interest, including geography, and more specifically, urban, population and housing studies. He has published widely in the field of geography and has also written a number of articles on internationalization and university management.
Rector van Ginkel is a member and officer in several professional
associations and organizations. He is currently:
· Chair of the Board of Governors of the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute;
· Chair of the National Priority Programme in Demographic
· Member of the Core Group Ethical Platform of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
Rector van Ginkel has received several awards of honour from his country. In 1992, he was made a member of the Social Sciences Council of the Royal Netherlands' Academy of Arts and Sciences. And in 1994 he was awarded the Knight in the Order of the Netherlands' Lion-one of the country's higher distinctions.
Rector van Ginkel is married to Bep Teepen. They have
two children: one son and one daughter.