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Circle U. welcomes Julia von Blumenthal as new President

At the General Assembly held on 31 May 2024 at UCLouvain in Brussels, Julia von Blumenthal, President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, was elected as new president of Circle U. Succeeding Vincent Blondel, then rector of UCLouvain, Julia von Blumenthal will lead the strategic development of Circle U. over the next year.

The Circle U. President is the highest representative of the alliance. The President chairs the General Assembly which is the decision body where rectors, presidents and students make decisions on the strategic development of the alliance. Julia von Blumenthal will fulfil her mandate for a one-year period; however, the General Assembly may decide to extend her mandate an additional year.  

Svein Stølen, rector of the University of Oslo and outgoing interim president of Circle U. said: “Throughout her career, Julia has showed her dedication to Europe. She is the president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, which has played a key role in establishing, developing and scaling up our alliance, notably through its leadership on the Climate Knowledge Hub. I am convinced that Julia will enhance the development of Circle U. and lead the alliance in the right direction."  

Julia von Blumenthal is indeed already looking at what lies ahead in Circle U.:
“I am delighted to have been elected Circle U. President at this exciting time for our alliance. In the months ahead, we will be launching many new initiatives and structures together: from joint modules and new opportunities for cooperation as part of the Open Campus, to our new Knowledge Hub on the topic of artificial intelligence”, says the elected President. “Circle U. is all about learning from each other and, together, moving forward to improve what we do. This is sometimes complex but rewarding overall – after all, we are trying to do nothing less than rethink European higher education. It remains a big task but as Circle U. we have built the community and trust to develop the tools and opportunities our students, researchers and administration need to meet the challenges of our time. I am very much looking forward to accompanying this collaborative effort as the new Circle U. President.” 

About Julia von Blumenthal

Julia von Blumenthal has been president of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since October 1st 2022. From 1989 to 1996, she studied Political Sciences, Law and Slavonic Studies (Russian Studies) in Heidelberg and Hamburg. Julia von Blumenthal received her Doctorate in 2001 and her habilitation in Political Sciences in 2007 from the University of the Federal Armed Forces Hamburg (today the Helmut Schmidt University). After a visiting fellowship in Canberra and a deputy professorship at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, she held a fixed term professorship for German and comparative politics at the Justus Liebig University Giessen. Julia von Blumenthal has been a Professor of German Politics at the Department of Social Sciences of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin since 2009. She has served as dean of Studies, and afterwards as Dean of the Faculty of Arts. In 2014, she became founding Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. From October 2018 to October 2022 she was president of the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). As a political scientist she has conducted research on German politics, especially on federalism and parliaments and on the role of higher education institutions for the integration of refugees. 

Further Information

Press release of Circle U.