An Academic Oasis

Come join our oasis in a beautiful castle in the Ardennes. Live on a campus with freedom of speech. Discover yourself and the world, and escape from constant online and offline distractions.

An open community where art, aesthetics, movement, and genuine interactions are as important as academic content.

Is this for you?

It is where you will expand your thinking, become a more responsible adult, set up creative activities for others to join, design solutions to economic and social problems, and prepare for future jobs and studies.

Graduates and academics will have made friends, acquired valuable critical and job-relevant skills, and developed improvements to major sectors of our society.

The Academia

A buzzing hub of seasoned researchers and curious learners, where academic freedom reigns.


Thinkers, developers and engineers from academia, industry, journalism, schools, and elsewhere.


Education and research into humanities & social sciences, natural & formal sciences, language & linguistics, critical thought & philosophy, and much more.

Do you want to prepare your future with us?

Find out more about the 1-year programs.

Our Mission

Nova Academia was conceived at the Second Science Summit – Uncensored in 2023 in Amsterdam, born from a desire to create a free, high-quality, and joyful academic institution. Its founders and initial supporters have a long-running interest in a new way of education.

The general aim of the Academy is to inspire and nurture inquisitive minds, support valuable initiatives and groundbreaking research, and establish thriving, free-thinking and humane communities.

Academic Freedom

In recent years a community of freedom-oriented thinkers has emerged with a shared goal of promoting and preserving the principles of academic freedom. Our focus is on advancing these ideals for the benefit of both individuals and society as a whole. We strive to create an environment conducive to personal development and growth, while upholding the values of freedom and autonomy. From staff to student, everyone at Nova Academia is dedicated to cultivating and sustaining the torch of academic freedom, and we seek to collaborate with like-minded individuals who share our vision and passion for positive change.

Cutting Edge Research

In the mentorship program we teach and challenge students to conduct interesting cutting-edge research in an area of interest to both mentor and student. The nature of our guidance depends on the mentor(s) involved. It may include workshops, reading groups, regular one-on-one meetings, co-authorship, joint production of videos, study trips, etc.


Mentorship Programs

Although Nova Academia does not provide standard university programs, we do offer academic mentor-student education. This includes one-on-one mentorships, with mentors guiding one or multiple students, and collaborative educational services, where a team of mentors devise and organise a program for one or more students.

Our Mentors

Our Founders

Professor Dr Paul Frijters

Academic Director

Dr Erika Turkstra

Head Location

Dr Dolf van Wijk


Dr Tjeerd Andringa

Head of epistemological development

Willem Engel

Head Culture

Anne Willemsen

Head Media

Drs Djamila le Pair

Head Student Affairs

Esther van Loo

Head Language & Cultural Education

Professor Paul Frijters
Academia at its best is about beauty, where young minds discover and interpret the world; where communities of both students, academic mentors, and life mentors are built for personal and group betterment; and which is a place of intellectual light and freedom in this world. The purpose of Nova Academia for me is to embody what Academia can be and thus to be a place that discovers and spreads truth and good ways to live.

Unshackled Education

Central at Nova Academia is academic freedom. We honour open debate and welcome differing viewpoints. It is our belief that critical thinking, a generous heart and an explorative mind form the basis of strong individuals and a blossoming society.

Positive learning environment

Our academics and students enjoy the freedom to think, write, design and create. We limit bureaucracy, as much as we can. This radical freedom attracts the brightest and brings out the best in all involved.

Benefits of Mentoring

Aspiring researchers, designers and engineers participating in the mentorship program will learn how to conduct research and/or create impressive works. They will work amidst a community of like-minded thinkers, involved in a range of shared events and learning activities. Nova Academia is fortunate to have a dedicated group of mentors, many of whom have ‘regular’ jobs at top universities or companies. These mentors are deeply knowledgeable and passionate about their expertise and research. Each mentor supports a particular area of research or learning activities, taking on smart thinkers from all walks of life, including those who have a job or are enrolled at a different university. What mentors ask in return is students’ dedication to self-development, community-building, and mutually beneficial learning and research activities. The mentor-mentee bond is a friendly, though professional, partnership; it is up to both parties to find a good match and make it work.

Our Events

Keep up to date with our events and sign up for activities organised by mentors, students, or Nova Academia staff members.

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

Our Articles

Browse through our growing online library, where you’ll find articles and books by, or about, Nova Academia’s mentors, lecturers and students.

Educational Vision Nova Academia

This is the textual version of a presentation, by Tjeerd Andringa, addressing the Educational Vision of Nova Academia during the Inaugural Day on April 6, 2024. Note: This text is

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Weekends with Jason Olbourne

Prof. Gigi Foster guest of Weekends

Professor Gigi Foster from our Academic Advisory Board, guest of Weekends with Jason Olbourne.
GUEST OVERVIEW: Gigi Foster is a US-born academic and economist. She is currently a professor

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Do you want to prepare your future with us?

Find out more about the 1-year programs.