One Year after Amsterdam Institutions Signed an Accord on Diversity: What has Changed?

One Year after Amsterdam Institutions Signed an Accord on Diversity: What has Changed?

Wittenborg One of Nine Institutions to Evaluate Progress on Equality

A year after nine Amsterdam institutions, including Wittenborg, pledged their commitment towards diversity, inclusivity and social responsibility in higher education, the group is meeting again on Monday, 1 November, to evaluate their progress in reaching these goals. Wittenborg Amsterdam is one of the institutions that signed an accord to this effect in 2020 and will be represented by its CEO, Maggie Feng. As last year, the meeting will be held in the Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam, and all staff and students of WUAS are welcome to attend, however the programme is in Dutch (good for Dutch learning!). Register here.

With the agreement the institutions committed to seeking concrete, measurable goals to fight the lack of equal opportunity and prioritise representativity and inclusion. The 5 goals of the agreement are:

  • Promoting equal access and equal opportunity
  • Fighting against the lack of representation and diversity in management, academic staff, support staff, students and advisory boards
  • Critically looking at current academic content and informal production of knowledge and how it is shared as well as including a variety of perspectives
  • Establishing better contact with the city as a learning environment
  • Making everyone in the academic community feel at home and safe

In a collective press statement, the group said: "Despite corona, all the institutions have made some steps to becoming a more accessible place where all their students, lecturers and other workers feel at home. In some cases it went very well while at other times the reality was more challenging."

On Monday, students, researchers and managers will gather to discuss questions that include: What has been worked on and achieved the past year? What works and what does not? What should be prioritised in the coming period and where do institutions stand in relation to social developments in the city and the country?

Feng, along with Thea van Schoot - chief diversity officer at the University of Amsterdam - will be one of the first speakers at the event. They will be in conversation about the accord and its importance.

WUP 29/10/2021
by Anesca Smith
©WUAS Press