Wittenborg CEO Asks HE Institutions to Commit for at Least 10 Years to Diversity Plan

Wittenborg CEO Asks HE Institutions to Commit for at Least 10 Years to Diversity Plan

Nine Amsterdam HE Institutions Who Signed Diversity Plan Start Mapping out Strategy during First Online Meeting

The nine Amsterdam institutions of higher education who pledged their commitment to diversity and equality last month by signing an accord, started mapping out a plan towards realising their goals during their first meeting on Friday. Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, represented by CEO Maggie Feng, is one of the 9 and is very proud of the diversity that already exists at Wittenborg.  

"We don't want it to be just a paper plan and I have proposed a condition that institutions commit to at least 10 years, irrespective of institutional and political changes," Feng said. With the Education Agreement, the institutions seek to commit themselves to concrete, measurable goals to fight the lack of equal opportunities and prioritise representativity and inclusion. The representatives will meet every 3 weeks to plan and review.  

With the agreement the institutions commit 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

Since signing the agreement, representatives have been split into sub-groups. "There must be clear strategic planning with concrete agreements. In the same way that there are quality systems and controls in education, there should also be a diversity system that is run on the principles of responsibility and accountability," Feng said.  

During Friday's meeting, according to Feng, the representatives expressed interest to learn from one another and work together in a collegial manner to realise the goals of the Education Agreement.  

The institutions that co-signed the pledge are the University of Amsterdam, Wittenborg, The Hague Hotel School, InHolland University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Amsterdam Art University of Applied Sciences and the iPabo University of Applied Sciences.

WUP 1/11/2020
by Anesca Smith
©Wittenborg University Press