Independent journalism about VU Amsterdam | Since 1953
18 June 2024

Campus
& Culture

Help, a student/teacher that looks nothing like me!

The university is becoming increasingly diverse. How do students and staff think this is actually progressing? To find out, Ad Valvas and 18 other news media of higher education institutions are conducting a survey.

Prayer spaces and gender-neutral bathrooms, women and/ Arabs in the philosophical canon, rainbow flags, meatless Mondays and vegan weeks in the restaurant, and professors being dismissed in their own lecture hall by students. Diversity and inclusion are hot issues at higher education institutions but there is still much work to be done: even now, certain groups are being forgotten when a new building is designed or a new system is introduced. There might be no wheelchair access, students with a visual impairment might have been overlooked, or neurodiverse people might come along with their specific wishes.

How diverse do you want it to be?
Nationwide survey of diversity policy and perceptions  in higher education: Closing date: 30 October. Complete the survey: students here and staff here.

It is clear that the campus is no longer the exclusive domain of old white heterosexual men.

But what do the students and staff of the higher education institutions think about it? We know that there are some lecturers who sometimes have to fight back their tears because they are dismissed as boomers by students. And that some students get annoyed by the rainbow flag or are made to feel unsafe by activists for the Palestinian cause.

To identify all the different perspectives and views of diversity, 19 news media of higher education institutions, including Ad Valvas, have joined forces to conduct a survey. We hope that you will complete it; it won’t take you more than ten minutes.

Not only will the overall results of the survey give us a better understanding of the mood in higher education in general, but they will also enable us to compare the various higher education institutions. In addition, we have studied the diversity policy of each of those institutions and we have discussed with their diversity officers what their plans are and what considerations play a role in them.

We hope to find out what you feel is going well and what improvements can be made. What is perhaps sometimes forgotten and also what opportunities there are. Whether you still feel excluded or whether you actually believe the campus has become a better place

The project, an initiative of the Kring van Hoofdredacteuren Hoger Onderwijs Media (Circle of Editors in Chief of Higher Education Media), has been made possible thanks to support from the Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek (Dutch Journalism Fund), an organisation that supports investigative journalism in the Netherlands. The Circle has obtained more than 100,000 euros for this purpose. The survey has been compiled on the basis of conversations with editors of all the media participants and has been drawn up by research agency Newcom. All answers will be processed anonymously.

If you would like to take part in the survey, click here if you are a student and here if you are a staff member. The survey is open until 24 October. The results will be published in a series of articles later this year.

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