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Diversity and inclusion in facts and figures

What diversity policy in higher education looks like

By: Jowan de Haan

The study of diversity and inclusion in higher education identified where in higher education this policy is in evidence. How do institutions bear out physically that they want to be more diverse and inclusive? In what concrete ways do students and staff see all of the intentions and policy documents reflected?

Author: Wieneke Gunneweg. Research: Manon Dillen

1: Decolonising the curriculum, inclusive teaching material. Of the 20 institutions studied, 13 have said they are examining their teaching material in order to make it more inclusive.

2: Diversity events. All of the 20 institutions studied regularly organise events around the theme of diversity and inclusion. These can be lectures and debates as well as informal networking events or outreach programmes.

3: Separate physical space for a diversity office or diversity policy officers. Each institution has organised its diversity policy differently. Diversity officers often form part of an HR or student affairs department. Of the 20 institutions, 7 have a separate, recognisable space for the diversity office.

4: Target figures for female professors. These figures only apply to research universities, not to universities of applied sciences. All 13 universities have target figures for the appointment of female professors. Only Eindhoven University of Technology also has a quota of female professors who must have been appointed by a specific time.

5: Rainbow zebra crossing or other permanent LGBTQI symbol at the institution. We found a public LGBTQI symbol on the premises of 9 of the 20 institutions studied. These are often rainbow zebra crossings, stairs or ramps.

6: Gender-neutral toilets. All of the institutions studied have at least one gender-neutral, or all-gender, toilet. Sometimes, it takes a while to discover where these are and how many there are.

7: Toolkit for recruitment and selection; toolkit for writing inclusive job advertisements. All of the institutions studied are also taking action to make the staff recruitment process more inclusive. They are offering training and resources during recruitment and making it clear in job advertisements that the institution is open to everybody.

8: Unconscious bias training. All of the institutions studied have a form of unconscious bias training that teaches staff and students to recognise and address their own blind spots and unconscious biases. These training sessions are not mandatory at most institutions.

For this study, 36 policy documents of 21 educational institutions were analysed. The institutions comprised 13 research universities and 8 universities of applied sciences.* The documents included visions, strategies, policy documents, action plans and position papers in which educational institutions set out their plans.

The participating media of the research universities and universities of applied sciences are affiliated with the Circle of Editors-in-chief of Higher Education Media.

The following institutions were studied:
Fontys University of Applied Sciences, University of Groningen, VU University Amsterdam, Utrecht University, University of Twente, Avans University of Applied Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, Radboud University Nijmegen, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, Delft University of Technology, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Maastricht University, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Tilburg University, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, University of Amsterdam, Wageningen University, Leiden University.

This study was partly made possible by a contribution from the Journalism Promotion Fund.

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