Diversity

Society and with it our university community has a wide variety of gender, sexual orientation, nationalities, cultures, ways of thinking and religions. We train and educate our students to deal with these differences. So that they, as professionals, are able to view matters from a broader perspective, and as future leaders can make the difference in society. We strive for 'inclusive excellence' through four pillars, whereby students, teachers, lecturers and employees within VU use mutual differences to stimulate more creativity and talent development

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam offers a learning and working environment that stimulates and encourages creativity and talent development through mutual differences. Our students come into contact with different diversity aspects and receive training in intercultural competences. We achieve this by, among other things, training and coaching teachers  in providing diversity-sensitive education.


Quote Feroz English  


Projects within this pillar

  • Diversity-sensitive education
    Various faculties participate in this project where the strengthening of the diversity competencies of both teachers and students is central. LEARN! Academy develops tailored courses for each faculty on diversity-sensitive didactics for both teachers and administrators. Check our blog for an interview with Chiel van der Veen, one of the developers of a new course. Several faculties will join in 2018. 
    Contact: Thea van Lankveld

  • Intercultural Competences
    With this tool students can measure how diversity-sensitive they are themselves. In collaboration with the Aurora Network, we are currently working on an English version of the questionnaire.
    Contact: Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee

  • Bonding & Bridging: Diversity in Study and Student-associations 
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam has a large number of study and student associations; from the religious Islamic Student Association (ISA) to the future economists of the association AUREUS. Diversity sometimes needs a push; Because different study and student associations work together actively, students build on their cultural skills and broaden their network. An example of this connection is the student association DOCS, which is dedicated to diversity, openness, culture and students.
    Contact: Wim Haan

  • Collaboration with the Amsterdam Nieuw-West District
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Nieuw-West District have in common that they both have a wide variety of cultures. In 2017 they signed a covenant to cooperate intensively. For example, a VU study room has been opened in Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Because of this, students function as role models, contribute to citizen participation and support refugees and status holders in the corresponding  neighborhood. This collaboration is part of Community Service Learning.
    Contact: Wim Haan 

We supervise students in three study phases, focusing on the intake, study time and preparation for the labor market; Good preparation is half the job.
For a VWO student, the transition from high school to a university can be huge. Especially for 'first generation' students, whose parents have not studied, we try to reduce the step from high school to VU. During their studies we motivate our students to get the best out of their study time. In addition, we prepare our students for the labor market. After all,  good education is not a guarantee for a good job.

Quote 5VWO English  

Projects within this pillar

  • Be Prepared
    Be Prepared is a three-day empowerment program for 5-VWO students, especially for those who are the first to study in their family. We help these students think about their own strengths and weaknesses, about the choices they can make and on how to reflect on their own behavior. It is also about learning to deal with the expectations of others without losing the connection with their own environment.
    Contact: Loes Mulders

  • Better Prepared
    Better Prepared is a three-day empowerment program. Following the Be Prepared program, students are introduced to the academic world during the VU introduction days. This program starts in August 2018.
    Contact: Wim Haan

  • Student Exchange to the University of California, Los Angeles
    Talented first-generation students can apply for this every year. They follow a mix of academic programs at the University of California in the United States for six weeks. Students address issues such as inequality, community activism, citizen responsibility and political involvement during an intensive academic boot camp in Los Angeles. Reversed, there are American students at VU. Travel wisely!
    Contact: Wim Haan

  • Meet your Mentor
    Do you want to find a suitable job faster with insights from a mentor who knows what your non-western background is worth? Or do you want to start an orientation on the labor market and do you want to focus more on your future? Meet Your Mentor supports talented students with a non-Western background in the transition to the labor market. The platform offers you an enthusiastic mentor, with whom you discuss the challenges you face and with which you discover and strengthen your power as a future young professional. The program has already started, do you want to participate in the next program? Sign up here.
    The outcome of the project can be different for everyone, because everyone has their own learning objectives. What we aim for is that after the process:
    • Are more confident about your position on the labor market;
    • Have determined more focus and direction for your future;
    • Better able to profile yourself optimally and stay true to yourself.
    Contact: Meltem Halaceli

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is working on an 'inclusive organization' with a personnel policy in which diversity plays a central role at all levels of the organization. For example, we offer space and attention to minority groups, cultural minorities and international staff; different role models on the work floor provide a diverse and inspiring working  environment.

Quote Jaap Winter English  

Projects within this pillar

  • WO&MEN Network
    The wo/men network @ VU aims to improve the position of women in the workplace, as long as it is still unequal to that of men. Promoting diversity, equal opportunities and tackling gender-specific stereotypes and roles within the organization is important when it comes to the quality of our employees: men and women. The network therefore refers to quality: allowing the best people to excel in their working environment - without letting them be limited by gender bias or discrimination. Especially for VU women, they organize network-meetings and further development and mentoring-programs. Of course it is important for every VU employee to feel involved and included. Because of this thinking along and participating in this network is enthusiastically encouraged at VU, naturally for both women and men.
    Contact: women@vu.nl

  • More color at the top
    Together with a number of large employers, VU is working hard for more color in the top of Dutch organizations. Through this four-year program, we are increasing the inflow of bicultural talent into the top layer of business and government.
    Contact: Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee

Together with our scientists, we examine various aspects of diversity and the effects of our diversity policy. We evaluate diversity, with our experts in the field of diversity, such as Maurice Crul, Halleh Ghorashi and Petra Verdonk.

Quote Halleh English  

Projects within this pillar

  • The Taskforce ‘The Future is Diversity’
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Leiden University and Erasmus University Rotterdam work together within the research project The Taskforce. Together we identified which obstacles bicultural students encounter and how we can increase the study success of these students. Read more about the action points in the report: TaskForce The Future is Diversity
    Contact: Maurice Crul

  • Research Exchange
    The partnership between VU, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of the Free State (UFS) conducts research on diversity and organizes an annual research seminar. In February 2018 VU organized this meeting under the name 'Diversity in an Era or Polarization'. For an impression of this, see our blog.
    Contact: Wim Haan

  • Aurora
    Nine European Universities together form the Aurora network. Aurora aims for a diverse and inclusive university community. Research into diversity is one of the focal points in this collaboration.
    Contact: Neira Becar


  • Wednesday 10 October, 14:30-16:30 
    We invite you to join in on Wednesday 10 October and to think about how we can encourage women to choose a career at the faculty. The main goal is to put together a list of recommendations Speakers include Claudine Hermann, director European Platform of Woman Scientists, professors of the faculty and attendees from the Tenure Track.

    Programma-Programme NED-EN            Woensdag 10 oktober, 14.30-16.30 u Aurorazaal, Hoofdgebouw VU 
       
    14.30 uur: Opening & welcome by Jacqueline Broerse, Vice-Dean Research of the Faculty Board of the Faculty of Sciences.  
    14.45 uur: International keynote speaker: Claudine Hermann, Vice-President at European Platform of Women Scientists (EPWS). 
    15.10 uur: Discussion 
    15.20 uur: Medewerkers en leidinggevenden Bétafaculteit in gesprek met Jacqueline Broerse over hun aanbevelingen. 
    16.00 uur: Discussie en aanvullen agenda van aanbevelingen. 
    16.30 uur: Borrel/Drinks 

  • November 29  2018 - Compassion Prize
    Wanted: religiously inspired initiatives that make a valuable contribution to combating discrimination and polarization in Dutch society.
    Do you know people who are committed to others in our above-mentioned areas? Then you can nominate them, but also your own initiative for the Dutch Compassion Prize 2018.
    On November 29, Karen Armstrong will award the prize to VU. Note: The nomination period runs from 27 August to 24 October 2018.
    From August 25, more information and the required nomination form can be found on: www.handvestvoorcompassie.nl.
    Click here for the invitation (Dutch)
     


VU_Pride
VU Pride
VU Pride is the LGBT network for VU students and employees that provides empowerment by sharing visibility, knowledge, experiences, networking, advice and a listening ear.
Contact: Karin West pride@vu.nl
Women
Wo/men Netwerk@VU
The wo / men network @ VU aims to improve the position of women in the workplace, as long as it is still unequal to that of men. Promoting diversity, equal opportunities and tackling gender-specific stereotypes and roles within the organization is important when it comes to the quality of our employees: men and women. The network therefore refers to quality: allowing the best people to excel in their working environment - without letting them be limited by gender bias or discrimination. Especially for VU women, they organize network-meetings and further development and mentoring-programs. Of course it is important for every VU employee to feel involved and included. Because of this thinking along and participating in this network is enthusiastically encouraged at VU, naturally for both women and men.
Contact: women@vu.nl

Diversity is cooperation. With other universities and secondary schools to municipalities and businesses; On both a national and international scale, Diversity VU works together with various partners, including:

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)
“Build Equity for all”, is the motto of UCLA when it comes to diversity. UCLA is known for its close connections with community and society. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam therefore works closely with UCLA in the field of research and exchanges.

ECHO
We work together with Echo, a center of expertise in the field of diversity in (higher) education and the labor market. Among other things, the 'Meet Your Mentor' project is one of the fruits of our collaboration.

Pre University College
For the Be Prepared program, we work closely together with Pre University College (PUC), a partnership between 23 secondary schools from the Amsterdam region and VU.

Amsterdam Nieuw-West District
The Nieuw-West district is a preferred partner of VU. Nieuw-West lays the connections and thus offers students the opportunity to focus primarily on activities for residents in the neighborhood in the areas of poverty alleviation, sport and health, integration of refugees / status holders in the neighborhood and all other social and social issues that play in the district. This project is part of Community Service Learning.

Diversity VU works VU-wide, and is involved in all layers of the VU. The contact points of the Diversity team are:

Karen
Wim
Yvonne
Chief Diversity Officer        Coordinator DiversityProject-coordinator
Karen van den Oudenhoven-van der Zee
Karen is responsible for the diversity policy of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, expertise development and external profiling of VU on this theme.
Wim Haan
Wim supports the development and implementation of the diversity policy, in close collaboration with staff from the faculties. He is the contact person for students who have questions about diversity-related topics and is the project leader of the Community Service Learning Project.
Yvonne Moonen-Thompson
Yvonne is responsible for the daily organization and projects of the diversity team. She mostly focuses on internal and external communication.
k.i.van.oudenhoven-vander.zee@vu.nl wim.haan@vu.nl
y.moonen-thompson@vu.nl

Research/education employee
Britt Bakker, active in various projects, among others: 'More Color at the Top'

Student-assistant
Ergün Çelik, support with, among other things, the UCLA-VU exchange.

Student-assistant
Yassine Daia, support with communication and projects.

Projectmanager
Meltem Halaceli, responsible for, among other things, the online mentoring program 'Meet Your Mentor' and the annual symposium.

 
Do you have questions, ideas or do you want to know more, mail us at divers@vu.nl