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On 22 March the three best ideas for making the UvA more accessible for students with diverse backgrounds were rewarded with a prize. The ideas were submitted in response to a call made by President of the Executive Board Geert ten Dam during the Opening of the Academic Year. The winners were awarded a personal prize of € 750 and a budget of € 5000 per idea to put their idea into action with the support of UvA staff members.

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Prizewinner Jern Ken Chew with Anne de Graaf

The winning ideas were submitted by Tugba Öztemir and Amsterdam United, Sterre Herstel and Jern Ken Chew. After a word of welcome from Geert ten Dam, Chief Diversity Officer Anne de Graaf lauded the winners during a festive gathering in the the Maagdenhuis.

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The prizewinners with President Geert ten Dam and Chief Diversity Officer Anne de Graaf

Mentors, elective course and using study associations

On behalf of the diversity platform Amsterdam United Tugba Öztemir presented the Academic Diversity Lab 2.0.  The aim of this lab is to provide mentoring for students in secondary school and higher professional education who are first-generation immigrants or have an immigrant background, supporting tem during their studies. The mentors help the students cope with workload and share study skills with them. They also pay attention to specific topics like dealing with micro aggressions.

Sterre Herstel’s  Got Privilege? is an elective course worth 12 ECTS credits for students in university and higher professional education. The students get a theoretical grounding in the issues surrounding diversity and forms of privilege, which they then use to create an educational product about diversity for secondary school pupils.

Jern Ken Chew proposes working with study associations to help international students integrate in Amsterdam. He also sees potential for improvement here in the way the UvA’s existing communication channels are used.

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Stay up to date

The prize winners will put their ideas into practice with the support of UvA staff. Keep an eye on for updates and more news on diversity at the UvA. If you have a good idea relating to diversity yourself, please send it to