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On Friday, 12 June, the first working paper of the 2021-2026 Strategic Plan was discussed by the Executive Board and the Central Student Council and the Central Works Council. The emphasis was on what according to the CSR and the COR was insufficient structural attention to diversity and inequality in an earlier version of the document.

Karen Maex: ‘As a university, we have an important role to play in this and to pay attention to it in our study programmes. The starting point, in my view, is to recognize that we too have blind spots; that exclusion and prejudice occur at the UvA as well. Subtly perhaps, unintentionally or unconsciously, but it happens. Only when you acknowledge that can the conversation begin.’

The representative advisory bodies called for structural work on inequality, diversity and decolonisation in the UvA's education and research.

Geert ten Dam: ‘These are important points. You see that the accessibility of education is under fire, that inequality in society is increasing, that institutional racism exists. It’s also our task to contribute to reducing inequalities, removing barriers and to creating equal opportunities for all. This is part of our core values ​​and therefore belongs in our strategic plan. We need to hold a wide-ranging dialogue about this in the university.’

Topics that can be further elaborated on the basis of the Strategic Plan include:

  • Increasing staff diversity and giving diversity a place in strategic personnel plans.
  • Giving space to a wide spectrum of perspectives in education and research, including in minors and in study programme curricula.
  • Fostering an environment where students from all backgrounds feel respected.
  • Working with the study associations on creating more contact between Dutch and international students, also during the academic year.

Geert ten Dam: ‘We will be converting these and other points into action over the coming period during the realization of the new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan.’

Read more about the development of the new 2021-2026 Strategic Plan on the project page at uva.nl/instellingsplan.