We present our plans on five work areas: Students, Inclusive Education, Staff, Research, and Accessible and Inclusive Learning and Working Environment. For each work area, we explain which topics are relevant and what policy measures we (plan to) take.
The policy measures below resulted from an interactive process between academic staff, support staff, students, the Sounding Boards D&I, external experts and the D&I Expertise Office. Various consultations were held with staff members and students to gain insight into the needs, ideas and wishes related to diversity and inclusion. Their input was used when drafting the measures and prioritizing certain work areas.
The POPcorner started in September 2018. It functions as an accessible study support point where students develop skills that enhance study success and create a sense of belonging. It was set up with a specific target group in mind: students who, due to their background or other reasons, find it difficult to connect with their study programme and/or fellow students.
The POPcorner has four roles: (1) an information and referral point, (2) facilitating and giving workshops and training, (3) talent development and (4) the promotion of an inclusive student community. Within these four roles, various activities are organised. Many of these take a ‘students for students’ approach.
Humanities Buddy Programme
The Humanities Masters Buddy Programme (HBP) was first organized in 2016. The set-up consists of pairing groups of new international students with senior students (buddies) who familiarise them with the Faculty, the University and student life in Leiden or The Hague. Besides offering students with a buddy, the HBP also organises regular cultural and social activities.
IncLUsion is a student-led initiative set up in 2019 that enables refugee students, who are unable to enrol in regular education, to follow single courses at Leiden University free of charge. Upon completion, students receive a certificate. Approximately 30 refugee students participate every semester. The Faculty of Humanities is one of three faculties that opens up a number of courses to refugee students.
Study advisor for disabled students (STUFU)
Since 2013, the Faculty of Humanities has appointed a dedicated study advisor for disabled students. The position is based within the Student Affairs Department and focuses on facilitating and offering guidance to disabled students. The current STUFU is Bas Nieuwenhuizen.
Student Advisory Group D&I
The Student Advisory Group D&I was founded in July 2019 with two main objectives:
- Providing feedback on policy plans developed by the Faculty Board and procedures within the Faculty Bureau, from the perspective of diversity and inclusion; and
- fulfilling a proactive, signaling role on Faculty issues related to diversity and inclusion.
The Advisory Group D&I consists of eight students. Members are appointed for one academic year and represent the diversity of our student population. Meetings are held six to eight times per academic year.
Cooperation POPcorner The Hague
The interfaculty POPcorner The Hague (FSW, FGGA) was established in February 2020. It functions as a meeting point for students and a linking pin between the collaborating faculties at Campus The Hague. Interfaculty cooperation is an important aspect of the Campus The Hague Strategy. Given the fact that a large part of our student population is located in The Hague, the Faculty of Humanities will structurally contribute to the POPcorner The Hague in order to facilitate our students on location. Our contribution includes:
- Staffing of the physical location, one day per week.; and
- Sharing facilities and/or instruments developed by the Faculty of Humanities that may be of interest to other faculties involved.
Survey Inclusion@Humanities (students)
A central focus in the next phase of the University D&I policy is an inclusive approach: developing a climate where inclusion is the norm. We have come to understand that diversity is not only about numbers, but also about culture. Since 2015, the Faculty of Humanities has taken several initiatives to promote a more inclusive climate, including the beforementioned ongoing measures. The collective impact of these efforts has not been measured. In 2022, we will conduct a survey amongst all students to:
- understand how our students perceive the current state of diversity and inclusion;
- identify and prioritize concrete actions that can help us to develop and sustain the inclusive climate we aspire to have; and
- collect baseline data from which we can measure future changes in the climate and culture as a result of interventions.
In 2021-2022, we plan to undertake various outreach measures to make our recruitment efforts more inclusive and suitable for specific target groups. These measures include:
- Review the list of schools we visit and propose changes if necessary.
- Include D&I in training for student ambassadors and actively recruit ambassadors that represent the diversity of our student body.
- Improve the follow-up at faculty level of the ‘Start your Future’ introduction day for first-generation students.
- Design a (digital) leaflet on diversity and inclusion resources at the Faculty of Humanities for distribution during Open Days and other information activities.
We recognise that staff members and students within the Faculty often have bright ideas about how we can do things better. We therefore decided to set up the Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Fund, which provides small grants to bottom-up activities in support of our D&I priorities, with specific emphasis on creating an inclusive learning environment.
Facilitate Inclusive Education development opportunities
We plan to further facilitate teacher development in the area of D&I by providing an overview of training opportunities, allocating an annual budget for training and actively promoting the training opportunities to study programmes. This measure contributes to diversifying our curricula and developing inclusive teaching practices. Training sessions could support lecturers in addressing some of the questions they are faced with, such as:
- How do we manage difficult classroom discussions on controversial or polarizing subjects?
- How do we balance our commitments to freedom of expression, academic freedom, respect and inclusion?
- How do we (re)center marginalized perspectives, either historically or contemporarily? If this is not possible within a particular discipline, how are we talking about barriers to inclusion? Why does the canon look the way it does?
- What examples and metaphors do we use and which cultural frames of reference do we attach to them?
Inclusive recruitment and selection policy with attention for underrepresented groups
In administrative agreements (‘bestuursafspraken’) with the Executive Board, the Faculty has committed itself to improving the gender balance within the professoriate. This is linked to a concrete target of 37% female full professors by the end of 2021. The Faculty has decided to broaden the focus on gender to all underrepresented groups to achieve a proportional representation of full professors from various backgrounds. In addition to gender, attention is paid to ethnicity, sexuality, age and disability.
Our HR department started a “rollout process” of translating aspects of the inclusive recruitment and selection procedure for full professors to other job categories within the Faculty. The initial focus was assistant and associate professors, but our Faculty is committed to include diversity and inclusion in every recruitment and selection procedure.
Staff Advisory Group D&I
The Staff Advisory Group D&I was founded in March 2019. Its role consists of promoting diversity and inclusion within the Faculty, advancing equality of opportunity for all. The Advisory Group provides solicited and unsolicited advice to relevant Faculty decision-making bodies and support staff on policy developments related to diversity and inclusion.
Management information: inventory of gender balance per job category, in faculty committees and submitted research proposals
To ensure that the actions we take to promote diversity and inclusion are effective, we will continue to gather and analyze data on the compositional diversity of our staff. This gives us a clearer picture of variations in staff recruitment, progress and retention associated with diversity and allows us to more effectively monitor the impact of any policy or procedural initiatives. To achieve this, we will report on:
- Gender balance per job category
- Gender balance in faculty committees
- Gender balance in submitted research proposals
Survey Inclusion@Humanities (staff)
A central focus in the next phase of the University D&I policy is an inclusive approach: developing a climate where inclusion is the norm. We have come to understand that diversity is not only about numbers, but also about culture. Since 2015, the Faculty of Humanities has taken several initiatives to promote a more inclusive climate, including the beforementioned ongoing measures. The collective impact of these efforts has not been measured. In 2022, we will conduct a survey amongst all employees to:
- understand how our staff perceive the state of diversity and inclusion;
- identify and prioritize concrete actions that can help us to develop and sustain the inclusive climate we aspire to;
- collect baseline data from which we can measure future changes in the climate and culture in response to interventions
Facilitate professional development opportunities for all staff members
A key focus area of the university work plan is promoting the diversity expertise of staff members in all positions. We will develop an overview of professional development opportunities, allocate an annual budget for training and actively promote these development opportunities to our institutes and departments. We will also examine to what extent existing training offerings (e.g. for new teaching staff, members of programme committees, and programme chairs) devote attention to diversity and inclusion. In consultation with relevant colleagues, adjustments will be proposed when deemed necessary.
Based on discussions with stakeholders, the work area Research is not put forward as a priority for 2021-2022. We do recognize the importance of promoting diversity of applicants and an inclusive focus of research. However, we feel that measures currently listed within other work areas will contribute to this goal.
Enhance and communicate resources available to support disabled staff
Information about facilities for disabled staff needs addressing in the coming period. It is the experience of staff members that a set of articulate university-/faculty-wide policies is currently lacking, which the D&I Expertise Office recognizes. The Faculty of Humanities will further investigate what the exact needs are (of disabled staff and those with management responsibilities) and how to best address them, so we can reduce barriers to inclusion and improve the experiences of disabled staff.
Contribution to sign language interpreter
Internationally leading research into deaf communities and the global disability movement encounters issues with the limited accessibility for deaf academics. For researchers, students and international guests, there are no facilities available for hiring a sign language interpreter.
The Faculty of Humanities intends to financially contribute to a university-wide facility that allows our academic staff to hire a sign language interpreter at an academic level. In addition, the facility may be used during faculty events.
Faculty web page
Staff members and students have voiced a clear request for more outreach and visibility for our D&I activities. Our new web page hopes to do justice to our ambition of being an inclusive and diverse community of students and staff, where everyone is supported, respected and empowered to do their best work.