Universiteit Leiden

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Our vision of diversity

Everyone, whether a student or a member of staff, should feel welcome and supported, as a member of the academic community, but also as a person, with all his or her unique characteristics and experiences. Only then can everyone fulfil his or her full potential.

What we want to achieve

There are many ways in which our university community is diverse: we differ from one another in ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, health, religion, age, socio-economic background, and in many other respect. To allow this diversity to flourish, our university has to be truly inclusive.

The globalisation of education and the increasing diversity of Dutch society offers opportunities for developing talent and giving an impetus to innovation and creativity. But how do we do that? It imposes new demands of the support and guidance of students, PhD candidaes and staff.  It requires us to create equal opportunities, irrespective of sex, cultural background, sexual orientation or physical limitations, so that talent can flourish fully. For these ideals to be achieved, there has to be a climate in which everyone feels at home, is accepted as they are, and  identifies with the university's values. 

We haven't reached that stage yet, but colleagues commit every day to bringing closer the ideals of diversity, equal opportunties and inclusiveness. 

Leiden University has an active diversity policy aimed at expressing the core values set out in our Institutional Plan: 

Leiden University endorses inclusiveness and diversity. It is open to all those who wish to study or work here, and to develop their full potential. The University is an open community where everyone who wants to contribute to its ambitions and to all that it stands for will feel at home and have equal opportunities.

Leiden University is a front-runner in the Netherlands in terms of our diversity and inclusiveness policy. Vice-Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl is responsible for the university's diversity policy. The Diversity Officer manages the intensive cooperation with the faculties and directorates to see that we achieve our four key objectives:

  1. Stimulation of gender balance by means of a gender-conscious appointment policy
  2. Stimulation of study success for all students, in particular bicultural and first-generation students
  3. A visible balanced position of women in research
  4. Expertise on diversity is available throughout the university community

Our ambitions for diversity are set out in the Diversity and Inclusiveness Working Plan 2014-2016 (in Dutch). This plan formulates the goals, approach and activities that make up our diversity and inclusiveness policy. 

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