The National Action Plan for Greater Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education and Research was presented on 1 September 2020. This Action Plan is aimed at a diverse, safe environment for learning and working. Within this environment, people from differing backgrounds and with diverse perspectives are willing and able to contribute. Diversity in the content of research and education enhances quality.
Five goals for 2025
The National Action Plan for Greater Diversity and Inclusion sets five goals for 2025:
- Embed diversity more effectively in existing instruments (e.g. in the assessment of research proposals and accreditations).
- Monitor diversity more widely in education and research, including social safety and inclusion.
- Establish an award system to provide frameworks and set the direction for policy and funding, ensuring that they are diverse and inclusive.
- Bring together and support institutional diversity plans, enabling more cooperation.
- Establish a national centre of excellence for diversity and inclusion. This centre of excellence will develop, bring together and share knowledge and expertise.
The Advisory Committee for Diverse and Inclusive Higher Education and Research is investigating these five goals further. Based on the results, the Advisory Committee will advise both the government and organizations involved in education and research. This will allow further steps to be taken.
The field of education and research in the Netherlands is working with the government to take the next step towards diversity and inclusion. This will assure the future of the sector. It will enable the Netherlands to continue contributing to the major societal and scientific challenges facing the entire world.
Actions in the short term
Three activities have been completed or are now being carried out.
New targets for women professors
The Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH) has asked the universities to set desired targets for women professors for the period 2020–2025. If all universities achieve these targets, the share of women professors will not be less than 25% at any university by 2025. The target of 31.2% will also ensure that, for the first time, one of every three full professors is female (on average). In 2019, this average was 24.2%. Additional information is provided in the LNVH Monitor.
Recommendation concerning undesirable behaviour in academia
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) provides advice on the breeding ground and prevention of undesirable behaviour in academia. These recommendations are expected to be published in early July 2022 by the Advisory Committee on the breeding ground and prevention of undesirable behaviour, chaired by Naomi Ellemers.
Impulse programme for refugee researchers and Dutch researchers with a non-Western migration background
In 2021, the Dutch Research Council (NWO) allocated € 12.5 million to an impulse programme aimed at refugee researchers and Dutch researchers with a non-Western migration background.
Cooperation with other organizations
The National Action Plan for Greater Diversity and Inclusion was compiled in cooperation with:
- The Dutch Research Council (NWO).
- The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).
- The Universities of the Netherlands (UOTN).
- The Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH).
- The Expertise Centre for Diversity Policy (ECHO).
- The National Network of Diversity Officers (LanDO) .