Minister, universities commit to more diversity in Dutch higher education

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Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education and organizations in higher education created an action plan to make universities in the Netherlands more diverse. Researchers, lecturers and other employees in Dutch higher education are still predominantly white men and that has to change, Van Engelshoven said to NOS.

According to Van Engelshoven, “science is not always a safe working environment”. There are “nasty incidents of harassment of female employees”, among other things, and that really needs to change, she said to the broadcaster A more diverse work environment can help with that.

Van Engelshoven agreed with the universities that they will set new target figures for the number of female professors working at their institutions by 2025.

The Netherlands’ academy of arts and sciences KNAW will present advice on how to prevent undesirable behavior, intimidation and harassment in research.

And the Netherlands’ organization for scientific research NWO is making 12.5 million euros available from next year for an “impulse program” aimed at Dutch researchers with a non-Western background and refugees.