Talent counts – Excellence through diversity

Leiden University is diverse, internationally oriented and cosmopolitan. Science thrives as a result of the interaction between different views. A diverse, balanced and intercultural group of scientists and students is prerequisite. It is important to focus on recruiting, promoting and retaining all of the available talent. The more diversity, the more creativity and innovation - in research and in education.

Inclusiveness and innovation

The university wants to attract the best students and staff and offer career prospects. The institution wants to be attractive and stimulating for the widest possible range of talent. Compared to many excellent international universities, Dutch  research and education still take too little account of the diversity and complexity of 21st century society. The international scientific community, from Harvard to University College London and Lund University, has already embraced the understanding that inclusiveness and innovation go together. Who welcomes new groups, finds new talent, and realizes innovative insights.

Leiden University also wants to play a leading role in this field in The Netherlands. Leiden University has long been known for its diverse research to languages and cultures. The university was progressive referring to gender studies in the eighties. This history is an excellent basis for our 21st century of excellence, diversity and inclusiveness policy.

Why a diversity policy?

The goal of a diversity policy is that the university forms an inclusive community, where everyone is able to develop his or her talents regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability. We want to guide and stimulate students to optimally deploy their talents, regardless of their background. We also provide a good and transparent career policy which provides equal opportunities to make promotion, and to combine work and care. We strive to include research and education that meets the needs of the various 21st century society.

Which steps will we take?

By making diversity a core value of our university, we can strengthen our national and international position, increase our visibility and increase the likelihood of excellence in education and research. We develop a central working plan based on board arrangements and good practices from abroad. Based on this, the faculties develop their own working plan.

The diversity policy is based on evidence-based measures. We focus on the long term and will continually monitor and evaluate progress. Consequently, Leiden will be a vibrant institution, where everyone will be stimulated. Ultimately, we want to reach the status that the thought of a diverse university will directly bring Leiden University to mind.

Isabel Hoving, the first diversity officer of a Dutch University

‘The point is that every student should feel welcome and respected’

‘The point is that every student should feel welcome and respected’

Dr. Isabel Hoving, lecturer and researcher at the Centre for the Arts in Society, has started as Diversity Officer at Leiden University on January 1, 2014. She is the first to occupy this position in The Netherlands. She initiates and coordinates all activities in the field of diversity. From scientific research, we know that it does not work well to develop measures for a single target group. Therefore, Isabel Hoving has been given the task by the Executive Board to take actions on the diversity policy for the whole organization. With her team, she works in five areas: students, staff, education, research and representation.

Last Modified: 27-10-2014