National action plan for diversity and inclusion launched

1 September 2020

Today saw the launch of the national action plan to enhance diversity and inclusion in scientific teaching. The plan outlines targets and actions for creating an inclusive, diverse and safe learning and working environment. With this action plan, the Dutch scientific education and research field, in conjunction with the government, are moving the diversity and inclusion agenda forward. A total of nine parties signed the plan on the first of September.

Starting in 2021, NWO is making €12.5 million available for an impulse programme aimed at Dutch researchers with a non-Western background and refugees. In addition, new targets will be set this year for the number of female professors at universities by 2025. The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) will issue a recommendation about preventing misconduct and harassment in teaching and research.

The action plan’s targets

The five targets for 2025:

  • Embed diversity and inclusion more firmly, for example in the evaluation of research proposals and accreditations.
  • Improve and broaden monitoring of diversity in teaching and research, including social safety and inclusion.
  • Establish an award system to make policy and funding diverse and inclusive.
  • Consolidate and support the diversity plans of institutions to enable more collaboration.
  • Set up a national knowledge centre for diversity and inclusion. This knowledge centre will develop, consolidate and share knowledge and expertise.

Advisory committee

A national advisory committee chaired by professor Vinod Subramaniam, rector magnificus of van de VU Amsterdam, will advise the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science on monitoring and achieving the targets.

Joint effort for inclusion and diversity

This action plan was developed in close cooperation with the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH), the Expertise Centre for Diversity policy (ECHO) and the National Association of Diversity Officers (LanDO). The action plan will also be signed by the Network of PhD Candidates in the Netherlands (PNN) and PostdocNL.

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Source: NWO