Leiden University works hard for diversity and inclusion

The Diversity and Inclusion Working Plan 2014-2016 is well under way. Four examples of new initiatives in 2015.

Training course on teaching in an intercultural environment

In the autumn of 2015, ICLON will be running a pilot at the Faculty of Science for a new training course:  Inclusive Education – Reaching all your students. The aim of this course  is to give all students an even greater opportunity for success in their studies. Daan Romein, who developed the course, commented: ‘We give lecturers insight into all aspects of diversity in the work group or the lecture hall. That covers everything from sex differences, physical limitations and ethnic differences to ADHD, autism and religion. We give them the tools to involve every student in their teaching.’

Brochure on transgenders

Sass Rogando Sasot, a master student at Leiden University, has written a brochure for the University on 'Respect; Supporting trans students at Leiden University'. The brochure deals with all the questions that students and staff might have about transgender expression. Sass, who is from the Philippines, plays an active role in promoting equal rights for transgender people. As part of this work, she gave a talk at the Transgender meeting held during the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOT) on 18 May 2015 at LUMC.

Athena’s Angels

Female professors experience some strange things: it’s not infrequent for them to be addressed as ‘Mr’ or to be asked at meetings whether they are the wife of a male professor. We may think that men and women have equal opportunities of being successful in academia, but in practice women are often treated differently. Four female professors - Judi Mesman, Ineke Sluiter, Eveline Crone and Naomi Ellemers – joined forces to form Athena’s Angels. Their website (www.athenasangels.nl) highlights inequality in academia. Judi Mesman: "In spite of this being a serious matter, we have tried to keep the website lighthearted and to treat the issue with humour."

Gendered Research and Innovation

Researchers, policymakers and financiers have to take the influence of sex and gender more into account in academic research. This is the recommendation made by Simone Buitendijk (Vice-Rector of Leiden University) and Chief Policy Officer of LERU, Katrien Maes, in the advisory paper Gendered Research and Innovation that was published in September 2015 by LERU, the League of European Research Universities. LERU’s position is that paying greater attention to sex and gender within academic research will lead to more innovation.


Read more about the best practices on diversity and inclusion at Leiden University:


  The Faculty of Science has a new website about diversity and inclusion | Click here


  There is a new network for female scientific staff at the Faculty of Science called RISE | Click here


  The POPcorner at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences is there to support students | Click here


  The Faculty of Humanities has a appointed a coordinator of studies with the special task of counselling with learning disabilities | Click here


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