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Diversity: policy framework

The UvA Diversity Document provides a framework for diversity and inclusion for the UvA and is used as a foundation for making and implementing policy relating to diversity and inclusion in the faculties and service units.

Based on the Diversity Document we want to start new activities that contribute to a diverse and inclusive study and work environment, as well as strengthening existing initiatives started by students, faculties, services and diversity officers within the UvA.

The strategic objectives as outlined in this Document can be broken down into four main themes:

  1. accessibility and study success for students whose backgrounds might make studying at a university a less obvious choice for them;
  2. successful cooperation in diverse teams;
  3. recruitment, selection, appointment, promotion and retention of colleagues from diverse backgrounds;
  4. identification and stimulation of good practices and knowledge exchange.

For each theme, an explanation is provided of existing policy, how it is being implemented and which new UvA-wide projects are going to be initiated.

Infographic UvA Diversity Document
  • Written text Infographic UvA Diversity Document

    Diversity Policy Document

    Why a Diversity Policy Document?

    The Diversity Policy Document provides a framework for diversity and inclusion that faculties and units can base their diversity policy on.

    What question is answered in the Diversity Policy Document?

    How can the UvA ensure an inclusive learning and working environment that helps all students and staff to feel at home and boosts the quality of our teaching, our research and our societal impact?

    With the Diversity Policy Document, we want to:

    • launch new activities that contribute to a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment
    • strengthen existing initiatives by students, faculties, units and diversity officers within the UvA

    Accessibility and study success for students whose background makes studying at a university a less likely course of action for them.

    • New: support students with a disability in finding work placements.
    • New: Meet your Mentor: improve the access of students with a migration background to the labour market.

    Successful collaboration within diverse groups and teams.

    • New: active offer of diversity and inclusion training and workshops with proven effectiveness (for students and staff).
    • Ongoing: attention to diversity and inclusiveness in UTQ and leadership training.

    Recruitment, selection, appointment, encouragement and retention of staff from diverse backgrounds.

    • New: aim to have 50% of all professorships filled by women from now on.
    • New: talent programme for graduates with a migration background: seven tenure positions.

    Identification and encouragement of good practices and knowledge exchange.

    • Ongoing: the role of the Chief Diversity Officer and the Diversity Officers in organising the exchange of knowledge and skills regarding diversity and inclusion.

    Above are some examples of existing initiatives and new ones presented in this policy document. Curious about all the initiatives? Read the full policy framework at uva.nl/diversity.

Establishing a UvA-wide Diversity Document

In 2019, the Executive Board discussed the UvA's Diversity Document and how it can be implemented with the academic community in various ways. It was discussed within the University Forum and the Senate, and also made available to students and staff for comment on the online platform denkmee.uva.nl. The responses to these consultations were incorporated into a document which was submitted to the Central Works Council and the Central Student Council.

Copyright: UvA
“The Diversity Document describes how we can foster an inclusive learning and working environment where all students and staff members can feel at home and which increases the quality of our education and research and our impact on society.” President of the Executive Board Geert ten Dam

Amsterdam Agreement for inclusive higher education

On Monday, 21 September 2020, the University of Amsterdam and eight other higher education institutions signed the Amsterdam Agreement for diverse, inclusive and socially involved higher education. With this agreement, the educational institutions commit to working together towards an inclusive and just society in which there is no room for racism and discrimination.

Participation in the CBS Barometer of Cultural Diversity

In order to substantiate the policy of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) on equal opportunities and cultural diversity, the UvA would like to use the Cultural Diversity Barometer of Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Personal data will therefore need to be shared with CBS. This concerns the personal data of staff employed on the following reference dates: year-end 2010, year-end 2015 and year-end 2020. Staff working for the UvA on these dates has been informed by a letter via email on March 4, 2021. A notice will also be published in the employee newsletter and the alumni newsletter.

Insight into the cultural diversity at the university will increase the effectiveness of the university’s efforts to foster diversity and inclusivity, as stated in the Diversity Document.The Cultural Diversity Barometer offers organisations insight into the cultural diversity of their workforce, without individuals being identifiable in the figures. Organisations with 250 or more employees can participate.

On Monday 19 April, we provided information about the progress of the process in this news item , stating that we are taking extra time to answer questions from the organization about participation in the Cultural Diversity Barometer.

View the mailing

Questions and answers – CBS Cultural Diversity Barometer 

  • What is the Cultural Diversity Barometer?

    The Cultural Diversity Barometer offers organisations insight into the cultural diversity of their workforce, without individuals being identifiable in the figures. Organisations with 250 or more employees can participate. Statistics Netherlands links data from an organisation to other data and returns the data as anonymous and aggregated data based on an approach approved by the Dutch House of Representatives in June 2020 (view the Letter to Parliament). No new data on employees will be included and there is no need to share special personal data. CBS has been processing requests on cultural diversity since 1 July 2020. Read more about the Cultural Diversity Barometer, or view the frequently asked questions (in Dutch) directly on CBS’s website.

  • How will the results of the CBS Cultural Diversity Barometer be used?

    Cultural diversity by job category and faculty will be published and made available on the CBS website. CBS will not use the data provided by the UvA for other research or purposes. The UvA will only use the data from the CBS Cultural Diversity Barometer to support the policy as stated in the Diversity Document 2019 and to make a comparative analysis of cultural diversity at other Dutch universities.

Sharing data

  • Which data will be shared with CBS?

    The UvA will share the following data on academic, support and management staff from its own personnel administration: date of birth, gender, postcode, house number, house number suffix, faculty, job category (for example: PhD candidate, researcher, lecturer, staff member, professor). The following reference dates will be used for this purpose: year-end 2010, year-end 2015 and year-end 2020. The Amsterdam UMC has its own personnel administration system and will therefore submit a separate request to CBS.

  • Why are personal data shared with Statistics Netherlands (CBS)?

    In order to substantiate the policy of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) on equal opportunities and cultural diversity, the UvA would like to use the Cultural Diversity Barometer of Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The UvA therefore intends to share some of your personal data with CBS. Insight into the cultural diversity at the university will increase the effectiveness of the university’s efforts to foster diversity and inclusivity, as stated in the Diversity Document. The Cultural Diversity Barometer offers organisations insight into the cultural diversity of their workforce, without individuals being identifiable in the figures. Organisations with 250 or more employees can participate.

  • Can data be traced back to individuals and/or will the UvA itself record data?

    The UvA only receives data on cultural diversity within faculties and job categories from CBS, and these data cannot be traced back to individual persons. The UvA itself will not register or manage any data on the cultural background of its staff. CBS will not use the data provided by the UvA for other research or purposes.

  • What is meant by 'cannot be traced back to individual persons'?

    The email states that the UvA receives data on cultural diversity within faculties and job categories from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and that these data cannot be traced back to individual persons. What do we mean by that?

    The UvA shares personal data of its current and former staff with CBS. CBS links these data to its databases in order to gain insight into cultural backgrounds. CBS needs the personal data to verify that the link relates to the right person (e.g. to prevent a link with someone with the same name or date of birth). For reasons of privacy, CBS pseudonymises the date of birth and address details. Eventually, the UvA will receive an overview showing the distribution of cultural backgrounds per job category. This overview no longer contains any personal details.

  • Why does CBS need all these personal data?

    The UvA shares personal data of its current and former staff with CBS. CBS links these data to its databases in order to gain insight into cultural backgrounds. CBS needs the personal data to verify that the link relates to the right person (e.g. to prevent a link with someone with the same name or date of birth). For reasons of privacy, CBS pseudonymises the date of birth and address details and then aggregates them per category. Eventually, the UvA will receive an overview showing the distribution of cultural backgrounds per job category.

Data processing and privacy

  • How can I be sure that the email I received wasn’t a phishing email?

    Around the same time that this email was distributed, the UvA was subjected to a cyber attack. We understand that this has made recipients even more vigilant. However, this was not a phishing email. The list of recipients was drawn from the UvA’s employee database and the email was carefully sent from the UvA’s own email system.
     

  • What are my rights?

    Your rights relating to the use of your personal data are governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Under the GDPR, you have the right to object. If you do not want the UvA to share some of your personal data with CBS for the purpose of the Cultural Diversity Barometer, please send an e-mail within two weeks to: barometerUitvraag-bb@uva.nl.

    If you have indicated by email that you do not wish to participate in information requests (i.e. you have objected), your data will be removed from the list of personal data sent to Statistics Netherlands. Your data will not be shared with Statistics Netherlands. You will receive confirmation of your objection by email within four weeks.

  • Is my privacy protected?

    The UvA takes privacy and the protection of personal data very seriously. The UvA treats data on staff, students, research participants and other UvA data subjects with the utmost care. More information and a Privacy Statement can be found on the UvA’s website.

    CBS safeguards privacy in all of its research. Business data are processed and analysed under strict confidentiality to produce general economic statistics. CBS uses highly secure computer systems. The law stipulates that the data may only be used for statistical purposes. No other institution has access to the data collected by CBS. The statistical information published by CBS does not contain any identifiable information about an individual company or institution.

  • How will the data be shared with Statistics Netherlands?

    Since the hacking attack on the UvA, we have been devoting special attention to the way in which we share data with Statistics Netherlands. In cooperation with Statistics Netherlands, we have checked the data exchange process for vulnerabilities. The UvA’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) has asked critical questions and judged the process to be secure. How are data shared with Statistics Netherlands in practice? There is an upload portal and a download portal. The upload portal is secured by the fact that the login details can only be used once and the upload portal cannot be used to download the uploaded data. The download portal is only used to share aggregated data with the UvA. No individual employee data are identifiable in these data.

  • How will CBS process the data?

    CBS will immediately convert the UvA data into pseudonyms linked to job categories. CBS will then link the pseudonym and the job category to data from CBS’s databases and aggregate the data. Based on this method, the share of staff who have no migration background, a Western migration background or a non-Western migration background will be determined by job category and by faculty.

    CBS may break down the results according to migration background only if there are 250 or more persons in a job category or faculty. This will ensure that individuals are never identifiable in the figures.

  • On which GDPR basis is the UvA processing personal data in this case?

    In this case, the UvA is processing the personal data in accordance with the GDPR basis ‘necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests’ (Article 6.1f of the GDPR). The UvA considers it important to substantiate its policy on equal opportunities and cultural diversity. An inclusive and diverse workforce contributes to better teaching and research at the UvA (and therefore to the appeal of the UvA as an employer and its position on the labour market).

  • Why has an opt-out option been chosen?

    The opt-out option fulfils a data subject’s right to object under the GDPR when a processing operation takes place on the basis of being ‘necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests’. Opt-in would mean that prior consent to processing is sought from the data subject. This basis is (almost) impossible in an employer-employee relationship, as consent cannot be freely given in a relationship of dependency.