Maastricht University is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture. As one of the most international universities in Europe, we are aware and proud that our strength lies in diversity. We strive to go well beyond quotas and compliance: we are determined to foster an environment in which everyone feels welcome and valued.
Constance Sommerey has been appointed to translate its diversity and inclusivity aims into concrete policy measures. She is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the whole UM community on making our organisation a place like home for students and staff alike.
Read her thoughts on her role here.
UM Diversity & Inclusivity Advisory Council:
UM has appointed an advisory council on diversity and inclusivity in order to support, challenge and inspire the Executive Board in the realization of the UM’s mission and strategy. The Advisory Council consists of UM staff, UM students and members not employed by Maastricht University.
Nanne de Vries, Professor of Health Promotion, member executive board MUMC
Bakir Bulic, Director Faculty of Science and Engineering
Didier Fouarge, Professor in Dynamics of Skills Allocation, School of Business and EconomicsCerien Streefland, Managing Director, Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesFred Zijlstra, Professor of Work & Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceMark Kawakami, Assistant Professor, Faculty of LawLana Sirri, Assistant Professor in Gender and Religion, Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesAlbertine Zanting, Senior Policy Advisor Internationalisation and Researcher of Cultural Diversity, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life ScienceIsrat Hossein, student BA geneeskunde, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science Nga Janda, student Faculty of Law
UM D&I Strategy 2019 – 2023
Inclusivity is one of the main goals of UM’s strategic programme Community at the Core. Based on exploratory research in the UM community and other external higher education and business organisations, we present the following UM Diversity&Inclusivity (hereafter D&I) Strategy for the period 2019-23.
UM D&I Policy has two main aims:
- Diversifying employee and student population
- Creating an inclusive atmosphere in which all talents and competencies can be mobilized for the well-being of the UM community
We have identified four core areas that ask for specific policy interventions, trainings or awareness raising:
- ATTRACTING & RETAINING talent
- FOSTERING cultural change
- STRENGTHENING diversity competencies
- MAKING lifephase-friendly HR policies
ATTRACTING & RETAINING talent
We are in the process of developing HR recruitment scripts that can partially standardise steps in recruitment processes to attract a more diverse group of administrative and academic staff as well as students – and to help this diverse group successfully mature in our organisation. This effort demands the broadening of our conceptualization of ‘talent’ in recruitment and retention efforts. If we want to harness diversity’s benefits as increased creativity and be an important role model organization within Limburg, the Netherlands and academia we have to rethink our recruitment strategies and our career development efforts.
Edlab is also busy with a project on retention and student persistence.
FOSTERING cultural change
We have to practice what we preach in order to attract more diversity and retain our employees and students. Hence, a sustainable cultural change towards inclusivity is essential.
Activities in this area are the D&I Diversity Grants, events and symposia, rethinking current curricula (Global Citizenship Education), marketing & communication, but also the recurring employee and student surveys with a special focus on inclusivity belong to initiating, monitoring and fostering cultural change.
We also think it is important to support UM D&I organizations that foster exchange between UM staff and students (and the region).
STRENGTHENING diversity competencies
Our academic staff need the skills to navigate UM’s international classroom. Students need the skills to partake successfully in PBL and the global job market. Diversity competencies are also relevant for researchers. All staff has to be diversity sensitive to create an inclusive UM.
Beyond relevant trainings, the importance of inclusion needs to be recognised and institutionalised in our existing quality cycles (student evaluations, UTQ portfolio, yearly talks).
MAKING family- and life-phase friendly HR and Education policies
By recognising and facilitating the care responsibilities of UM community members, by appreciating different ways of life, different needs at different moments in life and by creating the conditions for diverging career models, UM can offer more equity in career development, attract a more diverse pool of talent, and increase employee satisfaction and career sustainability.
UMCares aims to structurally improve the commensurability of professional and private responsibilities.
A real ‘community’ will only come about when people who differ on many fronts don’t just tolerate each other, but work together and learn from each other.