Office of Diversity and Inclusion Becomes Idea Hub

For Chief Diversity Officer Semiha Denktas, the name change doesn’t mean a significant change in objectives. “The term IDEA makes it more recognizable from an international perspective. In countries like the US, the UK and New Zealand, the combination of equity and access is already very common. For us it doesn’t mean expanding the program, but a name that covers the burden better.

Equal opportunities

However, this term needs some explanation Stock Well, since it can’t be translated into Dutch, Tenktas knows too. Equity translates as ‘justice’ in Dutch in the context of diversity and inclusion. Unlike equality, equality is about the fair distribution of opportunities. “Looking at what someone needs in terms of support to talk about giving people equal opportunities,” Denktas explains.

He gives an example that the WHO often uses to illustrate this term. Three people get a chance to watch the game play. ‚ÄúThere are three people behind the high fence. The first person is tall enough to see over the fence. The other, if he jumps, may occasionally see a part of the game. The third is so small that he loses everything. And then seeing what it takes to look over the fence; In this case a box where someone can stand. A tall person does not need a box, another person needs one box and a short person needs two boxes to see. Giving each box to all three is ‘equal opportunity’, giving each what they need is justice.

Access for all

“The chance to succeed as a student does not depend only on your VWO diploma, it applies to everyone who wants to study at a university. Just as employees need previous work experience and some prior education,” says Tenktas. is also important. Equity is the distribution of resources according to demand to achieve an equal starting position – the number of boxes. Access to our university is fair to all, regardless of physical abilities, available networks or origins. This vision of justice and accessibility is, for example, present in the IDEA Center’s outreach program. One of the aims of this program is to introduce underrepresented groups to university and science in primary and secondary schools.

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As of January 1, the IDEA Center (you can pronounce it IKEA, but with a D) is no longer a temporary project, but a structural part of the university system. The D&I office was launched in 2015 and has its own office in the Erasmus building. In May, the IDEA Center will publish a book in which team members look back on the experiences and knowledge gained over the past few years.

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