This is a cause for concern, writes Minister of Education, Ingrid Van Engelshoven, in response to Parliamentary questions, but she sees no reason for further investigation. She feels that every scholar must be given equal opportunities, and this must be monitored by the university. If institutions recognise the subconscious prejudices that produce the differences mentioned, they can start valuing and rewarding the scholars more objectively.

Universities and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) are currently considering new forms of remuneration. Scholars are now assessed too much on the number of publications, the impact factor and the number of grants awarded. A new form of remuneration also offers prospects to change the (hidden) differences in the content and circumstances of work and terms of employment, says Van Engelshoven.