More than half (56 per cent) of all EUR employees are of Dutch origin, meaning these employees themselves, as well as their parents, were born in the Netherlands. Of the remaining employees, 17 per cent are of European origin and 27 per cent are of non-European origin.

This is according to the Cultural Diversity Barometer drawn up by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). The barometer, which offers an overview of the origin of EUR employees, was drawn up in the autumn of 2022 after it initially did not go ahead following protests from several universities across the country.

Under-representation in senior positions

Broken down by the different positions of academic staff, the figures show that the percentages differ significantly from the average. Among PhD candidates, the percentage of employees with a country of origin outside Europe is 37 per cent of internal candidates and 43 per cent of external candidates, while 42 per cent and 47 per cent respectively are from the Netherlands. Of those holding the highest academic position of professor, 74 per cent are from the Netherlands and 12 per cent from outside Europe. In the overall overview, you can see that the percentage of scholars with a country of origin outside Europe decreases the further they rise in the academic hierarchy.

A similar pattern can be seen when it comes to tenure: while employees with origins outside Europe are over-represented among employees on temporary contracts, they are under-represented among those on permanent contracts. Furthermore, employees with origins outside Europe are under-represented in the higher age categories and higher salary scales. In its response to the barometer, the university concludes that the fact that there are many PhD candidates with origins outside Europe may mean that there are barriers to promotion for this group of staff.

Incentive programme

Incidentally, the university expressed reservations about the categorisation used in the Statistics Netherlands report. People with a non-Western migration background fall within the ‘outside Europe’ category, but the same category also includes international staff from outside Europe, who may experience different barriers than people with said migration background.

Despite this caveat, the university ‘sees clear evidence of barriers to promotion to senior academic positions for academic staff with origins outside Europe’, reads the response to the results on the university’s website. The Executive Board has therefore decided to launch the incentive programme Beyond 25/25: Towards Inclusive Academia. The aim of this programme is to support scholars from ‘structurally under-represented groups’ – for example because of race, gender or migration background – in their careers. It is a follow-up to the 25/25 incentive programme, which stood for 25 per cent female professors by 2025 and aimed to address the gender gap. That target has now been met.

“In addition to supporting individual employees on their path to promotion, the programme is also intended to bring about cultural change, in the hope that we can support all members of our community in achieving their goals. By doing so, we hope to contribute to a more equitable, inclusive and ultimately more diverse community”, the organisers state on the EUR website.

Registration for the Beyond 25/25 programme will open on 21 August and close on 22 September 2023. You can find more information, also about the the application, on this web page.

You can find Statistics Netherlands’ full Cultural Diversity Barometer for EUR here (in Dutch).


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