Diversity and Inclusion

HKU’s mission to be an inclusive learning and working environment is defined by us all together.
Feeling welcome and at home, being seen and heard, on the basis of equality. That’s what we’re working on at HKU. Inclusion is for everyone, regardless of gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, functional impairments, age, or neurodivergence. We want to give room to a new generation of makers, where everyone has equal opportunity to become the creative professional they want to be at HKU.

What we do

Diversity and inclusion is one of the policy accents (or ‘guiding lights’) of HKU. This means that the theme runs as a main thread through all our activities. HKU has a project leader Diversity and Inclusion: Ronen Abas. He develops policy and works on the embedding of D&I in the organisation. He also coaches, supports and connects people and initiatives in the organisation, so that the theme can take shape.


Learning is an important aspect of Diversity and Inclusion at HKU. We learn by talking to each other and actively participating in shaping an inclusive learning and working environment. Central to this is awareness. Learning together and from each other is done in various ways:
  • Communities
    HHKU has two communities: the Learning Community Diversity and Inclusion and the student Community of Practice. The Learning Community consists of HKU staff members. They are the point of contact for students, employees and the management for issues concerning D&I in the HKU schools and on the locations. It serves as a body for consultation about the D&I policy developed at HKU.
    The student Community of Practice contributes to this conversation and the D&I development from the perspective of the student. Both communities share knowledge and experience and offer advice, either on request or their own initiative.

    Next to these two communities, there are also multiple student initiatives within HKU, such as #Include and Speak up Now. They can be active within one of the schools, or at HKU-wide level. The initiatives put the theme of D&I on the agenda in their own various ways.
  • Participation in calendar events
    We organise our own activities for students and staff members on moments that are related to the theme of Diversity and Inclusion. For example, we celebrate Purple Friday, International Women’s Day and Keti Koti.
  • Training staff members
    Truly being an inclusive learning and working environment, requires a willingness to learn among our staff members. To facilitate this, we offer our staff members training programmes in which they can discover the ways to approach the diversity of the world we live in.

Studenten work

The theme of Diversity and Inclusion is on the minds of our students as well. They regularly create beautiful works that are derived from their own personal experiences or involvement with societal developments. Below you can see some examples.

Trajectories and projects

We also have actual trajectories and projects to actively promote diversity and inclusion within HKU. Examples are:
  • Trajectory to increase intake of new students from target groups where HKU is currently less familiar. By making HKU more familiar and accessible for new and diverse target groups, we can attract new talent.
  • Trajectory for diversity among the teacher and staff population. A plurality of voices is an important aspect of the HKU culture. A diversity of perspectives, cultures, knowledge and experience among our staff members means more creativity and innovation in the working environment and the education of HKU.
  • In development: provisions and support for first-generation students.
  • In development: Inclusive Language Toolbox for students and teachers. How to use language in the class and among each other?


In the field of research, we have several projects that touch upon the theme of Diversity and Inclusion. See them below:

Diversity within HKU

Working on the theme of Diversity and Inclusion at HKU often touches upon the daily practice of students, teachers and staff members. There are many more steps that we can take and we keep learning every day. The stories below, of three students with a functional impairment, demonstrate what an inclusive environment actually means in practice, and the difference that it makes for people.

A safe and inclusive environment

The environment at HKU should not only be diverse and inclusive, but also a safe place to work and study. That means that students and staff members should interact with proper conduct. Staff members who are confronted with undesirable behaviour at HKU can turn to one of our confidential counsellors. Additionally, HKU has a Code of Conduct, describing what we expect from each other, which behaviour is desired or unwanted, and what you can do when you can experience transgressive behaviour or a violation of integrity. HKU has internal and external confidential counsellors and an ombudsman.

HKU also works in accordance with the Diversity and Inclusion Code that has been developed for the Dutch cultural sector.

HKU is a member of PACT Utrecht and the National Task Group UN Convention on Higher Education. HKU also contributed to partnerships with, among others, the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (Project Playing with Identities) and University of Humanistic Studies (Meaningful Artistic Research).

Would you like to know more about our guiding light Diversity and Inclusion within HKU?
You can contact our project leader via ronen.abas@hku.nl