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Ombudsperson

The UvA invests in creating a safe working and study environment by focusing on information, awareness, help and support. The position of ombudsperson has an important role in the system of social safety, which is why it was decided to appoint an ombudsperson.

Employees and students can contact the ombudsperson iin confidence if they need someone to listen to their story, independent and impartial advice or mediation in their work or study situation. These situations can vary from problems in the working relationship between individuals, to undesirable behaviour and integrity issues. The ombudsperson can also refer you on (see an overview of different persons and institutions in the support guide for staff and students) or have an investigation carried out.

  • Contact the ombudsperson

    The ombudsperson can be reached confidentially via the email address and telephone number below. You can call or email to make an appointment for a personal meeting (on location or online).

    T: +31 (0)6 11860520
    E: ombudsfunctionaris@uva.nl

  • About Samera Ouchene

    Samera Ouchene started as the UvA's ombudsperson on 6 September 2021. She has been appointed for a period of four years, with the option of being reappointed for two further terms. UvA ombudsperson is a full-time appointment.

    Samera (1977) is a lawyer and worked for the Dutch Ministry of Finance in various managerial positions for many years. She supervised professionals working together on issues in the fields of enforcement, oversight and integrity.

    'Employees and students can come to me if they need to tell their story, independent and confidential advice or mediation. Meaningful work, because I can help others and thus contribute to social safety within the UvA. A pleasant working and studying environment is important to us all and an essential condition for good education and research.

    We strengthen social safety in particular by investing in a learning organisation: by learning from cases and paying attention to prevention. We do this by investing in the development of awareness and signalling and starting conversations about behaviour. We can help each other by giving and receiving feedback, encouraging debate, investing in professional courage and ethical leadership and leading by example.

    It is a joint responsibility to continue to work actively on social safety. After all, we can only strengthen social safety together.'

  • Assistant to the ombudsperson

    My name is Nora van de Water and I will provide support the ombudsperson (Samera Ouchene) as a personal assistant during the academic year 2021-2022. My work consists of carefully and confidentially accepting reports, planning and organising appointments, sorting out various issues, setting out and monitoring actions and all kinds of secretarial and supportive work. A nice, instructive position that I am combining with my Research Master's in Urban Studies. I am looking forward to contributing to social safety within the UvA in this role!

  • Working method and tasks

    The ombudsperson carries out their duties independently and impartially and is not subordinate to any body in the performance of these duties. The ombudsperson has a duty of confidentiality. The tasks and authorities are laid down in the Regulations Ombuds Officer University of Amsterdam 2021 (adopted by the CvB on 12 October 2021).

    Key tasks of the ombudsperson:

    • Handling reports from employees and students: advising, mediating, investigating, assessing and/or referring.
    • Signalling developments and patterns within the organisation and making recommendations to the Executive Board and the dean or director of the faculty or service concerned.
  • Evaluation

    In 2024, the Executive Board and representative advisory bodies will conduct an evaluation that will lead to a decision regarding whether or not to continue the position. In doing so, we will evaluate not only the ombudsperson job position itself, but also the clarity of the assigned tasks and cooperation with the other relevant actors within the domain of social safety.

  • Shared responsibility

    The ombudsperson contributes to increasing trust in the university community with regard to social safety. Our ability to realise a safe and diverse study and work environment depends on many different factors, and an ombudsperson can important contribution to this.