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About the University

Social safety

The UvA is comitted to providing a positive study and work environment in which we treat each other with respect, nobody feels unsafe and everyone can develop their talents. We want everyone to be assured they have a safe basis for their work or studies and, if necessary, to conduct difficult or critical conversations. Students and staff must have the opportunity to address concerns, dilemmas and complaints within the UvA. They must feel they are safe to do so and that their report or complaint will be taken seriously.

During the 2019-2020 academic year an UvA taskforce will be working on an integrated approach to strengthening social safety for staff and students. The information on this page will continue to be improved and expanded. If you see any information is missing or have any ideas or input for this page, please let us know via

Code of conduct, house rules and VSNU statement on social safety

The UvA has a code of conduct that applies to everyone who works and studies at the university. This sets out how we should treat each other and what to do when undesirable behaviour occurs. 

Together with all the other universities in the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) the UvA has also drawn up a statement concerning safety and the academc environment.

  • Read the Code of Conduct
    • Staff and students must treat everyone who works and/or studies at the UvA with politeness and respect.
    • Staff and students must be alert to undesirable behaviour.
    • Staff and students must always challenge undesirable behaviour either by talking directly to the person in question or by seeking help from a third party.
    • Staff and students are encouraged to report their complaints.
    • The submission of a complaint must never have negative consequences for the complainant.
    • All reports are treated as strictly confidential.
    • All formal complaints will be investigated objectively and thoroughly.
    • Appropriate corrective measures will be taken as soon as possible against anyone within the organisation who harasses another person or causes offence on the basis of gender, beliefs or origin.

    This code of conduct applies to all UvA staff and students in their behaviour towards:

    • UvA staff and students;
    • others working for the UvA, such as visiting lecturers, secondees, trainees and agency workers;
    • employees of third parties, i.e. hired and agency workers working on the UvA site;
    • visitors to the UvA.

    (Also see Article 1.12 of the CAO NU)

  • Read the VSNU statement

    Dutch universities are committed to providing their students, employees and visitors with a safe environment. Of key importance to Dutch universities are collegiality, integrity, equality, respect, openness and attention to each other. Dutch universities do not tolerate any type of undesirable conduct, including sexual and general harassment, aggression, bullying or discrimination. This message is communicated at all administrative levels, from the executive board to the shop floor of research and education. It is a vital task for universities to act as effectively and appropriately as possible when there are suspicions of undesirable conduct.

    Universities are responsible for offering a positive work and study environment that enables all members of the academic community to develop their talents. By their very nature, universities are institutions at which people from different backgrounds can meet and cooperate. Anyone affiliated with our universities as a student, employee or visitor contributes to a mutually respectful treatment, regardless of origin, religious belief, sexual preference, handicap, position or job. In sum, it is up to all persons within the institution to make an active commitment towards social safety. 

Available support

Here you can find an overview of different services and departments you can turn to if you experience unsafe situations or undesirable behaviour.

  • Confidential advisers for undesirable behavior

    Undesirable behavior can take many forms, including harassment, discrimination, aggression, bullying, violence and stalking. Undesirable behaviour can cause stress and mental and physical health problems. If you experience it, it is important not to keep it to yourself but to talk to someone. You can always contact one of the confidential advisers. This does not have to be the adviser for your faculty or department.

    The confidential advisers are listed by faculty or service but you can contact any of the advisers regardless of where you study or work.

    You can find contact details and more information on what a confidential adviser can do for you here:

    Confidential advisers for students

    Confidential advisers for staff

  • Confidential adviser for academic Integrity

    The UvA has special advisors for academic integrity. If you have any questions or suspicions relating to academic integrity violations you can turn to them and they will treat them confidentially. You can find their contact details, as well the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and information on the UvA’s Academic Integrity Committee here: 

    Information about Academic integrity

  • Further support for students: study advisers, study counsellors, psychologists and doctors

    There may be times when you feel low or are facing difficult situations. Maybe you are even experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety. There’s no need for you to deal with this on your own: make an appointment to see your own GP, or ask for help from the UvA employees who can offer you assistance.

    Within the UvA, there are several departments to which you can turn for help and answers to questions:

    • Study advisers can help you with study planning, study choice and other study-related questions. You can find contact details for study advisers via the student site of your programme.
    • Student councellors can help you with problems of a more personal nature, such as study delay caused by illness or other personal circumstances.
    • If you are a student or PhD and do you have study problems, personal problems, ADHD/ADD or autism, you can contact the UvA’s student psychologists. They offer individual and group counselling, workshops and training courses.
    • The UvA also provide a Student Medical Centre. If you live in Amsterdam, you can register with the general medical practice of the student doctors. You can also contact them in the event of an emergency situation or crisis.
    • The UvA also offers facilities for students with a disability or chronic illness.
  • Ombudsperson

    In May 2019 the decision was taken to install two independent Ombudspersons: one for staff and one for students. They will be able to operate outside the line organisation, are there for students and staff and are intended to foster a safe environment and more efficient procedures.

  • Emergencies/dangerous situations

    In the event of an emergency, contact the UvA’s Central Control Room on the central emergency number: T: +31 (0)20 525 2222

    Have you observed an unsafe situation or near miss – an ‘almost-accident’? Report what you saw via

    You can find more information about Company Emergency Response and first aid in the A-Z list of your staff or student site, under 'Safe study and working environment'.