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Universities stand for ensuring a safe environment for students, employees and visitors. At the UvA as well, collegiality, integrity, equality and respect are of the utmost importance. All Dutch universities underlined this in a recent statement.

Unfortunately, it appears that in practice, undesirable behaviour does occur on university campuses. On Monday, 6 May, two reports were published which concluded that four out of ten employees at Dutch universities face bullying, abuse of power, humiliation, withholding of information or sexual harassment. Rector Karen Maex calls the findings serious: ‘I find this worrying. Transgressive behaviour is never permissible and should never be trivialised. We need to take steps to make people speak up about this and tackle such behaviour. This has our full attention.’

What does the UvA do to create a safe environment?

The UvA has in place confidential advisers for undesirable behaviour. As a student of staff member you can turn to any one of these advisers; it doesn't matter which faculty or department they are attached to. Confidential advisers can help you find a resolution or, where relevant, provide support in the case of a formal complaints procedure. You can find information on the complaints procedures and the code of conduct here:

We want everyone to feel they have a safe and secure basis for their work and study that also makes it poossible to conduct difficult or critical conversations when necessary. Students and staff must be able to address concerns, dilemmas and complaints within the UvA, they need to feel they are safe to do so and feel assured their report or complaint will be taken seriously. Recently, priority has been given to academic leadership and an adequate response to signals of undesireable behaviour. The availability of training options has also been expanded.

Network of confidential advisers

Recently the external agency Bureau Integriteit carried out a review of the UvA's system of confidential advisers. No major problems were identified, but they did advise making the complaints system more accessible and increasing the awareness of various points of contact, e.g. raising awareness of the confidential advisers and making it easier for people seeking help to find their way. That is why we are improving the findability and clarity of information and featuring it on the staff sites, in news letters and in training courses for management.

Help in the event of intimidation, agression and discrimination

If you want to report undesirable behaviour, contact one of the confidential advisers: