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Virtual EDI Festival 2022

Partnership and EDI

The University of Amsterdam and the University of Birmingham intensified their collaboration with a strategic partnership. Both universities have worked together for a number of years in the area of staff and student exchange, and they now strengthened their collaboration focusing on the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI). Signing the partnership on 2 July 2019 should inspire new opportunities for students and staff to work together and create new synergies. In light of this strategic partnership, the Birmingham Student Ambassadors and Amsterdam Cultural Exchange Ambassadors will join forces again in organising their second iteration of the virtual EDI Festival.

Artwork: Pen Mendonca

Somewhere to Belong: Birmingham meets Amsterdam

The EDI Festival is a month-long celebration starting on 3 February 2022, bringing students and staff together to embrace the diversity of our community and ignite broader conversations about how we can foster a more inclusive university community and society.


Challenges in Embedding EDI on Campus: A Work in Progress

Date: Thursday 3 February 2022

Time 9:00 – 10:00 GMT

Time 10:00 – 11:00 CET

The first webinar of this event will be hosted by student ambassadors Luca Meijer & Subomi Ige who will kick-off this year’s virtual festival presenting the artwork of Pen Mendonca. Followed by Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion of UNSW Sydney, Professor Eileen Baldry, who will team up with Professor Jonathan Rowe (Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Projects/EDI), Dr Arun Verma (Head of Race Equality Charter), Aurora Kapo, Faculty Student Council Economics and Business, Sam Atherton, Law Faculty Student Council, and Hannah Rustomjee, PR Coordinator at Amsterdam United, to speak on the EDI research and initiatives from three institutions about embedding EDI for our students, staff, and cities. Join us for a lively discussion about the challenges on EDI in higher education, and our vision of the collaborations between Amsterdam, Birmingham, and Sydney.


LGBTIQ+ Students with a Refugee Status

Date: Thursday 10 February 2022

Time 19:00 – 20:00 GMT

Time 20:00 – 21:00 CET

After successfully kicking off this virtual festival last week, student ambassadors Ratnadip Das & Haisung Lee now invite you to our second event! Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) students around the world who have fled violence or persecution and are seeking refuge, face many challenges in finding a new home. During this webinar you will explore how welcoming the LGBTIQ+ community is to students with a refugee status and hear from Pliny Soocoormanee, Executive Officer to Peter Tatchell of the Peter Tatchell Foundation (PTF), Dr Karen Dunwoodie, Deputy director and research fellow at the Deakin Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE), and UvA representatives Edy Chouity, Junior Lecturer at the UvA School of Social Sciences, and Marco Borkent (student Sociology), what some of the challenges are in finding a place of belonging.


Enabling Global Mobility for Disabled Students

Date: Thursday 17 February 2022

Time 15:00 – 16:00 GMT

Time 16:00 – 17:00 CET

Hosted by our student ambassadors Chalisa Chintrakarn & Gabrielle Eugenia, we invite you to the third event of this Festival! The Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education just published a research ‘Spotlight on inclusion in outbound mobility’ that found that having a disability or (mental) health condition does not on its own affect the probability of staying at home. Nevertheless, experts in the field clearly see that students with a disability are underrepresented in the body of students spending time abroad. Join us in this third webinar of the EDI Festival to discuss the main barriers for these students to studying or doing an internship in a foreign country. The student ambassadors will host this webinar welcoming speakers Séverine Van der Stighelen, policy officer at the Office of International Policy at Artevelde University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), Geoff Layer, Chair of Disabled Students Commission, Maurits Huijbrechtse, student representative of University of Amsterdam IDEAs Office, Prof. dr. Alice Schippers, professor at Disability Studies Universiteit voor Humanistiek & Executive Director of Disability Studies, and Lisa Dondainas, Amsterdam University College student, creator of the Disability Handbook & founder of DiSens, a Disability Support Network.


Legislating Conversion Therapy

Date: Thursday 24 February 2022

Time 13:00 – 14:00 GMT

Time 14:00 – 15:00 CET

Student ambassadors Maria Giorgio & Ramunė Barisaitė invite you to the fourth webinar on conversion therapy, a highly controversial and contested issue in contemporary society, with long-standing calls both for its criminalisation and its retention. Our role as Universities is to facilitate meaningful and illuminating debate about the myriad of ethical, legal, religious, political, societal, and other perspectives on this issue. The event will bring together voices from multiple perspectives in the UK, Canada and the Netherlands to exchange views and to examine the nuances around conversion therapy in the context of current narratives. The fourth webinar of this Festival will be hosted by student ambassadors and will offer you a panel discussion with some inspiring panellists like Dr Adam Jowett, Associate Head of School at Coventry University, mr drs Cobie Groenendijk, psychiatrist & psychoanalytic therapist, Dr Marco Derks, scholar of religion, sexuality and gender, R. Douglas Elliott, Partner at Cambridge LLP, and Wielie Elhorst, minister of two parishes in the Protestant Church and Christian LGBT activist.


Financial Inclusion for Social Mobility

Date: Thursday 3 March 2022

Time 09:00 – 10:00 GMT

Time 10:00 – 11:00 CET

Hosted by student ambassadors Halimah Parveen & Huug Roosjen we invite you to the closing webinar of this 2022 EDI Festival edition! Greater financial inclusion is an important driver for attaining social inclusion and many of the strategic institutional goals for equity, diversity and inclusion. Financial services need to be accessible, affordable and convenient particularly if they are to benefit students. This webinar offers a platform to inspiring speakers: Dr. Linda Yeung, Director of Counselling and Person Enrichment at the University of Hong Kong), Jack Skinner, Head of Corporate Philanthropy, University of Birmingham, and representatives of the Dutch organisation for internationalisation and international cooperation in education (Nuffic), Ella Put, Communication Advisor at Nuffic & Kumi Tempels, Policy officer at Nuffic. They will each share their views on different approaches to accelerate financial inclusion. How do you create a level playing field to supercharge the development of students. The fifth and final webinar of this EDI Festival will be hosted by student ambassadors.


Watch recordings of previous festivals

The yearly EDI Festival is a month-long celebration with its first iteration in 2021, themed "Intersections of Cities: Amsterdam meets Birmingham". Please visit the 2021 EDI website to watch a recording of the webinars.

EDI Photo Competition

To celebrate the EDI Festival, where students and staff members are brought together, the FSR-FdR organized a photo competition for all University of Amsterdam and University of Birmingham students. This year’s theme is ‘Somewhere to Belong’,

and you can find the winning photos and the inspiration of the makers (first prize winner Martin Visser, second prize winner Xizhi Huang, and third place winner Jin Wan) in the July 2022 edition of the Exchange Express!