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Universities believe that a mixed workforce is important

A mixed workforce enhances the quality of Dutch universities. Mixed teams perform better than teams that consist of men or women only. Universities have set targets for increasing the number of female academics. A mixed team is also an international team. International academics are increasingly attracted by the Netherlands.

Themes:
Young and old represented at universities
Growing number of female academics
The Netherlands attracts international talent
The Netherlands gives incentives to international academics



Young and old represented at universities

 

Universities employ people from a wide range of age groups. This graph shows the age distribution of university staff by job role.
 

 

Growing number of female academics

 

Almost half (45.8%) of university staff are women (FTE). In spite of this, Dutch universities are failing to utilise a huge amount of female potential, particularly in senior roles. In 2015, only 18.1% (FTE) of professors were women. By 2016, this percentage had risen to 19.1% (VSNU, 2016). This puts the Netherlands bottom of the pile among EU member states (LNVH, Dutch Network of Women Professors, 2016). In other words, other EU member states are better at utilising the talent of female academics.

 

If the percentage of female professors continues to grow at the current rate over the next few years, it will be 2051 before we have an equal ratio of men to women in this job category. The universities are keen to address this issue without delay and, in 2015, every university was given a target of increasing the percentage of female professors by 2020.

 

The universities are rolling out a number of different initiatives to ensure that these targets are met. For example, they have made a budget available for an additional version of the LNVH’s Monitor of Women Professors in 2016, and universities are sharing best practices with each other, amongst others through the national Diversity Officers Forum and the Academic Diversity Platform. The Social Fund for the Knowledge Sector has recently published an E-zine on this theme.

 

 

On 10 February 2017, it was 100 years since the first female professor, Professor Johanna Westerdijk, was appointed in the Netherlands. As an additional incentive to ensure that all academic talent in the Netherlands is utilised to the full, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science has decided to make a one-off €5 million available for the appointment of 100 female professors. This additional investment in this centenary year will help universities do more to increase the number of female professors, over and above the targets that they have set themselves for 2020.
 

The Netherlands attracts international talent

 

Dutch universities are in the top 2% worldwide. They offer academics an attractive work environment, encouraging talented international academics to come to the Netherlands. These academics bring with them valuable knowledge and a different cultural background. This adds value to the collaborative working within the universities.
 

 

The Netherlands gives incentives to international academics

 

International academics often come to the Netherlands for several years, as PhD students or postdocs, for example. The majority of these academics take advantage of what is known as the 30% facility. Under the 30% facility, an employer can pay an employee who comes to the Netherlands to work as a knowledge migrant 30% of their salary tax free over an 8-year period. The recently announced coalition agreement would limit this period to a maximum of 5 years. More than 10,000 international academics work at Dutch universities, some 6,000 of whom as PhD students or postdocs. Based on the number of staff who apply for the 30% facility each year, we estimate that 6,000-7,000 academic staff are currently taking advantage of the 30% facility. This group comprises primarily of young researchers who, thanks to this facility, are able to live and work in a relatively expensive country like the Netherlands.