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February 1, 2018

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

On Thursday February 1st 2018, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam organizes an expert-meeting about the role higher education can play in an era of polarization. The 21st century will be the century during which diversity develops into super-diversity. The ethnic-cultural diversity in Europe is rising more and more. In Dutch cities as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, inhabitants with a migration background are already the majority of the population of the city. However, diversity is often a sensitive topic. For some, it raises resistance or insecurity. How does superdiversity affect our society? Do we ask the right questions? And what is its impact on the accessibility of higher education? And how does superdiversity change our society and what role can universities play in this?

Experts and university administrators share their experiences and solutions. Come and get inspired by this program that is open for public and is a part of an international research collaboration in the field of diversity.

The main speaker is Steven Vertovec, known for his research and publications on ‘superdiversity’.

Ulrich Radtke (rector of University Duisburg-Essen, Germany) and Herman van Goethem (rector University of Antwerp, Belgium) will reflect on the accessibility of higher education and why a diversity policy is not only necessary for the institution and its students, but also benefits the society as a whole.

In a panel interview, Gene Block (Chancellor University of California Los Angeles) and Francis Petersen (Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (South-Africa) will also share their view. Both universities have a longstanding experience with diversity policy. In their contribution, the interaction between the diversity policy and the turbulent developments in both society and politics will be discussed.

8.30h     Walk-in
9.00h     Word of welcome by Karen van Oudenhoven- van der Zee, Chief Diversity Officer VU
9.05h     Opening moderator conference, Jaap Winter, former President VU
9.15h      Keynote : ”Diversification and Social Fragmentation” by Steven Vertovec, Managing Director Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen
10.00h   Keynote Ulrich Radtke, Rector Universität Duisburg-Essen: “Diversity Management at UDE. Motivations and Means”
10.20h   Keynote Herman Van Goethem, Rector Universiteit Antwerpen: ‘’Multidiversity and higher education in Flanders: the Antwerp region.’’
10.40h  Coffee/tea
11.10h    Interactive conversation and interview by Jaap Winter, with Steven Vertovec, Ulrich Radtke, Herman Van Goethem, Gene Block, Francis Petersen, Vinod Subramaniam (rector Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), about the accessibility to higher education for First-generation students
12.00h   Discussion and questions
12.30h   End of program


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