During the New Year's reception of the Executive Board on Tuesday 8 January, Vice President Annetje Ottow presented the very first Diversity & Inclusion Award to Richard Horenberg, President of the Platform Unhindered Studying.
Dedication and enthusiasm
The review commission of the Diversity & Inclusion Award was very impressed with Richard's selfless dedication, besides his participation in a Medicine degree programme. The nomination shows his tireless enthusiasm and his unremitting involvement with students with disabilities. These are the reasons why the members of the commission think he is an absolute role model, along with the other members of the Platform Unhindered Studying. That is why Richard and the other members of the Platform Unhindered Studying are the winners of the first Diversity & Inclusion Award.
In 2017, Richard and a fellow student investigated student satisfaction among disabled students about the available facilities and supervision. This led to the founding of the Platform Unhindered Studying, which currently consists of Denise Langreder, Soete Meertens, Eline Kruithof, Annemarijn Douwes, Sophia Bats and Richard Horenberg (President). The Platform Unhindered Studying contributes to awareness of accessibility issues at Utrecht University in a unique way. Some of the ways in which they do that is by informing and advising students with disabilities, making experiences discussable and advising Utrecht University on policy development. The Platform Unhindered Studying also started a buddy programme in 2018, in which students with disabilities are each paired with a fellow student (the buddy) to help them become familiarised.
The award that Platform Unhindered Studying has won consists of a certificate and € 2,500 prize money, to be spent within Utrecht University on diversity and inclusion. The Diversity & Inclusion Award is created to ask for attention and express appreciation for the many initiatives by students and employees to make UU a more diverse and inclusive university.
The review commission (which consists of 3 members of the Diversity Task Force, led by Dean of the Faculty of Science Isabel Arends) has received a total of 9 nominations. All nominated initiatives were reviewed based on innovation values, continuity and connecting qualities of the provided efforts. The review process also paid attention to the degree in which the nominated initiatives are in line with the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and the action directives of the Diversity Task Force.
Would you like to know more about the Diversity & Inclusion Award or about diversity and inclusion at Utrecht University? Please visit the website or contact the Diversity Task Force via firstname.lastname@example.org.