Inclusivity and global change

It wasn’t very long ago that we were hit with a pandemic that still affects us deeply. From one moment to the next we were confronted with fear for our own health, and especially for the health of the most vulnerable amongst us. From one moment to the next we had to stay home and adjust our education. It was a challenge, but we made steps no one had previously thought possible. I am proud of the effort our teaching staff and our support staff have made in the transition to long distance education. I applaud our students for hanging in there with us. More than anything we learned how connected we are.

But this is not where the lessons have ended. The recent outcry against police brutality and institutional racism that started in America but soon echoed across the entire globe, has once again shown us how connected we truly are. Demonstrations were even held in Dutch cities such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and our own The Hague  Demonstrations to show support to the people in America who are fighting for equality and recognition for the very serious issue of exclusion and institutional racism. And also demonstrations to show that in our own country there is also still much work to be done.

As educators we too are faced with these questions. As a lecturer of politics I thrive on in-classroom discussions on modern dilemma’s and challenges. Sometimes abstract and scientific, and sometimes from a practical and very personal point of view. For instance, in this time where we have had to shift to online education, we have been faced with new and specific challenges on accessibility, opportunity and inclusion. These are not always related to ethnicity, finance plays a role, but more often than not both are interlocked.

As an institution committed to inclusion we are also affected. We are aware that many of our students and staff  are shaken and concerned by the current events.. These issues are not easy,  we struggle with them in our own institution. And we still make mistakes. We try to address and learn from these mistakes, as best we can. We remain committed to addressing issues of diversity and inclusivity . We strive to learn as a community, staff and students alike, thus contributing to an environment where everybody is treated with value. Both within the walls of our institution as far beyond them.
When we as an organization chose to focus on global citizenship, interconnectedness and inclusion, we were aware that they are not just concepts, but ideals that require a lot of work to be materialized. Today, we see more than ever that the values that we strive for are indeed global concerns.  Although the work is not easy, we are determined to be part of that global change.  

Let’s change. You. Us. The world.
Rajash Rawal, as of 1 September 2018 member of the Executive Board, has been affiliated with THUAS for 20 years. Started as an exchange student, became a teacher and grew to programmemanager and director of the Faculty of Management and Organisation. Besides his role as a member of the board, he remains active as a lecturer. His task list consists of Education & Internationalisation, Quality Assurance and Diversity.