Universities of Science and Technology Commit to Accelerate Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Leuven, Belgium-The universities of Science and Technology (S&T) united within CESAER have pledged to accelerate the achievement of equality, diversity and inclusion through personal leadership, institutional vigour and societal change.

The thirty-second General Assembly adopted a Declaration on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at Universities of Science and Technology on 18 October.

By 2023, our Members collectively and individually commit to:

●Increase gender balance in all decision-making levels and advisory boards to at least 30%;


●Design, implement, monitor and evaluate dedicated policies and plans for equality, diversity and inclusion and implement concrete actions to accelerate them;

●Set institutional targets for gender equality at levels in our institutions and monitor and communicate on the progress of achievement;


●Promote a learning community of institutions to learn from each other about equality, diversity and inclusion;


●Develop guidelines against discrimination at our institutions, including advice about dealing with unconscious bias and other sources of discriminatory behaviour.

CESAER pledge to seize the momentum to increase awareness, overcome internal resistance, remove barriers, improve transparency and develop a leadership culture in which effective strategies for equal opportunity is viewed as a sign of quality.

“It all starts with the leadership. Both as a role model and in creating equal conditions that promote and strengthen talents. Using everyone's knowledge and skills benefits society, the university and the individual”, says Sigbritt Karlsson, our First Vice-President for Leadership & Sustainability and President of KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Doris Klee, Chair of our Task Force Human Resources and Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management & Development at RWTH Aachen University, added “In my experience, women are effectively promoted through transparent recruitment and appointment procedures accompanied by proactive proposal of qualified female candidates and continued sensitisation. To achieve gender balance, we have to inspire female pupils to enter studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and female students to start a scientific career. Therefore, collaboration with different societal players is key.

“Our effort needs to incorporate a broad perspective towards equal opportunities and inclusion for all and simultaneously acknowledge the differing framework conditions within the various cultural, structural and faculty environments. Collaboration, exchange and best practice sharing will open up new routes to eliminate entry barriers and enable people to thrive in science.”