Diversity and inclusion in academia and beyond

Professional skills

Course information

Number of sessions: 3
Hours per session: 4
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • € 450,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information

Enrolment-related questions: enrolment@egsh.eur.nl
Course-related questions: 
Session 1 & 2: pranay.sanklecha@gmail.com
Session 3: helen.tibboel@eur.nlyumna.asaf@eur.nl

Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School).

In the academic year 2023-2024 this course will take place in a hybrid form.

Edition 1 (Hybrid)

Session 1
December 5 (Tuesday) 2023
Online (Teams)

Session 2
December 12 (Tuesday) 2023
Online (Teams)

Session 3
December 19 (Tuesday) 2023
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Edition 2 (Hybrid)

Session 1
May 16 (Thursday) 2024
Online (Teams)

Session 2
May 23 (Thursday) 2024
Online (Teams)

Session 3
May 30 (Thursday) 2024
Mandeville building (campus map), room T19-01

Enrolment available from December.

Aims and working method

The notions of “diversity” and “inclusion” are gaining prominence fast in social, political and academic discourse, and with good reason. Exclusion of categories of people, because of their skin colour, ethnicity, gender or other backgrounds, is a historical abomination which of course cannot be tolerated.

But what does it really mean in practice to be diverse and inclusive as an organization or as an individual? How can the notions of diversity and inclusion be construed, and how are they implemented in policy at the university and elsewhere? Are there “good” and “bad” forms of inclusion and diversity? And which deeper societal and political discussions and frictions have initiated or ensued from such policies?

We will reflect on all such questions in this course. There will be 3 highly interactive sessions with exercises and group discussions, next to some lectures.

Entry level and relevance

The course is relevant for all students. There are no requirements for prior knowledge or training. Rather, the requirements are intellectual and emotional: please come with an open mind, with respect for the opinions and experiences of others, with a willingness to both talk openly and listen attentively.

Learning objectives

After this course, you will:

  • Better understand the meanings and relevance of diversity and inclusion in everyday life;
  • Be aware of socio-political discussions and scholarly literature relevant to diversity and inclusion;
  • Be able to reflect critically on the do’s and don’ts of diversity and inclusion policy;
  • Be able to critically reflect on ways in which diversity and inclusion in research methodology and content can lead to innovation;
  • Be able to critically argue the relevance and importance of accounting for diversity and inclusion in research teams and leadership;
  • Understand the different focus areas of and collaborations within the educational system that can help achieving inclusive education goals.

Session descriptions

Session 1: Diversity and inclusion in daily life
In the first session, we will explore the meanings and relevance of diversity and inclusion based on your own experiences in ordinary life. Have you ever felt excluded? Were others able to understand your exclusion? In what ways do you feel different from others in your class / degree programme / work environment? When has that difference been productive, and when a source of difficulty?

Session 2: Diversity and inclusion in principle and theory
In session 2, we will explore how the concepts of diversity and inclusion are varyingly understood and debated in public and policy circles and in the scholarly literature; reflect on the relevance of often invoked related concepts, such as privilege and intersectionality; and explore how diversity and inclusion can be promoted in productive ways, while being aware of the possible limitations of the concepts and the entire discourse in which they’re embedded.

Session 3: Diversity and inclusion in academia
Session 3 discusses the value and implementation of diversity and inclusion (and the related concepts of equity and access) at Erasmus University and in the academic world generally. We will discuss, for instance, how one can foster an inclusive classroom, and how one can incorporate diversity and inclusion in research.

About the instructor

Ass.-Prof. Dr. Pranay Sanklecha works in ethics and political philosophy. He grew up in India, and has studied or worked at the Universities of Oxford, Bern, and Graz. His teaching and research interests cover topics like: the meaning of life, intergenerational justice, the ethics of climate change, methods of justification in normative philosophy, philosophy as a way of life. These research interests are connected by virtue of all being about one of the fundamental questions of practical philosophy: how should a person live? He is currently working on a book on the meaning of life, and how to live when we don’t know what it is.

Helen Tibboel is assistant professor at the Institute of Psychology (IOP) at Erasmus University. She is interested in the effects of expectations, reward, and goals on automatic attentional processing; instrumental learning and habit-formation; the role of “wanting” and “liking” in the development and maintenance of addiction (and moderating effects of attentional/cognitive control); the automatic activation of relational information.

Yumna Asaf is a Ph.D. Research Scholar of Women and Gender Studies. She has researched on the topics of gender-based discrimination, war crimes against women, policy reformation of international law with respect to sexual violence, inclusive peace building, and rehabilitation. She passionately writes on contemporary issues of gender across various academic and non-academic platforms.