The University of Antwerp is a dynamic knowledge centre. By no means can it be considered an ‘ivory tower’. We actively go out and establish ties with the community at large. The University & Community Department is an accessible point of contact for anyone who has questions for and about our academic community.

Looking over the wall

We are aware of the fact that the University of Antwerp also has a social role. Our main goal is establishing dynamic partnerships in the Antwerp region. The university benefits from being regionally embedded in terms of research and education, and this embedding contributes to the services we can offer. In this framework, the University Fund was founded to encompass all types of sponsorship funding. The University Fund relies on the loyalty of alumni, companies and other individuals wishing to sponsor the University of Antwerp.

But we also build bridges outside of the Antwerp region. The University & Community Department organises numerous activities for the general public. The emphasis here is on establishing good relationships with economic, sociocultural and educational stakeholders and an open way of working in relation to crucial social challenges.

Equal opportunities for all

The University of Antwerp is committed to improving equal opportunities, both for employees and for students. Equal opportunities and diversity are very important elements of our HR policy. ‘Family-friendly meetings’, child care facilities and reduced fees for holiday camps for the children of employees are just three of the many initiatives taken in recent years to help reconcile work with family life. Boundaries for disadvantaged groups are removed, differences are valued and utilised.

We have also developed several projects that promote equal opportunities for students, such as ‘Tutoraat’, ‘Mentoraat plus’ and ‘Klimop!’. These projects mainly focus on the successful integration and progression of students with learning difficulties. The ‘Monitoraat op Maat’ project provides support to students who consider Academic Dutch to be an obstacle. Centrum WeST helps students who are combining their studies with a job. The Study Advice and Student Counselling Service offers special facilities for students with disabilities.

Critical self-reflection

The University of Antwerp is a dynamic organisation that is committed to the society in which it operates. Changes in society require the attention of the university and also prompt self-reflection. As a result, our mission statement is regularly checked to ensure that it is still relevant, since external positioning requires not only an openness towards society but also a clear idea of the university’s mission.

Special attention is paid to active pluralism, an approach which is monitored internally by the Pieter Gillis Centre. This active pluralism should not be separated from the university’s mission but interwoven throughout it. As part of Antwerp’s very diverse society, the University of Antwerp can also position itself as a centre of thought for dealing with religious diversity.