"I think it's important that my work is socially relevant."

Nele Dutry is a staff member in the University & Community Department.

“Higher education is often not a given for children from poor or immigrant families. That's why the Antwerp University Association has been organising the Tutoraat and Klimop! projects for several years now.  In the Tutoraat project, students from the university colleges and the university provide weekly tutoring to secondary school pupils in the fourth, fifth and sixth years. Klimop! arranges for students to visit schools and talk about their experiences in higher education.

“As the coordinator of these two projects, I'm not working in an ivory tower. My work is embedded in the wider context of diversity policy at the university, in the University & Community Department. I mainly focus on the intake of underprivileged and migrant youths but my colleagues are also involved with gender, policy, students with learning disabilities, child-care facilities and so on. I enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that my job is socially relevant - I think that's very important."

"The contact I have with my colleagues in the University & Community Department is excellent. Our department has various units but there's a lot of cross-pollination. For example, we work together on Science Communication and rely on one another's expertise for other projects too. We regularly pop into each other's offices - it's a good way of keeping up with each other's activities. You can brainstorm things together and get advice from your colleagues. It's nice to work with a team that you can always rely on."