Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) offers high-quality, proactive and flexible professional servicesas an indispensable force in excellent education and research. The organisation and operations of EUR are based on the following principles and themes.
The staff is proactive and flexible, transforming from a primarily profession-driven to a customer-driven way of working. This aligns with international standards. The focus is on innovation, optimisation and digitisation. This is achieved by creating room for improvement to more effectively serve customers within the university. A uniform way of working is used whenever possible. This reduces the chance of errors and improves compliance.
Good interaction between services and processes
Professional Servicesensures effective alignment with primary processes. Colleagues' knowledge regarding the action plan relating to goals and needs associated with EUR's core business drives improvement. Professional Servicesproactively contributes ideas, opportunities and solutions and works with faculties to improve research education and impact across the board.
Goal: from customer-centric to value-driven creating positive social impact
The core of Strategy24 is that in addition to teaching and conducting research, EUR wants to create added value in the world. The mission of Professional Servicesis to empower students and staff to realise their full potential to enable positive social impact. This mission is the foundation upon which decisions are made and through which services are optimised. This is done in close collaboration with the Schoolsand others within our university.
Leadership: Good interaction between services and processes starts with leadership
High-quality, proactive and flexible service delivery requires a leadership style that fosters these core qualities. A shared leadership profile was recently drawn up jointly with the top management of EUR. This forms the basis for our actions.
Connecting to the digital society
Professional services develops services in line with student and staff expectations of the digital society. All employees see digitisation as an important enablerof innovation.
Digitisation is fundamentally changing the way scientific knowledge is developed, applied and exchanged globally. In operations, digitisation contributes to greater agility, efficiency and effectiveness. Based on a widely supported vision of digitisation, the best choices and priorities for research, education and supporting operations are determined.
These principles and themes formed the basis for many operational activities in 2021. This chapter provides insight into the most important ones.
Campus in Development
The Campus in Development (CiO) investment programme, launched in 2010, is still evolving. In 2021, the key system replacement project will be completed, as will solar energy systems on the Erasmus Building, several sedum roofs and the installation of water taps on campus. Significant steps have also been taken in the realisation of the new sports building and the multi-purpose education building.
The closure of the Tinbergen Building, due to fire safety issues, was unexpected and led to new prioritisation.
Measures Corona and livable campus
COVID measures also had a major impact on building operations in 2021. Both in the area of teaching rooms and offices, various adjustments have been made to enable responsible learning and working within the safe five feet standard. Despite the constantly changing demands, the study spaces in Polak and in the UB have remained mostly open. This contributed to the wellbeing of students.
In progress: Educational Building MFO II and New Building Sports
After the specification of the design by contractors in 2020, the realisation started. Despite the shortage of raw materials and manpower in the market, implementation proceeded as planned. In July 2021, the design of MFO II was assessed by an independent BREEAM assessor and the building received the design certificate 'outstanding'. This makes MFO II the second most sustainable educational building in the Netherlands and it is in the top 5 of the most sustainable newly built educational buildings in the Netherlands. The planned commissioning date is September 2022. We expect education to start in November 2022. The new sports building is expected to be inaugurated in September 2022.
Tinbergen Building: Post-closure alternatives
Due to the postponement of the renovation of Tinbergen Building, EUR decided in early 2019 to make structural improvements to the building in a number of places and to create study areas. This decision had to be abandoned. The fire department recommended closing the building because it did not meet fire safety requirements. The renovation has been postponed until 2022. Study places are created on campus as much as possible. However, both in the year under review and in 2022, there is a deficit compared with the EUR standard. Starting in 2022, additional study spaces will be created in the hallways of Van der Goot, in Mandeville. After MFO2 is handed over, the rooms on the third floor of Polak will be used as study areas
Tinbergen reconsideration 2018 project principles
The 2018 project principles are subject to changing needs and requirements. Therefore, a number of trade-offs have been established in 2021 based on which qualitative, quantitative and financial decisions will be made in 2022.
The student housing behind Van der Goot Building, on the side of Abram van Rijckevorselweg, was a key focal point. The housing complex will be located on land partially owned by the municipal authorities and EUR. The City of Rotterdam performed the land valuation and determined the adjustment in the zoning plan. The university has been negotiating the land value of the portion under the housing complex owned by the municipal authorities since 2021. To date, the parties have not figured out the land value that is appropriate for a community destination and affordable housing.
Design of the perimeter road
In order to realise the new construction of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and the new student housing behind Van der Goot, the municipal authorities worked together to create a perimeter road along the southern side of the Campus. In 2021, the plan was developed into the final design. The phased construction of the road could begin in 2022.
In addition to the regular procurement procedures, the focus in 2021 was on starting the implementation of the 2021-2024 Procurement Policy adopted by the Board of Trustees (BoT) in March 2021. This centred on collaboration, supporting EUR contract owners, efficiency and sustainability. That focus is expected to ensure that the related legitimacy of purchases and actions will automatically ensue.
An external agency was commissioned by the Board of Trustees to draw up an action plan with regard to lawfulness. Among other things, the plan led to the RoadmapProcurement and Contract Management 2021-2024, which defined several action plans to achieve the stated goal ('Creating positive social impact through legitimate, efficient and sustainable procurement').
In 2021, EUR carried out many European and multi-district procurement procedures. Many agreements were made with entrepreneurs. The procurement procedures were conducted under the responsibility of different contract owners and with several multidisciplinary procurement teams. Where possible, we collaborated with SURF or (a partnership of) other contracting authorities, such as Consortium Leiden.
Seven tenders and the application of the dynamic purchasing system IT personnel were evaluated to detect any room for improvement, for example in support and professionalisation. It led to the development of new tools that support the contract owner and procurement team members in the what, why and how of procurement.
The Tender Board met sixteen times in 2021. There were eight regular meetings, three thematic sessions on risk management, and five thematic sessions on the continued development of the Tender Board. In the sessions on development, the Tender Board evaluated its working method and it was subsequently adapted and implemented. Furthermore, the EUR Tender Board Rules were prepared. In the eight regular meetings, the Tender Board discussed eleven European tenders and reached three conclusions: 1. Notified tenders on the annual Tenderboard schedule are frequently not offered, or submitted late or incomplete; 2. Tenders are frequently revisited in the Tender Board; 3. The presence of the relevant (delegated) contract owner is a requirement.
In 2021, progressively more work has been done to contribute to sustainable development. For each (European) tender, the relevant procurement team examined the applicability of the general frameworks previously laid down in the procurement policy. It also examined whether additional sustainability frameworks or objectives were applicable.
Five tenders contributed to sustainability. Examples include tenders relating to 'cleaning and related services' and 'technical management and maintenance'. In addition to a broad commitment to sustainable development, this also reflected measurability. Exploration in other procurements often led to the conclusion that general or supplementary frameworks were not appropriate. The relevant reasons vary by tender. Evidently, the potential for integrating sustainability contributions into EUR tenders requires more attention. This will be a key focus in the period 2022-2024.
Based on the spendanalysis, a procurement calendar and analysis document were prepared for the next one to three years. This provides insight into the backlog work to be cleared on top of the regular planning to improve legitimacy. Support of and coordination with contract owners began in the fourth quarter of 2021. The goal is to work on an EUR-wide annual plan based on prioritisation according to contract date, size and political sensitivity. This also supports the lead buyerin starting procurement on time and determining the feasibility of one or more tenders in the relevant year.
In the context of legitimacy, cooperation with the Monitoring and Reporting Department has been intensified. Deviations from the EUR procurement policy have been processed in accordance with the comply-or-explain principle. In 2021, a reporting methodology and tool was initiated to periodically report to the Board of Trustees on specific deviations, unauthorised expenditures, and general alerts on deviations with respect to procurement policies. The methodology and tool will be further developed and applied in 2022.
25 formal legal opinions were issued in 2021. The Procurement and Contract Management Department is responsible for providing first-line advice on all aspects of procurement law. In 2021, a law firm was engaged four times for second-line advice and/or a second opinion. In addition to legal advice, ongoing advice is provided, in the form of emails and conversations about the application of the procurement policy.
Two special procedures were applied. These related to postal, parcel and courier services and to scientific literature and subscriptions respectively. In some cases, COVID-19 necessitated implementing amendments to contracts or making (financial) concessions. This led to three appeals for grounds for amendment and these were published in accordance with regulations.
Provision of information
The Purchase to Payproject focused on rolling out the Purchase-to-Paysystem across the entire breadth of ordering channels, suppliers and organisational units. In order to close the accounts monthly (hard close), all EUR contracts, including financial obligations, were to be submitted and registered. A lot of work has been completed on entering and checking entered contracts, but not all contracts have yet been submitted by the organisational units. Partly because of this, the information from Proactis is still limited and not at the level of detail to be able to perform a proper spend analysis from a procurement perspective.
In 2021, the Proactis Workforcesystem (time registration and self-billing)was set up, including customised manuals for registration and approval of hours. The first agreements in which Workforce is applied on a mandatory basis have been tendered and implemented. After coordination and start-up issues, two contracts are now using Proactis Workforce efficiently and to satisfaction. In 2022, the Proactis Workforce will be further rolled out within EUR.
'End the tailspend'was submitted as a proposal to StepUp call 2. This will provide both a target and legitimacy improvement throughout the process chain when purchasing flowers, gifts, corporate gifts and other relatively small orders. The proposal was approved and preparations for the procurement process will begin in 2022. Based on (tendering) EUR-wide agreements such as 'End the tailspend', EUR reduces its contracted suppliers and the administrative burden within EUR is significantly reduced.
Erasmus Digitalisation & Information Services (EDIS)
An organisation's information supply (ICT) is often seen as 'water from the tap’. It is taken for granted that it is there and that it is always of good quality. Few users look beyond that tap where the water comes out. But behind that ‘tap’ is a complex system of pipes, a water treatment plant and a water management organisation, so to speak.
Similarly, EUR's information provision also involves complex systems and processes and an organisation to manage them: Erasmus Digitalisation & Information Services (EDIS). EDIS is the working organisation created by the September 2021 merger of the formerly already increasingly close-knit IT Service, the CIO Office, and the Documentary Information Management (DIM) department originating from RE&F. EDIS provides EUR with policy and frameworks for information management, directs and manages EUR's central information systems and contributes to projects for innovation and renewal of education, research and business operations.
EDIS not only ensures that EUR's information supply supports the functioning of our university like 'water from the tap' on a daily basis. It also shapes and substantiates future-oriented digitisation projects and projects in the framework of Strategy24, in cooperation with the faculties and other departments.
Sometimes the work of the EDIS service is very visible, as was the case, for example, in 2021 with the introduction of Multi Factor Authentication(MFA). In today's world, security with just username and password is no longer sufficient. That is why we have chosen to introduce a third step in identification in addition to these two so-called 'factors' using a phone-based app, Microsoft Authenticator. Furthermore, by the end of 2021, an additional password had to be retrieved to continue using the campus WiFi network.
Sometimes the work of EDIS is less evident or even completely invisible. The way in which the @wEURk laptop remotely connects to EUR's network and IT services, for example, went through a complete overhaul: Direct Access has been replaced by Forticlient. This will mean little to the ordinary user, but it has greatly improved the security of the network and EUR's information provision. Another 'invisible' measure is that, in connection with the increasing ransomeware threat, the daily backup of data will from now on also be stored as 'read-only’with an external provider. This means that this backup cannot be encrypted or deleted.
Education at EUR is supported by a large number of applications which are in turn managed, supported and further developed with and by the staff of EDIS. Certainly since 2021, this is done in close cooperation with specialists from faculties and other departments in so-called Multi-Disciplinary-Teams (MDT). By working together intensively and interactively with short lines, problems and challenges can be solved much faster and more effectively. This is referred to as Agileworking.
Education challenges to which EDIS had the opportunity to contribute in 2021 include:
- Increasing the number of Chromebooksby more than 540 for digital assessment in the M-hall. Despite a global chip shortage, we managed to complete this expansion, against expectations, at the beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year.
- Rolling out the new software for digital assessment ANS.
- Rolling out and supporting ProctorExamsoftware for online proctoringso that the faculties could enable students to take exams from home.
- Virtualising the PCs that were and are provided by the UB for students to access databases. Physical access was complicated by COVID-19 and these virtualised PCs can be used from home. At the same time, the reservation process for access to these PCs has been automated so that the UB has less work to do and students are served quickly and effectively.
- Building a new Thesis Management System for the faculties by EDIS developers. Given the requirements and preferences, in this case an internal custom system turned out to be a better option than buying a package.
- Launching Proof of Concept (PoC) with a modified setup of audiovisual resources in lecture halls to support hybrid education.
- Tendering and selection and subsequently also implementation of a new scheduling application. EDIS has made a significant contribution here, including concerning integration with other systems.
- Resolving the sub-optimal performance of streaming lectures
With the formation of the new IT organisation in 2020, a dedicated Research domain team has been established to further expand and improve support for that field of work. In daily practice, this domain team works closely with the UB and ERS departments within the framework of the RDM programme, which aims to drastically improve research support within EUR.
In 2021, the main focus was on defining the programme, making cooperation agreements, and structure and staffing. The RDM programme has a number of pillars, ranging from RDM policy to building a research infrastructure. The contribution of EDIS to the RDM programme is mainly reflected in this last pillar.
Research challenges to which EDIS had the opportunity to contribute in 2021 include:
- Implementation of and migration to the package PURE as a replacement for the research registration system Metis. A very complex project with challenges ranging from improving data quality and rationalising processes to ensuring that connected systems like Repub, People-Pagesand the like continue to function.
- Implementation of a new high-securevideo service for the benefit of researchers (BEATS).
- Start-up, in collaboration with other universities in SURF context, of POCs with YODA/iRODS, a new integrated solution for research data management.
Business operations and generic ICT
The support, ongoing development and administration of business management applications are in full swing. The same goes for so-called 'generic ICT' - the equipment and network on which all applications of education, research and operations ultimately run, whether physically on campus or somewhere in the cloud.
The real increase in the threat level (as with ransomware)prompted EDIS to implement and prepare several projects in 2021 aimed at further improving our security. This includes the already described introduction of Multi Factor Authentications(MFA) for employees, the replacement of Direct Access with Forticlient,the additional password for access to WiFi on campus, and backup measures. More measures have been taken or are being implemented. A so-called Red Team Assessmenttook place where possible further areas for improvement in our security were identified. EUR also joined a new service provided by SURF, the SURFsoc. Including through a SIEM system, this service monitors cyber threats and potential attacks on the institution's infrastructure. The knowledge gained within SURFsoc is shared with the institutions, including EUR.
Not only driven by security motives, but certainly contributing to them, in 2021, in close collaboration with HR and E&S, we also worked hard on the replacement and functional renewal of the processes and platform for Identity and Access Management (IAM). After a previous attempt to do so in 2018 foundered, this became an urgent necessity, both in technical and functional terms. The project is slated to bear fruit for the new college year 2022-2023.
Spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated need to work from home, EDIS has implemented and supported several projects in the area of operations. For example, the project Digital Signingenabled digitally signing contracts and documents with full legal validity using the ValidSignapplication. For example, management has also implemented various changes within HR's SAP environment that will enable further digitisation of the sick leave process. Several features have also been made available within the Microsoft365 environment designed to make working and collaborating from home easier.
Microsoft365 is a library of products and functionalities and requires multidisciplinary collaboration and alignment, and an Agileapproach. Following the 2020 project that introduced Teams and Microsoft365 at EUR, a so-called Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) was set up, in which the EDIS teams, Business Operationsand IT Genericwork closely together and coordinate with Information and Demand Management of the faculties and the other units. Because EUR sets a high bar in terms of preferences and ambitions in the field of Microsoft365, a project has been prepared for 2022. Together with this MDT, this is designed to give substance to the further roll-out of Microsoft365.
Massive homeworking as a result of COVID-19 has accelerated the adaptation and acceptance of, among other things, Teams. That had a huge impact on the procurement of our telephony services. The preparation of this telecom tender was about to be completed in early 2021, but was overtaken by the new reality. Where calling through Teams had previously seemed like an idea for the future, it was suddenly a real and present preference of faculties and departments. The starting points and preferences in the tender were reviewed and considered. The result is a new tender, one that is much more in line with the requirements and preferences that have emerged and been accepted so suddenly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will lead to the roll-out of modern telephony services within EUR in the first half of 2022 allowing you to make and receive calls from Teams, among other things.
Something that may be the least visible part of EDIS’s generic ICT services is its contribution to the renovation and new construction of buildings on campus. This is, of course, the area of work of RE&F, but EDIS, and especially the IT-Genericteam, plays a very important role in the background. Every building today is packed from bottom to top with equipment and cabling that should allow occupants to use their ICT services as if it were 'water from the tap’. All the renovations and new buildings such as MFO-2, the new sports building and the conversion of the M-building, involve a huge amount of work for the people of IT-Generic.
Led by the specialists in the field of Documentary Information Management (DIM), the Project Hotspot COVID-19 was realised in 2021. Commissioned by the BoT and in line with national policy, this was a project aimed at collecting COVID-19-related information, created and/or disseminated within EUR, in order to permanently preserve it in the context of its unique situation ('hotspot') and its historical value.
There were also significant developments in EDIS’s own internal operations in 2021. For example, the Management Servicesdepartment has worked hard to create the IT cost model and to update the associated Products and Services Catalogue (PDC). This gives EDIS and its customers a transparent view of what EDIS provides and at what price. To further ensure the legitimacy of procurement and hiring, EDIS has also moved to a new Dynamic Acquisition System (DAS) for hiring external IT personnel.
Policies and Frameworks
Digitally inspiring employees at EUR was the focus in 2021. The Digitisation 2024 Master Plan has been recalibrated to the ‘Digitisation Statement’. This so-called ‘Statement' includes a review of global (digital) trends for both education, research and business. The way these trends are related with the business capabilitiesof EUR in 2022 will lead to a further specification out of the strategic dialogue with administrators, Deans, but especially the entire l-community. The aim is to transform this digital inspiration into a redesigned digital course in the form of a guiding foundation for EUR strategy 2025-2029 to be developed.
The operation of the project portfolio process introduced in 2020 was further developed in 2021. The main body, the Project Portfolio Board (PPB), advises the BoT on the prioritisation of projects arising from the digitisation strategy, among other things. In 2021, a baseline measurement was carried out, based on which a roadmapis drawn up that will enable taking the process to a higher maturity level in 2022.
In 2021, significant steps in policy development were also taken in the focal area of sourcing strategy for central IT services. This has provided an insight into how the deployment of knowledge, capacity and quality can best be organised and how the strength of market players, SURF and fellow educational institutions can be used more effectively in order to contribute to the strategic, organisational and digitisation objectives of EUR. This strategy develops various scenarios for the central IT services. These are designed to lead to the best delivery model and better alignment to demand from the business based on the sourcingobjectives (increase agility, leverage current market knowledge and experience, improve financial control and predictability, continue to comply with laws and regulations, and increase flexibility).
Developments in the field of securityare set out above. From a policy perspective, the SURF security audit and the previously mentioned Red Team Assessmenthave been used to identify further areas for improvement that should lead to a higher level.
In 2021, the privacy organisation focused on answering questions from faculties and departments regarding the administration's dynamic measures. Questions from media and even from the House of Representatives about online proctoring were also addressed. In addition, the privacy management system was further set up and put into operation, and the foundation for the covenant of EUR-EUR holding and RSM BV was laid. An EUR-wide AVG audit was conducted to determine the maturity level of EUR. The resulting recommendations will be implemented in the near future.
Due to COVID-19, 2021 was another special year. The partial closure of the campus has significantly reduced energy use. In order to ensure that EUR permanently uses less energy and also emits less CO2, work has continued on the implementation plan of the Sustainable Campus roadmap prepared in 2019. The goal is to reduce the ecological footprint of EUR and ultimately to achieve carbon neutrality for the campus. The roadmap includes seven policy areas:
- Built Environment
- Waste Management
- Food and catering
- Green campus
- Participation and communication
EUR encourages and facilitates the support of an active and engaged community with visible sustainability projects and initiatives. Therefore, several sustainability projects were started or continued in 2021. A sampling:
- Hard work has been done on the new energy-neutral sports building and the highly sustainable and circular multi-purpose education building. There, the highly innovative Earth, Wind & Fire concept, a form of natural air conditioning, is applied. The principles of 'biophilic design'are embraced. It means that there will be a lot of natural greenery in the building and that natural materials will be used in the construction. The first tree trunks have been placed. Wells were also drilled for heat/cold storage systems.
- The Theil building has its own sustainable thermal storage system. This will be commissioned in 2022.
- Three roofs of the Van der Goot building are equipped with sedum. The same is true of the roof of the Erasmus building.
- Together with the caterers, EUR works continuously to improve and encourage a more varied and healthy food offer, the use of local and seasonal products and to combat food waste. The measures result in a more sustainable chain and lower CO2 emissions. Caterer Vitam and EUR are paying a lot of attention to a healthy and sustainable range: there will be many more vegetarian and vegan products and it will be easier to choose these. In February 2022, the Co-Ex-Challenge began. The university's three largest faculties are trying to reduce their daily carbon footprint in the cafeteria.
- A brainstorming session gathered ideas for a green campus with more biodiversity. The specification will follow in 2022.
- Three new water taps have been installed on campus.
- A RoadmapEnergy Transition has been prepared, outlining that EUR’s energy savings can contribute to the Climate Agreement.
- A pilot for reusable packaging is in preparation: the use of campus-wide Single Use Plasticsin the form of trays and cups should be exchanged for a circular alternative in the future.
Great place to work
The HR strategy has three ambitions:
- Great Place to Work
- Excellent HR Services
- Catalyst for Improvement
The ambitions formed the basis for a redesign of the HR department in 2021, ensuring that it is well aligned with the objectives in terms of service. The department consists of the following teams:
- HR Advice
- HR Services
- HR Learning & Career Centre
- HR Health Safety & Inclusion
- HR Strategy
Recognition & Appreciation
With its 'Creating Positive Societal Impact' strategy, EUR has the ambition to become an impact-driven university in the coming years. To that end, it is important to modernise the current system for recognising and valuing academic staff.
Since the end of 2019, steps have been taken within all Dutch universities and knowledge institutions to jointly work towards a modernised system that pays more attention to differentiated career paths, academic leadership and impact/open science. The balance between the individual and the team is a key factor.
Finally, there should be more room for qualitative indicators in addition to the existing quantitative indicators. See also position paper'Space for everyone's talent: towards a new balance in recognising and valuing scholars'. Achieving this requires a cultural change, modernising the current system for recognising and valuing academic staff and instigating a lasting mindset change.
At EUR, recognition and appreciation is included in the strategic pillar Fostering Societal Impactof Strategy24. In May 2020, a project team was set up consisting of academic leadProf. Victor Bekkers, project manager Bianca Langhout (dr.) and senior HR policy advisor Christien Bakker (MSc). The team made an action plan and has already taken significant steps to achieve the desired culture change.
For example, in June 2021, EUR Framework for Recognition & Appreciation was endorsed by the BoT. This frameworkwas established in close cooperation with all faculties and a number of services, outlining the framework for further design and implementation of recognition and appreciation within EUR. This will focus on three main areas, namely creating positive societal impact, focusing on differentiated career paths, team scienceand strengthening academic leadership. The frameworkalso contains a roadmap that outlines the key steps at different levels of the organisation (central, faculties and services).
Parallel to the completion of the EUR Framework, steps have been taken at the central level and within the faculties and services to further shape and implement recognition and appreciation. Workshops and dialogue sessions are organised by the core team; work groups have been established to work on templates for the narrative CV; and plans are being prepared for events and other communication tools. Within one of the faculties, focus profiles are already in place for academic staff at the UD and UHD level. Profiles are available for research, teaching, impact and management. Other faculties are also taking steps in this direction. In addition, a number of faculties are in the process of redesigning the career standing committee (VCL) and promotion criteria. They are making choices relating to the concept of recognition and appreciation. The HR department has prioritised recognition and appreciation as one of the spearheads in its new strategy. In the coming period, it is focusing on renewing the Result & Development cycle and redesigning the leadership programme.
In this way, EUR takes steps that are important for the desired culture change relating to recognition and appreciation. It is and will continue to be a complex change with challenges, obstacles and legitimate discussions with simultaneous shared commitment and progress.
Diversity and inclusion (D&l) are firmly embedded in EUR's current strategy to create a positive social impact. At EUR, we understand 'diversity' to include both visible (e.g. gender, age, race) and invisible (e.g. sexual orientation, disability, academic profile) diversity characteristics, and inclusion stands for being able to fully express yourself while feeling part of the team. By becoming more inclusive, we will also become more diverse, according to the vision. At work, we are mindful of and working on the entire cycle of HR processes, including recruitment, retention, promotion and exit. In this context, HR focuses on systemic change as the engine of transformation.
The work done on D&l in 2021 can be categorised into three components.
1) Policies to support D&l among employees
Recruitment and selection (W&S) received a lot of attention. Adapting the W&S process and making it more inclusive will create a more diverse talent pool, avoiding the pitfall of choosing people who resemble those on the recruitment and selection team or the person who has just left the position. HR developed nine mini e-learningsin various formats, highlighting the most essential inclusive and bias-free S&S principles for every EUR employee involved in the process. These include checklists, animations and infographics,with topics such as assembling a W&S team and inclusive job posting to the STARR method. In addition to the mini e-learnings,all HR business partners and HR advisors attended a training course on inclusive recruitment by an external expert trainer at the end of 2021.
A new document on policies and procedures for professors was approved in 2021. In addition to providing an overview of the different types of professors, the policy provides transparency about the process for internal promotion to the level of full professor, pays considerable attention to the importance of diversity within the appointment advisory committee (BAC), and requires reflection on diversity of candidates by BAC members.
The first round of the '25/25 policy measure' has been completed. The measure was introduced to promote the advancement of women from assistant professors to associate professors and from associate professors to full professors. The policy consisted of workshops, mentoring, and the opportunity for participants to have their portfolios reviewed by an independent committee based on faculty criteria. This gave them independent insight into their own careers. Of the approximately 100 female participants in the policy, 33 submitted their portfolios for review by an independent committee. Ultimately, nine individuals who submitted their portfolios were promoted, and five left the university for senior positions elsewhere. The project team discussed the outcome of the independent commission's recommendation and options for next steps with the participants involved. A total of eighteen participants took advantage of financial assistance available to all participants who submitted their portfolios for review, except those who were promoted.
Lessons learned were shared with HR business partners and Deans, including taking the opportunity to receive feedback. System-level insights address the need for transparency and objectivity of criteria, overview of the promotion process, and conditions for promotion.
EUR also supports its own employees in finding a work-life balance once they have become parents. As set out in the previous annual report, EUR grants supplements to the statutory 70% of salary for partners who go on extended birth leave, ensuring they receive 100% of salary during their leave. This policy has been widely used: in the first year after its introduction (1 July 2020 - 1 July 2021), more than 85% of employees who were entitled to extended birth leave used it for its full duration. In addition, female employees who have been on maternity leave have the right to apply for exemption from teaching or research after their return. In 2021, eighteen women took advantage of that opportunity, the highest number to date (2020 ten women, 2019 fifteen).
2) Participation in internal and external networks and providing advice
EUR likes to share knowledge with external parties, for example by participating in meetings of the LNVH (National Network Female Professors), attended by HR policy advisors from all other Dutch universities and UMCs, and by being part of the Women INC Incubators network. This is a group of organisations at the forefront of diversity and inclusion. EUR has been selected as a goodpractice employer in terms of being a family-friendly organisation (https://www.womeninc.nl/actueel/werkgeversevent-2021-tussen-loon- en-luiers) and has shared in knowledge with other organisations on topics such as recruitment and selection.
EUR participates in national symposia (e.g. Dutch Internist Day) and events (examples: Top X top, TOPX network event, Fontys University of Applied Sciences diversity week) and participates in knowledge exchange with other Dutch universities and other organisations (such as TNO, AFM, Deltaress, KNAW).
To ensure that HR D&l is an integral part of other HR-related projects and that the policies and tools developed can actually land in the organisation, HR D&l participates in various internal networks. This includes regular contact with HR Business partners and advisors, HR policy advisors, as well as with faculty diversity officersand the EUR employee network (e.g. FAME). HR D&l also provides input to ongoing projects to ensure that HR D&l is an integral part of other key initiatives, such as recognition and valuation, recruitment and selection, PhD policy, integrity policy and the UNIC project. As in previous years, HR conducted a half-day training on HR D&l as part of the academic leadership course.
EUR has agreed with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science that by 2025, at least 25% of Professors will be women. This target is close to being reached by the end of 2021.
In addition to female Professors, gender diversity in the upper echelons of the organisation is also considered.
|Group||Male (percentage)||Female (percentage)|
|Supervisory Board||3 (60%)||2 (40%)|
|Board of Trustees||1 (33%)||2 (67%)|
|Deans||6 (67%)||3 (33%)|
|Research Directors||8 (89%)||1 (11%)|
|Education Directors||5 (55%)||4 (45%)|
|Organisation Directors||6 (55%)||5 (45%)|
|Service Directors||2 (29%)||5 (71%)|
Implementation of the Jobs Equalisation Act
In the context of the Participation Act, more than 57 jobs were filled by people from the ‘Banenafspraak’ (Job Accord) target group in 2021. This is 53% compared to the target of 107.1 jobs (of 25.5 hours each). To achieve the full complement, the focus was on individual placements within the organisational units. Additionally, the focus has been broadened by including placements through collective job realisation and based on initial cooperation in terms of job realisation through procurement and social return .
As in 2020, training was offered to support supervisors and managers of employees with occupational disabilities. This training includes theories, practical examples and tools to help (new) employees get the best out of their jobs. 26 employees of EUR participated, 22 of whom actually obtained the certificate.
Unfortunately, the 2021 goal of creating 107.1 jobs was not met. Yet, despite the pandemic, six jobs were added for people with occupational disabilities within EUR compared to the previous year. In the previous year, 14 jobs had been added. On this basis, it is safe to conclude that fewer jobs were realised in 2021 compared to the previous year than in 2020 compared to 2019. The reasons are that contracts were not renewed due to a variety of reasons, but also the closure of the university due to the Covid-19 pandemic caused a decrease compared with 2020. Ambassadors within different organisational units investigate whether there are places where someone can be employed through the Participation Act.
 Social returnmeans that social conditions are imposed within procurement and tendering processes. The client and the contractor agree that a certain percentage of the contract must be spent, for example on employment of people from the Banenafspraak target group.
Development and mobility
EUR supports managers in developing high-performing teams, promoting a healthy and positive work environment, and creating social impact. Leadership development received additional attention in 2021 during the Top Leadership Days (April and October) attended by the Board of Trustees, Deans, Directors of Research & Education and Directors of Operations (Faculties & Services).
They discussed what characteristics a leader or manager needs in order to achieve EUR's ambitions. Among other things, this resulted in a core leadership profile that serves as a stepping stone for further development of leadership within EUR. It also provides a basis for the purchase and deployment of related leadership training and development programmes typically offered through the internal Training and Development Platform (TOP). Some examples of related training and development programmes in 2021 are:
- Academic leadership
- Senior leadership in Academia
- Leading professionals
- Teambuilding programmes
- Individual executive coaching
TOP organised fifty training sessions. Ranging from career training to leadership programmes. These trainings were attended by a total of 350 participants. Also in 2021, it was a challenge to quickly switch from online training to physical training and vice versa, depending on the Covid19 measures in place at the time.
There were also new training courses in the past year, for example the training Workplace Mindfulnessand Design Thinking Fundamentals. In addition, in 2021 TOP continued to offer the online GoodHabitzcourses. In 2021, a total of 1088 hours have been studied and 161 certificates have been obtained. Most of the study time was spent on the training courses Lean, Powerpoint, Excel, Time Management and Mindfulness.
Academic Leadership and Senior Leadership in Academia
As part of leadership development for academics, TOP also organised two editions of the Academic Leadership course in 2021. Forty employees participated. 2021 saw the launch of the new course 'Senior Leadership in Academia', developed in co-creation with the faculties. This is a leadership programme tailored to professors who are responsible for directing a department, section or team. The modules were rated an average of 8.4 by the participants.
Share Your Knowledge Event
During the Share Your Knowledgeweek organised by TOP, colleagues provide short informal workshops for each other as a way to share knowledge and experience. As a result, colleagues meet in a different setting than usual, expand their network and learn from each other. In 2021, this annual event consisted of 25 workshops, a variety of offerings ranging from 'How do I organise an event?' through basic theatre training to workshops on ethics and fundraising for research. 580 colleagues attended the workshops.
The two-year LDE traineeship is provided by Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and EUR. The eighth edition started in 2021. The change of the guard, a group of three new LDE trainees, took their place on the EUR assignment of the four trainees of the 2020/2022 cohort. The new trainees were recruited and selected with the help of BMC, an external agency. Staff from the Mobility team organised and supported the training programme and mentoring of the trainees.
Talent development plays a key role at EUR. The university has facilities and opportunities that allow employees to develop and take on new challenges. A sampling:
- Personal career budget: employees can freely spend € 500 per year on their future development
- Workspot:a portal where employees are matched with temporary work. This serves to increase internal mobility. In 2021, 50% of applications were filled with an internal candidate.
- Mobility Managerand Career Coaches:internal and external career guidance
- Career in Progress:portal including personality, ability and profession selector tests, testimonials and information about the mobility networks EUR is affiliated with; it also features a map of all positions and corresponding abilities within EUR.
Mobility Job2Job (Compulsory Mobility)
The Job2Job department guides employees to new work if their contract expires within the next six months, as well as former employees in unemployment reintegration and employees who can no longer perform their work after a period of leave. Job2Job's case managers offer candidates a tailored process. They coach on an individual basis and mediate candidates to find employment within and outside the university. Each year, the Job2Job department receives approximately 130 applications.
|%||number of people|
|%||number of people|
|Job found, external||46,6||55|
|Job found, internal||6,8||8|
|Start-up period self-employed||4,2||5|
|%||number of people|
|Job found, external||43,3||32|
|Start-up period self-employed||6,6||5|
|End of unemployed period||28,4||21|
|%||number of people|
|Job found, external||52,3||23|
|Job found, internal||18,1||8|
|End of process||20,5||9|
Healthy and Safety at work
Facilities & amenities (in the context of corona period)
As of Saturday, 23 January 2021, a curfew was in effect throughout the Netherlands. This meant that everyone had to stay indoors between 9:00 pm and 4:30 am. Being outdoors without a valid reason was prohibited. Those who had to go out to work had to have an employer's statement and the form 'Self Declaration of Curfew’. EUR provided an employer's statement to 78 employees during that period.
Information on (health and safety when) working from home was uploaded to the MyEUR platform. All updates around measures from the cabinet were communicated through mailing and posted on the EUR website.
HR published monthly newsletters for all employees, including managers. These provided tailored information to enable working from home. In 2021, HR published eleven newsletters.
In 2021, an HR page on the intranet was visited 145,482 times. That's 7.4 % more than in 2020. The most visited HR pages are:
my.eur.nl/en / eur-employee/hr/terms-employment/ leave-absence
my.eur.nl/nl/eur-employee/hr/ arbeidsvoorwaarden/financiele-zaken-en-vergoedingen/vergoedingen/woon-werk-verkeer/ reiskostenregeling- kilometervergoeding
To support each employee in a responsible setup of the home office, three options were offered: 1. Collection of materials from campus; 2. Procurement of required resources through employee’s own department; 3. Independently purchasing supplies for a workstation at home in compliance with Arbo (occupational health & safety) regulations and claiming up to € 500. A temporary scheme was created to facilitate these options.
In addition, CLA parties have agreed on an allowance for working from home as of 1 September 2021:
- € 2 per home working day
- € 25 per month internet fee
Mental support resources already introduced in 2020 remained available in 2021. One example is Open Up: a psychologist for everyone and without waiting times. Every employee and guest staff member can schedule as many visits with OpenUp's qualified psychologists.
Sick leave development
Starting in the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase in sick leave was incurred (4.21% in October 2021 versus 2.82% in October 2020). The main cause of sick leave was a more severe seasonal effect (flu/cold viruses) and the emerging Omikron variant of COVID-19. This resulted particularly in a large increase in the percentage of short-term sick leave. In addition, the number of people who dropped out with mental symptoms due to a combination of work and private life overload was also a concern.
HR measured the wellbeing of our employees for the first time in late 2020. This research is designed and conducted in collaboration with our scholars. A second and third (last time: December 2021) were conducted in 2021. The outcomes were shared centrally and widely and also discussed decentralised in many parts of the organisation. Tackling workload and facilitating hybrid forms of work will continue to be a key focal area in 2022. Finally, the method of repeat measurements teaches what it takes to also be able to properly conduct another measurement in 2022: the New Style Employee Survey.
Evaluation Ombuds Officer (OO) & Confidential Counsellor (CC)
Both the action plan for the ombuds officer pilot (started in 2019) and the confidential counsellor network pilot (started in 2019) stipulate that a final evaluation will be conducted by an external party after two years. Last summer, a selection committee (consisting of the ombuds officer, the coordinator of the confidential counsellor network, and delegation of members from UR and EUROPA) chose the firm Governance & Integrity. This agency's report writes: 'Both the ombuds function and the network of confidential counsellors are important and necessary contributions to the care structure and thus to establishing a safe, healthy and professional working and studying environment.' Subsequently, it provided advice for improving both officer roles and a set of general advice for the care structure. In 2022, the advice will be implemented.
From the beginning of the year under review, the 'social safety' project involved an integrated effort to reduce inappropriate conduct and lack of safety. In this context, HR collaborates with many different service providers/actors (including confidential counsellors, ombuds officers, company social worker, company doctors) and with other departments (E&S, integral safety officers, D&l). Managers and employees obviously play a role in creating a safe, inclusive and healthy work environment. Therefore, the topic is also part of the development programmes for leadership and teams. It is elaborated through the Erasmian Values and is further integrated into the revised Code of Integrity in 2021 (see below).
In 2021 an attempt was made to gain and provide clarity on the roles and responsibilities of various actors in the field of social safety based on holding regular actor meetings. A Health & Safety information card has been developed. This information card serves as a basis for improving the provision of information to employees and ensuring that the shortest route in assistance is found. Finally, a 'Social Annual Report' was produced for the first time in 2021 and was well received. HR plans to produce this report annually, analysing and explaining trends in wellbeing and social safety through an overarching analysis of annual reports.
Occupational Healt&Safety and RI&E
In 2021 the Occupational Health and Safety Coordinator/Central Prevention Officer was appointed. A master plan was also drawn up for an EUR-wide, both centralised and decentralised approach to the mandatory Risk Inventory & Evaluation. This plan was presented to the Board of Trustees in November 2021.
Prevention officer network
With the occupational health and safety coordinator/central prevention officer, EUR meets legal requirements in this area. In 2020 a job profile was prepared for decentralised prevention officers who support the central prevention officer in all organisational units. In 2021 the health and safety coordinator prepared a plan to establish the prevention officer network. The plan resulted in 25 prevention officers at the various faculties and departments by December 2021.
The directors of HR, IT (EDIS) and RE&F set up the Operationalisation work group Blended Working in the year under review. This work group offered assistance regarding questions about returning safely to the office during the corona period and advised on home office facilities. Some results:
- Q&A Blended Working in Dutch and English on the MyEUR intranet page
- Home office (work station) facilities:
- EUR-wide policy regarding home working facilities has been established;
- A tender is initiated by the EDIS, HR and RE&F departments for the home office facilities;
- For the period during the tender process, a transition arrangement 'purchase of home working facilities' will be established.
- Transition scheme homework allowances 2021-2022.
On 7 December 2021, EUR launched a new Integrity Code on the intended conduct of employees and students. The Code of Integrity provides an overview of the key values and standards, which creates a context for further dialogue about what motivates and binds Erasmians. Precisely the open discussion and dialogue about this topic are so important. It ensures all those involved work together to ensure an inspiring working and study environment with integrity. This will prevent misconduct and wrongdoing, and expresses Erasmian values in everything that staff and students do. The code contains regulations relating to organisation, scientific and interpersonal contacts. The code of integrity is available for downloading here.
The number of international staff members is growing. In 2021 we paid special attention to their wellbeing and the so-called soft landing.
For many international staff, Covid-19 made 2021 an extra tough year. Many could not rely on solid social networks in the area. That is precisely why EUR made a point of keeping in touch with them. A total of nineteen activities were organised throughout the year, both online and on location. Examples include visits to Kinderdijk, Royal Delft Museum and Mauritshuis in The Hague, and activities such as canoeing, climbing and bowling. The Online Dutch Conversation Sessions, where Dutch hosts in small groups give international staff the chance to practice their Dutch speaking skills, were in high demand. The travelling partners take advantage of the dual career programme, helping them find work.
Customer service and cooperation
To keep the complex administrative processes for international staff running smoothly, collaboration with faculties and departments was strengthened in 2021. From now on, advice will be provided at the beginning of the chain before a decision has been made. This leads to better information exchange and smoother processes. Comprehensive brochures have also been developed for new international guests. These are available to read at their convenience.
Composition of international staff
Recent years have seen a continuous upward trend in the proportion of international staff employed by EUR. From 21% in 2014, it has grown to 27% by the end of 2021. COVID-19 did not break that trend: by the end of 2021, EUR had 1,672 employees with a non-Dutch nationality.
EUR has many employees without employment contracts. They work on the basis of a so-called hosting agreement (GVO). They are employees who, for example, work through an employment agency or who do scientific work for which they have another source of funding. This includes external PhD students (employed by another employer and also pursuing a PhD) and PhD students on scholarship. Relatively speaking, the proportion of non-nationals with a GVO (33%) is higher than non-nationals with employment contract (22%).
The table below shows the proportion of employment contracts versus GVO agreements for each type of employee, broken down by nationality (Dutch/non-Dutch). Interestingly, EUR has slightly more non-Dutch than Dutch PhD students. Among the staff of Professional Services, the proportion of non-nationals is actually low.