“That is an increase compared to previous years,” says Wendy Geijen, confidential adviser for students, during the plenary meeting of the University Council last week. “We think that this is because people are more aware of the existence of the confidential adviser.”
Although there is an increase, “I think that 46 is not a lot,” says Laurens Bierens, University Council member for Dope. “How can we further improve the awareness of the confidential adviser?” Awareness should indeed be improved, thinks Kim Kuypers, University Council member for the academic staff. “It could also be that the number of complaints has risen because the number of students has increased.”
Geijen: “There will certainly be more than 46 cases. But this is not the only place where students can turn to for advice. The most important thing is that we create an open culture at the university, that people dare to come forward. We already focus a on this a great deal on the website, saying that it is a safe place to come and talk.”
The majority of the complaints are from foreign students (70 per cent) and six out of ten complaints are from women. Disrespectful or dishonourable behaviour by professors, supervisors or physicians (13 per cent), sexual harassment (13 per cent), and discrimination (11 per cent) are the most frequent topics.