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About the University

Social safety

The UvA is comitted to providing a positive study and work environment in which we treat each other with respect, nobody feels unsafe and everyone can develop their talents. We want everyone to be assured they have a safe basis for their work or studies and, if necessary, to conduct difficult or critical conversations. Students and staff must have the opportunity to address concerns, dilemmas and complaints within the UvA. They must feel they are safe to do so and that their report or complaint will be taken seriously.

Until end-2020 a UvA taskforce will be working on an integrated approach to strengthening social safety for staff and students. The information on this page will continue to be improved and expanded. If you see any information is missing or have any ideas or input for this page, please let us know via

Code of conduct, house rules and VSNU statement on social safety

The UvA has a code of conduct that applies to everyone who works and studies at the university. This sets out how we should treat each other and what to do when undesirable behaviour occurs. 

Together with all the other universities in the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) the UvA has also drawn up a statement concerning safety and the academic environment.

  • Read the Code of Conduct
    • Staff and students must treat everyone who works and/or studies at the UvA with politeness and respect.
    • Staff and students must be alert to undesirable behaviour.
    • Staff and students must always challenge undesirable behaviour either by talking directly to the person in question or by seeking help from a third party.
    • Staff and students are encouraged to report their complaints.
    • The submission of a complaint must never have negative consequences for the complainant.
    • All reports are treated as strictly confidential.
    • All formal complaints will be investigated objectively and thoroughly.
    • Appropriate corrective measures will be taken as soon as possible against anyone within the organisation who harasses another person or causes offence on the basis of gender, beliefs or origin.

    This code of conduct applies to all UvA staff and students in their behaviour towards:

    • UvA staff and students;
    • others working for the UvA, such as visiting lecturers, secondees, trainees and agency workers;
    • employees of third parties, i.e. hired and agency workers working on the UvA site;
    • visitors to the UvA.

    (Also see Article 1.12 of the CAO NU)

  • Read the VSNU statement

    Dutch universities are committed to providing their students, employees and visitors with a safe environment. Of key importance to Dutch universities are collegiality, integrity, equality, respect, openness and attention to each other. Dutch universities do not tolerate any type of undesirable conduct, including sexual and general harassment, aggression, bullying or discrimination. This message is communicated at all administrative levels, from the executive board to the shop floor of research and education. It is a vital task for universities to act as effectively and appropriately as possible when there are suspicions of undesirable conduct.

    Universities are responsible for offering a positive work and study environment that enables all members of the academic community to develop their talents. By their very nature, universities are institutions at which people from different backgrounds can meet and cooperate. Anyone affiliated with our universities as a student, employee or visitor contributes to a mutually respectful treatment, regardless of origin, religious belief, sexual preference, handicap, position or job. In sum, it is up to all persons within the institution to make an active commitment towards social safety. 

Available support

Here you can find an overview of different services and departments you can turn to if you experience unsafe situations or undesirable behaviour. Staff can also download a Social Safety Support Guide below in the form of an interactive PDF. A similar guide will be made available for students shortly.

Social Safety Support Guide for staff

Overview of available support for students and staff

  • Confidential advisers for undesirable behaviour

    Undesirable behaviour can take many forms, including harassment, discrimination, aggression, bullying, violence and stalking. Undesirable behaviour can cause stress and mental and physical health problems. If you experience it, it is important not to keep it to yourself but to talk to someone. You can always contact one of the confidential advisers. This does not have to be the adviser for your faculty or department.

    The confidential advisers are listed by faculty or service but you can contact any of the advisers regardless of where you study or work.

    Please note that, despite the current corona measures it is still possible to contact the confidential advisers. You can call or email them to arrange an appointment via Skype or Zoom.

    You can find contact details and more information on what a confidential adviser can do for you here:

  • Ombudsperson

    The UvA has decided to establish an independent ombudsperson for undesirable behaviour. A person in this position can act from outside the line organisation, is there for students and staff memebrs and should contribute to a safer environment and more efficient procedures.

    In September 2019 Jacqueline Schoone was appointed acting ombudsperson. She has experience in the field of social safety in an academic environment. Jacqueline will prepare for a structural fulfillment of the position in 2021 and will serve as ombudsperson until the end of 2020.

    Please note that, despite the current corona measures it is still possible to contact the ombudsperson. You can call or email her to arrange an appointment via Skype or Zoom.

    The ombudsperson will handle reports and sinals from students and staff as an independent and impartial party, and can initiate their own investigations. The interim ombudsperson will prepare the ground for a more permanent fulfilment of the position. During this period it needs to become clear how the ombudsperson relates to the existing departments and figures people can turn to to discuss and submit complaints at the UvA: the complaints committee, diversity officers, the confidential adviser for employment and legal position, confidential advisers for undesirable behaviour, occupational health and social work, student councellors and student psychologists.

    A safe and diverse learning and working environmentment depends on many different factors. The position of ombudsperson can contribute to this, but every student and staff member has joint responsibility for helping create a positive study and working environment for themselves and others.

    In 2024 the Executive Board and advisory consultative bodies will evaluate the position to decide whether or not it will be continued. Apart from the position of ombudsperson itself, the evaluation will also assess whether the division of tasks and cooperation with the other relevant parties in the domain of social safety is clear.

  • Confidential adviser for academic Integrity

    The UvA has special advisors for academic integrity. If you have any questions or suspicions relating to academic integrity violations you can turn to them and they will treat them confidentially. You can find their contact details, as well the Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity and information on the UvA’s Academic Integrity Committee here: 

  • Confidential adviser for employment and legal position
  • Further support for students: study advisers, student counsellors, psychologists and doctors

    Within the UvA, there are several departments to which you can turn for help and answers to questions:

    • Study advisers can help you if you have problems with study planning or motivation, if you are behind with your studies or have second thoughts about the programme you have chosen. You can find contact details for study advisers via the student site of your programme.
    • Student counsellors can help you with problems that aren't directly related to your study programme but to your individual circumstances. Examples are special circumstances such as a disability, chronic illness or impairment or family circumstances.
    • Students and PhDs with study problems and personal problems can contact the UvA’s student psychologists. They offer individual and group counselling, workshops and training courses.
    • The UvA also provide a General  Practitioners Practice UvA. If you live in Amsterdam, you can register with the general medical practice of the student doctors. You can turn to them if you are ill, are concerned about your physical or mental health or if you need a prescription, test or vaccinations.
    • Also see facilities for students with a disability or chronic illness.
  • Emergencies/dangerous situations

    In the event of an emergency, contact the UvA’s Central Control Room on the central emergency number: T: +31 (0)20 525 2222

    Have you observed an unsafe situation or near miss – an ‘almost-accident’? Report what you saw via

    You can find more information about Company Emergency Response and first aid in the A-Z list of your staff or student site, under 'Safe study and working environment'.