University of Antwerp

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The Universiteit Antwerpen was founded in 2003 after the merger of three university institutions previously known as RUCA, UFSIA and UIA. Their roots go back to 1852. The University of Antwerp has about 20.000 students, which makes it the third largest university in Flanders. Approximately 17%, 3400, of them are registered international students at the University of Antwerp. The University of Antwerp forms the backbone of the Antwerp University Association (AUHA), a strategic collaboration with four university colleges in the city of Antwerp. The UA has 9 faculties in Applied Economics, Applied Engineering, Arts, Design Sciences, Law, Medicine and Health Sciences, Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences, Political and Social Sciences, and Science. They offer over 140 degrees at the B.A and M.A levels.

The University of Antwerp furthermore hosts a number of (interfaculty) centres and institutions, such as the Institute of Development Policy and Management, the Institute for Transport and Maritime Management Antwerp, the Centre Technology for Disabled People, the Institute for Jewish Studies, the University of Antwerp Law Research School, the Centre for Proteome Analysis & Mass Spectronomy, or the Computational Linguistics and Psycholinguistics Research Centre.

The gender equality agenda of the University of Antwerp resorts under its equal opportunities and diversity policy priority. This policy both targets employees and students. Diversity is understood as bringing in the ‘qualities, talents, experiences and competencies of all actors concerned, thereby taking into consideration the differences between individuals and groups within the institution.’ Gender equality issues are therefore mainly dealt within the broader setting of respecting and promoting diversity, focusing on different social groups such as ability, age, ethnicity, sex, or socio-economic position. The university has initiated actions in favour of gender equality from the late 2000s onwards and recently, January 2014, voted on and accepted a first Gender Action Plan.

EGERA will be coordinated at the University of Antwerp from its Faculty in Political and Political Science, which concentrates available gender expertise. Yet, the commitment of other faculties will be ensured and evidenced through the involvement of distinguished members thereof, with the support of two cross-cutting management departments (University & Society; Staff & Organization).


the UA will lead WP3, for which it will secure sufficient experience-driven expertise, both internally and externally, in order to design and implement innovative solutions. It will also provide support to/participate in other WPs, in particular WP2, WP5 and WP6.

Core team

Petra Meier, Full Professor, Faculty of Political and Social Science at UA. Petra Meier is Head of Department of Political Science and Director of the Policy Research Centre on Equality Policies at UA. A respected political scientist strongly involved in international research networks, she has a huge publication record on gender mainstreaming, gender equality policies at the EU and the domestic levels, women’s quantitative and substantive representation in parliamentary politics and other related issues. She also regularly intervenes as a gender policy expert for EU, national and regional institutions.

Jolien Voorspoels, PhD student, Faculty of Political and Social Science at UA. She received a master of arts in History and a master of science in Economics-Public Management at Ghent University. In both her research dissertations she embedded a gender focus; respectively studying parliamentary discourse about women’s right to vote and the impact of an academic organizational culture on the use of parental leave by fathers. Through activities outside of the university she also contests street harassment and gender-based violence.

Greet Dielis

Greet Dielis, HR Manager – Academic Staff at UA and Consortium Board member for EGERA. As of 2008 she is responsible for Human Resources Management at the University, in particular for the academic and scientific staff. The scope of HR management reaches from recruitment and selection, appraisal and performance management, rules and regulations, training and education, financial planning… She is responsible for HR projects related to research careers in national and European context. She holds master’s degrees in Physics, Actuarial Sciences and Applied Mathematics and ICT. Outside the University she has a long experience as Actuary in Benefit Consulting in the private and consulting sector.

Marjolijn De Clercq, staff member of the Human Resources Departement at UA. She holds a master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Ghent University. She is responsible training and recruitment for different categories of staff. She contributes to the operationalization of the action plan HR Strategy for Researchers for recruitment and training topics.

Kristien Seghers, policy staff member, Equal Opportunities and Diversity, department of University and Society, at UA. As policy staff member and member of the Steering Committee for Equal Opportunities and Diversity she initiated and wrote the first Gender Action Plan of the UA. Coming years she will instigate concrete actions to implement the plan, which will know contributions from EGERA as well.

Serge Simon, member of the board of administration and board of directors at UA. He received a Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Ghent University and Business Engineering at the Vlerick Business School. He is doctor in the Applied Science. At the UA he is responsible for Human Resources Management for both the academic and scientific staff and administrative and technical staff. He is President of the Committee for prevention and protection at work. Among others, he is a member of the Steering Committee of Equal Opportunities and Diversity. He stresses the importance of ‘management by facts and figures’ and has a system-oriented vision on management and administration. He emphasizes the importance of human resources in the organization and stimulates a costumer oriented focus.

Kathleen Vercauteren, is Head of department of University and Society, at UA. She also leads the Steering Committee of Equal Opportunities and Diversity and the High Level Task Force Gender of the Flemish Interuniversity Board.

Daniel Cuypers, PhD, is Professor for employment and discrimination law at the faculty of law, at UA where he also holds various executive roles. He is a member of the Flemish Administrative Tribunal for Student’s Complaints against universities and colleges. Formerly a vice-dean of the Faculty of Law, Danier Cuypers is a specialist of Labour Law and a member of the European Working Group on Labour Law (REGES).

Henk de Smaele, Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, at UA. He teaches Modern Cultural History; History of the Body, Gender and Sexuality; and History of Islam. His current research interests include the history of body, gender and sexuality (18th–20th centuries) and the history of ‘cultural encounters’. It is his present ambition to combine ‘queer’ and ‘postcolonial’ perspectives in a rethinking of the powerful and omnipresent metanarrative of ‘modernization’ in cultural and political history. Henk de Smaele is also Co-President of the Centre d’Archives pour l’histoire des femmes (Brussels).

Jolien Voorspoels