Listening to each other; giving space to differ perspectives within Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences

    15 May 2024

    Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences is once again speaking out against the inhuman suffering caused by conflict situations. Since the beginning of October, it has been evident that the freedom and security of people have been and continue to be inhumanely affected by the various attacks in the Gaza conflict.

    As a non-political and educational organisation, it is essential that we do a good job teaching and conducting research in a safe learning and working environment for people from different backgrounds and with different views.
    At Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences there is room for everyone's opinion. Opinions are allowed to cause friction, opinions are allowed to differ, opinions are allowed to be questioned and opinions are allowed to be challenged. The individual opinion is valued and that is a beautiful thing. We live by example as much as possible for our students and staff. It is equally important to us that we all continue to feel safe in our environment, no matter how complicated the different opinions may be. A statement made by one person can make another feel unsafe, and we want to avoid that in the classroom and in the workplace. And we are learning too.
    We are here to develop critical professionals who have their own views. It is important for us to engage with each other, to listen to each other and to respect each other. Words can hurt and sometimes it is not easy to continue discussions. We hope that together we will have the courage and patience to do so. Being and staying in conversation with each other respectfully and listening to each other, can create understanding and connection.

    We endorse the common guidelines for protests drawn up by universities (of applied sciences). Protesting is a right and therefore what is allowed or is not allowed around our buildings has been set out in a policy. To ensure a safe environment for all, with room for different opinions and perspectives. Peacefully, respectfully and with room for different views. We owe it to ourselves and our city.