Race and Ethnicity

EUR’s approach in this dimension is first by acknowledging race and ethnicity are not the same:

Race generally refers to several very broad categories that people are divided into that are biologically arbitrary yet considered to be generally based on ancestral origin and shared physical characteristics (especially skin colour).

Meanwhile, ethnicity generally refers to a person’s cultural identity, which may or may not include a shared language, shared customs, shared religious expression, or a shared nationality (especially outside that nation’s borders).

EUR's approach towards Race and Ethnicity

The approach begins by acknowledging five guiding principles:

  • Racial and ethnic inequalities are a significant issue within higher education. Racial inequalities are not necessarily overt, isolated incidents. Racism is an everyday facet of society, and racial inequalities manifest themselves in everyday situations, processes and behaviours.
  • Higher education in the Netherlands cannot reach its full potential unless it can benefit from the talents of the whole population and until individuals from all racial and ethnic backgrounds can benefit equally from the opportunities it affords.
  • In developing solutions to racial inequalities within EUR, it is crucial that they are aimed at achieving long-term institutional culture change, avoiding a deficit model where solutions are aimed at changing the individual.
  • Minority ethnic staff and students are not a homogenous group. People from different ethnic backgrounds have different experiences of outcomes from/within higher education, and that complexity needs to be considered in analysing data and developing actions.
  • All individuals have multiple identities, and the intersection of those different identities should be considered wherever possible.

Relevant networks

Erasmus University Rotterdam holds several student organizations centred around themes of race and ethnicity.

  • Erasmus Multicultural Associations (EMA)
  • Afghan Student Association (ARIA)
  • Association of Students of African Heritage (ASAH)
  • Avicenna - Medical Multicultural
  • Chinese Student Association (CSA-EUR)
  • Hindu Student Association (HSFN)
  • Turkish Student Association (Mozaik)
  • Indonesian Student Association (PPI)
  • Surinamese Student Association (SSA)
  • Eastern European Students Association (EESA)

External Networks and Resources

These are relevant external networks and resources concerning themes of race and ethnicity.


  • Colour Ground: Online meeting place for LGBT youth with different cultural background.
  • Mil Colores: For LBT woman of color (adults).
  • Respect2Love: A community for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth with a bicultural background.
  • Out&Abroad: The organisation for Chinese LGBTQIA+ in the Netherlands.
  • I-psy LHBTI-poli Amsterdam: focuses on LGBTI migrants, expats and refugees with psychological problems.
  • Prisma Groep: Dutch organisation for bicultural and/or Muslim LGBTQI+ (incl. refugees).

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