After last year’s decline, there are slightly more female professors in Nijmegen again

07 Dec 2023 ,

The proportion of female professors in Nijmegen has slightly increased in 2022. This is evident from the Monitor Female Professors. The decline from the previous year has been compensated for, although the target of 36 percent by 2025 remains a distant goal.

In 2021, the percentage of female professors in Nijmegen decreased by one percentage point to 29 percent. This decrease makes the University’s target of 36 percent by 2025 appear out of reach.

However, the female professorship has grown again in 2022, reaching just over 31 percent (not including Radboudumc). This was revealed by the annual Monitor Female Professors of the National Network of Female Professors (LNVH). The university also reported an increase in the proportion of women in other scientific positions.

Above average

Nijmegen scores above average when compared to the rest of the country. The national average of female professorship is only 27.6 percent, as stated in the monitor. Not only that, but this year, the women’s share increased by a scant 0.9 percent, as revealed in September.

This pace is considered too slow and is a source of concern for both the LNVH (National Network of Female Professors) and the influential advocacy group Athena’s Angels. They call for a new goal: an equal number of female and male professors by 2036. At the current pace, this milestone would be reached no sooner than 2041. According to calculations by the LNVH, two hundred additional female professors need to be appointed.

The year 2036 was not chosen arbitrarily. It marks four hundred years since the first female student, Anna Maria van Schurman, was admitted to a Dutch university. Conversations with the government about an ‘Anna Maria van Schurman Impulse’ were underway, but they were discontinued after the fall of the Government.


The monitor also addresses women in leadership positions at universities. For example, the percentage of female deans has more than doubled in the past five years, increasing from 15 to 34 percent. In the boards of directors, women hold 18 out of 41 positions (compared to 14 women in 2018).

There is a notable difference between research and education. Only one in four directors of research institutes is a woman. This is different in educational institutions, where more than half of the cases have a woman in charge.

Translated by Siri Joustra

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