Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at Howest: A Step Forward

27 June 2024

At the Howest University of Applied Sciences, fostering a culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is not just a goal but a continuous journey. The commitment to DEI reflects Howest’s dedication to creating an environment where every student, staff member and faculty can thrive, regardless of their background.

Promoting a Diverse Community

At Howest, diversity is celebrated in all its forms. Students from various cultural, social, and economic backgrounds are welcomed. A diverse student body enriches the learning experience, bringing a wealth of perspectives that fosters creativity and innovation. Howest actively recruits international students for the English-taught programmes and supports exchange semesters and international projects to ensure a multicultural environment.

The commitment to diversity goes beyond more representation. Implementing policies and practices that promote inclusion, ensures that all voices are heard and valued. As well as fair treatment, access, and opportunities for all by identifying and eliminating barriers that prevent full participation.

This involves tailored support for students with different needs, such as mentorship programmes and accessible resources for students with varying abilities. Howest initiatives also include continuous training for staff and faculty on inclusive practices, ensuring that everyone is equipped to contribute to an equitable environment.

Gender Equality

Howest is committed to gender equality as a fundamental value and an essential component of our DEI efforts. The Gender Equality Plan includes measures to ensure gender balance within our organisational structure, management framework, and student population. It focus on gender equality in work-life balance, leadership roles, recruitment, professional development, teaching, and research.

Howest promotes inclusiveness in its academic administration and supports campaigns on gender and diversity awareness. Besides that, Howest actively researches gender, diversity and inclusion. By integrating gender considerations into practices, it strives to create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can succeed.

International Focus in our DNA

Over the years, Howest has built a huge network of partners across various continents, allowing our local students to go abroad. The campuses in Kortrijk and Bruges are also ideal destinations for international students seeking academic experiences abroad. The programmes cover a range of disciplines, including game development, multimedia and creative technologies, digital design, product design and bioinformatics.

For example, the Creative Technologies & Artificial Intelligence programme attracts participants from 24 different countries in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia. Digital Arts & Entertainment (DAE) remains a global reference for games, films, and special effects, drawing many international students to Kortrijk.

Howest’s international focus is also reflected in its faculty, which includes professionals from diverse backgrounds who bring global perspectives to their teaching. This diversity among educators enriches the learning experience and prepares students for working in an international environment.

By mixing different cultures and nationalities in their programmes, the students build valuable international connections. Howest believes it broadens their worldview. This shapes their international mindset, preparing them for careers in an increasingly globalised job market.

Support and Resources for International Students

Over the years, they have learned that international students benefit greatly from personalised support that addresses their unique challenges. This includes providing information about local customs, assistance with administrative tasks, and opportunities to engage with both local and international peers. By understanding and addressing these needs, Howest ensures a smooth transition and a positive experience for our international students.

This includes:

  • Orientation Programmes: Tailored to help international students acclimate to their new environment and understand the academic system at Howest.
  • Language Support: Courses and resources to improve English proficiency and learn basic Dutch, enhancing both academic and social experiences.
  • Cultural Events: Regular events for our Howest Community foster a sense of belonging.
  • Counselling and Support Services: Accessible services to address any personal or academic challenges, ensuring that all students have the support they need to succeed.

Howest is committed to providing a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for all our students. Join Howest and take the first step towards a truly international education experience.


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