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University of Twente, Saxion and ROC of Twente join forces to create an LGBTI+ inclusive community

The LGBTI+ working groups at the University of Twente, Saxion University of Applied Sciences and ROC of Twente are working together to ensure that everyone who goes to school in Twente feels included and free to be themselves, out and proud. On 6 October, a few days before international ‘Coming Out Day’ and the start of the Enschede city campaign ‘Diversity of Twente’, the Executive Boards of the three regional educational institutes will affirm this philosophy in a declaration. Among other things, the declaration states that the institutes promise to create an inclusive, safe, healthy and inspirational environment for LGBTI+ students, staff and others involved in education in Twente.

For years, these institutes have paid attention to LGBTI+ matters in their own ways. Examples include the activities organised by ROC of Twente in the context of Purple Friday in December when the rainbow flag is flown in various locations. Saxion’s Th!nk with Pride organises an annual event on the theme around the 11th of October. The University of Twente flew the rainbow flag on 11 October and organised an informal get-together. Saxion and the University of Twente are also members of Workplace Pride. From this year, the institutes will be following the same course. The declaration will be signed on 6 October during a live webinar.

The institutes will all fly the rainbow flag and Saxion will again project the colours of the rainbow onto the Epy Drost building. At the University of Twente, the letters at Hengelosestraat will be changed to Diversity of Twente. The unveiling by alderman June Nods serves as the kick-off to the Enschede Rainbow Days. 


The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights’ and the Dutch constitution forbids discrimination of any human being for whatever reason.

In practice, however, LGBTI+ individuals frequently feel the need to hide their true identity which can have a negative effect on their mental state and even on their physical health. This can strongly influence their functioning in daily life.

If people are free and more importantly, also feel free to be who they are, they can use all their energy to focus on their goals in life like their education or their job.

In this statement, three organizations for education in Twente, the ROC van Twente, the Saxion University of Applied Sciences, and the University of Twente state that they:

  • Jointly create an inclusive, safe, healthy and inspirational environment for LGBTI+ students, teachers and other staff involved in the educational systems in Twente, by visibly supporting initiatives such as the Coming Out Day and Purple Friday and take additional action where necessary.
  • Search, where possible, actively for a national and international collaboration to support an LGBTI+ inclusive study environment.

drs. B.G. Lankhaar (Bertyl)
Spokesperson Executive Board (EB) (Available Mon-Fri)