Leoniek Wijngaards-de Meij officially appointed to the role

New Social Sciences dean to focus on education

Leoniek Wijngaards
Leoniek Wijngaards - de Meij. Photo: UU

Wijngaards-de Meij's appointment didn't come as a surprise. She has been the vice-dean of education in the Faculty Board since August 2019 and took over Marcel van Aken's tasks last summer, when he decided to step out of his role prematurely. 

By appointing Wijngaards -de Meij, the Executive Board is choosing a dean that is a specialist in higher education. Since 2019, she has been serving as a Professor in Data Use for Innovation in Higher Education, combining her classes with research into the higher education field.

She was the first Professor to reach the position through the Senior Fellow track from the Centre of Academic Teaching (CAT), which offers scientists an opportunity to teach a certain aspect of higher education. It is also a way for UU to strengthen the recognition given to educational activities.

Wijngaards-de Meij did research into the accessibility of higher education. She investigated how matching works at UU, why students with a migration background are less inclined to go to university, and how the university can be made more accessible for them.

She is also part of the Diversity Taskforce. She has recently received the Comenius Leadership Fellow scholarship, worth half a million euros, for a joint project with Gönül Dilaver titled Stimulating an open mind and open attitude in higher education through art and games.