The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus scientists join forces to take up important societal challenges. Focussing on current issues: now and in the future. An inclusive society, in which everyone has equal access and opportunities for prosperity and well-being, is one such a theme. The new Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre Governance of Migration and Diversity, which was launched in January 2020, will play an important role in this.
"The new Centre Governance of Migration and Diversity is clearly linked to the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus theme 'Inclusive Society'," notes Prof. Wim van den Doel, Dean of Leiden-Delft-Erasmus. "This centre is significant because migration is a phenomenon that is here to stay, and we must explore it more from different disciplines in order to gain a better understanding of it."
Migration examined through different lenses
Prof. Peter Scholten, scientific director of the new centre, confirms this: "Leiden University, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam are complementary. This is very valuable for our centre because if you really want to understand migration, having multiple disciplines is key. '
'Leiden offers special insight into migration history, governance and migration law - something which Delft has regarding urban planning questions and policy analysis of humanitarian issues - and that Rotterdam has - for sociology, public administration and the International Institute of Social Studies in The Hague - they complement each other beautifully.'
Eight faculties, three universities
The following researchers, from eight different faculties from across the three LDE universities, are affiliated with the Governance of Migration and Diversity centre:
- Erasmus University Rotterdam: prof. Peter Scholten, prof. Kristin Henrard and prof. Thea Hilhorst
- Leiden University: prof. Marlou Schrover, prof. Olaf van Vliet and dr. Jorrit Rijpma
- TU Delft: prof. Bartel van de Walle and dr. Reinout Kleinhans
Governance and policy issues
The new centre focuses primarily on governance and policy issues regarding migration and diversity. Society, including governments, is in great demand for scientific insights into managing migration matters.
Scholten: "The major challenges surrounding migration and diversity in society demand new information. The need for knowledge from cities and from Brussels is very great at the moment, we cannot meet it just individually. This does not mean that everything in Leiden, Delft or Erasmus has to go together, of course, it is fine to continue to cherish our individual specialisations. But we see much potential for interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary research.’ > Read more
A multidisciplinary approach
Eight researchers from across the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus network work together at the new Centre Governance of Migration and Diversity. Prof Marlou Schrover, professor of History at Leiden University is one of them. Why did she commit to this new centre? "You often hear that we now live in times where migration plays an important role. However, migration is not just a recent phenomenon, it goes back hundreds of years. I think it is important to look to the past and realize such events are not as recent as we think. Personally, I think it is important to add a historical perspective to migration-related issues in order to change the crisis rhetoric that is often used in this context. "
Urban development and social inequality
In this new multidisciplinary research centre, migration and diversity are not viewed only from sociological and historical perspectives. Technical scientists from TU Delft are involved too. Dr Reinout Kleinhans of the Faculty of Architecture looks into issues related to urban development, including social inequality, segregation and neighbourhood development.
Kleinhans: ‘Many of my colleagues from my faculty work on planning and design issues, such as urban regeneration and spatial inequality in European cities and beyond. Various recent migration flows to Europe are a result of political developments and tensions.'
Housing solutions for migrants
'Other colleagues identify and design housing solutions for the large influx of immigrants in the Netherlands and beyond. As such, migration and diversity-related urban housing and planning issues are a crucial part of our research program.'
Master programme: Governance of Migration and Diversity
The new GMD centre is built on the foundation of the joint Masters programme Governance of Migration and Diversity, which has now been offered by the three universities for several years. Central themes of the programme are sociological theories, and, research about the drivers of migration and the integration of immigrants in the recipient countries.
Wim van den Doel, Dean of Leiden-Delft-Erasmus, notes that the centre is a logical next step to this programme: ‘The success of the Master GMD provides our new centre a solid foundation. Leiden, Delft and Erasmus have supplementary expertise in the field of migration and diversity, it would be a shame not to combine them. I am convinced that larger societal issues must be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to give a complete overview. "