Louise Elffers Director of Centre of Expertise on Inequality

21 Sep 2020 17:00 | Faculty of Education

The City of Amsterdam and four Amsterdam knowledge institutions (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS), University of Amsterdam (UvA), VU Amsterdam and Inholland University of Applied Sciences) are working together to set up a Centre for Expertise on Inequality. They are joining forces to contribute to describing, understanding and addressing inequality in Amsterdam. AUAS professor Louise Elffers will become director of the centre on 1 October.

In the period 2020-2022, the Centre of Expertise on Inequality will investigate which structural barriers exist in the school system, the housing system and the healthcare system, which lead to systematic discrimination on the basis of socioeconomic background and/or colour. This will include specific attention for the accumulation of inequality across domains and stages of life. By bringing together various partners and types of expertise, the Centre of Expertise should produce new insights and approaches. Civil society organisations and practitioners will be actively involved in the Centre.

As director, Louise Elffers will be responsible for the Centre of Expertise on Inequality: “In the city we see sharp divisions, such as the degree to which Amsterdam’s inhabitants can achieve their potential and make use of facilities. Moreover, in certain groups of people the problems seem to pile up: vulnerable family situations, interrupted school careers, unemployment, social exclusion, poor health. These problems are often closely linked. Through the Centre of Expertise on Inequality, we want to investigate these problems together and contribute to the development of effective approaches.”

New director to start on 1 October

Louise Elffers is a professor of Promising School Careers in a Diverse City at the AUAS and is affiliated with the Educational Sciences programme group at the UvA. In the coming period, she will focus on setting up the centre, further building the network and working with various partners to develop the long-term programme of the Centre for Applied Research.

Impact of coronavirus crisis

As well as highlighting existing inequalities, the coronavirus crisis also seems to have increased inequality in some respects. The first work programme of the Centre of Expertisewill investigate inequality in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this way, the Centre of Expertise aims to contribute to the development of measures to reduce increased inequality as a result of the pandemic.