Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Latest news News News articles

Fifteen Aletta Jacobs chairs for female academics

UG marks International Women’s Day
06 March 2020

During the presentation of the Aletta Jacobs Prize on Friday 6 March, Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga announced that the University of Groningen has created an incentive fund to set up fifteen new chairs, which will be assigned exclusively to female academics. The chairs will be named after the figurehead of the UG: Aletta Jacobs.

The fifteen Aletta Jacobs chairs will be divided between all eleven faculties. The incentive fund will enable the faculties to convert existing Associate Professor posts into Full Professor posts this academic year. The UG already runs the Rosalind Franklin Fellowship Programme, which allowed the UG to appoint its 100 th talented female academic in 2019.

Female professors

Since 1990, once every two years on or around International Women’s Day, the UG has awarded the Aletta Jacobs Prize to a woman with an academic degree who has promoted emancipation on the national or international stage. This year, the prize went to the President of the Dutch House of Representatives, Khadija Arib.
While presenting the award, Prof. Cisca Wijmenga said the following:

Prof. dr. Cisca Wijmenga
Prof. dr. Cisca Wijmenga

‘This prize is presented by the Rector Magnificus of this university. Until now, it has always been a man. I am, after all, the first female Rector Magnificus in 405 years. This is a milestone in our academic history. Let there be no doubt that the UG still has a long way to go in terms of equality. Over 52% of our students are women. The percentage of female Associate Professors, who come just behind professors in the hierarchy, has risen in recent years and is now 37%. But this does not necessarily mean that we will reach our target figure of 27% female professors by the end of 2020. Despite all our concerted and varied efforts, such as the establishment of our renowned Rosalind Franklin Fellowship, we still only expect this figure to reach 23%. So we have a lot more work to do. This is why I am delighted to announce today that we are appointing fifteen extra role models for our female students. I hope that it will inspire them to opt for a career in academia.’

Aletta Jacobs
Aletta Jacobs

About Aletta Jacobs

Aletta H. Jacobs (1854-1929) was the first female student to start a degree programme at a Dutch university. She began studying Medicine in Groningen in 1871 and was awarded a PhD on 8 March 1879 for a thesis on the physiology and pathology of the brain. After her studies, Aletta Jacobs contributed to the improvement of working and living conditions for women in many ways. As a doctor, she introduced contraceptive pessaries in the Netherlands and in 1881, was involved in the establishment of the Nieuw–Malthusiaanse Bond, an organization promoting birth control, predecessor of the NVSH, the Dutch Association for Sexual Reform. She held free surgeries for working-class women, was concerned about the fate of prostitutes and lobbied for better working conditions (including seating) for (female) shop employees.
For many years, she was chair of the Vereeniging voor Vrouwenkiesrecht (the Dutch suffragettes) and played an active part in the international peace movement.

Last modified:23 March 2020 08.44 a.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 06 April 2020

    Five percent increase in municipal residential taxes for home owners

    Households that own their own home paid 776 euros to the municipality on average this year, which is 5.0 percent more than last year. 295 euros of this amount covers the immovable property tax (ozb), 283 euros are paid for waste collection levy, and...

  • 31 March 2020

    Three UG top researchers receive ERC Advanced Grant

    Three researchers from the University of Groningen have been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant. These three researchers are Prof. Gerard Roelfes (Stratingh Institute for Chemistry), Prof. Leon Koopmans (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute) and Prof. Erwin de...

  • 31 March 2020

    In Science podcast: Q&A with Cisca Wijmenga

    In this special 16th episode of our In Science podcast, our guest is rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga. She tries to answer some of the questions from staff and students about the corona crisis. The rector, Wim, Tina and Arjen discuss the impact of the...