How is DEI implemented at the Extension School?

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash

At the Extension School, we wholeheartedly embrace a learner-centred, inclusive approach with a strong emphasis on diversity as defined in our Diversity and & Inclusion vision. To bring our vision to life, we have meticulously crafted an implementation plan designed to propel initiatives across each dimension of diversity and inclusion that we’ve identified. We are eager to share the initial activities we are set to roll out:

Enhancing Accessibility:

Our foremost objective is to ensure equitable access to our resources, including mobile-friendly content and offline materials. To achieve this, we have:

  • Developed a comprehensive accessibility checklist and we employ it to evaluate new courses.
  • Established an accessibility functional mailbox dedicated to addressing issues related to accessibility, making it easier for learners to report concerns.
  • Conducted a thorough evaluation of the mobile-friendliness of courses to ensure we can accommodate those who access our content on mobile devices.

Fostering Diverse Learning:

We are committed to providing a rich and diverse learning experience, replete with real-world examples, promoting a sense of belonging, and encouraging vibrant interactions among our learners. Our strategies include:

  • Offering unwavering support to course teams to ensure that new courses incorporate alternative educational formats.
  • Inviting course teams to explore various representation strategies in the development of new courses, with a focus on increasing audience diversity and representation.

Promoting Gender Equality:

We are dedicated to increasing female participation in STEM fields and maintaining a gender-balanced composition within our course teams. To achieve these goals, we:

  • Encourage course teams to openly share their personal pronouns with learners, fostering an inclusive and respectful environment.
  • Create spaces and opportunities for learners to share their pronouns in new courses, ensuring a welcoming and inclusive learning atmosphere.
  • Advocate for the use of TU Delft’s inclusive language guidelines in the development of new courses and in all communications with our learners.
  • Promote diverse composition within course teams, ensuring a mix of lecturers to enhance the representation of our learners.

Enhancing Affordability:

To make education more accessible and inclusive, we are committed to offering free audit tracks, open licensing, and financial assistance. Our efforts include:

  • Communicating the impact of our financial aid initiatives both within our organization and to the wider community.
  • Expanding the availability of financial aid options while maintaining existing ones, such as the full financial support offered by the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering for Online Academic Courses available since 2022.
  • Over the past five years, an average of 7% of all verified MOOC enrolments, approximately 4900 learners, received up to 90% financial assistance from Extension School and edX.
  • In 2023, we extended financial assistance to learners participating in five Professional Education courses.
  • Collaborating with IHE Delft to provide financial assistance to learners enrolled in the Water Strategy and Planning joint program, thanks to funding from IHE and the Development Partnership Programme (DUPC2), supported by DGIS.

We aim to be a diverse and inclusive lifelong learning community, therefore invite our course teams to actively participate in these initiatives and help us create truly inclusive lifelong learning education.


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