Diversity management (DiM) for students is about actively and consciously developing a culture that promotes and values diversity. Similarities and differences are to be sensitively perceived, accepted and used as potential. DiM aims to make the university as discrimination-free a space as possible through full integration. This process can only succeed if the realisation that difference or diversity and the implementation of a strategy aimed at it generates considerable added value for the university itself gradually becomes established in daily interaction with one another.
With its international and intercultural orientation, the university has already very successfully pursued diversity-oriented approaches in terms of content and structure since its foundation. With an excellent equal opportunities concept, a committed family orientation and good support for chronically ill or disabled students, it is already well on its way.
There are at least three reasons not to rest on our laurels, but to continue developing the university beyond its legal mandate on the basis of a consistent diversity policy:
- The university has a great responsibility in terms of educational policy to actively ensure equality of opportunity and education as well as equal treatment,
- Projections by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (Kultusministerkonferenz) show impressively that the number of so-called traditional students is declining, and
- Diversity-oriented programmes can contribute to improving the proportion of successful students.
The task of the Diversity Management Unit in the near future will therefore be to improve sensitivity and competence in dealing with differences through appropriate measures. Furthermore, instruments will be developed to obtain reliable data and facts. This will make it possible to identify special needs and develop coordinated offers. Furthermore, close cooperation with the Quality Management Unit will ensure direct consideration within the framework of continuous quality improvement.
In the medium and long term, the aim is to develop a diversity concept geared to the target group of students and to embed it in the strategy and organisational development. Another long-term goal is to expand the target group focus and to develop such a concept for the entire university, i.e. including the staff and taking into account the area of teaching.