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Strengthen Diversity, Break Down Barriers
The University of Siegen starts with the Diversity Audit of the Stifterverband. The aim is to increase the equal opportunities for students and employees at the university - regardless of their cultural and social background or their individual living conditions.
The University of Siegen opposes any form of discrimination and advocates equal opportunities and educational equality - both for students and employees. In order to promote diversity, appreciate it, and to perceive it as an opportunity, the university participates in the "Diversity Audit" of the Stifterverband. "A diversity-sensitive organizational culture should not just be lip service, but a living reality," said Katharina Miketta, consultant of the Vice Rector for Education and Diversity and project leader of the Diversity Audit during the kick-off event of the audit.
"The typical student is not white, male, German and comes to the university right after graduation at the age of 19", said Professor Gabriele Weiß, Vice Rector for Education and Diversity at the University of Siegen. Students and prospective students have different starting conditions: some are underage, others have already completed an education. Many have a migrant background; some have a disability or chronic illness. Some take care of relatives or have children of their own. "The deviation from the standard of the traditional full-time student is the rule, not the exception," emphasized White. She leads the audit, which will run for a period of two years. After successful completion, the Stifterverband awards the Diversity Certificate. "From our student surveys we know that there is discrimination at the university," said Weiß. "We have to do something about that."
In workshops and under the professional guidance of the external auditor Daniela De Ridder, the University of Siegen will develop a university-specific diversity strategy in order to specifically address the diversity of students and employees and to actively contribute to greater equal opportunities and anti-discrimination. All fields of activity of the university management are addressed, whereby the areas of "Strategy and Structure" and "Study and Teaching" as well as the focus on students are at the center of the auditing process. Nevertheless, it is important for Miketta to address all target groups and also to consider the university staff. The aim of the audit is to jointly design structures, offers and measures for heterogeneous students and other groups with the aim of integrating them into everyday university life, taking into account their diverse potential.
In order to involve as many groups of people as possible throughout the entire process, a so-called steering committee was set up. The participants propose goals for their areas and work on their implementation. In addition to the Equal Opportunity Officer, the Commissioner for Disabled and Chronically Ill Students and Employees, and the Head of the Student Services Unit, representatives from the areas of teaching, personnel and quality management as well as faculties, departments, central institutions and student representatives are also involved. The management team, the so-called steering group, includes Professor Dr. Gabriele Weiß and Katharina Miketta, junior professor dr. Kerstin Ettl, Expert for Diversity Management, and Julia Küchel from the Equal Opportunity Office team.
More information about the audit
Head of the Project: Diversity Audit „Vielfalt gestalten“ at the University of Siegen