The ap­proach to di­versity at Pader­born Uni­ver­sity

The recognition and appreciation of different living and working conditions of its members are essential pillars of the value orientation of Paderborn University. Heterogeneous social, cultural and/or educational biographical backgrounds are reflected in a diversity of abilities and skills, all of which have their justification and contribute to the success of the University as an educational institution. Equal opportunities and educational equity are an integral part of the University's understanding of diversity. The concept of diversity at Paderborn University includes the dimensions mentioned in the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), such as ethnic origin/nationality, age, mental and physical impairment, religion/belief, sexual identity and expands it to include the dimension of social origin.

Di­versity and Gender Equal­ity

Due to the special structural, historical and legal conditions, the area of gender equality and/or the dimension of gender represents an independent field of action alongside the diversity strategy of Paderborn University. Gender equality influences all diversity dimensions as cross-sectional dimensions. Therefore, for example, within the Diversity Strategy there are no explicit goals regarding the dimension of gender, but only references to current gender equality strategies and gender equality measures. By means of close interlinking and joint initiatives, there are synergy effects for the promotion of diversity, e.g. in the area of gender diversity.

Further information on gender equality work and the services for families and people with care responsibilities at Paderborn University can be found on the homepage of the University's Central Gender Equality Officer and on the website of the Family Services Office.

In­ter­sec­tion­al anti-dis­crim­in­a­tion ap­proach

The understanding of diversity at Paderborn University is also based on an intersectional approach. The core of this is the university-wide awareness of the simultaneous, often mutually reinforcing relationship between different diversity dimensions. This sharpens the view for the needs of different target groups and makes it possible to grasp heterogeneity with all its consequences for individuals, both positive and negative.

The framework for non-discriminatory and respectful interaction between all university members is provided by the "Guideline For Respectful Cooperation At Paderborn University And For Protection Against Unfair Treatment, Discrimination, Sexualised Violence And Bullying" adopted by the Senate in 2022. Proactive anti-discrimination protection as well as enabling participation for all university members by dismantling exclusion mechanisms and barriers, including through awareness-raising workshops and various counselling services and complaints procedures for those affected by discrimination, form another important component of the diversity strategy of Paderborn University.

An overview of contact persons, contact points and complaint procedures in the event of discrimination at Paderborn University can be found here.

Stra­tegic en­trench­ment

Diversity is anchored as a cross-cutting issue in the President's Office, and organisationally it is the responsibility of the Central Equal Opportunities Officer. As a cross-sectional task, diversity is an integral part of the university strategy, the university mission statement, the university development plan 2020 to 2024 and the university agreement with the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia 2026.

As a diversity-friendly, cosmopolitan and tolerant university, the University of Paderborn University sees it as its task to promote respectful cooperation between all university members and to initiate, evaluate and further develop initiatives in this area. In the sense of a holistic promotion of diversity and a consistent dismantling of barriers and discriminatory structures in favour of a diversity-friendly everyday life at the university, it is committed to bringing together already existing activities and formulating concrete objectives for the coming years with the help of a holistic diversity strategy.

To this end, it participated as a pilot university in the external audit procedure "audit vielfaltsgerechte hochschule" (audit diversity-friendly university) and defined focus areas and concrete goals for the next three years. The auditing process, which was successfully completed in March 2023, contributed to further strengthening diversity structurally and conceptually at all levels of the university and to establishing a development perspective for the topic. At the end of the auditing process, there was not only successful certification with the "Diversity-friendly University" certificate in June 2023, but also concrete recommendations for action and objectives for Paderborn University to strengthen its own profile as a diversity-friendly university.

Suc­cess­fully pro­mot­ing di­versity

Paderborn University sees the appreciation and recognition of diverse living and working conditions as one of its central tasks. For this reason, it committed itself to promoting diversity as early as 2011 when it joined the Diversity Charter and has since developed a large number of projects and measures, for example in the area of gender equality and teacher training, which perceive and promote the heterogeneity of students and staff as an opportunity.
The success of these measures can be seen, for instance, in the repeated awarding of the "family-friendly university" audit and the repeated awarding of the "TOTAL E-QUALITY" rating, which was awarded to the University in 2021 for the second time with the "Add-On Diversity" for its commitment to diversity and equal opportunities in the area of personnel and organisational policy. Paderborn University also underlines its commitment to promoting diversity through various initiatives and action days such as Diversity Day.

Cent­ral Equal Op­por­tun­it­ies Of­ficer

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