Diversity Audit "Shaping Diversity" by Stifterverband

In 2015, the University of Göttingen successfully applied for Stifterverband’s Diversity Audit "Shaping Diversity". Together with ten other universities, it underwent an accompanied process of organisational development between 2016 and 2018 and has thus taken the next step towards an organisational structure and culture characterised by mutual respect and esteem for all. The University was able to win over Dr Ute Zimmermann to accompany the auditing process.

The aim of the audit is to support universities in developing a working environment that enables students and staff to undertake successful studies and achieve good work results. The University of Göttingen strives to further develop the processes and structures of study, teaching, research and administration, as well as its university culture, in such a way that the diversity of students and employees is taken into account.

Many universities are still guided by a standard “norm”- students of German origin who take up full-time studies immediately after leaving school and regard their studies as the centre of their lives, or researchers who devote themselves to scientific activities without being restricted by limited time resources because of family or care tasks. However, deviations from this supposed standard are becoming more and more the rule instead of being the exception.

Universities are challenged to design structures, options, tools and measures in such a way that access to higher education and academic success do not depend on the cultural or social background of the students, their educational background and experience, or their living conditions. Universities are also called upon to develop further to remain attractive for employees in the academic, administrative and technical support service.

Stifterverband’s Diversity Audit "Shaping Diversity" accompanies and advises universities in formulating their own development goals and pursuing them with appropriate structural changes and measures. The audit combines elements of organisational development with peer consulting and external support. Moderated reflections and discussions with everyone involved and all potential stakeholders (University management, students, employees) accompany and promote the process within the University. The audit will end with a certification in spring 2019.

In addition to the University of Göttingen, the following universities are taking part in the audit from 2016 to 2018: the Universities of Düsseldorf, Erlangen-Nuremberg, Hamburg, Kiel, Cologne, the University of Applied Sciences of Landshut, the University of Lübeck, the University of Applied Sciences Münster and the Technical East Bavarian University of Regensburg.