Diversity as opportunity

Leuphana sees itself as a cosmopolitan university that works integratively to strengthen equality, equal opportunities, and family friendliness, as well as to break down barriers. These values form the foundation for a gender-, diversity- and inclusion-oriented university culture that is critical of discrimination.

  • By signing the "Diversity Charter" in 2014, Leuphana took an important step towards promoting the recognition, appreciation and inclusion of diversity - in terms of age, ethnic origin and nationality, gender and gender identity, abilities, religion and belief, sexual orientation and social background - in its university culture.
  • In 2016/2017, this was followed by the "Diversity as an Opportunity" code, which was agreed at various levels of the university and with broad committee participation and concretizes the charter for the university context.
  • This was followed in 2018 by a comprehensive Equality Future Concept, which was adopted by the Presidential Board and Senate.
  • In 2020, Leuphana joined the voluntary commitment to the DFG's Research-Oriented Gender Equality Standards by resolution of the Senate.
  • In 2022, the university adopted a diversity concept by resolution of the Executive Board, which aims to create an appreciative university culture, expand protection against discrimination, dismantle exclusion mechanisms, and promote low barriers and participation.

The reform as momentum

The comprehensive reform of the university in 2006/2007 provided a unique strategic opportunity to break new ground in gender equality work as well and to structurally anchor gender diversity aspects integratively at all levels of the university. Leuphana has successfully seized this momentum and set the course for numerous positive developments.

  • The proportion of female professors in regular professorships at Leuphana has increased by 14 percent to 37 percent within 14 years.
  • Since 2010, Leuphana has been successful in all three program phases of the "Female Professors Program" funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture.
  • With the "Female Professors Program I", Leuphana has raised a total of 1.3 million in third-party funds. In the "Female Professors Program II" it received a further 1.5 million and in the "Female Professors Program III" 2.1 million euros.
  • A total of ten female professors were supported through the "Female Professors Program"; in addition, further equality measures were implemented from the third-party funds raised.

Cross-cutting issues in research

In research at all five faculties, gender and diversity aspects are taken up and dealt with as cross-cutting issues.

  • At the Faculty of Sustainability, research at the intersection of gender relations and sustainability takes place in several projects.
  • The Faculty of Education has a junior professorship with the denomination "Inclusion and Diversity".
  • There is also a doctoral program here on "Social Pedagogy in Diverse Societies." A focus on issues of diversity research is inherent in the structural orientation and development of the Faculty's Institute for Social Work and Social Pedagogy.
  • At the Faculty of Cultural Studies, a guest professorship for the topic area "Gender and Diversity" could be realized.
  • A guest researcher program for intersectional gender research opens up the possibility for all faculties to gain a person with a corresponding profile for a period of two semesters.

Gender and diversity aspects in studying and teaching

Leuphana has successfully established diversity-oriented teaching and learning formats that convey diversity as a learning opportunity and as a positive contribution to personal development. It assumes that the development of gender and diversity competence strengthens the ability to assume social responsibility and to solve social problems.

  • Leuphana conducts a differentiated admission process that aims to get a holistic picture of its applicants and to adequately consider their diversity in terms of different skills, experiences and competencies.
  • Third-party funded projects at the college such as "Lotsen ins Studium - Lotsen im Studium" (2014-2016) and "Region der Chancen - Perspektive für Studium und Beruf (2018-2022) show ways to study and aim to strengthen equal opportunities and to decouple educational background and educational success.
  • The introduction of the Gender Diversity Certificate in the complementary studies of the Bachelor's and Master's programs, whose courses invite students to reflect on and analyze gender relations, social inequality, and social heterogeneity, marked a milestone for the anchoring of gender and diversity aspects in studies.
  • The principle of integrative gendering and diversity is also anchored in Leuphana's quality management and in the processes of system accreditation.
  • In the teacher training programs, there is a separate study profile "Inclusion and Diversity" to sensitize and qualify prospective teachers for these topics.

Mentoring as a success factor

For more than 20 years, Leuphana's Equal Opportunity Office has offered several mentoring programs with great success, which have been continuously developed and adapted to new requirements.

  • Since their start, the mentoring programs have reached more than 1,500 female students, doctoral candidates, postdocs, and junior professors.
  • Since 2012, the program has been aimed at female scientists; many of the participants have been successfully accompanied to a professorship or to management positions.
  • The current ProScience and ProViae programs promote and support female scientists at all career stages - from advanced PhD students to junior professors - in orientation and decision-making processes as well as in their competence development.