Diversity Audit “Vielfalt gestalten" (shaping diversity) of the "Stifterverband" Donors' Association):
We are certified!
Diversity is an essential topic for our university. More than half of our students have a migrant background and more than a third are first-generation academics. This is why in 2017, the university applied for the Diversity Audit “Vielfalt gestalten” of the German "Stifterverband". Since then, we have worked on approximately ten goals by creating concepts for various fields of action and thus successfully advanced a strategy development process within two years. On the 18th of February 2020, the German "Stifterverband" awarded us the certificate of the “Vielfalt gestalten" Audit.
A lot of work by highly motivated colleagues
As part of the organisation development at the university, members of the Steering Committee have networked the various decentralized actors in the field of diversity at the university. The diverse measures that already existed before the audit were integrated into the audit process. They strengthen each other by linking within the framework of a general strategy. A core data catalog will help to evaluate the impact in the future. Open requirements are recognized and are now processed in a structured manner. For many people who have been working at Frankfurt UAS for a long time to support heterogeneous student groups the audit process enabled them to recognize the importance of diversity more easily: "We are a colorful bunch in our department, young and old, with different sexual orientations, and from all corners of the world. This mix of life experiences helps us to have a better understanding of the needs of international students, who raise children, or have disabilities, or have to work and offer them the best possible services so that they can have a good environment for their studies," describes Dunja Chapman, a staff member of the Campus IT department, the shared cognitive process. More diversity motivates employees to become involved in "Chancen durch Bildung"(Creating opportunities through education).
Combining Strategy Processes
"The Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Frankfurt UAS) has linked various strategic processes with the audit and the establishment of the Diversity Department. This is necessary in order to implement the social mandate of a University of Applied Sciences in the context of 'Diversity as Normality' in a more targeted manner than before", explains Prof. Dr. Frank E.P. Dievernich, President of Frankfurt UAS. The aim is to offer practice-oriented, compatible education on a scientific basis in the super-diverse region of Frankfurt/Rhine-Main. On the one hand, diversity is used as an opportunity during one's studies, and skills that are required for an international setting are strengthened. On the other hand, further education qualifies people to deal with diversity. Equal opportunities regarding the diversity of university members and students is a guiding principle for the development of the university.
Diversity ensures democracy
Frankfurt UAS has always seen itself as an integration engine in the city and region. "It is a fact that Frankfurt UAS has already opened up scientifically based access to numerous professional fields for tens of thousands of people since its inception, from which graduates benefit just as much as companies, administrations and institutions in the Rhine-Main metropolitan region," summarizes the Vice-President Prof. Dr. Martina Klärle: "Last but not least, increased participation and shaping opportunities for so many people are an important contribution to securing social cohesion and promoting democracy and civil society".
A program of the "Stifterverband"
Within the setting of the program "Ungleich besser! Verschiedenheit als Chance" (Diversity as an opportunity) and in cooperation with Dr. Daniela De Ridder (CHE Consult/CEDIN Consulting) and eight German universities the "Stifterverband" developed the Diversity Audit from 2010 to 2012. The audit "Vielfalt gestalten" aims to help universities develop and implement diversity strategies. "Vielfalt gestalten" accompanies and advises universities on designing structures, offers, instruments and measures for various student groups, integrating these groups into the daily life at the university and leading to successfull studying.
The Diversity Audit was initially coordinated and conducted in the Consulting and Strategy for Studies and Teaching Department by the project managers Dr. Sabine Geldsetzer and Monika Schröder in coordination with the Diversity field office. Since January 2019, the project management has been transferred to Dr. Vera Jost, Head of the Diversity field office.
For more information: https://www.stifterverband.org/diversity-audit