United in Diversity – winning film by Joachim Krysl in the student competition
Picturing Diversity of TU Graz
TU Graz actively supports a culture of diversity and appreciation, where equal opportunities are a reality. The university uses clear guidelines and decisive action to fight discrimination. This is the only way to make sure that each individual can develop their potential and contribute to innovation, teaching and research.
The promotion of diversity and equal opportunities at TU Graz is based on
TU Graz works to ensure that these principles are implemented, inspired in part by the university’s unconventional founder, Archduke Johann.
Archduke Johann, who was born in Florence in 1782 and died in Graz in 1859, laid the foundation for TU Graz with his mineral collection. He was well known for his open and just approach and dedicated his whole life to modernisation. In society and politics as well as in economics and technology. No wonder that he is reflected in the fundamental concept of diversity at TU Graz.
TU Graz has extended its main principles to include a reference to diversity:
In the spirit of our founder, Archduke Johann, we see openness and difference as important values at TU Graz. Different experiences and diverse ways of thinking drive creativity and innovation. Our employees, students and graduates inspire us personally and as a whole, in terms of welfare, equal treatment and sustainability. They also represent these values all over the world.
The Working Group for Equal Opportunity works to protect the following groups from discrimination:
Some differences matter more than others. Some differences are innate, some arise. Common to all is that they depend on the context.
The Working Group for Equal Opportunity is there for anyone who wants to discuss or act against discrimination on the grounds of factors referred to in the core dimensions. Together, you decide which steps should be taken, if any. Interventions are only made if explicitly agreed upon with the affected person. You will be given confidential advice in person and free of charge - the advice is provided anonymously.
Further information on the tasks and provisions of the Working Group for Equal Opportunity.
If you have any questions about discrimination on the grounds of disability or physical and physiological capabilities, please contact the TU Graz Representative for People with Disabilities directly.
To make diversity easier to understand, it is divided into dimensions. Some dimensions cannot be changed or are difficult to change. According to the principle of equal treatment (in German: Gleichbehandlungsgebot), no one may be discriminated against on the basis of these core dimensions:
In 2015, TU Graz organised the
diversity in pictures competition: 72 contributions – drawings, collages, comics, graphics, photos and short films – were submitted on the subject of diversity in general and on the 6 core dimensions. The winning contributions can be seen on this page in the following sections.
TU Graz organises
Jo-Hannah Mayer, Christoph Erkinger 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category
(Subconscious) gender roles affect not only degree choice but also recognition of talents. Complex personal plans, e.g. combining work with family life, make it difficult to develop a career in academia. Stays abroad can become a structural barrier to people with care responsibilities.
Men and women are still not equally represented in technology and the natural sciences. At TU Graz, 23.1 % of students are women and 6.8 % of professors are women (source: Performance Agreement of TU Graz 2016). This phenomenon, whereby the proportion of women decreases higher up the career ladder, is known as the
leaky pipeline. In order to counteract this trend, TU Graz offers highly qualified scientists the option to habilitate by means of a qualification agreement, see Advancement of Women in Academia.
There are many positive effects of equal rights for men and women as well as of equal development opportunities. Both men and women contribute ideas of high scientific quality. When men and women work together, the potential for innovation increases. Different educational backgrounds and experiences are essential for obtaining new insights.
The Rectorate at TU Graz wants to address women and men equally in its publications and notifications. This is therefore made visible using language and images. Employees and students are encouraged to follow the university’s example. To help with this, there is a chapter dedicated to gender-sensitive writing in the corporate wording.
Michael Holzmann 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category
Disability or physical/psychological skills
In the summer and winter semester, the Faculty of Architecture offers courses on barrier-free building in the catalogue of electives.
Lena Gappmaier 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category
Teaching in English, coaching and advice, proofreading service for course materials.
Clara Hamann, participant at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, in the category
Diversity: specifically and in general
People or living organisms are often the subject of investigation in science and technology research. The resulting research results can be relevant to many different users. For this reason, some funding bodies, such as HORIZON 2020, require a systematic integration of diversity and gender aspects in research projects.
To be able to make use of this to reach outstanding results, TU Graz provides the checklist for diversity in research (in English and German) for all phases of a research project. Employees of TU Graz can find further information on the Intranet TU4U.
Students have diverse talents, but also different backgrounds, language skills and educational experiences. The checklist with key questions on diversity in the classroom (in German: Checkliste zur Diversität in der Lehre) offers teachers an opportunity for reflection and shows how student diversity can enrich the learning environment. In addition to concrete suggestions for varied didactic instruction, the checklist also includes the names of TU Graz contact persons – if you have specific questions – and an overview of additional materials.
Employees of TU Graz can find further information in the Handbook for Academic Affairs (in German: Handbuch Lehre) on the Intranet TU4U.
TU supports studies of topics related to gender and diversity in engineering and science and helps to raise their visibility. To do this and to mark International Women’s Day, five prizes of € 1000 each are awarded for relevant work every year.
Students, teachers and researchers of TU Graz can enter the competition for the prizes. There are no limits as to the topics of the work submitted. The entries are evaluated in terms of the quality with which they discuss, consider and/or integrate gender and diversity aspects. The prizes are awarded for theses, publications, conference contributions, contents of course taught, or for participation in completed or ongoing continuing education activities designed to build expertise in diversity.
Students and employees of TU Graz can find further details on the prize and the call for entries in the Intranet TU4U.