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TU Graz connects! We all share an interest in natural sciences and technology. This passion connects us, however different our characters, skills and experiences may be.

A wide array of topics:

United in Diversity – winning film by Joachim Krysl in the student competition Picturing Diversity of TU Graz

Diversity needs a fertile soil to be able to blossom.

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.

Visions and Important Information

The promotion of diversity and equal opportunities at TU Graz is based on  

  • the Mission Statement
    which describes the vision and mission of TU Graz - what does TU Graz stand for? What are its aims?
  • Main Principles
    provide a guideline to help managers with day-to-day personnel management
  • a Basic understanding of Diversity
  • a code of conduct (Compliance Directive)
    explains the general behaviour principles for law-abiding and ethical behaviour on the part of all employees
  • the Action Plan for the Advancement of Women (in German: Frauenförderungsplan) establishes measures to increase the proportion of women in all categories and levels where they are underrepresented
  • the Affirmative Action Plan (in German: Gleichstellungsplan) contains measures to promote equal rights, balancing work and family life, and to counteract discrimination. 

TU Graz works to ensure that these principles are implemented, inspired in part by the university’s unconventional founder, Archduke Johann.

Source: TU Graz

What does Archduke Johann have to do with diversity?

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.


With its focus on encouraging the development of competences, on family and women, and on diversity management, TU Graz aims to be an attractive employer and educational institution.

See also  

Basic Understanding of Diversity

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.

Equal Opportunities for All

Equal opportunities do not mean that everyone is treated the same – each individual has different needs. TU Graz is constantly developing provisions that establish equal opportunities for all these different people and support them in living the life they want to lead. Particular safeguards are required to make equal opportunities a reality.

The Working Group for Equal Opportunity works to protect the following groups from discrimination:

  • Students at TU Graz
  • People applying for positions at TU Graz
  • Employees at TU Graz
Illustration diversity, source: convelop cooperative knowledge design

Some differences matter more than others. Some differences are innate, some arise. Common to all is that they depend on the context.

Provisions and Contact

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.

Core Dimensions of Diversity

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:

  • Age
  • Disability or physical and physiological capabilities
  • Ethnic origin
  • Gender
  • Religion and belief
  • Sexual orientation

Student Competition "Diversity in Pictures"

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.

Equality between Men and Women

As an educational institution and employer, TU Graz wants to attract both men and women. The university uses targeted junior researchers’ promotion and HR development to increase the proportion of women at the university. Further important principles are equal pay and opportunities for career development as well as the consideration of individual living situations.

TU Graz organises

Source: TU Graz - Jo-Hanna Mayer, Christoph Erkinger

Jo-Hannah Mayer, Christoph Erkinger 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category Gender

Gender Roles

(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.

Leaky Pipeline

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.

Positive effects of equal rights

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.

Gender-neutral Language and Images

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.

Further information

An Accessible University

People with a disability are rather disabled by environmental factors then by their bodies. For this reason, TU Graz works hard to create a university that is as accessible as possible. This applies to study and working conditions, construction, IT and websites. Equally, it is important to remove the barriers in people’s minds.

TU Graz

  • promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities, different physical and psychological capabilities as well as chronic diseases on an individual basis – if you need advice please get in touch.
  • supports students and employees in acquiring the necessary help.
  • provides information on possible subsidies.
  • provides accessible parking spaces if necessary.
  • places importance on “responsive” web design.


TU Graz creates conditions where international students, teachers, exchange students and guest professors at TU Graz feel at home and are able to participate in university life.

Source: TU Graz - Michael Holzmann

Michael Holzmann 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category Disability or physical/psychological skills


  • Service Point for Accessible Learning
    The service point provides advice for students with disabilities and/or chronic diseases, and their relatives, before, during and after their degree. Lectures can also contact this service point for support in meeting their students’ needs.
  • The Representative for People with Disabilities represents the interests of employees with disabilities and/or chronic diseases. He/she also advises job applicants and young people applying for summer internships.
    Further information: Specific Services for Employees
  • Accessible entrances can be found on all maps on TUGRAZonline.

Important Information

In the summer and winter semester, the Faculty of Architecture offers courses on barrier-free building in the catalogue of electives.

Source: TU Graz - Lena Gappmaier

Lena Gappmaier 1st place at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, category Ethnic affiliation


TU Graz

  • has created a Welcome Center as a central advice and service point for international employees, guests and degree seeking students.
  • supports dual career couples with career design at the Dual Career Service.
  • promotes the mobility of students and staff.
  • offers students and employees numerous courses on languages, developing intercultural competences and academic writing in English.
  • develops English language degree programmes – there are already numerous Master' Degree Programmes taught in English.
  • provides teachers with support in teaching in English: Courses on Teaching in English, coaching and advice, proofreading service for course materials.

Diversity as a Factor for Innovation

Different experiences and diverse ways of thinking drive creativity and innovation at TU Graz, see also Basic Understanding of Diversity.

TU Graz

  • supports researchers by increasing the innovative potential of their research: Aspects of diversity and gender are defined and integrated into research projects.
  • gives lecturers the opportunity to design their lecture courses in diversity- and gender-sensitive ways.
  • offers students financial incentives to write their degree theses in diversity- and gender-sensitive ways.
Source: TU Graz - Clara Hamann

Clara Hamann, participant at the students' competition: Picturing Diversity, in the category Diversity: specifically and in general

TU Graz Offers

  • Checklist for diversity and gender sensitivity in research for TU Graz researchers
  • Platform for sex, gender and diversity sensitive research: TU Graz and Med Uni Graz have provided practical examples for researchers at both universities.
    Go to platform
  • Checklist Teaching and Diversity
  • Gender and diversity grant for TU Graz researchers, teaching staff and students
  • Individual advice for researchers at TU Graz on integrating diversity and gender aspects in research projects

Checklist for Diversity-aware Research

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.

Checklist Teaching and Diversity

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.

Differences matter.

Mind_the Gap

Diversity Award for including human factors in engineering and science

TU Graz promotes studies of topics related to human factors in technology and natural sciences and helps to raise their visibility. To do this and to mark International Women’s Day, five prizes of 500 to 1000 euros (for teams) each are awarded for relevant work every year.

Students and employees of TU Graz can enter the competition for the prizes alone or in a team. 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 (such as gender, age, culture, language, experience, physical abilities, etc.). The prizes are awarded for theses and publications, conference contributions, teaching content and/or methods, continuing education for the development of diversity know-how and non-scientific projects to promote diversity in research and teaching.

Students and employees of TU Graz can find further details on the prize and the call for entries in the Intranet TU4U.

Source: TU Graz

Dates and deadlines

  • Entry period begins: 8 March 2020
  • Entry period ends: 8 September 2020
  • For work done in the period: May 2019 to September 2020


Office for Gender Equality and Equal Opportunity
Mandellstraße 5/I
8010 Graz
Phone: +43 316 873 6090

Office of the Working Group for Equal Opportunity
Mandellstraße 5/I
8010 Graz
Phone: +43 316 873 6094


Mind the Gap flyer for download in six different languages: