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Diversity at the TU Dortmund - A Topic for Teaching!

Diversity in teaching

Around 34,300 students study at TU Dortmund University. They come from different countries and cultures, are of different ages, have different backgrounds of experience and are interested in different subject areas, they are of different genders and have different abilities. In order to offer all students the best possible study conditions in a non-discriminatory, open and appreciative environment, teaching should also be designed to be diversity-sensitive.

zeigt die Regenbogenspirale der TU Dortmund © Jürgen Huhn​/​TU Dortmund

This is the only way to do justice to the diversity among students and their different experiences and needs.

The Office of Equal Opportunity, Family and Diversity (CFV) has therefore started collecting FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), which can provide you as a member of TU Dortmund University with useful information.

Do you have any further questions/comments?  Then please feel free to send an e-mail to:

Thank you very much!

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

With the Toolbox Gender und Diversity in Teaching Freie Universität Berlin has compiled a comprehensive and multimedia web guide for gender- and diversity-conscious university teaching. A richly filled toolbox and a lot of practice-related materials are offered here: From a starter kit for teachers who are tackling this important topic area for the first time, to didactic tips and suggestions for concrete teaching scenarios and exams - including, of course, digital teaching.

Another good guide for designing diversity-conscious and inclusive teaching is the new Diversity & Accessibility topic dossier from the Higher Education Forum on Digitization. Here, one focus is on suggestions for a respectful communication culture and language in online teaching. There are also tips for creating accessible audio and video content and documents, interviews with experts, and references to further resources.

The person concerned can always best give you information about their needs in a personal conversation. Often, however, a disability or chronic illness is not apparent to the student. Ask your students to contact you at the beginning of the semester if they have special needs. Be explicit about this invitation; it makes communication easier.

Many helpful tips on how you as a teacher can support your students can be found on the pages of DoBuS.

Students with a significant health impairment (which has already existed for a longer period of time or is expected to last longer than six months) can apply for compensation for disadvantages in their studies if they are disadvantaged in examinations and performance records in connection with a health impairment. The health impairment must not affect the general ability to study.

The compensation for disadvantages is intended to ensure that the examination conditions are designed in such a way that the student is able to perform in the examination despite the health impairment. (DoBuS)

Students with family responsibilities (for children or dependents in need of care) as well as students with disabilities/chronic illnesses study longer on average.
In order to reduce inequalities, a passage on the preferential admission of students with family responsibilities, disability and chronic illness will be incorporated into all new study regulations.
As a teacher, you can make an active contribution to reducing disadvantages by giving preference to affected persons (e.g.: upon presentation of suitable evidence) for a place in your seminar. Here you will find more details.


The TU Dortmund sees itself as a family-friendly university. With guiding principles, it has committed itself to "do everything in its power to help students with children and family responsibilities to achieve their study goals while taking into account their family circumstances." (Guding Principles Family-Friendly TU Dortmund) .

If your event does not involve hazardous materials and it is okay with everyone involved, you are welcome to allow the child to be brought to your event in the spirit of these guiding principles.

However, if this is not possible, you can also make the student aware of KuKi, the short-term childcare on campus. Kuki is an offer for student and employed parents at TU Dortmund University who are looking for flexible half-day care for children between one and six years of age for the morning or afternoon.

In addition, teachers and students can contact the TU Dortmund Family Service.

The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) is a federal law that aims to prevent or eliminate discrimination on the above grounds. Section 13 of the AGG gives employees of the university the right to complain to the department if they feel disadvantaged by the employer, superiors, other employees or third parties in connection with their employment for one of the reasons mentioned.
If you are an employee of TU Dortmund University, please contact the AGG Complaints Office at TU Dortmund University: Astrid Moysich-Lengowski, Dezernentin, Dezernat Personal und Recht, Tel.: +49 (0)231 755-21 22 or astrid.moysichtu-dortmundde


Your complaint is not bound to any form or deadline.

Students contact the central

Complaint Mangement or to that of their faculty.

Further contact persons and persons of trust for employees and students can be found on this Page.

Trans*¹ students can have their first name changed at TU Dortmund University even before an official change of personal status according to the Transsexual Act (TSG) has been completed. The data will be fully adjusted in the TU database, so that in the future the self-selected name will appear on student ID, email address, study certificates et al. There are no additional costs. A supplementary ID card of the German Society for Transidentity and Intersexuality (dgti) is helpful, but not mandatory. (Page of the dgti).
Dr. Ute Zimmermann, CFV Staff Office, offers confidential advice in this regard at +49231 755-6466 or ute.zimmermanntu-dortmundde


¹"trans, trans*, transgender or transident are self-designations of people whose gender does not correspond or only partially corresponds to the gender they were assigned at birth. Trans persons may have a female, male, or any other gender identity.
Transsexual and intersex are terms that have been criticized because they are used in a pathologizing way and the suffix "-sexual" is misleading because it is about gender, not sexual orientation. However, some individuals use the terms to refer to themselves." [Source: trans. inter*. nicht-binär. Lehr- und Lernräume an Hochschulen geschlechterreflektiert gestalten, Wien 2019 (trans. inter*. non-binary. Designing teaching and learning spaces at universities to be gender-reflective, Vienna 2019)]

So that people who cannot/do not want to be clearly assigned to one gender or who are in the process of transitioning to another gender can use toilets without justification, the TU is working on a concept for gender-neutral toilet facilities.² Currently, existing individual toilets are being equipped with the Description of the facilities (sitting toilet, standing toilet) marked. In order to expand the range, new construction measures include toilet construction, which makes gender-neutral designation possible.

²“For people who are not clearly perceived as women or men, going to the toilet is a hurdle and is associated with fear of discrimination and violence. Inter* and non-binary people most often have to choose between two gender-assigning toilets, even though this may not correspond to their gender identity. […] People whose appearance does not fit into common ideas about women or men often experience discrimination and violence in public toilets. They are stared at, their gender identity is questioned by sentences like: “This is the women's toilet!”, they are expelled from the toilet, confronted with threats of violence or experience sexual assault. [Source: trans. inter*. nicht-binär. Lehr- und Lernräume an Hochschulen geschlechterreflektiert gestalten, Wien 2019  (trans. inter*. non-binary. Designing teaching and learning spaces at universities to be gender-reflective, Vienna 2019)]

In 2019, "Queer* Peers TU - The Network of Queer* Employees at TU Dortmund University" was founded. The network addresses all employees of TU Dortmund University who want to gather under the term "queer" and feel that the term means them.
The network sees its tasks in,


  • To increase the visibility of queer* employees at TU Dortmund University and to provide an exchange platform for them.
  • Provide peer support and advice for queer* employees at TU Dortmund University.
  • to influence the TU with queer* expertise, to advise organizational units or individuals as needed, and to raise awareness for the concerns of queer* people
  • to coordinate and, if necessary, cooperate with other queer* actors within and outside TU Dortmund University.

The next dates will be published here.

Here you will find helpful initial information:

  • "ANDERS & GLEICH" (Different & equal) Initiative NRW is a project of the Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft Lesben NRW, which provides information on sexual and gender diversity in NRW and raises awareness for an anti-discriminatory approach to LGBTTIAQ(+) persons.
  • Erklärvideo (explanatory video) of the QueerNetwork of the Charité, which sensitizes for dealing with inter* and trans* people and gives short illustrated answers to the questions: What does inter* mean? What does trans* mean? How should inter* and trans* people be addressed?
  • Queerfeministisches Glossar (queerfeminist glossary) is a collection of and comprehension guide for terms related to gender and sexuality.
  • "Regenbogenportal" (Rebows portal) of the Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) provides information on issues and areas of life for LGBTTIAQ(+) persons, names contact points and provides materials.