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Gender-equitable language:

TU Dortmund recommends the gender*star


"The TU Dortmund sees itself as a university of lived and valued diversity. Language shapes perception, thinking and behavior. Therefore, TU Dortmund recommends that its students and employees strive for inclusive and gender-appropriate language."


Sprechblase mit *innen © Archiv​/​TU Dortmund

This is stated in the recommendation letter, which was written under the leadership of Prof. Sigrid Nieberle (Institute for Diversity Studies, Cognition ∩ Literature ∩ Media ∩ Language). Furthermore, the two-page document provides an overview of different possibilities of gender-equitable language use and gives concrete examples of its application.

In recent years, the Equal Opportunity Office has repeatedly received inquiries on the topic of gender-equitable language. Students, scientists and also administrative employees have requested assistance in the use of gender-equitable formulations. The Diversity* Working Group took these requests as an opportunity to draft a recommendation. The Senate has now taken note of these recommendations.

Explicitly recommended is the use of the gender* asterisk because it makes room for all gender identities: "The so-called truncation from the programming language stands in the machine language context for all other alphanumeric characters; in the human language context, the asterisk symbolically stands for that blank space in which female, male and non-binary people are represented."

Alternative variants that facilitate gender-appropriate communication depending on context and situation are also possible and are explained in the recommendation. It remains important to note, however, that using the purely masculine form is no longer appropriate. For example, the recommendation clarifies, "The generic masculine common in German violates the principle of appropriateness by merely 'including' or even associatively excluding women and non-binary people."

Recommendation of the TU Dortmund University on gender-equal language

More information


Lesch's Cosmos "Gender - Delusion or Science?" - the ZDF program from the Terra X series looks at research findings on the effects of gendered language. Does gendering change the way we think? Does our language affect our behavior? Is a gender-equal world better for men?

* The Diversity WG was established by the Rector in 2020 and works cooperatively on diversity issues at TU Dortmund University. In addition to the Rector, experts from all status groups at TU Dortmund University who deal with diversity issues in their work or research are represented in the WG. These include the Equal Opportunity Officer and the Head of the Equal Opportunity, Family and Diversity Office as well as representatives of several faculties, DoBus, AStA, the Student Advisory Service, the International Office, the zhb and the administration.


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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Cam­pus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Cam­pus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Cam­pus to South Cam­pus by car, there is the connection via Vo­gel­pothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Cam­pus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bo­chum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duis­burg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Cam­pus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Cam­pus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Cam­pus and offers a direct connection to South Cam­pus every five minutes.


The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Cam­pus North and the smaller Cam­pus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).