Gender and Diversity

  A drawing on a blackboard Copyright: © Martin Braun

Gender equality, equal opportunities, and the appreciation of diversity are fundamental principles of the university culture at RWTH Aachen University – in research, teaching, studies, careers, and university management.


RWTH Aachen University expressly welcomes and values diversity among its members, seeing it as a potential, opportunity, and asset. Therefore, it is committed to respectful and inclusive cooperation in everyday university life and actively works against possible discrimination while promoting a sustainable, open, and lively organizational culture.

Gender Governance at RWTH

At the management level, the topic of equal opportunities is anchored in the Rectorate Team, or more specifically in the Vice-Rectorate for Human Resources Management and Development. The Vice-Rectorate is also responsible for the Gender and Diversity Management Staff Unit, IGaD for short, which was set up in 2007. forumDIVERSITY, a committee of university members involving all the relevant stakeholders, acts as a steering committee for reflecting and coordinating RWTH’s diversity policy.

The Vice-Rectorate and IGaD work closely with the Central Equal Opportunities Officer.
The Central Equal Opportunities Officer and her three deputies represent members from all RWTH Faculties and departments and from all across the academic spectrum in equal opportunities matters and carry out tasks enshrined in law. The Representatives of the Central Equal Opportunity Officer in the Faculties are particularly active in the appointment committees and the committees of their faculties.

Per RWTH Bylaws, the Equal Opportunity Committee of the Senate is responsible for advising and supporting the University and its Equal Opportunities Officer. In the central university administration, in the Faculties, and student and employee representative councils, a whole range of actors and cooperation partners are also involved in promoting gender equality & diversity at the University.


Strategy Papers, Certificates, and Awards

As a strategic cross-cutting issue, gender and diversity are integral to university development planning and firmly anchored in central concepts and guidelines. In addition to the Equal Opportunities Action Plan 2017 to 2022, which explicitly aims to promote equal opportunities in all areas of the University, these include, among others, the Preamble of the RWTH Constitution, the University’s mission statement, the Guidelines for protection against discrimination according to RWTH’s General Equal Treatment Act, or AGG for short, and the Framework Plan for the Equal Opportunity Plans of the Faculties.

RWTH Aachen University regularly takes part in relevant certification procedures and competitions in the area of equal opportunities. Since 2005, the University has been regularly awarded the TOTAL E-QUALITY rating, and since 2017 it has also been awarded the Diversity rating. Since 2009, RWTH Aachen University has been a signatory of the Charter of Diversity, annually celebrates German Diversity Day and is also certified as a family-friendly university.

Research and Academics

Three teaching and research areas at RWTH specifically address gender and diversity: Neuropsychology, Gender and Diversity in Engineering, and Technology and Diversity. As a member of the DFG, RWTH has repeatedly committed itself to the DFG's research-oriented standards on equality. Through the Gender and Diversity Consulting Service for Research Proposals and Projects, promoting gender equality and diversity is highlighted as a quality feature in research.

Instructors can apply to the Center of Excellence in Academic Teaching, ExAcT for short, of the Center for Teaching and Learning Services, CLS for short, on the topics of diversity-appropriate and barrier-free teaching. In addition, the Faculties are centrally supported in the gender- and diversity-sensitive design of their work.

There are numerous central services and measures for employees and students at RWTH, such as the AGG Complaints Office, the Equal Opportunity Office’s Family Services Center, and the counseling centers involved with the Equal Treatment and Nondiscrimination Round Table. For prospective students, there are numerous gender- and diversity-sensitive offers and programs. Please note that these programs are only offered in German.