Diversity Acitivities/Diversity at RWTH

  Students sitting on the lawn in front of the library of RWTH Aachen University © Martin Braun

The diversity portal gives an overview of all offers and activities supporting a fair and constructive cooperation at RWTH Aachen University with the aim to change the organizational culture and address all university members considering their diverse social and cultural background and also aim to change the organizational culture. The facilities, measures and projects selected as examples provide an initial insight into current activities of the entire university.


Diversity Activities at RWTH Aachen University

RWTH Aachen University strives to enable all of its members an environment in which anyone can work, do research and learn independently of their sex, age, origin, skin color, religion, disability or sexual orientation. The implementation of a Gender and Diversity Management therefore promotes an open university culture.

Against this backdrop, RWTH Aachen University has for some years been focusing their measures increasingly on certain diversity characteristics, that experience has shown to be associated with individual inequality, as well as on target perspectives that are intended to counteract possible discrimination and promote diversity as a potential.


Main Objectives

Gender Equality

Because of the still low proportion of women at the higher academic levels, gender equality is a crucial concern at RWTH Aachen Unversity. The main focus lies on university development planning, equal opportunities in personnel development and improvement of working and studying conditions.

Selected offers and activities:

  • Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development
    The Vice-Rector for Human Resources Management and Development is responsible for measures concerning the personnel development concept and young researchers’ development, while especially emphasizing equal opportunities and diversity.
  • The Aachen gender triangle
    The gender triangle consists of IGaD, the Equal Opportunities Office and three professorships with gender denomination. The rectorate of the RWTH plays a key role. The main goal is to connect experiences from working in the gender equality field with scientific impulses from the professorships and to develop new, practical recommendations for more gender equality at RWTH.
  • Gender Equality Plans
    North Rhine-Westphalia’s new law on gender equality (Landesgleichstellungsgesetz, LGG) has been in force since December 2016. The previous Women’s Promotion Plan for the improvement of the equality between men and women expires in October 2017 and will be replaced by gender equality plans. The creation of a new gender equality plan is currently in progress and it will have duration of five years. The faculties, institutions and all responsible bodies are included in this process.
  • Female Empowerment in Science and Technology Academia - FESTA
    The EU project FESTA running from 2012 to 2017 was focused on strengthening the position of women in science and technology and by that creating a university with equality.

Equality in Education

Achieving equal opportunities for admission requirements at universities, easing the start of studies as well as decreasing the dropout rates are some of the most important topics regarding equality in education. RWTH Aachen provides appropriate offers to improve teaching with regard to diversity and the different needs that students might have.

Selected offers and acitivities:

  • DiVers – Diversity competences in university teaching
    The e-learning tool focuses on the strengthening of methods, the social expertise and the self-competence of the teaching staff as well as on university didactics which enables equal participation for all students considering all their differences. Apart from the self-test, the offer covers various learning modules and an extensive glossary.
  • RWTH projects for school students
    RWTH Aachen University has built up a program for children and students from preschool age to high school: lecture series, experimental days, introductory offers, orientation weeks or diverse information sessions enable school students to get to know the university and its benefits.
  • Project “A good academic start in engineering”
    Since April 2015 RWTH Aachen University and FH Aachen cooperate in the initiative “Semester 0”. According to this initiative, students can enroll at both universities for the summer semester and use it as orientation period. After having gained first impressions in the summer term, they then choose what university and what course of study to enroll in in the upcoming winter term.
  • Computer Science Mentoring
    The project supports first-year students in the introductory phase. Students in higher semesters are the mentors.
  • Career Center: Careers for international students
    Together with the Federal Employment Agency and the Employment Agency Aachen-Düren, the International Office and Career Center are collaborating to offer a special program for international students with the aim to ease their labour market integration: Selected students from RWTH are prepared for the application process through intensive counseling and individual coaching. They are also brought together with German employers.
  • Language Center
    The offers of the Language Center aim at increasing the international mobility of the students at the RWTH Aachen as well as integrating international scientists and students.


A long-term goal is the creation of an accessible and non-discriminatory university which enables unlimited access, respects differences and similarities and promotes awareness about possible inequalities. In order to guarantee people with disabilities as well as chronically ill people successful studies or a successful professional life, RWTH Aachen University has intensified its work in removing the existing spatial, structural and communicational barriers.

Selected offers and activities:

  • Webpage: Studying with disability or chronical illness

    The Officers for the concerns of disabled and chronically ill students offer counseling regarding studying with a disability or a chronical illness.

  • Diversity Fund

    From 2012 till 2017 RWTH Aachen supported diversity at the workplace with the measure “Place to Be” which was part of the Excellence Initiative. The Diversity Fund was created in order to support financially talented doctoral candidates over the course of three years.

  • SinGes – Competence Center for Sign and Body Language

    The Competence Center for Sign and Body Language works on different scientific and practical projects which include the topics accessible education, media and didactics, professional rehabilitation, media competence, sign language, sign language interpreters and body language.

  • Seminar “Accessible teaching” in ExAcT – Center of Excellence in Academic Teaching
    The seminar “Accessible Teaching” focused on the creation of better university teaching and the individual requirements that students with disabilities have.

Family-friendly University

RWTH Aachen University strives to enable its students and employees to balance between their work or studies and their family. The wide range of activities and establishments are designed to consistently pursue the vision of a family-friendly university and make it a reality for all members of RWTH Aachen University.

Selected offers and activities:

  • Family Services Center
    The Family Services Center is an advising and information office for all members of the university. The focus lies on the development of individual support concepts to help balance between family and career or studies.
  • Advising Services on the Compatibility of Care and Studies/Work
    The Advising Services on the Compatibility of Care and Studies/Work offers information and individual, personal counseling about compatibility of career, studies and care. This is an offer by the Family Services Center.
  • Audit “family-friendly university” of berufundfamilie gGmbH
    The audit “family-friendly university” is a certification process and management tool for creating a family-friendly environment at universities. The aim is to provide conditions for balancing between studies, career and family as well as sustainable strategies in order to create family-friendly policy and shift of organizational culture within the university. RWTH Aachen University was awarded with the certificate in 2009 and re-awarded again in 2012 and 2015.
  • Home Office and Situational Mobile Work
    The Service for Flexibility at the Workplace at the RWTH Aachen has been active since October 2014. The aim is to provide better conditions for fulfilling individual life plans. To meet the needs of its employees, RWTH Aachen University therefore offers the Home Office and Situational Mobile Work models.
  • Welcome Center and Dual Career service at the RWTH Aachen

    The Welcome Service supports new professors and their families before and during their stay at the RWTH Aachen.


RWTH Aachen University is bound to opening the studies, teaching and research as part of the internationalization concept . The university aims to attract international students and employers by promoting an environment in which intercultural differences are regarded as beneficial. The orientation of international students and researchers is helped by additional offers and improved support when taking up exchange semesters.

  • Department 2.0 - International Office

    The International Office coordinates the international relations of RWTH, develops programs with international partner universities and advises and supports international students as well as students who want to make exchange semesters.

  • Portal for internationals on the RWTH website

    International students and researchers can access all kinds of information about studies and work at RWTH.

  • Welcome week/Orientation day for international students

    The Welcome week/Orientation days are a special service for all new international students. They help them in their first days in Aachen, at the beginning of their studies and student life at RWTH.

  • BeBuddy

    BeBuddy is a mentoring program which pairs newly enrolled international students with contact partners in order to help them in the beginning of their studies and life in Aachen.

  • Studying abroad with a child and International family breakfast

    The family service of RWTH supports students with children, if they wish to study abroad. It offers a wide range of advising and information services in cooperation with the international office and the University of Wismar. It also offers a family breakfast for the families of RWTH members twice a year. Families can meet up and discuss about balancing family with studies.