Is there racism in higher education

International university cooperation against racism and discrimination

The University of Konstanz sees itself as an international university and maintains numerous long-term contacts with partner institutions all over the world, be it on the basis of bilateral agreements, within the framework of state programs or in international university networks.

Our goal is diverse and inclusive international higher education and research that opens up equal opportunities for all students, researchers and employees.

This is exactly what our international partnerships have in mind: fighting discrimination based on origin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion, strengthening intercultural understanding through cooperation in teaching, research and administration and actively promoting greater diversity and more tolerance among students, Contributing to researchers and employees of the University of Konstanz as well as our guests from all over the world.

In their mission statement and also in the diversity code The University of Konstanz is committed to the diversity of its members and promotes a non-discriminatory organizational and scientific culture in which all members can achieve their goals in the best possible way. In the “European Reform University Alliance” (ERUA), which was successful in the “European University Initiative” and is being implemented by the University of Konstanz with its four partner universities, diversity and tolerance play an essential role in the development of joint structures.

International student mobility

The offers for international mobility during their studies reach a considerable proportion of the students enrolled at the University of Konstanz: Around 40% of them complete a study-relevant stay abroad in the course of their studies (Outgoings 2018/2019: 586). The University of Konstanz is also an attractive destination for numerous students from neighboring European countries and around the world (incomings in 2018/2019: 387).

We are convinced that the high numbers of mobile students and the work done by the departments and the International Office are now more than ever of central importance for global cohesion. Dealing with the unknown and different cultures that goes with every stay abroad broadens the perspective, opens up new perspectives and thus lays the foundations for a culture of mutual appreciation and respect.

In workshops with the aim of developing intercultural skills, Konstanz students have the opportunity to prepare for and follow up on their stays abroad. The focus is on sensitization for cultural differences in science, studies and everyday culture and the critical examination of one's own cultural influences and the expectations that result from them.

For several years now, the student initiative IstKon has also been building bridges between students at Marmara University Istanbul and the University of Konstanz as part of its annual student encounters, creating intercultural encounters and exchanges on an academic and personal level.

More information on incoming and outgoing student mobility at the University of Konstanz

Including internationality

The world map of the Konstanz cooperations shows geographical patterns: The cooperation with universities and research institutions in Western Europe, North America and parts of Asia is traditionally intensive. Other world regions, on the other hand, are almost completely left out. These include the countries of the Global South: Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and Central Asia.

Internationalization at the University of Konstanz is therefore selective, and there are many reasons for this. The selection of the partner institutions is neither the result of a strategic decision, nor can it be explained solely by individual random decisions. Rather, connections that have grown over the years are reflected in the world map of cooperation, which is shaped by individual interests, the existence of funding instruments, political will, but also by stereotypes and prejudices.

Based on this knowledge and in line with the strategy of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts, the University of Konstanz has been trying for a number of years to specifically establish and expand study and research contacts in regions with which there were no or few relationships so far to have. These are in particular the Least Developed Countries (LDC) and the so-called ACP countries (Asia-Caribbean-Pacific). The first results of these strategic realignments are reflected in the establishment of new partnerships in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.

The aim is the worldwide networking of knowledge flows through scientific and cultural dialogue at eye level and mutual enrichment in research, teaching, science and studies.

More information on the debate about selective internationalization

Social responsibility of internationally networked universities

The global challenges of the future can only be met through global cooperation in science and research. The University of Konstanz is aware of its social responsibility and has therefore made the topic of transfer and social responsibility a central strategic aspect of its internationalization measures.

Transfer projects and the service learning teaching and learning concept already play a central role at the University of Konstanz. They will be expanded further in the future in order to give international students in Konstanz and Konstanz students at the partner institutions the opportunity to combine practice-oriented teaching with social responsibility in 'community' projects supported by the respective university.

The University of Konstanz runs competence building projects in Ecuador and Ukraine with the goals of equality, leadership and empowerment.

As a BWS Plus Project of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation, the new cooperation with the Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador is funded over a period of three years and, in addition to student and intern exchange, provides for three measures to build skills in higher education:

- Transversality of gender approach in educative curricula in the University of Cuenca
- Higher education and gender in University of Cuenca: current situation and perspectives
- Structures of Internationalization

The aim is for both partner universities to learn from each other and to further develop the organizational and structural developments of the universities.

The university also takes its responsibility on a local level and, together with the city of Konstanz, is developing a concept for an inclusive and diverse urban society as part of the “Konstanz International City” project in order to facilitate the “milieu and life phase-specific integration and participation of people with a migration background ( Refugees, newly immigrated and long-established migrants, international students and researchers, international specialists, etc.) [to] promote and [to] strengthen social cohesion. which is supported by the state of Baden-Württemberg as part of the “Local Integration - Strengthening Municipal Structures” funding program.

At the University of Konstanz, the Vice-Rector for International Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Prof. Dr. Silvia Mergenthal, the respective coordinators and internationalization officers in the departments and the International Office are responsible.