United in diversity

Declaration of the Rectorate at the University of Stuttgart on Participation
Status: December 2022

The University of Stuttgart stands for participation in learning, research, teaching, technology and administration, based on a person's abilities. We are committed to fostering individual potential.

To “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” is the fourth goal of the United Nations Global Agenda for Sustainable Development. This goal is also an essential tool for implementing the other 16 Sustainable Development Goals. Since the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) in the Federal Republic of Germany in 2009, the inclusion of persons with disabilities has become a broad social mandate, and an important area of concern for the higher education sector in particular. The university is committed to ensuring its continued development as an inclusive place of education and research.

This declaration is intended as a launching pad for further steps towards becoming an inclusion-sensitive university. Students and employees should not only have the opportunity to learn about the development of inclusive processes, but should also be immersed in an inclusion-sensitive environment throughout their studies or daily work at the university. The University of Stuttgart advocates an understanding of inclusion that takes into account the breadth of human diversity. To realize our vision of participation and inclusion, we aim to implement specific and schedule-based measures within a realistic framework. We see inclusion as a sustained process of organizational development, in other words a “changing process”. In this context, it is important to involve all relevant actors in order to recognize and utilize the university's existing potential. To ensure this, the development of the university is supported by the administration through appropriate commitment and the establishment of a working group. This group will work jointly with the relevant stakeholders to examine focus areas in a targeted way, to prioritize existing and potential future measures, and to advance the implementation of these measures. The following focus areas have already been defined: Sustainable anchoring of activities in existing structures, strategy and controlling (focus area 1), opportunities for university members with disabilities (focus area 2), structural and technical infrastructure of the university (focus area 3) and further development of teaching and learning cultures (focus area 4). Short- and medium-term measures are subject to regular adjustments and self-evaluation. The individual items used to implement the declaration will be updated annually.

The measures are accompanied by the university's new inclusion agreement, which is currently in draft status and has not yet taken effect.

Stuttgart, December 3, 2022

For the Rectorate:

  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Wolfram Ressel, Rector
  • Prof. Dr.-Ing. Silke Wieprecht, Vice Rector for Diversity and Internationalization
  • Dipl.-Oek. Jan Gerken, Chancellor

For the working group:

  • Dr.-Ing. Ulrich Eggert, Employer’s Representative for Persons with Disabilities
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