Diversity

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What does diversity mean to the Munich Student Union?

Diversity stands for appreciating and for treating the variety and richness of people in a pluralistic society in a conscious way. As a public-law institution, we take a firm stand against any type of discrimination. To stand up against discrimination and exclusion – whether it is racist or on the grounds of ethnic and/or social origin, due to gender, religion or belief, due to physical, mental or psychological disabilities, due to age or sexual identity – for us, implies both strength and responsibility.

The Munich Student Union stands up for promoting equal opportunities and fighting any type of discrimination. It is and will remain our duty to support our students with their individual circumstances to be able to successfully complete their studies.

Facts & Figures

Among the 550 people employed at the Munich Student Union (Studentenwerk München / STWM), 88 people have a physical, psychological or mental disability. Our staff comes from 38 different nations. We are responsible for 15 universities and thus for more than 131,000 students in Upper Bavaria, amongst whom are 29,589 students who have a nationality other than German. In our halls of residence, which are located close to the campuses, we provide approx. 11,000 rooms, 97 of which can be given to people who have special needs. In 2021, 6,041 rooms are being rented out to international students. Every year, the Munich Student Union serves more than 4.7 million meals in its canteens and supports roughly 8,000 students according to the Federal Education and Training Assistance Act (Bundesausbildungsförderungsgesetz / BAföG). We also run 20 childcare centres, which offer approx. 500 places.

Charta der Vielfalt – Diversity Charter

Already in 2014, the Munich Student Union signed the “Diversity Charter” in order to encourage diversity at the universities as well as among our own personnel. Everyone who signs the charter commits themselves to create a work environment which is free from prejudice and exclusion. The goal is to shape a culture of equal opportunities, respect for one another but also treating each other respectfully.

Studying with a Disability

According to the 21st Social Survey, 11% of students live with a physical, psychological or mental disability.
Health impairments can make studying more difficult. Structural, constructional and communicative barriers need to be overcome in addition to the actual impairment in your everyday student life. The Munich Student Union offers special support and services to people who have individual needs or chronic illnesses in order to enable everyone to go about their studies and live their student life with equal opportunities as well as independently.

Advisory Services for students with a disability

Studying with a Child

Studying with a child is not an easy task and often entails, apart from studying itself, lots of organisational and financial challenges for studying parents. The Munich Student Union can help you to meet these challenges. We help and support you in every way possible, whether you already have a child or children or are expecting a child. We offer a range of services to make studying with a child or children easier for you.

Advisory Network

With our wide range of advisory services on issues related to your studies and also other areas of your life, we support students to successfully deal with challenging situations. We are always there for our students should a problem arise and offer advice regarding various different issues, individually but also in groups, for instance in the case of financial difficulties, psychological stress or challenges regarding your studies. All students can turn to our advisory team in Munich, Freising and Rosenheim.

Our Advisory Network offers the following services:

Intercultural Openness & International

The students and universities are getting more and more international and are thus shaped by an ever greater cultural diversity. The Munich Student Union offers international students support concerning social, financial and cultural issues. In order to encourage intercultural communication, we for instance offer an intercultural project seminar, in which German and international students participate. Further intercultural activities can also be found in our diverse Cultural Programme.

Cultural Programme for Students

The Munich Student Union aims to achieve that as many people as possible can equally take part in cultural life. Our Cultural Programme offers numerous possibilities to get to know and come into contact with other students who have similar interests, to further your knowledge or to simply have fun. The Munich Student Union’s cultural courses and activities are extremely varied and are organized according to the interests, needs and possibilities of our diverse students.

Any questions or suggestions?

Contact details

Head of Department Diversity
Dr. Birgit Himmelseher
Tel: +49 89 38196-1235
diversity@stwm.de

Consultant for Diversity
Anke Wachter
Tel: +49 89 38196-145
anke.wachter@stwm.de

Legal foundation

We demand of ourselves to firmly establish the principle of diversity in our institution. There is however also a legal framework which regulates our dealings with diversity and protects people from being excluded.

Article 3 of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany – Grundgesetz (GG):

  1. All persons shall be equal before the law.

  2. Men and women shall have equal rights. The state shall promote the actual implementation of equal rights for women and men and take steps to eliminate disadvantages that now exist.

  3. No person shall be favoured or disfavoured because of sex, parentage, race, language, homeland and origin, faith or religious or political opinions. No person shall be disfavoured because of disability.

General Act on Equal Treatment – Allgemeines Gleichstellungsgesetz (AGG):

The purpose of the AAG is to prevent or to stop discrimination on the grounds of ethnic or social origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age, sex or sexual orientation.

Bavarian Equal Opportunities Act – Bayerisches Gleichstellungsgesetz (BayGlG) for civil service:

This Act regulates in particular women’s rights in working life in terms of equal treatment and equal opportunities while protecting the priority of suitability, qualification and professional achievement.

European Directives:

  • Racial Equality Directive (directive 2000/43/EC):
    implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin

  • Gender Directive (directive 2002/73/EC):
    on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions

  • Employment Framework Directive (directive 2000/78/EC)
    establishing a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation