Guideline for promoting a diversity-sensitive and discrimination-free faculty


The Faculty of Applied Social Sciences (FAS) at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (FHWS) considers itself a cosmopolitan place of equality, anti-discrimination, and diversity. It is dedicated to creating a space where all people can interact respectfully. 

All faculty members cultivate a culture of togetherness, honesty and respectful interaction with each other and with third parties. They actively work against discrimination and harassment.

The FAS promotes a culture of closely looking at and addressing perceived discrimination and abusive behaviour. The FAS supports people affected by discrimination, harassment, and forms of violence. 

1. Purpose of the guideline

  1. With this guideline, FAS actively works against discrimination, violence, and harassment as well as for the removal of barriers of any kind and promotes diversity and the creation of a welcoming environment. The guideline is addressed to all members of the FAS. 

  2. With this guideline, the FAS addresses direct and indirect, individual or structural forms of discrimination as well as forms of harassment, for example, based on racist and ethnic attributions, gender, gender identity or sexual orientation, ideology or religion, impairments classified as disabilities, age, physical appearance, socio-economic background, origin, language. The guideline covers the following forms of discrimination in particular: 

    1. Direct discrimination refers to unfair or less favourable treatment of a person on a ground referred to in section 1(2) compared to another person in comparable circumstances. 

    2. Indirect discrimination refers to disadvantaging a person on a ground referred to in section 1(2) compared to other persons through practices, policies, and rules that are neutral in appearance. 

    3. Multiple discrimination refers to a combination of two or more forms of discrimination against a person in section 1(2).

    4. Individual discrimination refers to the disadvantage individuals suffer because of their membership of or identification with particular groups as defined in section 1(2), even if this disadvantage is not intentional. Structural discrimination refers to a form of institutional discrimination based on norms, rules, regulations, practices and defined positions governing access to resources that may disadvantage individuals because they have characteristics of or belong to groups referred to in section 1(2) and may result in a limitation of their opportunities. 

    5. Harassment refers to hostile treatment, victimisation, or discrimination of a person concerning the categories mentioned in section 1(2), which the person concerned perceives as violating their dignity.

    6. Sexual or racial harassment refers to any form of unwanted sexually or racially motivated behaviour that is perceived by the person concerned as an attack or deliberate violation of their dignity. Violation of and attack on a person's dignity also includes the creation of an intimidating, hostile or dangerous working or educational environment. Sexual and racial harassment can be verbal, non-verbal or physical. This includes derogatory or disparaging remarks, gestures or depictions of sexual or racial content, any unwanted distribution and use of pornographic or racist content. This also includes digital media content within or in connection with the IT infrastructure of FHWS. Content that is explicitly used and justifiably for didactic purposes in teaching and the purposes of scientific research is excluded. 

    7. Discrimination according to section 1(2), a, b, c, d does not exist if a legitimate aim objectively justifies the disadvantage and the means to achieve this aim are proportionate.

2. Guiding principles

  1. All members of FAS are committed to providing a fair, non-discriminatory, safe, and non-violent place to learn, teach and work.

  2. The FAS explicitly promotes the use of discrimination-sensitive language.

  3. The FAS shall take all appropriate measures at its disposal to ensure that the right to equal treatment and the prohibition of discrimination are respected and protected.

  4. Individuals who feel affected by discrimination are supported to exercise their rights and report experienced cases of harassment, discrimination, or violence, seek advice from trusted persons/groups of their choice, and/or file a formal complaint under FHWS procedures.

  5. Those affected by an allegation of discrimination are supported in defending themselves against the allegation. 

  6. The FAS ensures a fair process. This includes that all sides involved are given the right to present their perspective and are included in the discussion. The exercise of these rights must not lead to disadvantages for the sides involved. 

  7. The guideline provides information on the mechanisms and measures at the FAS to achieve the objectives set out in section 1(1); it guides the development of further mechanisms and measures to achieve these objectives.

3. Positive action

For the purpose of prevention, to raise awareness and to ensure equal treatment, the following measures are taken:

  1. The guideline is publicly and proactively communicated to all FAS members in German and English. 

  2. Information on internal and external university counselling centres and counselling options for anti-discrimination is provided in German and English.

  3. The FAS regularly offers awareness-raising measures, information events, and training on issues of equal treatment, anti-discrimination, and diversity. Information on these measures is provided in German and English as far as possible. 

  4. The FAS continues to develop its curricula with regard to diversity sensitivity and anti-discrimination.

  5. The FAS supports the development of an adequate peer-to-peer counselling service organised by students themselves. 

4. Advisory Board 

The FAS establishes an "Advisory Board for Diversity and Anti-Discrimination". Its task is to advise the faculty. It does not have the task of counselling on individual cases. The advisory board continuously develops an up-to-date overview of diversity and anti-discrimination issues at the faculty and proposes measures based on this. The advisory board reports regularly (at least once a semester) to the faculty council. If possible, it is composed of members from all status groups with two representatives each; for students up to four representatives. The members of the faculty council of a corresponding status group each propose the persons who are to represent their status group in the advisory board for a period of two years, in the case of students for a period of one year, in each case with the possibility of extension. 

5. Complaints procedure

The FAS does not have its own complaints procedure. For this purpose, reference is made to the FHWS-wide complaints procedure. Complaints are to be submitted by the persons concerned to the official FHWS complaints offices. 

6. Adoption of the guideline

  1. The faculty council adopts the guideline. The President of FHWS and the Chancellor of FHWS are then informed about the guideline.

  2. The faculty is committed to evaluating and developing the guideline on an ongoing basis.


Adopted by the faculty council of the Faculty of Applied Social Sciences on 24 February 2022.

Laden Sie hier die Leitlinie zur Förderung einer diversitätssensiblen und diskriminierungsfreien Fakultät herunter.