Promoting Diverse Networks

Equal Opportunity and Diversity at the University of Bonn

As a learning organization, the University views diversity in its community, including different capabilities, characters, experiences, constitutions, life journeys and ways of living, as both an enrichment and a challenge. When activated through networking, diversity is an essential component to revealing different potential approaches to problems, which in turn opens new perspectives, ideas, lines of questioning and ultimately more comprehensive solutions. As such, the entire University community benefits from broadened horizons and a more effective use of resources.

For respect, acceptance and diversity

The University of Bonn takes the current political movements in society very seriously and firmly distances itself from any form of racism and discrimination. As an educational institution, we have a responsibility to create a space characterised by respect, acceptance and diversity.

The University of Bonn stands for global cutting-edge research, open scientific exchange and the conveyance of science in teaching and to society. It owes its strength to the diversity of its students, researchers, teaching staff and all administrative employees. As an educational institution, we welcome all people regardless of their background and have a responsibility to create a space characterised by respect, acceptance and diversity. We are committed to fostering a community based on values of equality and mutual respect. We all have a responsibility to critically question and dismantle our own thought processes, internalised prejudices and existing discriminatory structures. It is therefore with great concern that we observe anti-democratic tendencies in society and condemn any form of discrimination, racism and extremism in the strongest possible terms. The protection of democratic values and respect for human rights are of the utmost importance to us! For this reason, the University of Bonn was also happy to participate in the campaign ‘#Zusammenland - Vielfalt macht uns stark’ (#Together - Diversity makes us strong). After signing the Bonn Declaration for more cosmopolitanism and tolerance in 2017, this is a logical step.

Diversity in...

Several students talking to each other
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn


The University of Bonn wants to promote equal opportunities especially in studies and for students. Therefore, the University has set itself the goal of recognizing, valuing and promoting the individuality of each student.

A scientist looking through a microscope
© Bernadett Yehdou/ Universität Bonn

Research and Teaching

Diversity-sensitive structures promote equal opportunities. Both are essential for successful teaching, successful and barrier-free studying, and for excellent and innovative research.

A group of people listening to a presentation
© Colourbox

Management and Administration

The promotion of advanced training, good working conditions, reliable career prospects and demand-oriented services are tasks which the University of Bonn wants to prioritize.

Equal Opportunity at the University of Bonn

Promotion of educational justice, good working conditions, reliable career perspectives and needs-oriented services are among the obligations that the University of Bonn voluntarily accepts on itself. It can only succeed in its efforts when there is a comprehensive understanding of equal opportunity and by bringing appropriate changes to its own structural framework conditions.

The University of Bonn is making a sustained effort to promote and improve equal opportunity and diversity over the long term. To this end, University management is committed to embedding an inclusive organizational culture that systematically uncovers and eliminates (structural) inequality and exclusion mechanisms. You can read about the topics on which the University of Bonn focuses in its work in our mission statement.

The logo of the Diversity Unit combindes with words that represent the seven facets of diversity at Uni Bonn
© Universität Bonn

Equal Opportunity and Diversity Unit

The Equal Opportunity and Diversity Unit supports and advises the Rectorate in the (further) development of concepts and strategies to promote equal opportunities and diversity, supports and networks organizational units, academics and staff of the University of Bonn in the planning and implementation of activities in the field of equal opportunities, identifies good practice measures, ensures their transfer and contributes to the establishment of an organizational culture characterized by mutual appreciation and recognition.

Vice Rectorate for Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Ensuring equal opportunity for the challenges of gender equality and diversity is a university-wide strategic management objective of the University of Bonn. Professor Dr. Irmgard Förster has been the Vice Rector for Equal Opportunity and Diversity since 2021.

Rhineland Network for Equal Opportunities

Promoting equal opportunities and thus creating an open and appreciative working and study environment is the goal of our work. To reinforce this goal, the University of Bonn has become a member of the Rhineland Network for Equal Opportunities and joins in following its shared guidelines.

Their core elements are

  • increasing diversity in the leadership of academia and administration,
  • responsibility for reconciling family, studies and career in all lifestyles and life situations,
  • ensuring equal-opportunity talent development and enabling careers,
  • the reduction of discrimination, and
  • strengthening gender, queer and diversity studies in teaching and research.

We are stronger as a team. This is why the University of Bonn is a member of the Rhineland Network for Equal Opportunities since September 2023, together with the University of Cologne, the RWTH Aachen University, the Cologne University of Technology, the Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, the German Aerospace Centre and the FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences. Our work is guided by the guidelines and the joint efforts of our network partners.

Funding Initiative: "Diversity at German Universities"

The University of Bonn has successfully applied for project funding under the initiative "Diversity at German Universities". The initiative is implemented by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and aims, among other things, to support German universities in making diversity visible and promoting their own diversity strategies.

“Everyone Benefits”

Prof. Dr. Irmgard Förster and Anna Hollstegge talk about diversity in a university context and the work of the Diversity Unit.

Interview with forsch

The interview as a pdf and more articles on diversity can be found in the forsch 2022/02.

Successful application for the Women Professors Programme 2030

With its equal opportunities concept for parity at the university, the University of Bonn has received start-up funding for the initial appointment of three women to permanent W2 or W3 professorships. This is a further pioneering step towards the goal set out in the excellence application of achieving a proportion of 30 per cent female professors by 2026.

Between 2018 and December 2023, the proportion of professorships held by women increased from 19.2 per cent to 28.6 per cent. The University of Bonn is thus making a significant contribution to implementing a university culture that promotes gender equality.

The sun shining over the university main building
© Volker Lannert / Universität Bonn

White text on pink and black background: "War das jetzt Rassismus?" ("Was this racism?")
© Stabsstelle Chancengerechtigkeit und Diversität

Counseling regarding racism for students

The University of Bonn offers counseling for BIPoC students, which is carried out by the psychological counselor and trainer Eden Abrehet. It is not necessary that a concrete discriminatory situation has occurred in order to make use of the offer.

University of Bonn Reference Framework for Gender Equality 2022–2026

Universities are required by Section 5 of the Gender Equality Act for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (LGG NRW) to issue a framework for gender equality for a period of three to five years. At the University of Bonn, this consists of a framework plan for gender equality, which defines the goals of the entire university, as well as the equality plans of the faculties, the central institutions and the administration.

The reference framework as well as all equality plans of the faculties, the central institutions and the administration, can be viewed here.

A piece of paper with the sign for gender equality drawn on it
© Colourbox

Ideas and suggestions

Feel free to contact us if you have ideas or suggestions for our work. Our contact form allows for sending anonymous messages as well.

Funding Programs of the Diversity Unit

Pathways to Research

The Pathways to Research program is designed to support young people and early-career researchers with a refugee or migration background.

Keyvisual of the Pathways Program
© Stabsstelle Chancengerechtigkeit und Diversität
The STEP Logo
© Stabsstelle Chancengerechtigkeit und Diversität


The Strengthening the Equal Opportunity Process (STEP) program is designed to recruit junior female scientists and professors and support them at all career stages.

Ongoing Projects of the Diversity Unit

Free menstrual products

Someone is taking a sanitary pad from a dispenser
© Barbara Frommann / Universität Bonn

The University of Bonn now offers menstrual products free of charge. With this offer, the university helps in de-tabooing the topic and makes an important contribution to the further implementation of educational equity.

Project "Inclusion Guides"

Group photo of the Inclusion Guides
© Hildegardis-Verein

Since September, the University of Bonn has been participating in the "Inclusion Guides" project of the Hildegardis Association. The project, which is funded by Aktion Mensch, aims to make the recruitment process and the working environment more inclusive for women with disabilities. Ten female students* with disabilities will accompany the participating institutions (including the City of Bonn, Adecco, PNB Paribas) for one year as experts* in their own right. They will act as "inclusion guides" and work together with the companies on job advertisements, visual language, employer branding and recruiting.


Avatar Hollstegge

Anna Hollstegge

Head of Unit

Poppelsdorfer Allee 24

53115 Bonn

Avatar Bischoff

Ruth Ellen Bischoff

Unit Assistant

Poppelsdorfer Allee 24

53115 Bonn

Current notice

Please note that the offices of the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Unit are not entirely barrier-free. Where this is a problem, please inform us in advance so that we can serve you from more suitable premises.


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