Our university is a meeting place of people, ideas, art and culture. We are a community of people from different ethnic, cultural or social backgrounds, diverse in worldview, physical and mental capacities, age, gender, sexual identity and orientation. This makes the university a kind of microcosm of a diverse global society. It is a space in which different abilities, interests and goals as well as different discourses can be negotiated and lived.
Diversity in the broadest sense enriches the quality of teaching and learning to a great extent. It brings us into contact with colleagues and fellow students from other countries and cultures and their multifaceted artistic views, and enables us to rethink our own perspectives and structures. In order to act as a catalyst for creativity, we need to be open-minded towards new or unusual ways of artistic teaching and forms of expression.
The basic prerequisite for this is a diversity strategy that creates the conditions for eliminating discrimination (including intersectional discrimination), enabling inclusive education and equal opportunities, and ensuring gender equality and family-friendliness.
If our university wants to remain fit for the future, it must react to the diverse social changes and actively shape cultural policy processes. This is especially true for young artists, educators and academics, whose actions should have a social significance and impact today more than ever. The challenges and discourses of our time include demographic change, globalisation and the economisation of our society – especially in the field of art and culture. In addition, the digitalisation of teaching and artistic forms of expression or thinking as well as the development of a sustainable and ecological way of living and working are the central issues of our university and society. We can be a spokeperson, a multiplier or a counterforce on these issues.
Only when we as a university community live in mutual exchange and respectful interest for each other, despite different views or conflicts, is creative and productive cooperation possible. Only by promoting diversity can all members of our university and the institution as a whole develop their potential and fulfil their responsibility to society.