Our position

Our university expressly opposes all forms of discrimination, abuse of power and sexualised violence. Those affected are advised and supported in a variety of ways.

Our university should be a place where everyone can study and work safely, fairly and equally, with understanding and respect, constructively and creatively. The highest priority is therefore the protection of all university members today and in the future, in order to enable a living and working climate that does not allow discrimination, abuse of power, sexual harassment or violence. The goal is »RESPEKT!« – for each other and with each other, every day and in every situation.

Special responsibility – also due to recent history
Due to the recent history of our university, we have a special responsibility. The criminal and disciplinary convictions of two prominent former university members – Dr Siegfried Mauser and Hans-Jürgen von Bose – have made the need for action at our university more than clear.

Culture of genius and the »master-student relationship«
A high-quality, motivating and supportive teaching and learning culture is only possible if the space for it is a safe and secure one. Free individual development must be possible without discrimination or threats, especially in an artistic education. At a university, both the traditional hierarchical structures within teaching and administration and those between teachers and students can encourage discriminatory and boundary-violating behaviour. This is particularly true of art and music universities, where the myth of artistic genius has long prevailed and the so-called »master-student relationship« has been regarded as the ideal of teaching.

Continuous work against traditional narratives
Our university sees it as its ongoing task to ensure the best possible protection for all university members. This requires courage, determination and a strong critical capacity, also to break through traditional narratives. It is important to learn from the past and to gain insights for fundamental changes and measures in the further development of teaching and working structures.

RESPEKT! Initiative – Numerous measures
Essential building blocks in this continuous development work were:

  • the creation and introduction of a Code of Conduct (in German)
  • the establishment of the working group »RESPEKT!«
  • the creation of a Department for Diversity and Equality within the University Administration
  • clarifying and expanding the tasks of the team of Women’s and Equal Opportunities Represantatives
  • The development of an extensive internal and external complaints and counselling network, including internal confidants and external ombudsmen.
  • Testing and promoting new forms of teaching such as team teaching
  • Clear, strict regulations regarding a professional closeness and distance strategy (e.g. prohibition of lessons in private rooms and clarification on how to deal with physical contact in lessons).
  • the development of a comprehensive range of training courses and workshops

Goal: a sustainable change in our university culture
The changes thus begun with regard to a sustainable transformation of the university culture are far from complete. It is a long-term and gradual process for which the entire university and each individual university member is responsible. In this way, we can be a role model for future generations of artists, educators and academics, who will carry a clear understanding of responsibility and respect, as well as equal coexistence, into society.