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A-Z Glossary


The abbreviation ADHD stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. This is one of the most common mental disorders in children and adolescents. It is assumed that about 2 to 6% of all children and adolescents suffer from pathological disorders of attention and motor restlessness. The following three main symptoms are characteristic of ADHD: Hyperactivity (excessive urge to move), inattention (impaired ability to concentrate) and impulsivity (rash actions). However, the individual symptoms can vary in severity and do not always have to occur all at the same time. Today, the treatment of ADHD is based on several pillars: Psychotherapy, e.g. behavioral therapy for the child, parent and teacher training and, in individual cases, drug therapy, are combined individually after education and counseling of all those affected (cf. Federal Ministry of Health).


Agnosticism is a worldview according to which the possibility of the existence of the divine or supersensible cannot be rationally clarified, i.e. it is neither affirmed nor denied. It is the term coined by T. H. Huxley in 1869 for the conviction that the metaphysical question of God is insoluble; general collective term for religious and philosophical teachings that deny the recognizability of transempirical realities, but not, as in atheism, their existence (cf. Duden; Brockhaus).

General Student Committee (AStA)

The AStA is the representation of the students at the university. As a body of student self-administration, the AStA works independently of the university and its rectorate. The members of the AStA represent the interests of all students vis-à-vis the university, the public and politics and are thus an important player in making the goals and concerns of diverse students heard. In addition, the AStA offers a variety of advisory services, events, and exchanges related to the individual diversity dimensions of HHU.

General Equal Treatment Act (AGG)

The General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), which came into force at federal level in 2006, is intended to prevent or eliminate discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin, gender, religion and ideology, disability, age or sexual identity. In this context, the legislator has also expressly stipulated the right of employees to lodge complaints. (See also: Complaints Office under Section 13 AGG).

Age and generation

This dimension represents the age of each person and the associated sociocultural attributions of status and hierarchy, as well as the resulting changing needs and abilities that arise in the process of biological aging. In addition to the biologically determined age, it is also about how a person experiences themselves and how they are perceived by others. This includes others' and one's own assignment to a particular age generation. In the context of HHU, this dimension also stands for different "life stages" or the "life cycle" at a university. For example, there are target group-specific offers and measures for freshmen or tenure-track professorships. Diversity dimension age and generation at HHU


The word "androgynous" is composed of the Greek "andros" for man and "gyne" for woman. Androgynous is used both as a term to decribe someone or something with both female and male sexual characteristics and to describe the external appearance (clothing style and appearance) of a person (cf. https://www.bpb.de/gesellschaft/gender/geschlechtliche-vielfalt-trans/245426/lsbtiq-lexikon?p=2).

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety is the main symptom of anxiety disorders, although those affected are often unaware of the causes. Feelings of anxiety and even panic are difficult to control and often place a heavy psychological and physical burden on those affected. Long-lasting anxiety states result in severe restrictions in all areas of life (cf. BBSt teaching guide).


Refers to hostility toward Jews. Anti-Semitism is more than xenophobia, also more than a social or religious prejudice. It is an anti-modern worldview that sees the existence of Jews as the cause of all problems, (cf. Bundezentrale für politische Bildung).




Asexual people have no desire for sexuality with other people. Here, too, there are - as so often when it comes to sexual identity - different variants. Some asexual people fall in love and want physical closeness and tenderness with their partner, but beyond that have no need for sexuality with him/her. For others, however, the feeling of romantic love is foreign (aromantic), (see Primer of the Many Small Differences Different and Equal NRW).

Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's syndrome is a profound developmental disorder that is assigned to the autism spectrum. In particular, social interaction, concentration and communication cause problems for those affected. They have difficulties in perceiving the thoughts and feelings of others, in empathizing with them and in understanding them, even if they are far above average in other areas. The interests of the affected persons are usually limited to certain areas, although some of them have extraordinary abilities in the area of their special interest. One then speaks of an "insular talent", (cf. Didactics Guide BBSt).


Bronchial asthma - usually simplified as asthma - is a chronic respiratory disease. In the airways of people with asthma, there is a permanent (chronic) inflammation that is associated with an increased sensitivity of the bronchial system to various stimuli. This so-called bronchial hyperreactivity and the permanent inflammation lead via several mechanisms to a narrowing of the bronchial tubes (=airway obstruction), which causes the symptoms typical of asthma. These include whistling breathing, shortness of breath and shortness of breath, a feeling of tightness in the chest, or even just coughing. A characteristic feature of this disease is that the symptoms occur in attacks, recede, and then flare up again during the next attack, (cf. Lung Information Service).


Atheism is a worldview that denies the existence of God, a divine world order, or even the concept of God. The followers of such a view are called atheists. The term atheism comes from the Greek átheos and means "without God" and is a humanistic word formation of the 16th century. Atheism is not necessarily to be equated with unbelief and to be distinguished from agnosticism, which leaves the question of the existence of God open. Adherents of atheism have existed ever since the Bible was written (cf. Brockhaus).

Foreign representatives of the faculties

The international representative (usually a professor) acts as an institutionalized contact person within the faculty and as a spokesperson for the faculty. Their responsibilities include establishing international cooperation with universities at the faculty level and representing international topics of their faculties in committees. They form the official interface between the faculty and the Prorectorate for International Affairs and ensure the exchange of information.


Foreign ambassadors of the faculties

Since April 2017, one international ambassador (research assistant) per faculty has been structurally anchored in the Dean of Studies Office. They act as an operational communication and information interface between the faculties, the Prorector for International Affairs and other international institutions at HHU. Their basic fields of activity are also the communication, coordination, processing and, if necessary, networking of the various concerns, advice and active support in the planning, implementation and acquisition of international projects, university partnerships, lecturer mobility and guest lecturers.


Autism is a complex and multifaceted neurodevelopmental disorder. Often, autism or autism spectrum disorders are also referred to as disorders of information and perception processing, which affect the development of social interaction, communication and behavioral repertoire (Autismus Deutschland e.V.).

Employer's representative for the affairs of severely disabled persons

In particular, the representative has the task of ensuring that the employer complies with his obligations to protect and promote severely disabled persons. He supports, informs and advises the university together with the employees of the personnel department in the establishment, staffing and financing of jobs suitable for severely disabled persons. In addition, the representative advises both supervisors and employees on problems relating to the employment of severely disabled persons. He reports to the university management on the status of construction and conversion measures for severely disabled persons and supports the fulfillment of the employment obligation (quota) by providing advice and support.

Website of the employer's representative for the affairs of severely disabled persons


Representative and Counseling Center for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (BBSt).

The representative and the counseling center provide advice and support in the event of difficulties during studies that arise due to a disability or chronic illness. Students can contact these offices with specific concerns such as compensation for disadvantages, financial aid, applications to authorities, or with general questions about support before and during their studies. In addition, further assistance can be provided by student employees according to need, such as accompaniment on campus, support in obtaining literature, or moving books.

Website Representative for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

Website Counseling Center for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses


Complaints office according to §13 AGG

By law (§13 AGG), the Complaints Office is the body responsible at HHU for receiving complaints from disadvantaged/discriminated employees, and for examining and evaluating them. If necessary, it recommends measures to remedy the situation. Of course, the Complaints Office also advises students on questions, follows up on tips and receives complaints from students about discrimination. (See also: General Equal Treatment Act (AGG)).

Homepage Complaint Office according to §13 AGG


Educational background

The dimension generally refers to the different educational and social backgrounds of a person (e.g. academic or non-academic parental home, type of school-leaving qualification and further (further) education, type of university entrance qualification, etc.). In the context of HHU, the main focus is on the various school and social backgrounds as well as entrance requirements that prospective students bring with them and what career path they can thus pursue at HHU. This area is primarily supported by the HHU Student Service Center and the AStA. Diversity Dimension Educational Background at HHU


Bisexual people are sexually and/or emotionally attracted to both men and women. However, this does not mean that they have to be with a man and a woman at the same time, (cf. Primer of the Many Small Differences Different and Equal NRW).

Chronic somatic diseases

Are among others: Allergies; seizure disorders such as epilepsy, asthma, diseases of the immune system, kidney and heart diseases, rheumatic diseases, multiple sclerosis and metabolic diseases such as diabetes. Those affected usually suffer more from the prejudices of their fellow human beings than from the disease itself. Due to the diversity of diseases, the way they are dealt with varies greatly. Triggers include irritants and stressful situations that must be avoided. The resulting consequences for lifestyle can include taking medication, an increased need for breaks, eating at strictly prescribed times and frequent treatment appointments. Occurring episodes of illness, pain, or taking medications can trigger difficulty concentrating and paying attention, mood swings, or other impairments. The state of health often deteriorates in phases or episodes. This makes regular participation in courses more difficult. Interruptions of studies can be the consequence (cf. Didactics Guide BBSt).


Cis(gender) is the opposite of trans(gender), meaning people whose gender identity matches their physical sex assigned at birth, (cf. Primer of the Many Small Differences Different and Equal NRW).


Community- a group of people who are in a comparable or similar life situation, have had similar experiences and/or share certain characteristics. For example, there is the LGBTI community, which shares similar experiences due to their sexual orientation or gender identity and is active in this context, (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).


By now it is probably better known under the abbreviation CSD than under its full name: Christopher Street Day. On June 28, 1969, trans* people, gays and lesbians stood up against a police raid on the "Stonewall Inn" scene pub on New York's Christopher Street. The courageous and spectacular uprising against discrimination against lesbians, gays and trans* people went around the world and made Christopher Street famous. Since then, Christopher Street Day has been celebrated in many countries with parades and street festivals to demonstrate acceptance and recognition and to show one's own form of life and love with pride (see Primer of the many small differences different and equal NRW).


Many sufferers initially complain of a general decline in performance and diffuse physical complaints, loss of appetite and sleep disturbances. In addition, there is a loss of pleasure and interest, general listlessness and inability to make decisions. Some complain of feelings of indifference rather than a particular sadness, others also feel internally restless and driven and suffer from anxiety. Depression is a common disorder. It is characterized by feelings of dejection, exhaustion, sadness, low self-esteem, and many other features. Depression can be recurrent or long-term and can be treated with psychaotherapy and medication (cf. Federal Ministry of Health; Didactic Guide BBSt).


Diabetes mellitus (diabetes) is an umbrella term for various metabolic disorders. What they all have in common is that they lead to elevated blood glucose levels because the patients have a deficiency of the hormone insulin and/or the insulin effect is reduced, (cf. Federal Ministry of Health).


Discrimination refers to unjustified disadvantage and or disparaging behavior towards other people. As a rule, (social) minorities are discriminated against. Discrimination is usually based on certain values and unreflected, even unconscious prejudices or emotional states, as a result of which others (sometimes entire peoples, religions, etc.) are labeled as "scapegoats" (anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, etc.). This involves the use of categorical, i.e., supposedly unambiguous and selective, distinctions to create, justify and justify unequal treatment, resulting in social disadvantages. Those discriminated against are denied the status of equal members of society with equal rights; accordingly, their de facto disadvantage is not judged as unjust, but is regarded as an unavoidable result of their otherness, (cf. Brockhaus; Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).


The term #means variety/multiplicity/diversity. The point is that every person is unique due to certain physical and psychological as well as socio-cultural characteristics. Because of these different characteristics, however, no one should be excluded, discriminated against or disadvantaged. Diversity at HHU stands for the variety or difference of attitudes and perspectives resulting from individual person characteristics and lifestyles (= dimensions).     
Since diversity is an important field of action for HHU, there are a large number of actors who are involved in the area of diversity and who initiate and implement a wide range of measures in this regard.


Describe physical and psychological as well as sociocultural characteristics that are (can be) ascribed to every human being at birth as well as over a lifetime and with which people (can) identify themselves. For example, each person usually has a nationality and a biological sex from birth, which may change if necessary at the person's own request or as a result of certain situations. Dimensions such as "family situation and life plan" and "age and generation" change during the lifespan and are accompanied by changing needs and abilities. Following Loden & Rosener (1991) and taking into account the specific university context of Heinrich Heine University (HHU), the following eight dimensions were identified as relevant in the context of an active discourse: "Age and Generation", "Family Situation and Life Design", "Physical and Mental Abilities", "Educational Background", "Inter/Nationality and Culture", "Worldview and Religion", "Gender and Gender Role", and "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity".

Erasmus representative of the faculties

The Erasmus representatives (academic staff members), of whom there is at least one per subject or institute in all faculties, are the first subject-related contact point for students who mainly want to study or do an internship in a European country or who come to HHU from a European country. They advise, support the application process for the Erasmus program, make the selection of applicants and help with the recognition of achievements and the extension of the stay abroad. Furthermore, they are also the contact persons for lecturers regarding staff mobility, guest lecturers and cooperation agreements with universities via the Erasmus+ program. For questions regarding non-European countries, please contact the International Office.


Exclusion means the exclusion or marginalization of a person or group on the basis of certain physical, psychological or socio-cultural characteristics within a society, organization, etc. An example is the exclusion of immigrants from society, (cf. Duden).

Family situation and life plan

This involves the family context and different life plans of each person, which can change over the course of a lifetime and possibly influence study and working life. This includes, for example, a person's marital status and/or raising children and/or caring for dependents. This does not include a person's family and social background and in what circumstances he or she grew up (see also dimension "educational background"). The compatibility of family and studies or work are of great importance for HHU as a family-friendly university. This is also actively promoted through continuous participation in the audit for a family-friendly university as well as the FamilyCounselingOffice. Diversity dimension Family situation and life plan at HHU

FamilyCounselingOffice (FBB)

The FamilyBeratungsBüro (FBB) of the HHU is a counseling and mediation center for students and employees of the university and the university hospital, which offers support for the compatibility of family and studies or family and work. The FBB supports and mediates in family-related issues ranging from studying and working with a partner and child to caring for those in need of care, helps to find needs-based and individual childcare, accompanies in exceptional and emergency situations and also offers, for example, vacation camps during the school vacations.

Website FamilienBeratungsBüro




Is a rejecting and hostile attitude toward everything that is perceived as foreign and therefore threatening compared to familiar living conditions. Xenophobia is directed against people who differ from their own environment by origin, nationality (s.a. xenophobia), religion (s.a. anti-Semitism, s.a. Islamophobia, etc.) or skin color (s.a. racism), (cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).


Deaf people who lack hearing before birth or language acquisition develop speech impairments (deaf-muteness). Those affected communicate through sign language. The spoken language is learned like a first foreign language, resulting in errors in spoken and written language and vocabulary may be less developed. In later acquired forms of deafness it is usually a damage of the inner ear or the auditory pathways as a result of an inflammation of the brain, (cf. didactic guide BBSt; Brockhaus).


The mere translation of "gender" into "sex" is not sufficient. Gender means the "social sex", which can manifest itself independently of physical characteristics. The social gender does not have to correspond to the biological gender, (cf. Primer of the Many Small Differences Different and Equal NRW).

Gender and gender role

This dimension refers, on the one hand, to the biological sex ("sex") of each person, which is defined at birth and is usually externally recognizable, and, on the other hand, to the ways of life and sociocultural attributions of certain character traits, role distributions, gender roles, and rules of behavior that go hand in hand with the biological sex, also called "gender" (from the English). Here, HHU focuses primarily on equal opportunities for women and men. This goal is actively pursued by the central Equal Opportunity Officer and her representatives within the faculties, the student body and the central administration, as well as by the AStA and the Equal Opportunity Commission. Diversity Dimension Gender and Gender Role at HHU

Gender-sensitive language

Gender equity means the fair shaping of the social interaction of women, men and people outside the binary gender spectrum, especially with regard to economic and political issues. In terms of language, this is also about making it equitable, as often only masculine terms (the so-called generic masculine) are used. Example: students; gender-appropriate: students*innen or Studierende, (cf. Duden; Geschlechtergerechte Sprache GSB).

(Central) Equal Opportunity Officer (GSB)

In accordance with the Higher Education Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (Hochschulgesetz NRW) and the State Equal Opportunity Act of North Rhine-Westphalia (Landesgleichstellungsgesetz NRW), the central Equal Opportunity Officer looks after the interests of women at HHU who are members or affiliated with HHU or who have applied. It works towards the inclusion of equality-relevant aspects in the fulfillment of HHU's tasks, especially in scientific, administrative and technical work, in development planning and in the performance-oriented allocation of funds. The central, student, administrative and faculty GSBs of HHU implement their tasks, among other things, by providing comprehensive advice, support, encouragement and mentoring for female students and employees.

Website Gleichstellungsbeauftragte

Equal Opportunity Commission

The Senate of HHU forms an Equal Opportunity Commission to advise and support the university in fulfilling its equal opportunity mandate. Its members are the central Equal Opportunity Officer and one woman and one man each from the group of university lecturers, academic employees and employees from technology and administration as well as students. The deputies of the central equal opportunity commissioner, the faculty equal opportunity commissioners and their deputies are members of the commission in an advisory capacity. The Equal Opportunity Commission provides active support in equal opportunity work for equal rights for men and women. In addition, it is responsible for co-determination and consultation in the preparation of plans for the advancement of women as well as their updating and structuring. Equal opportunity officers and their deputies are appointed by the Senate on the recommendation of the Equal Opportunity Commission.

Website Gleichstellungskommission

Handout for diversity-sensitive teaching

In order to do justice to diversity at the university and the potential it holds in teaching, a teaching approach is needed that pays greater attention to diversity aspects. The "Handreichung für die diversitätssensible Lehre" (Handbook for Diversity-Sensitive Teaching) and the expanded digital version aim to enable all students to successfully participate in the learning process. They are parts of the Rectorate's overall strategy to promote diversity-conscious perspectives at the institutional levels of teaching, research and administration at HHU. The aim of the guide is to support teachers with practical tips to further sharpen their diversity-sensitive perspective.
Die Handreichung als PDF-Download, sowie einen genaueren Einblick in ihre Inhalte finden Sie hier.


The Heine Research Academies are a merger of the faculty graduate academies Interdisciplinary Graduate and Research Academy Düsseldorf (iGRAD), Medical Research School Düsseldorf (medRSD) and Faculty of Arts and Humanities Graduate Academy Düsseldorf (philGRAD) and the Junior Scientist and International Researcher Center (JUNO). Together, they support the targeted career development of (international) young scientists at HHU. In addition to a comprehensive advisory service, including a tutor service for international junior scientists, they offer a wide-ranging continuing education program for the acquisition of core competencies and key qualifications for doctoral students, postdocs, and supervisors.

HeRA Website


Heterosexual people are emotionally and/or sexually attracted to people of the opposite sex. For a long time, heterosexuality, i.e. sexuality between men and women, was considered the norm. Other forms of sexuality, on the other hand, were considered a deviation or even a disease. This attitude is called "heteronormativity".


HIV is an abbreviation and means "human immunodeficiency virus". This translates as human immune deficiency virus. HIV damages the body's own defenses. Therefore, the body can no longer fight invading pathogens such as bacteria, fungi or viruses. In the course of the infection, certain life-threatening diseases occur, for example severe pneumonia. This is known as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).


Whoever speaks of homophobia today usually means all negative attitudes towards lesbians and gays, which can manifest themselves in prejudice and devaluation, the advocacy of discrimination, and even the use of violence. The term homophobia is now often viewed critically, because in the vast majority of cases it is not a pathological fear. Increasingly, the terms homonegativity or homophobia are used to indicate that these are derogatory or hostile attitudes toward lesbians and gay men. Some find the term heterosexism even more appropriate, referring to the devaluation of non-heterosexual orientations, behaviors, relationships or communities.

Gay / Homosexuality

Homosexual people are emotionally and/or sexually attracted to people of the same sex. Women who love women are called lesbian. Men who love men are called gay.

Hearing Impairment

Since a hearing impairment is not visible to outsiders, it is often not perceived as a disability. Information such as speech, but also the location of sounds, is only partially or not at all perceived by those affected through their hearing. Basically, a distinction is made between deaf, hard of hearing and deaf people (cf. Didactic Guide BBSt).


"Inclusion" means "inclusion". Conversely, it means not excluding anyone. The idea of inclusion is therefore that every person with their particularities - their sexual identity, their disability or their cultural background - is a full and accepted member of society, (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).

Instagram channel information

The Section Diversity has its own Instagram account. Twice a week, actions and news as well as events around the topic of diversity at HHU are presented under "@diversity.hhu". Here you can find more info and the archive. Hier finden Sie mehr Infos und das Archiv.


The word integration comes from Latin and means restoration, renewal, bringing together. It stands for the integration into a larger whole, e.g. of individuals or groups into an existing social environment. In today's usage, the term integration plays a role primarily in the context of the incorporation of immigrants into the host society. In order for integration to be successful, immigrants are expected to understand and speak the language of the host country to which they come. On the other hand, the receiving country should strive to help the immigrants gain a foothold in the foreign society. The goal of integration is therefore to include all people who live permanently and legally in Germany in society, (cf. Brockhaus; Federal Office for Migration and Refugees).


Inter* refers to people whose congenital genetic, hormonal or physical characteristics are neither exclusively "male" nor exclusively "female". The characteristics may be typical of both of these genders at the same time or may not be unique to one of these genders. This may be evident in secondary sex characteristics (e.g., muscle mass, hair distribution, breasts, and stature) or in primary sex organs (reproductive organs and genitalia) and/or chromosomal structures and hormones. The terms intersexual/intersexuality are often used instead of "inter*/intersexuality", which is why it is often wrongly assumed that it is about sexual orientation, which is not the case, however, (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).

Inter/nationality and culture

Nationality describes the origin (e.g. country of birth, place of birth or origin of parents) of each person and the associated sociocultural background. This is not only about what nationality a person was given at birth, but also about what cultural customs, rules, etc. a person grew up with and identifies with. The country and place of birth and/or the nationality of the parents/guardians need therefore not be the sole determining factor for a person's "inter/nationality". This "inter/nationality" and the accompanying cultural imprint can also change again over a person's life cycle, such as growing up in and/or coming into contact with a wide variety of cultures, changing residence, or interacting with people of a different nationality and sociocultural background on campus. At HHU, this dimension is represented by the Prorector for International Affairs, the Junior Scientist and International Research Center (JUNO) and the International Office, as well as the AStA, among others. Diversity Dimension Inter/Nationality and Culture at HHU

International Office (IO)

The International Office of HHU advises and supports students as well as employees who want to go abroad or come to HHU from abroad and thus promotes international exchange and networking of HHU with other universities worldwide. Among other things, the IO oversees the ERASMUS program, staff mobility, the buddy program "Mate-For-You" for international students, and offers administrative and organizational assistance on the topic of going abroad and arriving at HHU for students.

Website International Office


In jurisprudence, the predominant term used is multiple discrimination; however, the term "multidimensional discrimination" attempts to conceptualize the different dimensions of discrimination and the interdependence of categories. The latter means the interdependencies between and the interplay of different discrimination categories, (cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).


Means a strongly pronounced feeling of fear related to Islam or Muslims that goes beyond what is considered appropriate or normal. However, the term "Islamophobia" does not seem appropriate for hostile attitudes toward Muslims. Generally speaking, "Islamophobia" stands for rigorously rejecting attitudes toward Islam. Those who argue in an Islamophobic manner paint a consistently negative picture of Islam and place their own views in a confrontational counter-position (cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung).

Note: "Islamophobia" should not be used as a term because it is not a mental illness but anti-Muslim racism.

Physical and mental abilities

This dimension refers to people with physical and/or mental disabilities or limitations and their need to be able to lead a self-determined life, as well as people with exceptional talents. In the context of HHU, this dimension includes the physical and mental abilities that each individual possesses and brings to HHU (talent development). Thus, this dimension is not only about compensating for disadvantages, but also about the targeted promotion of individual abilities. The "classic" area of this dimension is represented primarily by the employer's representative for the affairs of severely disabled persons, the representative and the counseling center for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses, as well as the representative for severely disabled persons and the AStA. Diversity dimension Physical and mental abilities at HHU

Abbreviation LGBTIAQ*

This combination of letters stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, inter*, asexual and queer. Initially, the term "lesbians and gay men" was supplemented by the group of bisexual and trans* persons. But since even this abbreviation still fell short, intersex and asexual people were included. Queer and the "*" also stand for the further opening of the categories and as a placeholder for all those who do not find themselves in one of the preceding designations. Because it is cumbersome to use all these terms, the community nowadays refers to "LGBTIAQ*" when referring to people of different gender identity and non-heterosexual orientation, (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).

Mobility restrictions

Individuals with physical disabilities are often impaired in terms of coordination and mobility. The most common movement and mobility disabilities include: Spinal damage; deformities and loss of limbs; and paralysis of arms or legs after, for example, birth trauma, joint inflammation or accidents, (cf. Didaktikleitfaden BBSt).

Compensation for disadvantages

In order to establish fairness and justice, it is necessary to compensate for existing disadvantages due to language barriers, disabilities or other forms of unequal starting opportunities. The purpose of compensation for disadvantages is to create conditions that enable students with disabilities or chronic illnesses, for example, to complete their studies and examinations. It should be noted here that the compensation for disadvantages is dependent on the individual case, as it is needs-oriented and individually adapted to the persons and the associated study and examination achievements. However, disadvantage compensation is often not taken advantage of for various reasons. For example, affected students often do not know that disadvantage compensation exists and that they have a right to it. But also the rejection of disadvantage compensation is a reality in everyday university life (cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung; Didaktikleitfaden BBSt). Affected students at HHU can contact the Representative for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses or the Diversity Section at HHU.

Pansexual / Pansexuality

Pansexual people love and desire people regardless of their gender or gender identity. Accordingly, people are pansexual if sexuality or a relationship is basically possible for them with anyone who fits them as a person - regardless of whether the person in question defines himself or herself as a man, woman, inter*, trans* or otherwise (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).

Personality Disorders

The term personality disorder refers to a variety of psychiatric disorders. Those affected have particularly pronounced personality traits. The disorders often begin at a young age and are characterized - especially in stressful situations - by rigid, deviant patterns of experience and behavior that are perceived as inappropriate by the outside world. As a result, private and professional life are sometimes significantly impaired, (cf. Didaktikleitfaden BBSt).

Prorector for International Affairs at HHU

With the designation of a prorectorate specifically dedicated to internationalization, the new university management has given the topic of inter/nationality increased visibility both internally and externally since November 2014 and firmly anchored it at the highest strategic level. Internationalization at HHU is understood as a cross-sectional task that is the joint responsibility of all university members. The Prorectorate has developed an internationalization strategy that will be the basis for the further internationalization of HHU. Under its leadership, HHU also successfully participated in the HRK audit on the internationalization of the university. The prorector stands for networking within the region and in the international environment. In addition, funds have been raised and measures and programs developed to introduce refugees interested in studying at HHU and to integrate them into the university.

Website Prorector for International Affairs at HHU

Vice Rector for Strategic Management and Equal Opportunity at HHU

When the new rectorate took office, the fields of action of equality, family and diversity were strategically anchored at the highest level within the university management at the Prorector for Equal Opportunity and thus made more visible. Under the leadership of the Prorector, the Diversity Section at HHU was created and consolidated. Currently, the diversity audit "Vielfalt gestalten" (Shaping Diversity) of the Stifterverband (Donors' Association) is also taking place at HHU, whereby specific measures and concepts in the area of diversity (management) are being developed and implemented.

Website Vice Rector for Strategic Management and Equal Opportunity at HHU

Mental illness

The experiences and behaviors of people with mental illness are sometimes difficult for outsiders to understand. However, they are often understandable against the background of a stressful biography. The illnesses run in phases, i.e. after the initial illness and rehabilitation, a new attack of illness is possible. Excessive demands, e.g. due to a too high study workload or too high performance requirements (intrinsically as well as extrinsically motivated), represent a risk factor. Mental illnesses include: Depression; Somatoform disorders; Anxiety disorders; Psychotraumatic-related disorders; Obsessive-compulsive disorders; Addictive disorders; Eating disorders and Personality disorders, such as borderline personality disorder, (cf. Didaktikleitfaden BBSt).


Queer is an open term that includes all those who do not conform to the heteronormative image of society. Queer was originally used as an insult against homosexuals or people with a deviant gender identity. However, the LGBTQ+ community has worked to revalue and appropriate the term. Therefore, many in the LGBTQ+ community now use the term as a positive self-description under which all members of the LGBTQ+ community can be included.

In addition to people who reject the term queer because of its former negative connotation, there are also those LGBTQ+ people who prefer to refer to themselves as trans, bisexual, etc. in order to maintain their visibility in the community. Even though queer is now used in a predominantly positive context, its use as an insult still occurs. More information here: DivcersityArtsKultur and LSBTIQ* in NRW.

Rainbow family

A rainbow family is a family with parents, that are part of the LGBTQ+ community. An example of this is a lesbian or gay couple and their children (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).


A gay man is homosexual, that is: same-sex oriented. He is emotionally and/or sexually attracted to men (cf. Fibel der vielen kleinen Unterschiede anders und gleich NRW).

Toilets for All

By rededicating some gender-specific restroom facilities to gender-neutral "Restrooms for All," all persons at HHU can use the following restrooms:

  • Building 21.02, Level 00, Room 22A
  • Building 23.11, level 00, room 003
  • Building 23.31, level U1, room 07
  • Building 24.21, level 00, room 07
  • Building 25.02, level 00, room 04
  • Building 25.12, level U1, room 04
  • Building 26.32, level 00, room 04

HHU is thus setting another example for diversity and acceptance on campus.



Unconscious Bias

The term bias describes cognitive distortions, such as automatic stereotypes and other erroneous tendencies in perception, memory and judgment. Biases mostly occur unconsciously (= unconscious bias). You can find more Inofrmation here.

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