Gender diversity at the University of Göttingen

The University of Göttingen has set itself the goal of supporting all members and affiliates, regardless of their background experiences and life situations, in the development of their potential and protecting them as best as possible from discrimination. This includes all persons, also those who do not, not always or only partially identify with their gender assigned at birth (trans*) or who live with the experience of being born with a body that does not correspond to the normative ideas of male/man and female/woman (inter*).

Results of various studies (see "Facts and figures on trans* in higher education" [pdf, only in German]) suggest that approximately 3% of the population and thus also of members and affiliates of Göttingen University see themselves as being inter*, trans* or of diverse gender. trans* and inter* persons often face special challenges in everyday university life and experience disadvantage and discrimination: by colleagues, lecturers or fellow students not reacting appropriately or hurtfully at the workplace and in teaching/learning situations, by regulations that, for example, prevent persons from studying under their self-chosen name, or by infrastructural conditions such as toilets and changing rooms that are predominantly designed in such a way that they require assignment to the dominant gender categories - male and female.

The University of Göttingen therefore strives to take gender diversity into account in all areas of responsibility and procedures. First steps have already been taken with the University's decision to use an inclusive form of writing - the use of the asterisk "*" (see "Possibilities of inclusive forms of address" [pdf, only in German]), the dedication of some toilet rooms as "WCs for all" (see "Recommendations for the establishment of WCs for all" [pdf, only in German] and information "Why WCs for all at the University of Göttingen" [pdf, only in German]) as well as with the offer of qualifications and empowerment events. These developments were significantly promoted by the pilot project "Support for trans* students" (see below).

Cooperation with Queeres Göttingen e.V.: Information and counselling services for young queer students and employees

The University of Göttingen has been cooperating with the association Queeres Göttingen e.V. since October 2020 by supporting the implementation of the project "equity* - Empowerment for queer youth and young adults up to 27" (Website in German). With the project, funded by Aktion Mensch from 2020-2025, the Queeres Zentrum Göttingen provides young queer people with new offers to strengthen them on the path of their personal identity development - from counselling opportunities to sports events to joint weekend camps. The project is participatory: Youths and young adults can bring their wishes into the project and help shape the offers.

The aim of the cooperation is to strengthen the protection against discrimination for queer, especially trans* students at the University of Göttingen. Within the framework of the project, information and counselling services are set up that are also available for students and employees up to 27 years of age.

Pilot Project “Counselling and support for trans* students” (2018/19)

The pilot project "Counselling and support for trans* students" offered peer-to-peer counselling and support for trans* students at Göttingen University from January 2018 to December 2019. It was aimed at all students who had questions about their gender identity.
The counselling offered information and support for students regarding orientation and decision-making on questions about their own gender identity, in the course of trans*-related change processes, and on social, legal and medical aspects of transition. The offer also included support for people who have experienced shaming, exclusion or discrimination at university due to (ascribed) sexuality.
In addition, the counselling centre offered consulting for people (e.g. lecturers, counsellors) who had questions about dealing with trans* students or about the topic of being trans* in higher education.