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Inclusion at the University of Bayreuth

Action Plan "Inclusive University of Bayreuth"

The University of Bayreuth is a place of action for students and employees with and without disabilities and chronic illnesses. Inclusion is therefore an essential basis for teaching, learning, researching and working together on an equal footing with mutual respect.

Therefore, the action plan "Inclusive University of Bayreuth" is now being developed. On the one hand, this serves as an instrument to remove barriers that prevent students and employees from having the chance to participate fully and equally. On the other hand, it serves to build accessibility, appreciation of diversity and inclusion.

A lot has already been achieved at the University of Bayreuth through the efforts of various internal institutions.The process of developing and implementing the Action Plan enables a comprehensive examination of the status quo. It thus opens up for exchange about needs and goals.

The perspectives and experiences of students and employees with disabilities and chronic illnesses are particularly valuable for making a lasting difference. Join in and share your experiences.

​Further information on the Action PlanHide

The Diversity Service Centre is currently developing the Action Plan "Inclusive University of Bayreuth" in close cooperation with becks, the SBV and other internal university institutions. The Action Plan is anchored as a measure in the Structural and Development Plan StEP 2025 of the University of Bayreuth. It is intended to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for our university. The aim is to enable our employees and students with impairments and chronic illnesses to participate fully and equally.

To this end, we will first determine the current state of accessibility at UBT and where barriers impede or prevent equal opportunities and participation. Subsequently, specific goals and concrete measures will be developed for the areas of employment, research, study and teaching.

In addition to constructional accessibility, this also includes digital accessibility, university communication, information and counselling services as well as public relations and awareness-raising for all. All of this is done with the intensive involvement of the responsible departments as well as the employee and student representatives.

Invitation to Participation

For the successful creation of the Action Plan, we depend on your help. We would be pleased if you would share your experiences with barriers at the University of Bayreuth with us, as well as your suggestions and ideas.

Therefore, we would like to invite you to a personal interview. Are you interested? Please get in touch at ariane.leeven@uni-bayreuth.de. Upon request, I will be happy to send you the interview guide in advance.The conversation is confidential and only its content is transferred into the Action Plan.

Furthermore, there is the possibility to fill out a short feedback form on your assessment of accessibility and experienced barriers on campus. The submission of the form is anonymous.

Poster Campaign

​11% of all students have a disability.Hide

The social survey of the German Student Union (Studentenwerk) on the economic and social situation of students in Germany shows:

"11% of the approximately 2.8 million students in Germany have a study-relevant impairment. [...] The group of students with study-relevant impairments is heterogeneous. Only 4% of students have an impairment that is immediately recognisable, and for a good two-thirds (67%) it is not visible even in the long term.

More than half of those students (53%) have mental illnesses that impede their studies, which is eight percentage points more than in 2011. For 20%, chronic-somatic illnesses (e.g. multiple sclerosis, rheumatism or epilepsy), for 10% movement and sensory impairments, for 4% dyslexia and other partial performance disorders and for 6% other impairments impede their studies.

7% have several equally severe impairments relevant to their studies. This results in severe study difficulties for three out of five students (62%)." (best2 to the 21st Social Survey of the German Student Union 2016, p.2, translated by author).

The next social survey is to be published this year (2022).

​Depression is the most common disability among students.Hide

The social survey of the German Student Union (Studentenwerk) on the economic and social situation of students in Germany shows:

"More than half of the students (53%) [with impairment] have mental illnesses [among which the most common forms are depression (80%), anxiety disorders (39%) and eating disorders (16%)] that have a negative impact on their studies, which is eight percentage points more than in 2011" (best2 zur 21. Sozialerhebung der Deutschen Studentenwerks 2016, p.2, translated by author).

The formsof mental illness are so varied that general statements can hardly be made. Nevertheless, mental illnesses often occur episodically and so performance is often determined by the course of the illness.

​Out of fear of stigmatisation, many people with disabilities do not make use of support services.Hide

The social survey of the German Student Union (Studentenwerk) on the economic and social situation of students in Germany shows:

"Around 44% of students have impairment-related difficulties in social interaction, which are triggers or amplifiers of study problems.

In particular, the fear of rejection and stigmatisation as well as negative experiences related to "coming out" make communication with teachers, fellow students and the administration more difficult." (best2 on the 21st Social Survey of the German Student Union 2016, p.2, translated by author)

​Impairments are multifaceted and diverse. People get disabled.Hide

The social survey of the German Student Union (Studentenwerk) on the economic and social situation of students in Germany shows:

"People who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with attitudinal and environmental barriers, prevent them from full, effective and equal participation in society are counted among the group of persons with disabilities according to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This means that people are not disabled, they become disabled." (best2 zur 21. Sozialerhebung des Deutschen Studentenwerks 2016, p.12, transalted by author)

Forms of impairment, for example, can be differentiated as follows: Mental illnesses, chronic-somatic illnesses, multiple impairments, mobility impairments, partial performance disorders (e.g. dyslexia, dyscalculia), visual impairments / blindness, hearing impairments / deafness, speech / language impairments and other impairments.

Inclusion needs a paradigm shift. This is achieved by dismantling environmental and attitudinal barriers through changing cultures, structures and practices in the higher education context and beyond.

"In other words, inclusion primarily requires adaptations by society to the individuality of people with disabilities, rather than adaptations by people with disabilities to society" (Institute for Work and Health 2014, p. 3, translated by author).

​Only 57% know about the specific counselling services for students with disabilities and chronic illnesses.Hide

The social survey of the German Student Union (Studentenwerk) on the economic and social situation of students in Germany shows:

"Nine out of ten students are aware of at least one specific counselling service offered by universities and student services, and one third have used at least one of them - significantly more than in 2011. The main topics are how to deal with one's own impairment and how to apply for compensation for disadvantages. Three out of five students benefited from counselling. Needs-based support in the introductory phase of studies is considered particularly helpful."

And yet:

"Students refrain from applying for disadvantage compensation because the eligibility requirements are not clear to them, they have inhibitions or they do not want 'special treatment'." (best2 on the 21st Social Survey of the German Student Union 2016, p.3, translated by author)

For Students

becks - Office of the Commissioner for Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses

Psychological Counselling of the Studentenwerk Oberfranken

You can report a barrier that you have noticed on campus and/or in the buildings of the University of Bayreuth at any time using the barrier reporter.

Advice, support and complaints about discrimination and harassment

For Employees

Representative Body for Severely Disabled Persons and Those with an Equivalent Status (SBV)

Employer's Inclusion Representative

Advice, support and complaints about discrimination and harassment

Campus Info

Campus accessibility information and maps for the following areas

University working groups


Webmaster: Dr. Stefan Kurth

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