equality and diversity in a university context

As equal opportunities officer at the HKS – University of applied sciences and arts in Ottersberg, I recently conducted an online survey on equality and diversity at our university. The questionnaire and related materials are now freely available as Open Methodology.

rainbowcolored neonlights infront of a dark background


The questionnaire measures the current state of equality and diversity in the university context as perceived by university stakeholders. It serves as a basis for argumentation and to address concrete measures to promote equal opportunities. I developed the questionnaire in cooperation with our student equality group. A special thanks to Leo!

Equality here refers to all marginalized groups that experience discrimination on the basis of different – actual or perceived – characteristics. This includes physical violence and psychological violence (e.g. discrimination, stereotyping, degradation, exclusion). It manifests itself in

  • ableism
  • ageism
  • anti-gay
  • classism
  • racism
  • sexism
  • anti-trans
  • and other forms.


The questionnaire covers the aspects:

  • forms of discrimination
  • experiences of discrimination
  • diversity in teaching
  • genderfair language
  • compatibility of care work with studies/profession
  • consulting services
  • desired measures

The survey is aimed at all university stakeholders:

  • students
  • professors
  • scientific and artistic Staff
  • graduate scholarship holders
  • employees in technology and administration
  • lecturers

The processing by participants takes about 30-40 minutes and is anonymous. The collected data can be evaluated quantitatively as descriptive statistics. If the sample is large enough, inferential group comparisons can also be calculated. Optional free text input fields also offer the possibility of an additional qualitative evaluation.

open methodology

The following materials in German language are freely available under CC-BY 4.0 license:

  • questionnaire with items in text form and references
  • SoSci Survey structure of the online survey
  • syntax for statistical analysis

Provided the source is cited, they may be modified and further used, e.g. to conduct a survey at your university.


Once again, looking back, I feel that I would do a lot of things differently today. For example, I am now more concerned with fair language in general, rather than just gender fair language. I also take a more critical view of the concept of diversity, since representation policy alone does not change discriminatory structures. A scientific and feminist attitude always means self-reflection, the ability to criticize and above all relearning. I am happy about feedback and every single person who is involved.


Schoch, K. (2020, may 27). Onlineerhebung zu Gleichstellung und Diversität an der Hochschule [Online survey on equality and diversity in a university context]. Open Science Framework. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/9WEGT

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