Non-discriminatory higher education institutions


- Factsheet on the research project -

Risks and factors of discrimination at higher education institutions

Discrimination risks exist

  • in the undergraduate phase with the key processes: access to higher education, study financing, study contexts, decision to take a master's degree or not, transition to the world of work;
  • during doctoral studies with the key processes: financing doctoral studies, ‘postgraduate career’, career development, transition to the world of work;
  • in occupations (in the academic and technical-administrative fields) with the key processes: staff planning, recruitment notices, applicant selection, interviews, job placing decisions;
  • in the career context with the key processes: determination of working hours, work organisation, personnel development, personnel management, remuneration;
  • in the context of appointments with the key processes: establishment of professorships, recruitment notice, selection procedure, start of work.

Discrimination factors and risks exist if

  • information is not equally accessible to all groups of persons;
  • processes invite stereotypes and perpetuate or even intensify existing inequalities due to a lack of regulation, transparency and diversity competency on the part of the actors;
  • the special needs of certain groups of persons are not considered in process organisation and opportunities of access and/or participation are distributed unequally as a result.

Indicators for representing “freedom from discrimination“

The set of indicators developed within the project framework addresses the question of how processes must be designed to minimise or eliminate discrimination or unequal treatment.

The resulting indicators allow higher education institutions to

  • check their processes for any existing factors and risks of discrimination and unequal treatment; 
  • screen and advance their portfolio of measures to prevent discrimination;
  • take stock using participation data.