Diversity Management as a part of evidence based tertiary research

MINT your future

The MINT your future project, which is funded by the Federal Chancellery, aims to encourage young people, especially young women and girls, to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM = MINT in German).

The HEAD Wheel

Based on scientific findings, the HEAD Wheel (short for Higher Education Awareness for Diversity) was designed to serve as a frame of reference for a holistic diversity management that embraces five interconnected diversity segments (demographic, cognitive, disciplinary, functional and institutional diversity). In framing this complex matter along the lines of a wheel, it is sought to visualise all diversity aspects that are relevant for higher education institutions (HEI) and, in doing so, shed a holistic light on diversity management and its incorporated measures at the tertiary level.


Increasing diversity and strengthening of equality legislation have a deep impact on teaching and learning. To empower all students in ways that they can ultimately fulfill their academic potential calls for re-examination of the management, design and delivery of learning, teaching and assessment - meaning, it requires more inclusive curricula. The HEAD CD Frame can support Higher Education Institutions in this process by offering a framework that describes the entire student lifecycle from access to final student success.

DIVE Model

Our unconscious brain is habit-driven and can process a huge amount of information very quickly due to its ability to recognize patterns and use them to assign people, things and situations to specific categories. However, the assumptions we make, are not always correct and likely to be based on experiences we have gained, media coverage and other channels. This may result in unconscious bias or implicit prejudice, which uses shortcuts based on our personal stories, socializations and cultural norms to make snap decisions.

The DIVE strategy is an easy to use concept that helps to challenge this unconscious bias and to check if assumptions were correct.


A lacking sense of belonging within higher education, both regarding connections to fellow students as well as the identification with the institution and academic life itself, represents one of the three major reasons students drop out and break off their higher education experience. Especially for under-represented groups, such as first-in-family students or those with a migration or BME background, mature students or women in STEM, feeling out of place can be considered the main reason for student departure, more so than academic difficulties or having chosen the wrong study programme.

The project’s objective is to increase this sense of belonging of under-represented groups while at the same time avoiding the triggering of “Othering”-effects or stereotype threat.


At the early stages of the Bologna Process, European leaders made an unprecedented political affirmation of the importance of student participation in the governance of higher education systems and institutions. The enhanced engagement of students became one of the principles of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and has been perceived as a political objective, substantial value and procedural principle at the same time. Even so, student participation is currently far from the desired standards both in terms of quantity and quality, and the engagement of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups of students is almost non-existent.

Thus, the general objective of the project Student Participation Without Borders (STUPS) is to lay the foundations of a European network focusing on the development of new practices to promote student participation, with the aim of finding genuine solutions to one of the most pressing challenges of higher education.


Enhance IDM! will develop tools and trainings for study programme leaders who aim to improve their diversity competence and help them to foster diversity awareness of their staff and within their higher education institution.

The project addresses mainly programme leaders as they have direct influence on development and adjustment of new study programmes within the higher education institution as well as on their subordinates (teaching staff, administrative support personnel). A diversity management trained programme leader acts as role model and is able to influence their administrative and teaching staff which subsequently leads to increased diversity awareness of all students. Diversity management at higher education institution is a means of increasing access to higher education for greater numbers of students.