Group of courses: Engineering
A gender-neutral and diversity-sensitive study concept holds both challenges and opportunities. Gender neutrality and diversity must be ensured in academic teaching, and concepts of gender and diversity research should form an integral part of the curricula. The subject-specific teaching objectives of gender research and the development of gender competence can be divided into three areas:
Gender studies content should be implemented by taking a participatory, interdisciplinary, research- and application-oriented approach. Application-oriented teaching concepts enable students to take part in a practical research project and motivate them to develop their own solutions to engineering problems. Using case studies from the fields of specialisation, students learn to apply and present the acquired gender and diversity knowledge in project work (e.g. in infrastructure, water management, project management). The work process of the interdisciplinary teams is moderated and supported by teaching staff, so that students will be made familiar with key qualifications in moderation, communication and presentation as well.
Integrating gender and diversity perspectives into technology is an important element of sustainable technology development, which addresses not only ecological and economic perspectives but also the dimension of social sustainability and thus contributes to socially responsible engineering education.
Many students of engineering have difficulties with the subject's unfamiliarity with gender and diversity issues, which are often perceived as rather abstract and isolated from engineering aspects and activities.
In order to make students familiar with the interrelations of technology and society, an application- and research-oriented approach is an important component of the teaching concept. Based on the close connection of research and teaching, contents with high practical relevance and interdisciplinary perspectives are taught.
In order to support students in dealing with experiences and to convert them into embedded knowledge, these experiences must be ethically reflected upon in critical discussions in different seminars. The ability to work independently and to apply research methods are stimulated and tested in particular by developing solutions in work groups.
Gender sensitivity and key qualifications should be acquired in the Bachelor's degree course. We recommend that students should be made familiar with these contents at an early stage of studies (in the first semesters), so they can apply their knowledge and skills already during the course of studies, prior to professional practice.
Subject-specific gender issues should be taught in the second/third year of the Bachelor's degree course. In subject-specific seminars at Master's level, students can apply their knowledge of gender and diversity issues acquired at Bachelor's level in research and development projects.
Bachelor's and Master's theses that deal with gender- and diversity-related civil engineering issues indicate the importance that is attached to these topics with regard to providing socially responsible engineering education.