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|Name of Organisation:||Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg|
|Main implementing organisation:||Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity Issues|
|Line of Business:||Founded in 1457, the University of Freiburg is one of the oldest German universities and is now one of the nation’s leading research and teaching institutions. Proud of its 550-year history in the center of Europe, the University of Freiburg is conscious of its intellectual roots in the occidental Christian tradition, especially in the humanism of the Upper Rhine. Building on the original disciplines of theology, law, medicine, and philosophy, it cherishes its mission of passing on the classical cultural heritage to new generations and continuing the southern German liberal tradition. At the same time, the university is dedicated to defining and pioneering new research areas and promoting a strategic interweaving of the natural and social sciences with the humanities.|
|End Date:||Still Ongoing|
|Number of Employees||4551||37.6 %|
|Number of Employees in Top Positions||384||13.02 %|
|Transferability of the initiative||Programme is considered to be transferable to another context|
|Type of initiative referring to strategic objectives||individual|
|Type of initiative, located on the stage of career progression of women scientists||Qualification (Higher Education)|
In the short-term, the prize honours the achievements of individuals or groups of university students or employees in equal opportunities or gender studies. It can be awarded to and therefore aims at promoting, among others, the following:
The prize-money (Euro 5,000) ensures the further realisation and implementation of innovative ideas and measures for gender equality.
In the long-term, the prize contributes to achieving a differentiated opinion of equal opportunities work at the university and underpins the social responsibility of the university.
The prize focuses principally on awareness processes and positive promotion of gender equality measures.
The prizewinners (projects or scientific studies), however address women scientists at different stages on the career path (mentoring for female students, childcare facilities, gender studies).
On an individual basis, the prize has financed 26 persons with their innovative projects or scientific studies. 10-15 applications are received annually; the number hasn't changed significantly, but the types have. More innovative action projects are received (previously, gender in research projects were more common). The positive trend underlines that equal opportunity is multi-faceted. The prize sum has remained constant (DM 10,000/EUR 5,000).
On the organisation level, the prize has a prominent place in university structures and bodies. The annual application call issued to all faculties ensures the prize finds recognition at all levels. Applications are considered and referred by the Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity Issues before the prize is awarded.
The prize is awarded annually at the festive ceremony together with the Honorary Senator Medal and the University Medal, ensuring once again that the gender topic is widely promoted.
The prize was initiated to promote and recognise the structural measures and innovative projects in equal opportunities being implemented at the university as well as the excellent research done. Originally only research done by women was considered eligible.
- Office of Equal Opportunities and of the Permanent Senate Commission for the Promotion of Women Scientists and Students (now Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity Issues);
- Information weeks for female students;
- presentation series “Freiburger Frauenforschung“;
- Rhetoric courses for female/post-graduate students;
- Specific support for female students of natural sciences;
- Reference library for gender studies;
- Childcare facilities/scholarships for women returners.
The prize can be awarded to individuals, groups of individuals, whole work areas or university departments or faculties. As a result, the university sets a clear signal that the equal opportunity issue has to be supported and implemented by all members of the university and not only by women.
The prize was initiated by the University’s Commissioner for Women’s Affairs in 1997 as an incentive for different university groups to get involved in or support equal opportunity measures.
Renamed to Bertha-Ottenstein-Prize in 2005, it honours the first women in Freiburg achieving the “venia legendi” (Habilitation) in 1931.
The annual application call is issued and coordinated by the Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity at least 8 weeks before the submission deadline, using a standardised application form. They are reviewed by the Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity, which then draw up a proposal.
The Commission is currently made up of 13 members; 8 women and 5 men. Different status groups are represented, i.e.
- Ex-officio members: the rector, or as a representative, the pro-rector of teaching chair the Commission; the Commissioner for Women’s Affairs for science; the Equal Opportunities Commissioner for administrative and technical employees
- Voted members: four professors, two Academic Office representatives, two students and two employee representatives from the administrative and technical staff.
The Senate awards the prize after consultation with the Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity.
The prize is endowed with Euro 5000. It is publicly awarded annually during the Dies Universitatis.
The prize is kindly regarded. The acclaim it enjoys is confirmed by the number of applications (10-15 each year) and the wide range of suggested projects and scientific studies, i.e.:
The prize enjoys a high degree of attention as it is awarded at the same ceremony as other high-level accolades (i.e. the Honorary Senator Medal). Prize-winners are presented in University publications and on the website.
Early communication - at least 8 weeks before the submission deadline. The invitation and application form are circulated to all faculties. The form is divided into contact details, project or scientific study abstract, distinctive aspects & how the prize money will be used. The standardised form makes the process transparent.
The prize is awarded at one of the most important days in the University’s year, the Dies Universitatis, where the Vice Rector for Equal Opportunities holds the laudation.
The prize is widely recognised at the University and is therefore broadly accepted.
Over the course of the years, the application criteria have been adjusted several times, in order to reach an ever larger target group.
Therefore it has been essential to emphasise:
1. the gender of the applicant is not important, but that the submitted scientific study originates from the women and gender research sector;
2. structural measures and projects can be particularly rewarded if they exceed the normal commitment of the applicant to achieving gender equality at the University.
Adjusting the application criteria has thus resulted in men receiving the award. Increasingly, structural projects are also being honoured with the prize.
The organisation benefits from both internal and external recognition of its work in reaching gender equality. As a result of the prize, more excellent initiatives are being implemented at the University. The University also serves as a role model for other learning organisations, with several initiatives being adopted by them.
Ultimately the prize proves the University’s commitment to gender equality which is communicated externally and raises the attractiveness of the University’s position.
The sustainability of the prize is ensured at different levels. As the oldest equal opportunities initiative of the University, the prize has a firm place in it’s consciousness.
The prize regularly allows the development or continuation of innovative ideas in gender equality and as a result, creates a fundamental basis for the University’s dedication to gender equality.
The Bertha-Ottenstein-Prize is one of the the very first prizes of its sort to be introduced in Germany. Since its introduction in 1997, the idea has often been adapted and introduced at other Higher Education Institutes.
The University values individual, social, cultural and economic differences in all areas and is committed to promoting them. To achieve diversity means acknowledging contributions made by all employees and providing them with the same chances to take on responsibility, access information, and receive further professional training. The rectorate presented a Strategic Concept for Equal Opportunity for the first time in the university’s history which was approved by the senate on 28 May 2008.
Besides that the Bertha-Ottenstein-Prize was one of the very first gender equality prizes in Germany it also belongs to a small group that can be awarded both to men and women, thus defining gender equality as a measure for the whole organisation.
The Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg is devoted to continually improving the equal opportunities and outcomes for both men and women, and therefore awards the Bertha-Ottenstein-Prize annually.
Through the prize, innovative projects and structural measures as well as excellent contributions in women and gender research can be honoured and supported.
The prize allows new initiatives and honours the commitment of men and women in gender equality and gender research as part of a far-reaching university strategy.
The Bertha-Ottenstein-Prize is internally monitored and evaluated by Permanent Senate Commission for Equal Opportunity Issues.
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