SRH Hochschule Heidelberg

SRH: 70 years of community and change

The 70-year history of our university emphasizes its commitment to diversity and inclusion through various measures, initiatives and projects.

SRH: 70 years of community and change - a history of diversity and inclusion

SRH was founded in 1955 with the aim of retraining war invalids and rehabilitating people with disabilities. Sixteen years later, almost 50 years ago, we changed our name to SRH, an abbreviation for Stiftung Rehabilitation Heidelberg (Foundation Rehabilitation Heidelberg). Even then, we recognised diversity as a potential, a principle that still guides us today. But what exactly does diversity mean to us?

For us, diversity is not just a concept, but an essential part of our identity. The CORE principle, based on the principles of diversity and social sustainability, teaches us to understand the perspectives of others, to reflect on ourselves and to stand up for each other. As a signatory to the “Charta der Vielfalt”, we have committed ourselves to comprehensively strengthening and fostering diversity. Together with our university members, we have developed various measures and programmes over the years. These include, for example, anchoring diversity-related topics in the curriculum, diversity-friendly case studies, bilingual communication, a psychosocial counselling service from students for students and annual participation in the One Billion Rising flash mob.

Diverse community: a campus for people with individual backgrounds

There are also long-standing initiatives at our university to foster diversity in intercultural exchange. Our International Week, which has been held annually since 2010, is an opportunity for our university members to experience internationalisation on site. We value the diversity and culture of our students, who come from over 60 different countries. Together we celebrate cultural festivities such as the Diwali festival, whose colourful impressions can be found on our Instagram account.
We consider diversity at all levels. Our first equality concept was created in 2015 and has since been expanded to include the topic of diversity. It anchors the continuous equality and diversity work at our university as well as raising awareness, ensuring that documents are also available in English and is based on a needs-based approach when dealing with university members. We have direct contact persons for issues relating to diversity. We also provide good support for parents. We were recognised as a family-friendly university back in 2010. In 2019, we developed a guideline on unconscious bias to counteract unconscious prejudices and avoid stereotypical attributions.
Our values also characterise the administrative level, where we treat each other with respect and enable members of the university to change their name easily without the need for official proof.

Our initiatives and measures

The LGBT*IQ Stammtisch, originally conceived by employees for employees, offers a space for dialogue and visibility for all queer and interested members of the university. The student initiative Safer Space enables intersectional dialogue and provides a platform for students affected by discrimination. Safer Space is also involved in university policy and provides support for our CORDIS project, which also aims to promote diversity.

The CORDIS project, which was launched in June 2023, takes diversity to a new level by focusing on internationality, gender, and university members with disabilities and/or support needs. With our history as a rehabilitation centre, we know how important accessibility is in any context. Our campus in Heidelberg has always been barrier-free and our direct contact persons for people with support needs ensure continuous improvement and support university members in crises or other needs. In application processes, we give preference to applicants with disabilities with equal professional and personal aptitude and guarantee everyone the best possible workplace. We ensure equal participation for all university members through therapeutic support from the SRH Vocational Training Centre, the SRH outpatient clinics, individual study solutions through our CORE principle and opportunities for work assistance as well as special scholarships for students with disabilities.

This journey through our diversity is far from over. On our diversity landing page, you can gain a deeper insight into our programmes and immerse yourself in a world where diversity is not only celebrated, but lived and shaped.