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Diversity as a model for success – Clausthal university of technology is a pioneer

Gebäude der Technischen Universität Clausthal (Copyright: Möldner/TU Clausthal)

Diversity gives rise to opportunities. Clausthal University of Technology has also recognised this and has long been fully devoted to the topic of diversity. You can’t create diversity just by talking about it – it must be fostered and put into practice every day. This is particularly true of everyday university life.

Many companies have already discovered the topic of diversity and made a commitment to fostering it. Ultimately, word has got around that people of different backgrounds can enrich companies and make them more successful. Sharp minds make top research possible – and the greater the diversity, the greater the wealth of ideas and inspiration found in research and production. But companies aren’t the only ones who benefit from this, universities do as well. And this is why diversity management is being developed with a specially established senate committee at the Clausthal University of Technology. The aim is to attract even more foreign students and create the ideal conditions for them to learn and conduct research. The Clausthal University of Technology has created its own online portal (www.diversity.tu-clausthal.de) of its diversity initiative. This portal provides interested parties and students with important tips, addresses and points of contact. The University of Technology already has Germany’s largest proportion of students from other countries, at over 30 percent. But this share is set to increase further in the future: not only does diversity management contribute to this; students also find ideal study conditions at the Clausthal University of Technology in other regards as well.

‘International students feel at home at the Clausthal University of Technology’

Infographic: Diversity as a model for success (Photo: Allianz für die Region)

Small uni – great diversity

Size isn’t always what counts. A huge campus or a large number of students – this can make it difficult for some people to fit in quickly. The Clausthal University of Technology is rather small in terms of universities, with only 5,000 students. Small but perfect, you could say: ‘Everything is within easy reach, there are good studying conditions and plenty of nature – giant universities can’t offer that, but the Clausthal University of Technology can,’ says Astrid Abel, who manages the International Center Clausthal, adding: ‘The students are looked after here, which isn’t something you can take for granted in our globalised world, and word gets around. The international students feel welcome and that’s how it should be.’

Clausthal University of Technology
Main building at the Clausthal University of Technology. (Photo: Möldner/TU Clausthal)

From Clausthal to the world – and vice versa

Universities that take top places in international rankings ultimately need to have something to offer students and researchers. This includes close links with other universities and research institutions. And research institutions with an international focus shouldn’t be forgotten, either: the Energy Research Center Lower Saxony, the Clausthal Centre for Material Technology and the Simulation Science Center Clausthal/Göttingen. By the way, the Clausthal University of Technology impresses with an especially diverse, international team of non-professorial teaching staff. In other words, the best development opportunities for students from all over the world can be found here! Associations for foreign students – such as for Chinese students – also show that the world is already at home in Clausthal. ‘When you travel overseas for the Clausthal University of Technology, whether it’s Asia, Europe or elsewhere in the world, you always meet someone who has either studied at Clausthal or who knows someone who studies in Clausthal,’ reports Abel.

So any cliches about being isolated out in the ‘countryside’ don’t apply here: the Clausthal University of Technology combines a cosmopolitan outlook with a homely feel. And anyone who wants, for instance, to learn German or another language in a comfortable atmosphere can look for a language partner in the tandem programme at the Clausthal University of Technology. After all, it’s much more fun to learn over an informal meal than cramming in crowded language classes. And a cool cocktail makes brushing up on vocabulary a lively learning opportunity. After all, you shouldn’t miss out in other areas of life because you’re studying too hard.

Serving science since 1968

But back to the uni: the path from its roots as a traditional mountain academy to a modern university of technology was a long, yet successful, journey. The Clausthal University of Technology has been offering its students a wide range of subjects, from the fields of mechanical engineering, process engineering, natural sciences, material science and much more, since 1968. Students can already become closely involved in research projects thanks to research partnerships and collaborations. The university also has excellent links to industry. Students thus have the best opportunities to gain initial experience in companies, even while studying.

Close contact between students and teaching staff, a personal atmosphere, a cosmopolitan university and great career prospects: the Clausthal University of Technology sets standards – and not just in terms of diversity.

Student at the Clausthal University of Technology
Fabien Diffe Kamga, who studies mechanical engineering at Clausthal University of Technology, is also an artist (Photo: Design Office)

‘Studying here is much more oriented towards a later career compared with in Cameroon. The equipment, such as that in the laboratory, is also very good. My friends back home are always amazed when they see how we learn here.'

Fabien Diffe Kamga (mechanical engineering) from Cameroon
Student at the Clausthal University
Playing the violin gives Yinxue Wang a break from her studies in geoenvironmental engineering. (Photo: Design Office)

‘I really like the international vibe here. It’s easy to make contacts with others.'

Yinxue Wang (geoenvironmental engineering) from China
Student at the Clausthal University
Wiebke Weischenberg studies business administration and, alongside this, enjoys the many sports on offer at the Clausthal University of Technology. (Photo: Design Office)

‘The welcome week at the beginning of the first semester makes arriving here much easier. You get to know a lot of people and real friendships grow from these initial casual encounters. We study together or go out partying together.'

Wiebke Weischenberg (business administration) from Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
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