The Women’s & Gender Research Network NRW connects professors and scientists located in academic institutions in the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). In the context of the research project Gender in bachelor and master courses - integrate women’s and gender studies into the curriculum1 , the Women’s and Gender Research Network NRW developed and published an on-line Model Database including 55 subjects/disciplines across the different main fields of Science and Engineering with the respective gender-sensitive curricula proposal for each one. The database contents are updated regularly.
Additionally, a list of gender experts (resulting from the collaborative experience in the gender curricula section) is provided in order to facilitate that anyone can easily contact with gender-sensitive evaluators for study programmes. Gender experts can be found in the list according to their respective specialisation in different Science and Engineering fields.
This online resource (displayed both in English and German languages) also offers recommended literature (useful references lists across the different disciplines).
According to Ruth Becker et al. (2008)2 , in the 2003 “Berlin Communiqué”, the European education ministers stated that “the necessity to improve the competitiveness (…) [has] to be brought into agreement with the goal of increasing the significance of the social dimensions of the European higher education realm.” This concerns “strengthening the social coherence as well as decreasing social and gender specific inequality on national and European levels.”
And consequently, the coordination office of the Women’s Research Network NRW took this declaration of intent as an opportunity to investigate the extent to which the demand for decreasing gender specific inequality (i.e., according to a Bologna Process’ gender-balanced design) has been implemented in the changing degree programmes at German universities. The goals of the study also included developing criteria for a gender-balanced course of studies and indicating possible content which, from the perspective of Women’s and Gender Studies, should be integrated into the spectrum of programmes available at German universities.
Strategies previously developed for ensuring the integration of gender aspects in the development of BA/MA programmes were also to be pointed out. (pp.1-2)
Almost all of the subjects/disciplines currently included in the model database can be considered gender cross-cutting ones, the exception being Gender Linguistics (gender specific). The courses can be listed all together on an alphabetical order system or grouped by the following main fields:
- Agricultural and Forestry Studies
- Society and Social Sciences
- Mathematics, Natural Sciences
- Medicine and Health
- Law and Economics
- Languages and Cultural Studies, Art and Design
The gender experts and the literature proposals are grouped by main fields and by disciplines.
The website welcomes networking and exchange as well as further recommendations for improvement concerning gender-equitable curricula in the visitor’s own discipline.
For more information on the project and website see: http://www.gender-curricula.com/en/gender-curricula-startseite/, the above mentioned paper by Ruth Becker et al. (2008)3 , and the chapter by Beate Kortendiek (2011)4.
- 1. Supported by the Ministry for Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany).
- 2. Becker Ruth, Jansen-Schulz Bettina, Kortendiek Beate & Schäfer Gudrun (2008). Gender Related Aspects of Introducing and Accrediting Bachelor and Master Programmes. In: GRENZ, Sabine, et al. (eds.), (2008): Bologna and Beyond: Perspectives on Gender and Gender Studies (pp. 1-16). Center for Transdisciplinary Gender Studies at the Humboldt University, Berlin (Series “Bulletin – Texte” No.34). Available at: https://www.gender.hu-berlin.de/de/publikationen/gender-bulletins/texte-34/bulletin-texte-34
- 3. Available at https://www.gender.hu-berlin.de/de/publikationen/gender-bulletins/texte-34/bulletin-texte-34
- 4. Kortendiek, Beate (2011): Supporting the Bologna Process by Gender Mainstreaming. A Model for the Integration of Gender Studies in Higher Education Curricula. In: Grünberg, Laura (Ed.): From Gender Studies to Gender IN Studies. Case Studies on Gender-Inclusive Curriculum in Higher Education. Bucharest: UNESCO-CEPES Studies on Higher Education, pp. 211–228.