Statement on gender-equitable language (as at: 22.04.2021)

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University of Kassel to commission legal opinion on the consideration of gender-appropriate language in the assessment of examination performance

 The topic of the use of gender-appropriate language in the specific context of the evaluation of examination performance touches on a sensitive and legally not conclusively evaluated area of examination law. The University of Kassel wants to deal with different legal assessments and also with legal concerns expressed from different sides on an issue where different positions have to be weighed up and where a final legal clarification is still pending.

Even though there have been no rules and regulations so far, but only references to this , it is a concern of the University of Kassel to establish greater legal certainty with regard to the questions in question. To this end, it is intended to commission an external expert opinion on examination law in order to clarify more clearly the open questions regarding the use of gender-appropriate language in examinations. Until further legal clarification is provided, , , the instructions for considering the use of gender-appropriate language as an assessment criterion in examinations, seminar papers, and assignments will be posted offline on the website of the Equal Opportunity Office for the time being . In view of the need for further assessment, it is recommended for the time being that teachers do not include this aspect in the assessment of examination performance. 

University President Prof. Finkeldey emphasizes that this step does not change the university's attitude toward gender-equitable language per se: "The University of Kassel continues to take the position with full conviction that gender-equitable language, along with many other measures for equality and diversity, helps to counteract and reduce discrimination."

Equal Opportunity Officer Dr. Sylke Ernst adds, "I observe a great awareness of the importance of gender-appropriate language, and the Equal Opportunity Office receives many inquiries about how to use gender-appropriate language well. The advice we give is not prescriptive, but food for thought based on current scientific findings.But it'sclear that language has always been dynamic and interacts with social developments."