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Facts and Figures

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Graphic: Scientific qualification levels, Source: Referat GeDiM

Gender distribution at the University of Cologne

(all figures refer to the reporting year 2019)


At the University of Cologne (UzK), women are represented at almost all qualification levels or in all status groups at an above-average rate compared to the state and national average (cf. Gender Report 2019, Netzwerk Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung NRW). In the nationwide "University Ranking by Gender Equality Aspects 2019" (cf. CEWS, 2019), the UzK is among the top three universities in NRW out of a total of ten and among the top 30 percent in a nationwide comparison with other universities in terms of the representation of women and men at the various qualification levels.

However, a closer look reveals clear differences both in terms of gender distribution at the individual qualification levels and with regard to the respective faculties and subjects.

Students and doctorates
In 2019, 61% of students at the UzK were female (see chart: students, graduates and doctorates). However, this percentage varies greatly by faculty (and also subject). The highest proportion of women was recorded in the Faculty of Humanities with around 83%. It was lowest in the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences with 46% and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences with 47%. At the doctoral level, these percentages could not be maintained. There, the proportion of female doctoral students was 62% at the Faculty of Human Sciences and 41% at the Faculty of Law. The baseline here was 61% female students. Overall, 52% of women successfully completed their doctorates in 2019.

The group of postdocs is characterized by different factors. For example, the overall proportion of women among postdoctoral researchers was 27%. Here, the female share has increased significantly in recent years (8% in 1990). At the same time, there have been strong fluctuations in this group over the last few years. These can be explained on the one hand by the low absolute number of habilitations annually (44 in 2019) and on the other hand by the decreasing importance of habilitations in favor of other career paths. The share of women in junior professorships overall was 55% and in third-party funded junior research group leaders 31% (see chart: Postdocs).

Female professors
In 2019, the proportion of female professors at the UzK was 31% overall (all grades). On closer inspection, however, this is based primarily on the high proportion of visiting and substitute professorships. In the group of W2 professorships, the proportion of women was 30% and in the W3 professorships only 25%. The W2 and W3 grades together had a 27% share of women (see graph: Professors).

The differentiated presentation of W2/C3 and W3/C4 salaries over the last ten years shows a slow increase or stagnation of the development in the W2/C3 salary group. Although the proportion of women rose from 25% in 2009 to 30% in 2019, this represents a slight decline compared with 2014. In the W3/C4 grades, the proportion has increased steadily since 2009 from 16% to 25% in 2019.

The appointment rate for women (W1 to W3) was 35% across faculties in 2017-2019 (see chart: New Appointments).

Scientific staff and staff in technology and administration as well as university management
The other scientific personnel show an almost balanced gender ratio: 53% of the scientific employees at the UzK are female. And also in the group of personnel in technology and administration, the 50% mark is clearly exceeded with a share of women of 70%. However, it is also visible here that the proportion of women is lower at the higher management levels in the administration ((vice) chancellor, heads of departments and staff positions). In December 2020, it was only 36%, as is also the case at the level of department heads. (see graphic: University management).

In the self-governing bodies at the management level, women were represented by at least about one-third in 2019: at the rectorate level with 33%, in the senate with 29%, in the university council with 50%, among the deans with 33% and among the vice-deans with 48%.

In summary, the UzK can boast a high proportion of women at almost all qualification levels, especially among students. This provides it with a large pool of talented potential young female scientists. The continuous increase in the proportion of female professors to 31% is a particular success. Despite this progress, the figures also show that women are underrepresented in some areas and in some faculties/subjects, or that there is stagnation in some areas and that the equality goals have thus not yet been achieved. In particular from the postdoc level and in management positions. Thus, it is still necessary to promote young female scientists and to attract female professors as well as female managers in the administration.

The detailed figures and graphics can also be found in the Gender Data Report 2021 (in german).

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Graphic: Students, graduates and doctorates 2019, Referat GeDiM
expand: Graphic 3_Postdocs_2019
Graphic: Postdocs 2019, Referat GeDiM
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Graphic: Professors 2019, Referat GeDiM
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Graphic: Professors W2/C3 and W3/C4, Referat GeDiM
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Graphic: Appeals procedure 2017-2019, Referat GeDiM
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Graphic: University management 2020, Referat GeDiM

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Diversity at the University of Cologne

Results of the First-Year Student Survey and Graduate Tracer Studies

In its report "Diversity at the University of Cologne: Results of the New Student Survey and Survey of Graduates", the Evaluation of Studies and Teaching | Higher Education Research of the University of Cologne compares students and graduates from non-academic and academic backgrounds, with and without a migration background, as well as with and without family obligations.

In the following we have collected specific data from the report. Further information on the individual surveys can be found on the respective pages of the Evaluation of Studies and Teaching | Higher Education Research of the University of Cologne and in the report "Diversity at the University of Cologne" (only available in German).

First-Year Student Survey and Graduate Tracer Studies

The University of Cologne invites all students to take part in the First-Year Student Survey towards the end of their first semester. Depending on the semester, the participation period is from June to August or from January to March. The survey takes place online and takes about 15 minutes. The aim is to find out how the group of students is composed in order to gain a better understanding of the students' needs.

Since 2008, the University of Cologne has conducted annual Graduate Tracer Studies in order to gain an insight into the academic development and connections between studying at the University of Cologne and the professional success of graduates. The survey period is from October to February, i.e. in the winter semester following graduation.

Results of theFirst-Year Student Survey and Graduate Tracer Studies

Of the students who began their studies in the summer semester 2018 and winter semester 2017/2018, 39% come from non-academic backgrounds and almost one third (31%) have a migration background. 5% of first-year students stated that they have children to look after and 3 % stated that they care for relatives. 6% of the students have a chronic illness or disability.

43% of the graduates of the examination year 2016 come from non-academic backgrounds. 23% of the graduates from this group have a migration background. 9% of graduates have at least one child living in their own household. They thus belong to the group of students with a family obligation. 15% of graduates have a chronic illness or disability.

expand: Diversität von Studierenden an der UzK
Image: Department for Gender & Diversity Management

For information on the student droput rates and tendencies, academic success and student financing, please refer to the report "Diversity at the University of Cologne: Results of the Survey of First-Year Students, Graduates and Exmatriculated Students" (only available in German).