Family-friendly KIT

From 2010 to 2023 the KIT was certified as “University Suitable for Families Audit / Work and Family Audit”. The certificates are awarded to universities and enterprises exercising a family-oriented personnel and student policy and designing the working environment for their employees, scientists and students so as to support the compatibility of family, work, and university studies.


Since 2014, KIT has been member of the association “Familie in der Hochschule e.V.” (family at the university). This association of universities in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland represents a network characterized by vast experience in the implementation of measures to enhance family friendliness of universities. Work is based on a “charter for balancing family tasks with study, academic education, research, and science-supporting activities at German universities” developed in cooperation with the Center for University Development. Having signed the charter, members are obliged to implement high standards of family friendliness. Measures are taken and further developed in the long term by the universities in their own responsibility.

Kinder spielend im Gras
Family Skills

Vater mit Sohn KIT
audit family-friendly university

Mutter mit Sohn KIT
Family in University (FidH)


8th Annual Conference of the Association "Family in Higher Education" (FidH)

Participants in the panel discussion (from left to right):
Prof. Dr. Sonja Kretzschmar (UniBw M), Dr. Thomas Metker (Bundesministerium für Familie), Prof. Dr. Rafaela Kraus (UniBw M), Prof. Dr. Norbert Schneider (Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung), Christel Baumgärtner (UniBw M), Prof. Dr. Frank Ziegele (HS Osnabrueck), Dr. Kornelia Reischl (UniBw M) und Sandra Wiegand (FidH)
Picture: Sandra Wiegand / htw saar

The association "Familie in der Hochschule" (FidH) met in Munich from 22 to 23 November 2022 for its 8th annual conference followed by a working meeting. The University of the Federal Armed Forces Munich hosted the two days and welcomed over 110 university members. The main topic in 2022 was "Family in Change. Diversity as an impulse for the further development of the university system" and dealt with the following questions, for example: How has the reality of families' lives changed and in what ways is this reflected at universities? How is it possible to reconcile studies, work, science and care, and what responsibility do the various actors bear? Are there new impulses for dealing with time for families and time for work, study and science?

In a lecture entitled "Colourful instead of normal? Family and Family Life in Germany", Prof. Dr. Norbert Schneider, retired Director of the Federal Institute for Population Research and President of the German Demographic Society, reported on different family constellations and their challenges. In the subsequent panel discussion, the points raised could be deepened and further explained. Finally, the individual universities presented their best practices on various topics by means of a scenic performance, which was enthusiastically praised by the plenum.
All in all, the response to the annual conference was positive throughout and many new topics and suggestions emerged that are to be pursued further in the future.

The KIT is represented in the association by Sarah Wenz, head of the Equal Opportunities Office, who was re-elected for another two years as one of the three spokespersons on the board. In addition, she heads a working group in the association and thus provides the association members with interesting impulses on the compatibility of studies, career and family.


Award of the "audit family-friendly university" certificate

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) carries the certificate "audit family-friendly university" for another three years thanks to its continuous and efficient work in the area of ​​the compatibility of family, study and work and is now allowed to use the audit logo permanently in internal and use outside. Ms. Sarah Wenz, Head of the Gender Equal Opportunities Office, took part in the virtual ceremony of berufundfamilie Service GmbH on June 22, 2021, at which all certificate recipients were honored after they had received the certificate in advance by post. Oliver Schmitz, Managing Director of berufundfamilie Service GmbH, presented a certificate to the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs live in Berlin. In addition to 33 other universities, which were also awarded as certificate holders, numerous institutions and companies also received the award. In addition to the Federal Minister, Christine Lambrecht, John-Philip Hammersen, Managing Director of the non-profit Hertie Foundation, also conveyed his congratulations. A special highlight of the event was the keynote speaker Dr. Auma Obama, who also reflected on the successful work-life balance in the post-Corona period.

In 2021, the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs received the “audit berufundfamilie” certificate for the sixth time. Christine Lambrecht announced in the course of the award: “I am delighted that my house has been awarded the berufundfamilie audit certificate again this year. In the corona pandemic in particular, it became clear that family-conscious companies were not only able to switch to crisis mode better and faster, but also had happier employees. [...] It is important that the framework conditions are negotiated in a spirit of partnership between mothers and fathers, employers and employees and between politics and business. ”With this, the Federal Minister for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth addresses the relevance of the compatibility of family and work the KIT would like to pursue further in the coming years - also during studies.

The “family-friendly university audit” or “work and family audit” serves to develop and implement a family-conscious university and personnel policy. The resulting practical and individual measures support the university strategy on the way into the future for optimal conditions in the interaction between family and studies and also of family in everyday professional university life. During the three-stage auditing process, numerous interest groups and participants from important areas of KIT have successfully participated in the re-auditing process for many years in order to meet the different needs of KIT employees and students. In the area of ​​responsibility of the “family-friendly university audit”, it was possible to develop flexible working time models, develop programs for returning to work after parental leave, and support for childcare, for example through school child and holiday care.

The fourth certification in a row is therefore not only an expression of a family-conscious work and study environment at KIT, but also an illustration of the sustainable goals and measures in the area of ​​the compatibility of family, studies and work.


Families in the Corona crisis | Challenges, experiences and needs

The current challenges involved in dealing with the corona pandemic are also a topic in the “Family in der Hochschule e.V.” (FidH) association and in the association's board of directors.






In particular, the focus is on gender injustice, combined with a relapse into old traditions during the corona pandemic. The association “Family in the University” and the “CHE Gemeinnütziges Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung GmbH” have collaborated on a study to collect results on the family-friendly structure at universities during the pandemic. The results will be published shortly. There will also be an official press release. You can read more statements, information on studying and teaching and the compatibility of family and work under "Families in the Corona Crisis".


4. Re-auditing of “family-friendly university” | Dialogue procedure

In October 2020, KIT is to receive the certificate certificate of the “family-friendly university” audit for the fourth time. In the so-called dialogue process, the auditor Christine Schöneberg and the auditor Stefan Lang hold talks with KIT employees and students together with the project manager Sarah Wenz. Priority topics for the next three years are identified and defined in coordination with the Presidium. With the 4th re-audit, KIT would like to continue to position itself as a family-friendly employer or as a family-friendly university. The working and study conditions are to be further developed in a family-friendly manner in order to live the diversity of life plans and family forms.


Anniversary of the association „Familie in der Hochschule e.V.”

The 6th annual conference of the network “Familie in der Hochschule” on the topic “Quo vadis? Family in the University 2030” took place on 01.10.2019 at the htw saar. The main topics that were discussed were: visions about the future of family equality at universities in German-speaking countries. In workshops and discussion groups, the theme was addressed .  At the annual conference in 2019 the KIT was represented by Sarah Wenz. The short movie of the event shows interesting impressions and can be watched out here.


KIT received the “family-friendly university / work and family” audit certificate for the third time

In June 2017, the KIT again received the “family-friendly university” audit certificate by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Woman and Youth as well as the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. On behalf of the KIT, Biserka Mathes (deputy gender equal opportunities officer) was handed over the certificate in Berlin. The KIT is one of 350 employers who were granted the certificate this year.

It is already the third time KIT received the certificate. The current certificate is valid until May 2020. In the course of the audit, KIT as an employer and a university deliberately decided to keep on supporting families and different life concepts. For this purpose, several measures to support employees or students to combine family and work/studies have been reviewed or implemented. For example, childcare, the availability of information, and conditions of studying have been improved. Since 2015, all relevant information in this context has been available on the KIT homepage (Family Portal).
Among future planned improvements will be the implementation of family-friendly meeting/exam dates and teleworking as well as enhanced communication.

Third certification: Biserka Mathes, deputy gender equal opportunities officer (fourth from the right), was handed over the certificate. (picture: Thomas Ruddies, berufundfamilie gGmbH)