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Diversity at the HFBK Hamburg


Diversity refers to the diversity of an organisation or society in terms of various individual or structural dimensions such as social and cultural background and affiliation, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, mental and health impairment, but also religion and family background.

Internationality, polyphony and diversity characterize the HFBK Hamburg to a particular degree. The diversity of its members is valued, respectfully lived and promoted, as it is inspiration, opportunity and benefit at the same time for an art school.

The university's already firmly established equal opportunities work is continually being expanded to include diversity-oriented aspects. All advice services are intended to be open to everyone and are to be continually expanded. Participation and suggestions are always welcome!

Policies and more

  • Guideline against gender-based discrimination and sexual violence at the HFBK Hamburg
  • In 2014, the HFBK Hamburg received an »audit familiengerechte Hochschule« (family-friendly university audit) certificate from Berufundfamilie gGmbH, an initiative of the not-for-profit Hertie-Stiftung foundation. Re-certification took place in 2017, in 2020 the consolidation.
  • In the 2019 university ranking based on equality aspects, the HFBK Hamburg took the top position (together with the KHM Cologne, rank group 1). For this purpose, 44 art and music colleges were evaluated. The complete CEWS Study 2019 can be downloaded here.
  • In November 2018 the HFBK was one of the first signatories of the Hamburger Erklärung der VIELEN (Hamburg Declaration). The VIELEN are a dialogue-oriented network of artists and cultural practitioners with a clear commitment to openness and freedom in art.
  • We are currently developing a conceptual diversity guideline for the HFBK Hamburg.

Contact persons / Counselling on discrimination and sexual violence

We want to be the contact point for your questions, concerns and complaints. Please do not hesitate to contact us. The exchange of information is of course confidential.

The following contact persons are at your disposal:

Persons of trust

Delegate for equality

Delegate for equality for administrative staff

Vice President, area of responsibility diversity

Diversity/Equality representatives

Representative for Students with Disabilities

Advice available for students

Some situations require a trusting exchange with others and professional support. For this purpose we have put together various counseling services, such as the student telephone counseling service, contact with trained psychotherapists at the psychological counseling centre of the University of Hamburg or the "shift" programme for drop-outs. Please find them here.

Studies and family

In 2014, the HFBK Hamburg received an »audit familiengerechte Hochschule« (family-friendly university audit) certificate from Berufundfamilie gGmbH, an initiative of the not-for-profit Hertie-Stiftung foundation. Re-certification took place in 2017. In the spirit of this audit, the HFBK aims to make working and study conditions progressively more family-friendly, and, in particular, to support students with children in combining family activities with studying. Numerous measures have already been implemented by the HFBK to achieve this. Please find an overview here.
More info on studying with children and child care can be found here: Studierendenwerk Hamburg and Familienbüro der Uni Hamburg


The HFBK actively supports international student exchanges. The large number of partner universities included in the EU’s exchange programme Erasmus+ enables a high degree of international mobility. Students receive particularly generous support within the framework of the Art School Alliance.
The proportion of foreign students, who come not only from Europe, but especially from China, Korea and South America, is traditionally very high at the HFBK Hamburg and currently stands at 30%. Please find here more info.

More links concerning diversity and equality

HFBK events in the framework of diversity and equality

Selected events in WiSe 2021/22

  • Gegenmonumente und Para-Monumente, Prof. Dr. Nora Sternfeld und Prof. Michaela Melián
  • Kulturelle Identität, Differenz, Diversität – mit Texten und künstlerischen
    Praktiken, Prof. Dr. Michaela Ott
  • Vortragsreihe ohne Namen. Unsicherheiten zwischen solidarischem Sprechen und Cancel Culture, Prof. Dr. Friedrich von Borries und Prof. Dr. Astrid Mania

Workshops: Diversity for students in winter semester 2021/22

Annette Wehrmann, photography from the series Blumensprengungen, 1991-95; photo: Ort des Gegen e.V.

Conference: Counter-Monuments and Para-Monuments.

The international conference at HFBK Hamburg on December 2-4, 2021 – jointly conceived by Nora Sternfeld and Michaela Melián –, is dedicated to the history of artistic counter-monuments and forms of protest, discusses aesthetics of memory and historical manifestations in public space, and asks about para-monuments for the present.

23 Fragen des Institutional Questionaire, grafisch umgesetzt von Ran Altamirano auf den Türgläsern der HFBK Hamburg zur Jahresausstellung 2021; photo: Charlotte Spiegelfeld


Who speaks? Who paints which motif? Who is shown, who is not? Questions of identity politics play an important role in art and thus also at the HFBK Hamburg. In the current issue, the university's own Lerchenfeld magazine highlights university structures as well as student initiatives that deal with diversity and identity.

Grafik: Tim Ballaschke

Start of semester

After three semesters of hybrid teaching under pandemic conditions, we are finally about to start another semester of presence. We welcome all new students and teachers at the HFBK Hamburg and cordially invite you to the opening of the academic year 2020/21, which this year will be accompanied by a guest lecture by ruangrupa.

Graphic design: Sam Kim, picture in the background: Sofia Mascate, photo: Marie-Theres Böhmker

Graduate Show 2021: All Good Things Come to an End

From September 24 to 26, the more than 150 Bachelor's and Master's graduates of the class of 2020/21 will present their final projects as part of the Graduate Show at the HFBK Hamburg. We would like to thank all visitors and participants.

photo: Klaus Frahm

Summer Break

The HFBK Hamburg is in the lecture-free period, many students and teachers are on summer vacation, art institutions have summer break. This is a good opportunity to read and see a variety of things:

ASA Open Studio 2019, Karolinenstraße 2a, Haus 5; photo: Matthew Muir

Live und in Farbe: die ASA Open Studios im Juni 2021

Since 2010, the HFBK has organised the international exchange programme Art School Alliance. It enables HFBK students to spend a semester abroad at renowned partner universities and, vice versa, invites international art students to the HFBK. At the end of their stay in Hamburg, the students exhibit their work in the Open Studios in Karolinenstraße, which are now open again to the art-interested public.

Studiengruppe Prof. Dr. Anja Steidinger, Was animiert uns?, 2021, Mediathek der HFBK Hamburg, Filmstill

Unlearning: Wartenau Assemblies

The art education professors Nora Sternfeld and Anja Steidinger initiated the format "Wartenau Assemblies". It oscillates between art, education, research and activism. Complementing this open space for action, there is now a dedicated website that accompanies the discourses, conversations and events.

Ausstellungsansicht "Schule der Folgenlosigkeit. Übungen für ein anderes Leben" im Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg; photo: Maximilian Schwarzmann

School of No Consequences

Everyone is talking about consequences: The consequences of climate change, the Corona pandemic or digitalization. Friedrich von Borries (professor of design theory), on the other hand, is dedicated to consequence-free design. In “School of No Consequences. Exercises for a New Life” at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, he links collection objects with a "self-learning room" set up especially for the exhibition in such a way that a new perspective on "sustainability" emerges and supposedly universally valid ideas of a "proper life" are questioned.

Annual Exhibition 2021 at the HFBK

Annual exhibition a bit different: From February 12- 14, 2021 students at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, together with their professors, had developed a variety of presentations on different communication channels. The formats ranged from streamed live performances to video programs, radio broadcasts, a telephone hotline, online conferences, and a web store for editions. In addition, isolated interventions could be discovered in the outdoor space of the HFBK and in the city.

Public Information Day 2021

How do I become an art student? How does the application process work? Can I also study to become a teacher at the HFBK? These and other questions about studying art were answered by professors, students and staff at the HFBK during the Public Information Day on February 13, 2021. In addition, there will be an appointment specifically for English-speaking prospective students on February 23 at 2 pm.

Katja Pilipenko

Semestereröffnung und Hiscox-Preisverleihung 2020

On the evening of November 4, the HFBK celebrated the opening of the academic year 2020/21 as well as the awarding of the Hiscox Art Prize in a livestream - offline with enough distance and yet together online.

Exhibition Transparencies with works by Elena Crijnen, Annika Faescke, Svenja Frank, Francis Kussatz, Anne Meerpohl, Elisa Nessler, Julia Nordholz, Florentine Pahl, Cristina Rüesch, Janka Schubert, Wiebke Schwarzhans, Rosa Thiemer, Lea van Hall. Organized by Prof. Verena Issel and Fabian Hesse; photo: Screenshot

Teaching Art Online at the HFBK

How the university brings together its artistic interdisciplinary study structure with digital formats and their possibilities.

Alltagsrealität oder Klischee?; photo: Tim Albrecht

HFBK Graduate Survey

Studying art - and what comes next? The clichéd images stand their ground: Those who have studied art either become taxi drivers, work in a bar or marry rich. But only very few people could really live from art – especially in times of global crises. The HFBK Hamburg wanted to know more about this and commissioned the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Hamburg to conduct a broad-based survey of its graduates from the last 15 years.

Ausstellung Social Design, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, Teilansicht; photo: MKG Hamburg

How political is Social Design?

Social Design, as its own claim is often formulated, wants to address social grievances and ideally change them. Therefore, it sees itself as critical of society – and at the same time optimizes the existing. So what is the political dimension of Social Design – is it a motor for change or does it contribute to stabilizing and normalizing existing injustices?