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Inclusive Language

The University of Basel regards itself as an institution that cultivates diversity and equal opportunities as integral components of university life. The language used at the university plays an important role in this. As a central means of communication language inevitably conveys attitudes and helps shape the culture of cooperation and togetherness.

The use of inclusive language, especially the avoidance of the generic masculine in the German language, has long been an important sociopolitical concern, including at the university. While in the past the focus was on making women visible, today there is a growing desire to additionally consider non-binary gender identities.

That is why the President’s Board has issued a guideline for inclusive language at the University of Basel. This is intended to promote an inclusive language culture without imposing regulations on the members of the university in their personal use of language - in respect for the diversity of the university and its principles of freedom. 

The guideline refers only to the German language, as the linguistic contexts in English where gender is marked tend to be less conflictual. For those who want to strive for inclusive language in English as well, please see our English fact sheet for information and inspiration.

Further information
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