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The Verein Familie in der Hochschule (Family in Higher Education Institutions best practice club) met for its seventh annual conference on 7 and 8 June. A total of 129 higher education institutions (HEIs) from Germany and abroad have now signed up to the goals of achieving family-friendly policies and become members of the association. This year’s event, held exclusively online, was hosted by the University of Zurich.

The diversity of family forms in society today is mirrored by the diversity of the care and nursing tasks associated with those family types. HEIs are already responding to these requirements and integrating family-friendly policies into their strategic portfolios.

This year’s meeting of the Familie in der Hochschule annual conference centred on the question of how far the social responsibility of HEIs extends with regard to family-friendly practices. The programme of this year’s event, hosted by the University of Zurich, included lectures, virtual poster sessions, panel discussions and impromptu comedy.

In her keynote speech, Jutta Allmendinger, President of the WZB Berlin Social Science Center, asked “Education and family: what is needed to ensure a successful blend?” Allmendinger identified seven “must-haves” for HEIs that need to be integrated into an overall strategic concept in order to be effective: visibility, order, time, security, recognition, trust and resources. She attaches great importance to striking a balance between raising a family and working in management.

The event, attended by an audience of more than 200, was chaired by CHE Executive Director Frank Ziegele. CHE, which also signed the charter in 2018, has been chairing and supporting the best-practice club for more than ten years. A total of 129 HEIs and university-related institutions are now committed to family-friendly policies and have joined the Familie in der Hochschule association.

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