The mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna stands for a culture of diversity and esteem in all its areas of activity, from the diversity of artistic and cultural forms of expression to equal opportunities and antidiscrimination.

“We are committed to democratic values, equal treatment, and diversity. In the same spirit, we value open communication, transparency, and participation in the further development of the university. We stand for gender equality and inclusion. Transculturality is discussed in the context of a critical questioning of the concepts of art and culture as well as regarding its effects on university practice in art, teaching, and research.” (from the mdw's Mission Statement)

All members of the mdw community should be able to engage in successful study and work regardless of their social and geo-cultural educational and experiential backgrounds, their forms of sexual desire and gender identification, their generational belonging and ages, their own self-images and worldviews, their individual physical and psychological challenges, and/or their involvement in caring for other individuals.

By setting up specific contact points concerned with organisational development and antidiscrimination as well as projects and initiatives in the areas of research, teaching, and practice, the mdw has now taken a stand for equitable and inclusive collaboration.

(Excerpted from the mission statement of the 2017–2019 mdw Diversity Strategy)

Diversity Management

The mdw pursues a systematic form of diversity management that functions as a point of information, service, and networking in the interest of actively promoting the perception and conscious appreciation of differences as diversity and the elimination of structurally anchored inequalities.

Critical work concerning diversity involves the recognition of attributions, forms and mechanisms of discrimination, systems of valuation, and exclusions, reflecting on these within a socio-political framework while taking steps to combat and dismantle them.

In doing so, knowledge and competencies pertaining to gender and diversity represent an important key component in understanding such mechanisms of exclusion and discrimination and developing possible courses of action via which to combat them.

The mdw positions itself in favour of a critical, politicised understanding of diversity that acts based on anti-discriminatory concepts and aims to promote access to and sharing in all resources by the greatest possible number of individuals.

In this, diversity functions as a category of analysis and instrument with which to inspect and break apart structures and processes in terms of the power relations, in- and exclusions, and principles of social construction that they entail. And furthermore, diversity must also be consistently understood as a crosscutting mission in the educational field.

The legal framework for gender and diversity management at Austria’s postsecondary educational institutions is founded upon international agreements, EU guidelines, and national laws such as Austria’s Federal Equal Treatment Act and Universities Act. An overview of important national-level legal foundations concerning equality can be found at the website of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science, and Research.