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Anyone can end up in a conflict. There are several different forms of conflict, even at the University of Potsdam. Confrontations and conflicts can lead to problems, especially in the everyday business of study and work. The result can be demotivation, health problems, or a loss in effectiveness in study or work. The university, both in its role as an employer and as an institution that hosts over twenty thousand students, believes that its responsibilities include the initiation of measures for explaining conflicts and discrimination. The university signed on to the National Code of Conduct for German Universities Regarding International Students, thereby committing to the establishment of an ombudsman for non-compliance with the code.
Since 2013 the “Conflict Management” steering committee at the University of Potsdam has been assigned the task of improving work and study conditions for everyone associated with the university in order to guarantee motivation and performance in a pleasant working environment. There is a trained counsellor at each of the university’s three locations who offer an open door to anyone seeking uncomplicated, anonymous, and confidential advice and assistance. The earlier a conflict is addressed, the more likely it is that a mutual solution will be found. The University of Potsdam believes that it is obligated to create the appropriate institutional framework for this to happen. Dr. Renate Schmidt is the contact person for international students and employees at the University of Potsdam.