Mother with child in the library
© WWU - Peter Grewer

Work-family balance at Münster University

A lot of staff and students at universities face special challenges when trying to achieve a balance between their family and their career or their studies. Whether it is childcare, financial advice or support in the case of nursing care needed within the family, Münster University already offers a wide range of help, and this is due to be expanded. The University’s Press Office has therefore decided to take a detailed look for the next six months at different aspects of the subject, and the challenges it involves, under the heading of “work-family balance”. We hope you enjoy reading the articles!

Between going to lectures and changing nappies

"It was a conscious decision of ours to start a family while we were still students"
<address>© WWU - Kathrin Nolte</address>
© WWU - Kathrin Nolte

Anna Gerding, 29, is studying English and French at the University of Münster, training to be a teacher. Some of her lecturers are surprised when she asks for an extension of a deadline because she has a child.

Between nappies and science

In a workshop held at University of Münster, young scientists looked at their role as a father
Bernd Christmann with his daughter Karla<address>© WWU/Juliette Polenz</address>
© WWU/Juliette Polenz

In this interview with Juliette Polenz, Bernd Christmann, a research assistant at the University and a 37-year-old father, talks about the content of the workshop and the ideas it gave him.

Defying the skills shortage with family-friendly HR policies

The Family-Friendly HR Policy Research Centre at Münster University publishes a study on family-friendly measures at Münster University Hospital
<address>© FFP/Caroline Queda</address>
© FFP/Caroline Queda

A study just published, entitled "Balancing career and family with the berufundfamilie audit programme – a case study at Münster University Hospital", asks whether family-friendly measures undertaken by companies can be innovative and, at the same time, a worthwhile social investment.

Between research and family

The LabAid programme at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence contributes to equal opportunities in the scientific world
<address>© UKM - Roberto Schirdewahn</address>
© UKM - Roberto Schirdewahn

In their research groups at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence, scientists Julia Ghelman and Dr. Eva Korpos are studying how cells behave. Thanks to "LabAid" they were able to continue their research work while they were pregnant and after their children were born.

Commuters talk about their everyday life

Specialist Prof. Dr. Carmen Binnewies' advice to all concerned: think about an emergency plan
Everyday life for commuters: many people use the time spent on the train to work or relax.<address>© den-belitsky/fotolia.com</address>
© den-belitsky/fotolia.com

For many people, commuting is a part of their daily working life. What it means for those concerned is explained in this interview by psychologist Prof. Dr. Carmen Binnewies. Prof. Dr. Bernward Schmidt and Dr. Nils Bahlo also give an idea of what it is like to commute daily.

"Münster University has attained a high level"

Interview on work-family balance at the University and on future challenges
Georg Barzel<address>© Photo: berufundfamilie Service GmbH</address>
© Photo: berufundfamilie Service GmbH

Münster of University has been awarded the Seal of Quality as a "family-friendly university" three times. Georg Barzel, an auditor at "berufundfamilie Service" ("workandfamily service"), the organisation which awards the certificates, talks in this interview about the current situation as regards work-family balance and discusses future challenges.

Three members of the University staff talk about parental allowance

"A means to an end – and a good one"
Christine Deters<address>© Photo: Caroline Queda</address>
© Photo: Caroline Queda

Exactly ten years ago the German parliament passed a law introducing the payment of an allowance for people taking parental leave. Three members of the staff of Münster University talk about their experience with this financial support.

Much already achieved ‒ but still much more to do

Dr. Regina Ahrens on the daily challenges in balancing family life and a career
In-company childcare facilities, a daycare mother or teleworking: these are just some of the possibilities for staff and employers to make work-family balance a reality in everyday working life.<address>© Photo: Monkey Business/fotolia.com</address>
© Photo: Monkey Business/fotolia.com

Dr. Regina Ahrens from "Forschungszentrum Familienbewusste Personalpolitik" at Münster University tells about the daily challenges in balancing family life and a career.

"Work-family balance": A guest commentary by the Head of Administration, who welcomes the Press Office’s focus on the issue.

"We are building on a good range of services"
Münster University has a lot to offer as far as work-family balance is concerned. Nevertheless, as Chancellor Matthias Schwarte writes in the current issue of the University’s newspaper, “wissen|leben”, it is still worth considering how things can be made even better<address>© WWU - Peter Grewer</address>
© WWU - Peter Grewer

Münster University has a lot to offer as far as work-family balance is concerned. Nevertheless, as the Head of Administration Matthias Schwarte writes in the current issue of the University’s newspaper, "wissen|leben", it is still worth considering how things can be made even better.

"Universities have caught up in many ways"

Jutta Dalhoff, Head of the Centre of Excellence/Women and Science (CEWS), on work-family balance in the scientific world.
Münster University offers its staff a variety of childcare services. Our picture shows Javier Ramon (left) collecting his son, Nilo, from the &quot;Zauberschloss&quot; daycare facility, on Hittorfstraße, where three nursery school teachers look after nine children.<address>© WWU/Peter Grewer</address>
© WWU/Peter Grewer

What status does work-family balance have at German universities? From 2011 to 2014 the Centre of Excellence/Women and Science (CEWS) in Cologne undertook a project on this issue entitled "Effective! – For a more family-friendly approach at German universities" Jutta Dalhoff has been head of CEWS since 2006. In this interview with Julia Schwekendiek she explains what characterizes a family-friendly university.

"Family events belong on the list of priorities"

A survey on work-family balance at the WWU
Paula Hesse with her child<address>© privat</address>
© privat

What characterizes a family-friendly university? An academic, a member of the admin staff and a student at Münster University give their answers in the current issue of the University’s newspaper, "wissen|leben".