IU International University of Applied Sciences supports initiative “Weltoffenes Thüringen” (Open-minded Thuringia)

Thuringian organisations and individuals join forces to stand up for diversity, tolerance and open-mindedness in the "super election year 2024"


Thuringian organisations and individuals join forces to stand up for diversity, tolerance and open-mindedness in the "super election year 2024".

Erfurt, 7 February 2024. IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU), Germany's largest university with more than 130,000 students and its headquarters in Erfurt, Thuringia, Germany, is supporting the "Weltoffenes Thüringen" (Open-minded Thuringia) initiative. It is committed to diversity, tolerance and democracy: basic values that are being threatened by a possible far-right political shift in the current "super election year" in Germany. A now broad alliance of over 6,000 supporters from the church, trade unions, science, business, culture, education, sport and numerous private individuals are publicising their stance in favour of peaceful, humane coexistence based on diversity with the initiative. 

Prof. Dr. Holger Sommerfeldt (Rector)

"People from all over the world study, work and teach at IU International University of Applied Sciences. Diversity and tolerance are the cornerstones of our coexistence and the basis for science and teaching. Education builds bridges, broadens horizons, supports democracy and promotes peaceful coexistence. Access to education is a strong foundation and should be possible for everyone. We are committed to this and wish for an open-minded, diverse and tolerant society for Germany and Thuringia as a centre of education," says Prof. Dr Holger Sommerfeldt, Rector of IU International University of Applied Sciences. 

Tolerance and cosmopolitanism are drivers for innovation, the exchange of ideas and the inclusion of all parts of society. This makes it even more important to protect these values. The "Weltoffenes Thüringen" initiative makes visible all those who are committed to the free and democratic basic order and is stepping up its educational work this year to highlight both the consequences of right-wing extremist politics and the opportunities and possibilities of a democratic society. It also makes it clear that political pressure from the right is a reflection of society and calls on politicians to take people's concerns seriously and offer practicable, sustainable solutions. 

Social media campaign #CultureOfEveryone to strengthen democracy 

IU International University of Applied Sciences is also committed to diversity, inclusion and tolerance within its own ranks with a "Culture of Everyone®" corporate culture. IU employees and students are currently demonstrating the importance of an open and respectful working and living environment in a self-initiated social media campaign. Under the hashtag #CultureOfEveryone, they are publishing posts in which they use personal stories to illustrate why this culture is so important to them. Everyone outside the university is also welcome to join this campaign to strengthen democracy. 

Dr Sven Schütt, CEO of IU, launched the campaign in a LinkedIn post and is leading by example (see LinkedIn post). All previous contributions to the #CultureOfEveryone campaign can be found at the following link: linkedin.com 

More information on the IU campaign and a statement by CEO Dr Sven Schütt on the university's democratic stance can be found in this press release

All information on "Weltoffenes Thüringen" at: 


With over 130,000 students, IU International University of Applied Sciences (IU) is the largest university in Germany. The private, state-recognised educational institution with its headquarters in Erfurt began operations in 2000 and is now represented in more than 35 German cities. Students from over 190 nations design their studies according to their needs: whether practice-integrated dual studies, flexible distance learning or individual “myStudium”, which combines online self-study and campus life. IU wants to give people worldwide access to personalised education for a fulfilled and self-determined life. In more than 250 bachelor's, master's and MBA programmes, including over 50 in English, IU teaches students key skills relevant to the future. A digitally supported learning environment and the use of AI solutions help students to achieve optimal learning results and experiences. IU is one of the first universities in the world to have developed and deployed its own AI-supported learning buddy. IU cooperates with over 15,000 companies and supports them in the academic training of professionals. Partners include Motel One, Vodafone, AWO and Deutsche Bahn. Further information at: iu.org

The AI-supported learning buddy "Syntea" is now available as a public demo version in the ChatGPT store at the following link: https://chat.openai.com/g/g-P5olqoCPc-syntea