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Code of Conduct for Interpersonal Integrity for Course Participants at KIT

September 2023


Studying at KIT equips participants with the knowledge needed to address professional challenges, and provides exposure to new experiences, concepts, information, perspectives, and a diverse cohort of fellow course participants from varied and diverse backgrounds. For some participants, studying at KIT may be the first time they have lived in a different country or encountered certain different cultural values. KIT invites all participants to step out of their ’comfort zone’ and broaden their outlook to potentially new, diverse, and nuanced perspectives and concepts they may not have encountered before.

While spending time at KIT, a curious and inquisitive mindset is encouraged, as participants are invited to share their views, values, and experiences openly and respectfully, be curious and willing to learn about new perspectives and values, and eager to commence personal and professional growth throughout the course of their studies.

KIT is dedicated to maintaining a safe and respectful environment inside and outside of the classroom. This environment requires and promotes safe, comfortable, and inspiring conditions, with healthy and stimulating interactions based on collegiality, respect, appreciation, and mutual understanding and support. Naturally, this encompasses integrous, inclusive, respectful, and appropriate daily behavior of all participants at KIT. But what is integrity? To be integrous (‘a person of integrity’) is to be honest, whole, and undivided in the self, to have strong moral and ethical principles, and to honor oneself and those around them. At KIT, we embrace these principles in our everyday conduct, striving to create a safe and inclusive environment.

This Code of Conduct (CoC) has been created to build a common understanding of what the above means in daily practice, and commitment towards its application, among all KIT course participants, as well as KIT and external staff. This CoC is meant for all participants studying at KIT, and outlines expected ‘house rules’ and related behaviors which participants are encouraged and expected to abide by. Everyone is responsible for acting with integrity and creating a safe and inclusive space at KIT.

KIT’s values and related policies

This CoC is informed by KIT’s Integrity Policy that refers to our core values and the Code of Conduct for KIT staff, and by its Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

Expected behaviour

At KIT, we require all course participants to uphold standards of conduct when interacting with each other at KIT, expecting everyone to act in a respectful and professional manner, in- and out- of classrooms, on- and off-campus, through any communications (in-person and virtual). We intend for participants to co-create enthusiastic, and engaging environments where all participants are comfortable and safe. We thus stipulate the following qualities that help create a supportive, educational environment.

This also extends to documentation (photo, video, and audio recording) of course activities and related events, featuring participants and/or staff. Not everyone feels comfortable being included in, for example, postings on social media channels, especially in relation to classroom discussions on potentially sensitive topics or certain socialising contexts. Before posting content online, please ask permission from those involved, including fellow participants, facilitators, and others.

Accountability and Dealing with Undesirable Behavior

Holding oneself and fellow participants, as well as KIT and external staff, accountable for undesirable behavior is an important part of this CoC, and important for maintaining a safe and inclusive learning environment.

Breaching the code may concern all conduct participants engage in as part of their studies, on- and off- KIT premises, in related academic settings elsewhere (e.g., at conferences), and online (e.g., online lectures, WhatsApp groups, other digital spaces). KIT will respect and not monitor or interfere with ‘private’ spaces of participants (study-wise and other), provided these do not affect participants’ academic performance and wellbeing.

Where relevant, the CoC allows and encourages KIT staff and participants to challenge unacceptable behavior and to lodge complaints. If you have experienced any undesirable or inappropriate behavior, discrimination or related, and wish to make a complaint, we have outlined the following steps as guidance for how to proceed.

Please refer to the Master’s programme study guide for more information and names and contact details of the KIT confidential advisors (section on Complaints procedure).

Consequences of Inappropriate Behavior

All participants at KIT are expected to abide by this CoC, and violations that are reported to KIT are taken seriously. Consequences (sanctions), if any, may vary and cannot be detailed a priori.

External Help, Support, and Resources

For additional support, the Help, Support and Advice page of the VU Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam lists multiple resources for a variety of different situations; this includes access to VU Confidential Counsellors.

KIT provides an overview of external mental health support services on Virtual Grounds.