New professor puts Borås on the map

Petra Angervall says that she sees herself as a researcher who is particularly interested in pedagogical processes in various settings.

Accepted to doctoral education in Gothenburg 1997

Doctoral dissertation in 2005 with the thesis "Pedagogy of equal work opportunities. Dilemmas and paradoxes in work on gender equality at a university and a company”.

Supervises two doctoral students within a SIDA project at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and a doctoral student within the Chance project at the University of Gothenburg.

Currently writing on two research papers on doctoral education and academic identity.

Lectures on gender and gender equality in several educational programmes at the University of Borås.

"I have studied issues that concern the higher education sector in Sweden and institutional processes in higher education. For example, higher education institutions' knowledge-developing assignments in relation to the state's interest in developing society with the help of higher education," she says.

She has also used her expertise in relation to issues of gender equality and what gender equality work means. For example, she sees that the conditions for men and women differ when it comes to academic careers. Men tend to be in more successful environments and have access to resources that provide faster access to status and position. Female researchers spend more time on teaching.

"Being tied up with a lot of teaching as a researcher at a university is not negative in and of itself, but it takes time to write scientific articles," explains Petra Angervall.

It is by publishing scientific articles in scientific journals that scientists can primarily move their careers forward. It leads to better positions and status.

She has also seen that men tend to be in old networks with established contacts, which promote certain issues and consists of certain researchers--which then benefits them when they compete for funding.

At the same time, she is not only interested in how it looks but also how people think about the patterns.

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development 
Petra Angervall's research is a part of goal 5: Gender Equality.

"How can one describe, on the basis of people's experiences and thoughts, gender equality within academia today? It's interesting. In addition to studying the processes and structures, I am also driven to change them," she says.

Develops the research environment Pedagogical Work

And such efforts to effect change were already begun when Petra Angervall was hired as professor at the University of Borås in August 2018. Since then she has, among other things, started the research group "Hupp," with 16 members, which focusses on research on higher education, practice, and politics.

She has also started work with a graduate school in collaboration with Dalarna University. It will be the first graduate school in pedagogical work at the University of Borås.

"We have a nationally strong research environment here in Borås. But we must also have doctoral students who develop it."

In addition, Petra is currently busy applying for new research funding for the university. Several researchers are involved in the work and a total of at least six or seven applications are planned for submission to the Swedish Research Council. She is also involved in the work of starting a new scientific journal in the field.

Recipe for balance at work

Petra Angervall has now been an active researcher for 20 years. A profession that is often intensive requires very high levels of performance and the ability to go deep into the work. She has a way to find balance despite this: "I recommend anyone who has an academic career to get a dog. I have one who loves to spend long hours in the forest and it is amazing. Then I can think in peace and quiet."

Before starting as a professor at the University of Borås, she worked at the University of Gothenburg. And she sees benefits of working at a smaller university.

"Here the work setting is easier to get a grip on and you have better contact with your colleagues. I like that," says Petra Angervall.

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Petra Angervall's research profile

Text: Anna Kjellsson
Photo: Suss Wilén
Translation: Eva Medin