Self-assessment of widening participation to be submitted to the Swedish Higher Education Authority
The university's self-evaluation of its work regarding widening participation is currently underway. It will be submitted to the Swedish Higher Education Authority (or UKÄ for its Swedish name, Universitetskanslersämbetet) at the beginning of May.
The purpose of the self-evaluation is to attain a picture at a national level of how higher education institutions work with the issue of widening participation in order to contribute to knowledge and development in the area.
The starting point for the University of Borås's self-evaluation is a survey that UKÄ conducted in 2016 as well as previously inventoried material on how the university works with the issue of widening participation in higher education.
Offers good support
The report that has been prepared shows that much is already being done regarding widening participation at the university. For example, the university in its recruitment strives to reach out to student groups from settings and homes that are not characterised by high degrees of higher education studies and has a well-developed system for various types of support for students, such as the University Library's Language Support, support for study planning, study and career counselling, and support initiatives for students with disabilities.
“The university offers good support and its commitment to helping students complete their studies is significant. We have a large proportion of students from settings and homes that are not characterised by high degrees of higher education studies, and through our participation in InClude, a national network that works with widening participation and recruitment relating to higher education, we have access to cutting-edge expertise,” said Eva Gustafsson, who has been commissioned to compile the report for UKÄ.
Gendered study choices
The report also highlights shortcomings around which the university needs to do more. Eva Gustafsson gave some examples:
“When it comes to gender distribution, we do not do as well. The proportion of women in our educational programmes overall dominates. We see this mainly in the nurse and teacher education programmes. In student recruitment, the focus in recent years has been on reducing gendered study choices. But there are other perspectives on widening participation, and I hope the report and UKÄ's feedback can give us a good starting point for developing the university's work in the future.”
The evaluation will be submitted to UKÄ on 3 May and feedback from UKÄ will come in December 2021.
To help her, Eva Gustafsson has a reference group consisting of:
- Anna-Karin Josefsson, Administrative Officer at the Vice-Chancellor's Executive Office
- Hanna Markusson, Director of Professional Services and board member of the Include network, which is a national network that works with widening participation and recruitment relating to higher education
- Annie Andreasson, Director of the Communications Office
- Jennifer Tydén, Assistant Director of the Communications Office with responsibility for student recruitment
- Linda Borglund, former coordinator for gender equality work at the university
The Student Union is also involved and will contribute to the report.