New plan for broader recruitment to increase diversity

2 March 2018

A new action plan for broader recruitment for 2018–2020 has recently been established by Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson. The overall perspective presented in the plan will imply that students from highly diverse backgrounds will be given better opportunities to start to study – and to complete their studies.

“Society is changing and the area of “broader recruitment" is constantly evolving. In the new plan, we describe a number of different measures to promote an inclusive study environment, for example, teachers and other members of staff who come in contact with students in various ways will be offered competence-enhancing training,” says Malin Ekström, coordinator for equality at the student department.

Training will include diversity and inclusive perspectives with regard to study situation, physical work environment, norm awareness, students' rights and guidelines for the students' working conditions.

“Another new component is the international perspective, for example, investigating the possibility of internationalisation here at the university so that more students will gain an international perspective during their studies.”

The plan also addresses the need for more effective ways of following up implemented actions in order to develop future strategies.

The 2018–2020 action plan consists of five parts:

  • Direct recruitment measures
  • Measures to improve the reception of new students to prevent, for example, early dropout
  • Inclusive studies and retention measures to improve throughput, increase participation in study programmes and minimise the number of interruptions during the study period
  • Measures to increase information about the labour market and links to working life
  • Follow-up and analysis of developments

In the academic year of 2014/2015, students with university-educated parents accounted for 47 percent of the newly admitted students at Uppsala University. This is a significantly higher percentage than that for Sweden as a whole where the figure is 39 percent.

“Yes, the skewed recruitment that has characterised the university for decades regarding social background is founded during children’s early school years,” says Malin Ekström and refers to the research outlined in the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) report ”Utbildning går i arv” (Education is inherited).

"This is not just a major challenge for universities and university colleges but for society as a whole. We are a university with high-quality, world-class research and education in many different fields and this means we must utilise the potential that exists in all layers of society. That will be best achieved through a broad and inclusive perspective regarding the diversity of students who can undergo and benefit from higher education.”