The University Ignores Their Own Gender Policy

The University Ignores Their Own Gender Policy

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@Tove Nordén

“No gender perspective on the content” it explicitly says in the curriculum of two courses at the School of Economics and Management, EHS. This goes against the policy of Lund University.

“I think there are a lot of courses at Lund University which do not address a gender perspective,” says Ellen Hillbom, head of the equality and equal treatment committee at EHS in Lund.

Two courses held at  EHS writes in the course description that no specific gender perspective will be considered. It concerns two 30 credit courses, the basic course and the continuation course in economics.

EHS has an equality and equal treatment committee founded on the university’s policy for equality, equal treatment and diversity. In the policy it is written that “gender perspective and a pedagogy with gender awareness should have a prominent role” in the teaching and that there should be put more emphasis on the work striving to mediate both gender and interdisciplinary perspectives. The policy in turn follows the Higher Education Act (1992:1434) where it says that: “The universities should aim to consider and promote equality between women and men ” (§5 chapter 1).

Not only at EHS

Ellen Hillbom is senior lecturer at the Department of Economic History and Head of the Equality and Equal Treatment Committee at EHS.  She doesn’t think the problem is unique for EHS.

“I think a lot of courses lack this perspective, even if it doesn’t say that the perspective will be considered it doesn’t mean that the perspective will be considered by the teacher. Why it says in the curriculum that the gender perspective will not be specifically considered, I can’t  say. That decision has been taken at the institution at the same time as approving the curriculum, ” she says.

How are you working with gender issues more specifically?

“When it comes to gender issues the whole university has a lot to do and can reach much further. We have to keep a discussion going among teachers about what a gender perspective involves and what we want to achieve. Also about how the content should be changed in order to create more gender awareness in the teaching.”, she says.

Fredrick Andersson is rector at EHS. Photo: Lund University
Fredrick Andersson is rector at EHS.
Photo: Lund University

For the purpose of honesty

Fredrik Andersson, rector  at EHS explains that the reason for there being no specific parts of the teaching that specifically deals with the gender perspective.

“We have other courses that have more focus on that. The wording is set for the purpose of honesty because there are no specific parts of the teaching that involves the gender perspective. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s addressed and discussed,” he says.

Fredrik Andersson also says that there are sections about discrimination in the course, but agrees that the wording is deficient.

“It’s not an informative wording and it should be changed. We will address the management and rephrase it,” he says.

Have you heard about more curricula that doesn’t follow the university’s policy? Send an email to lundagard@lundagard.se.

READ MORE: Discarded Gender Perspective Causes Indignation

READ MORE: Union: Gender Carries Different Levels of Importance

Text: Tove Nordén

Translation: Mia Söllwander

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  1. Pingback: Union: Gender Carries Different Levels of Importance « Lundagård

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