Gender equality, equal treatment and diversity made clearer in education

Students sittning in a lecture hall

Gender equality, equal treatment and diversity are to be integrated into undergraduate education as a part of at least one compulsory course in all educational programmes. Programme-specific initiatives must make the design more relevant and clearly linked to the programme’s profession and subject area. The content will vary between programmes.

The purpose of the initiative is to improve quality, increase students’ knowledge of the area and in particular to create an excellent study environment for everyone – students as well as employees. The decision means that all teaching staff are encouraged to investigate and make necessary changes in the course material and teaching situations if they are lacking the perspectives of gender equality, equal treatment and diversity.

Foto på Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson“It is necessary for our students to be aware of stereotypes, norms and inclusion in their working lives, but it is also an important aspect of their period of study. Our study environments must be free of discrimination, and everyone must feel they are welcome and appreciated,” says Vice President of Education and Lifelong Learning Anna Karlsson-Bengtsson about the initiative.

The first courses with integrated content will start in the autumn of 2022. Work is in progress to review the content and design of courses. In the long run, it will also be possible to take elective courses that provide in-depth knowledge of gender equality, equal treatment and diversity.

Photo of Ulrika Lundqvist “There will be a big increase in quality as we develop 
the content of the education. There are many examples of phenomena and technology that need to be discussed and focused on from an equality-perspective. These are issues that are relevant for all Chalmerists to have with them in their future working-life,” says Ulrika Lundqvist, from The Executive Committee for Education, who is responsible for the integration work.  

Foto på Anna GrzelecAnna Grzelec, who conducts research on gender and Technology, will have a leading role in producing support material and helping the teachers to carry out the course reviews.
” This could be everything from discriminatory algorithms to looking at what perspectives are involved when cities are planned, to crash test dummies that are not adjusted to reflect the whole population, and instead based on stereotypically male bodies”, says Anna Grzelec.

Thorough evaluation

The course survey will include compulsory questions about equal learning opportunities and how welcome and appreciated the students feel on their course. This is in order to systematically follow the student’s experiences related to gender equality, equal treatment, and diversity in our courses. Lecturers are to be given different types of support to be able to review and potentially make changes to their courses both in terms of content and design.
The great significance of this raising of competence, and the extended evaluation of these questions are emphasised by the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ). In their review of higher education institutions’ quality assurance systems in 2019–2020, Chalmers was criticised for lacking systematic work with gender equality, equal treatment and diversity in the content, design, and evaluation of the education.

The integration will be implemented in stages and individually adapted to the different programmes.
Heads of Programme can answer questions regarding their specific programme.

Related information



Page manager Published: Wed 20 Oct 2021.