University of Gävle’s work for sustainable programmes wins first prize in USA

Press Releases   •   Aug 29, 2018 08:00 GMT

University of Gävle’s work for sustainable programmes wins first prize in USA. “The University of Gävle continues to stay focused on work that contributes toward a thriving, equitable and ecologically healthy world,” says Meghan Fay Zahniser, executive director for AASHE, a leading association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education in USA.

The salamanders who changed city children

Press Releases   •   Aug 28, 2018 08:00 GMT

“When children from the city were given the responsibility for helping vulnerable salamanders, the children’s values and feelings about nature changed fundamentally,” says Stephan Barthel, environmental researcher at the University of Gävle.

Robotisation and kit-packs a winning team

Press Releases   •   Sep 24, 2018 08:00 GMT

“Automation combined with kit-packs enable you to lower your costs and investments would pay off in a realtively short time,” says Chris Dominic, researcher in logistics at the University of Gävle. “Many companies that moved their production abroad 20 years ago now face new challenges. What was the right decision 20 years ago, may not always be the right decision today.”

Religious education brings cultural diversity to a head

Press Releases   •   Sep 18, 2018 08:00 GMT

“We think our book can help teachers to manage the multicultural classroom, especially concerning religious education. It has been a sensitive area, but now is the time. Teachers are simply not prepared for it,” says Peder Thalén, professor in religious studies at the University of Gävle.

Community work back on the agenda in Sweden

Press Releases   •   Sep 10, 2018 13:55 GMT

“We are back to a situation in which large groups of people fall through the cracks in our system; community work then becomes a way to strengthen one another and to combat growing social inequalities and social exclusion,” Stefan Sjöberg and Päivi Turunen point out. They are researchers in social work at the University of Gävle.

Alternating between different office spaces is productive

Press Releases   •   Aug 28, 2018 09:58 GMT

A study carried out at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) indicates that performance is different in different spaces of activity-based offices. "There is an increase in productivity if there is a quiet room or zone at hand,” Helena Jahnke states. She has been project leader for a research study on office environments at the University of Gävle.

We face the end so differently

Press Releases   •   Aug 27, 2018 09:00 GMT

“To feel involved in the care, to feel safe in understanding symptoms of disease and be met with understanding are all important to the experiences of the elderly in everyday life,” says Maria Hedman, researcher in care for the elderly at the University of Gävle.

Diversity barometer 2018 gives double signals

Press Releases   •   Aug 27, 2018 08:00 GMT

Swedish people’s attitudes to cultural diversity are more negative than ever. This becomes clear in the University of Gävle’s Diversity Barometer, and, specifically, it is among women that negative attitudes have become more prevalent. At the same time, the number of people with good experiences at school and at work of colleagues with a background in other countries is record high.

The key is getting to know each other

In the age group of young people below the age of 30, there is a positive trend, and the percentage of people with good experiences at school and at work of colleagues with a background in other countries reach the highest result ever, 74 percent.

However, among women negative attitudes have increased significantly, and this is true both of highly qualified and low-skilled women. It becomes evident in this last survey that Swedish people over the age of 50 now have a more negative attitude in general.

A majority still in favour of cultural diversity

It is true that six out of ten still believe that ethnic diversity develops Swedish culture, but this result is actually on the same level as the record-low percentage from 2010. In fact, the trend in the last three surveys is a negative one, as the result in 2014 was 65 percent. Even the percentage of people who completely distance themselves from this idea has increased and reaches a new record, 22 percent as compared to 18 percent in 2016 and 11 percent in 2014.

Almost 50 percent believe that men from the middle East are a threat to Swedish culture; and women from the Middle East are believed to be more dangerous than men from Africa.

While 46 percent are positive to giving people with a foreign background the opportunity to keep their traditions, 39 percent are negative and 15 percent neutral.

A majority of the respondents discern major differences between Swedish culture and cultures from Africa and the Middle East.

At work

Highly-qualified people are the most positive ones to having colleagues from non-Swedish backgrounds, and among young, highly-qualified people, the percentage is record-high, but 23 percent still prefer to have Swedish colleagues.

8 out of ten believe that people with a foreign background should have the same working conditions as people born in Sweden.

Religion, a controversial issue

The positive attitudes to diversity concerning religion reach levels that are record-low, primarily among men above 50 years of age with no higher education.

In 2018, more people consider Muslim women to be oppressed, Muslim independent schools to be detrimental to integration and think that calls for prayer are more disruptive than church bells.

However, acceptance for wearing a veil has changed; a majority of respondents still feel that wearing a veil at work or in school is unacceptable, but the percentage who feel that it is acceptable has almost tripled, from 12 percent to 30 percent. When it comes to wearing a veil in a public place, there are more people who are positive than those who are negative.

Who would I like to live with?

Attitudes to diversity in our neighbourhoods are very stable. More than a third still prefer Swedish neighbours. But a majority, 53 percent, would not move if newly arrived immigrants moved into their apartment building, and that is an increase of 9 percent compared to results in 2016.

45 percent of the population do not consider newly-arrived people to be louder and rowdier, and that is also an increase compared to results in the latest survey. However, where you are from matters a great deal; attitudes to potential neighbours from the Middle East are much more negative.

How would you like to explain this change in attitudes, Fereshteh Ahmadi, professor in sociology and in charge of the Diversity Barometer?

“There are several possible factors related to the political situation in Sweden and Europe that we think can explain this change. We witness how structural and institutional discrimination of minorities due to ethnicity, race, religion etcetera lead to increased intolerance in large parts of the population, which in turn lead to discriminating power structures in society.

Information choice and the extensive media coverage on the growth of racism and xenophobia in Sweden can be one explanation. Media, politicians, researchers and opinion makers contribute to strengthening prejudice by depicting immigrants as a problem. The media image of dangerous men from certain regions who come to Sweden to commit sexual assaults may also have been a driving force in this process, especially for women.

Unfortunately, this focus means that all well-functioning relations between people in neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces gain less attention.

An increase in negative attitudes towards immigrants can also stem from a sense of concern and worry over a redistribution of resources in combination with vulnerability in the job market and a drastic increase in the influx of immigrants.

Yet another factor is segregation. When there are few opportunities for personal relationships and contact between the minority and the majority, there is a greater risk for greater prevalence of negative attitudes. In turn, this could explain why respondents in our study who have had little experience of, and contact with, immigrants are more negative to immigrants.

The Diversity Barometer 2018 shows that low-skilled Swedish individuals´ attitudes are more negative, while highly-qualified respondents’ attitudes are more positive. An explanation here could be that highly qualified people have a stable position in the job market which makes them feel less threatened, whereas low-skilled individuals feel more marginalised and neglected and become victims in society.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that we believe that the change of the political climate regarding immigration in general and newly arrived immigrants in particular may have affected Swedes' perception of diversity. We are witnessing this development in many parts of the Western world, extreme right-wing and even racist trends are emerging.

I would also like to point out that the young are underrepresented in the survey. If this generation, who since pre-school have lived side by side with individuals with a foreign background, had played a greater part in this survey, results may have been different.

Another aspect that I would like to underline is that the survey shows that Swedish people’s experiences of working or studying together with people born in other countries are generally good.

Attitudes have deteriorated, but concrete everyday experiences have not.”

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With the Diversity Barometer, the University of Gävle wants to contribute to the discussion about diversity in Swedish society. Knowledge of Swedish people’s attitudes is important since they can be an important factor in the social climate of the future.

Fereshteh Ahmadi, professor in sociology at the University of Gävle is in charge of the Diversity Barometer. Uppsala University was formerly responsible for the attitude survey.

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For more information, please contact
Fereshteh Ahmadi, Professor of sociology at the University of Gävle
Tel: 0090-543 50 82 207, 070-717 19 07

Text: Douglas Öhrbom

Education and Research at a Scenic Campus.
The University of Gävle has approximately 17 000 students, more than 50 study programmes and second-cycle programmes, about 1 000 courses in humanities, social and natural sciences and technology.

Research Profiles
Built Environment and Health-promoting Working Life are the general research profiles of the higher education institution. Important parts included are Spatial Planning with a specialisation in Sustainable Built Environment and Musculoskeletal Disorders with the purpose to prevent work-related injuries. In 2010, the higher education institution received permission to carry out third-cycle programmes in the profile area of Built Environment.
The higher education institution has applied for permission to carry out third-cycle programmes in technology, humanities and social sciences.

Swedish people’s attitudes to cultural diversity are more negative than ever. This becomes clear in the University of Gävle’s Diversity Barometer, and, specifically, it is among women that negative attitudes have become more prevalent. At the same time, the number of people with good experiences at school and at work of colleagues with a background in other countries is record high.

Read more »

Teachers from all the world convene in Gävle

Press Releases   •   Aug 16, 2018 08:00 GMT

In the ATEE conference, “A future for all – teaching for a sustainable society,”at the University of Gävle, teachers from for example Japan, Australia, China, Iran, Nigeria, the US, Russia and from all over Europe will for three days discuss how teaching can help give everyone a future. “We have members from all over the world, says Åsa Morberg, president for the association .

Edsby entrepreneur praises the collaboration with the University of Gävle

Press Releases   •   Jun 04, 2018 08:00 GMT

Edsby entrepreneur praises the collaboration with the University of Gävle. “There are many small businesses in need of skilled staff,” says Joel Strandell, CEO for Alu Partner. Through the University of Gävle, there is an opportunity to employ on a project basis and Nina Gimström will be their production manager.

About University of Gävle

University of Gävle

Education and Research at a Scenic Campus.
The University of Gävle has approximately 17 000 students, more than 50 study programmes and second-cycle programmes, about 1 000 courses in humanities, social and natural sciences and technology.

Research Profiles
Built Environment and Health-promoting Working Life are the general research profiles of the higher education institution. Important parts included are Spatial Planning with a specialisation in Sustainable Built Environment and Musculoskeletal Disorders with the purpose to prevent work-related injuries. In 2010, the higher education institution received permission to carry out third-cycle programmes in the profile area of Built Environment.
The higher education institution has applied for permission to carry out third-cycle programmes in technology, humanities and social sciences.


Distance Education
Earlier than the more traditional universities and higher education institutions, we have adapted the programmes to the demands of the market and dared to try new types of teaching e g different forms of distance education. Today, Högskolan i Gävle is one of Sweden's leading higher education institutions when it comes to distance education. Certain distance educations have meetings on one of the campus sites, others are based on modern IT support only and are therefore independent on which city you are in. The wide range of distance courses enables students to live in the home town and still carry out academic studies.


Campus
Our campuses at Kungsbäck in Gävle offer a lovely study environment with all programmes gathered in one place. A place of knowledge only a few minutes from the centre.


The higher education institution is located in a scenic area with Gävle River and the Boulogner Forest as the closest neighbours. The carefully re-built regiment barracks have created a gathered campus where the distance between students, teachers and researchers is close.


A higher education institution with regional connections and a contact network reaching all over the world.

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