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Widening access and participation

The University of Gothenburg aspires to be a centre of learning where education is available to all students. The student composition should reflect the surrounding society and be an inclusive, open and accessible university for everybody, regardless of background.

During the fall of 2016, a policy and an action plan for widening access and participation was decided by then Vice-Chancellor Pam Fredman.

In 2020, the University of Gothenburg will have increased the proportion of students from underrepresented groups. On a more equitable way, these groups will be given access to the University and the opportunity to participate on equal terms and have equal opportunities to pursue and complete their studies.

Our work with widening access and participation

The University will work to offer students a broad range of education with  widened educational access at all levels. Important tools in this work is to have the possibility to apply alternative selection procedures for admission and examine whether the student is eligible based on recognition of prior learning, and to provide educational support and guidance before, during and after the student’s education.

Recognition of prior learning 

The University of Gothenburg goes on tour!

The University is cooperating with local libraries and the project Vuxna i lärande (Adult learning) to hold workshops meant to inspire people to further studies. The idea is for the workshops to inspire the participants and to make university studies seem like a natural next step. The first workshop was held September 26 at the Biskopsgården library and was about public access to information (offentlighetsprincipen). We have also been to the library in Backa, and in February and March 2020 the tour continued to Världslitteraturhuset in Gamlestan and to Lundby library. In future we hope to collaborate with even more libraries in the city. We welcome you to contact us!

Street Games Academy – sports, learning and widening access

Project Street Games Academy is a collaboration between Västra Götalands Idrottsförbund and several athletic clubs, universities and higher education institutions in Västra Götaland. The purpose of the project is to use youth interest in sports to help youths increase their motivation to study, improve their academic results and increase their knowledge about food and diet. The idea is also to establish contacts between youths from disadvantaged areas and university students in order for it to feel more natural for young people to continue their studies beyond upper-secondary school. Through the project these youths receive tutoring at least two hours per week before training sessions, by students at the University Gothenburg who have received special training in peer-assisted learning. The youths also get a snack and information about the importance of a healthy diet.

The University of Gothenburg is looking for students to write degree projects connected to Street Games Academy. The degree projects are open to students from different subject areas and should focus on a specific aspect in relation to Street Games Academy, for example cooperation, leadership or learning. We welcome students to apply! The last date of application is 15 October 2020. More information in Swedish is available at the link below. You are also welcome to contact Catherine Gillo Nilsson.

Göteborgs universitets annonsportal: Examensarbete inom bland annat samverkan, idrott, ledarskap, lärande och breddad rekrytering

Collaboration with the Vänersborg Art Gallery and Support Group Network

In the workshop Make Your Own Passport (MYOP), members of the public and upper-secondary level students make "passports" and talk about ideas like citizenship, statelessness, borders and globalisation together with university students and staff. The workshop builds on postdoctoral researcher Tintin Wulia's work and is woven into school teaching and intercultural initiatives in the community. During the spring of 2019 the workshop became the start of the development of a pedagogical collaborative model between universities and schools. The workshop as an arena for intercultural exchange is also arranged by the University of Gothenburg's Centre on Global Migration, Educational Affairs and Communications, in collaboration with the Vänersborg Art Gallery and Support Group Network in Vänersborg.

The MYOP workshop was scheduled to be held at the Science Festival (Vetenskapsfestivalen) in April 2020, but to minimise the risk of spreading the novel Coronavirus and Covid-19 the Science Festival has been postponed until further notice. Our hope is that the MYOP workshop can be held at the Science Festival in the future.

Make Your Own Passport, Centre on Global Migration

Collaboration with Kultur i Väst

University of Gothenburg is collaborating with Kultur i Väst in the project "Konsten att delta". The aim of this project is to support newly arrived and/or foreign-born artists to get established in the Swedish society, by offering mentorship as well as mutual knowledge exchange between the participants and established artists in Sweden. University of Gothenburg’s role in the project is based on the mentorship program "Universitetsvän".

The University of Gothenburg's collaboration with Kultur i Väst continues during 2020 in the project "Konsten att delta Väst".

Collaboration with Cuben Utbildning

Starting in 2019, University of Gothenburg collaborates with Cuben Utbildning to help newly arrived academics to reach their career goals in Sweden. The aim is to create a contact network between the newly arrived and students and staff at the university. An example of an activity is the mentor program “Universitetsvän”. The goal is to increase the participants’ language skills and knowledge about the Swedish education system.

Peer-assisted learning (PAL) at the University of Gothenburg

Since June 2018 the University has had a group trained in peer-assisted learning, including teachers, coordinators and study guidance counsellors from across the university. Peer-assisted learning (PAL), or samverkansinlärning (SI), is a method meant to help students succeed in selected courses, often introductory courses that are especially challenging. After these courses have been identified, all students taking the course are offered a PAL session at least once a week led by a specially trained student who has experience with the course content. As of fall 2019 there is PAL-trained staff at several of the University's faculties. 

Collaboration with Mitt Livs Val

In autumn 2018, the University of Gothenburg started a collaboration with Mitt Livs Val, a foundation aimed at inspiring and motivating newly arrived and unaccompanied minors (16-20 years old) to continue their studies. In this collaboration the university facilitated workshops where the target group was able to meet with students from different tertiary education institutions and discuss different pathways to higher education.

University-wide seminars

June 1 2017 was the starting point of a series of seminars at the University of Gothenburg with the aim of creating an arena for continuous dialogue as well as opening up opportunities for exchanges, synergies and collaboration on the various aspects of the University's work with widening access and participation in higher education. The seminar series focus on recruitment, selection procedure and inclusive education.

Finished projects

Alternative selection models

In 2018, a project group consisting of representatives from the faculties and from Educational Affairs at the University of Gothenburg worked on developing a collection of instructive examples of alternative selection models by gathering experience from, for example, other higher education institutions. The basic aim of the project was to provide more knowledge, inspiration, and support to the work of the faculties and departments concerning alternative selection models. This particular project has now been concluded but work on alternative selection models continues at the University. If you have introduced or plan to introduce an alternative selection model for your study programmes, we would love to hear from you!

Collaboration with Norra Fritid Angered

In autumn 2017, the University of Gothenburg embarked on a partnership with Norra Fritid Angered, consisting of Gårdstens fritidsgård, Lövgärdets fritidsgård and KulturAtom. The collaboration aimed to inspire, raise motivations and aspirations to higher education in the community by providing increased knowledge about higher education and educational opportunities, giving guidance and showing positive role models. The set of activities in the collaboration program were designed as a yearly cycle.

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the University's work with widening access and participation.


Catherine Gillo Nilsson

Read more about widening access and participation

Our policy and action plan

Policy and action plan for widening access and participation on the University's Staff Portal

The Include network

The University of Gothenburg is an active partner in the national network Include. The network works to promote widening participation and equality in higher education.

The Include network (external site)

Swedish council for higher education

A report on the governmental assignment to survey and analyse the work of Swedish higher education institutions on widening access and participation.

Report: Can excellence be achieved in homogeneous student groups (external site)

Page Manager: Educational Affairs|Last update: 5/25/2020

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