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Widening access and participation

Currently, certain groups in the community are under-represented within Swedish higher education. So that the mix of students at the University of Gothenburg reflects the wider community, the University is working with widening access and participation, validation and recognition of prior learning in higher education.

Widening access and participation is a task that derives from Sweden’s Higher Education Act. We are to be an inclusive, transparent, and accessible university for all, regardless of background. This goal is especially important because it contributes to access to knowledge and education as a democratic right.

So what are we doing to make our courses and study programmes accessible for all? To fulfil this task, we depend on collaborations both within and outside the University. This means that there are joint initiatives at the University, faculty, and department levels. At the University of Gothenburg, we have chosen to divide this work into three parts: recruitment, access and admissions, and inclusive studies. You can read more about what this means in our policy for widening access and participation (external site).

Contact us for a collaboration!

Currently, we are working long-term on several different projects with a number of external actors, all of which are part of our efforts to broaden the recruitment of students admitted to the University. Please contact Sofia Vilelind if you would like to initiate a partnership with us. 

Ongoing collaborations

Completed projects

Validation and recognition of prior learning

Another way of widening access and participation among students is our work with validation and recognition of prior learning.

What does the recognition of prior learning involve?

If a person lacks some or all of the formal entry requirements for a course or study programme, but has equivalent knowledge from for example work experience, that person can apply to have their prior learning assessed. Prior learning can give a person entry to a course or study programme. It is also possible to apply for recognition of prior learning to get advanced standing in parts of a study programme.

What is validation?

Validation is the method or process used to assess and recognise a person’s prior learning, regardless of how that person has acquired it. A quality-assured and structured validation process at the University of Gothenburg consists of the following components: identification, documentation, assessment and certification.

How validation is done can differ from case to case because it is based on the individual. For example, validation might include interviews, tests, or written assignments.

RPL in practice

The University of Gothenburg is part of a EU project called RPL in practice. This project aims to narrow the gap between policy and practice by establishing a peer group concentrating on recognition of prior learning, which will support the implementation of recognition and validation procedures.

More information

Include Network

The University of Gothenburg is an active participant in the national Include network. The network is working to widen access and participation and to promote equal treatment in higher education in Sweden.

Valideringsnätverk Väst

The University of Gothenburg is part of a validation network for Western Sweden (Valideringsnätverk Väst), which is working to harmonise the methods used for validation and assessment of prior learning so that they will be more similar at the participating universities and university colleges.