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The University of Gothenburg gets national institute for tolerance


The University of Gothenburg has been allocated funding from the Swedish Government to establish a national institute for tolerance. The vision is a cross-disciplinary national and international meeting place for knowledge and methods within the tolerance research field. In parallel, the Swedish Government is also going to call for research proposals on racism to establish a national research programme within the field.

– We are very pleased and will take on this important assignment with great commitment, says Helena Lindholm Schulz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, with special responsibility for the areas of internationalisation, gender equality and equal opportunities.

The University of Gothenburg is, in cooperation with the municipality of Kungälv, to establish a national institute for studies on racism and violent extremism. The reason why the institute lands in Gothenburg is the successful Tolerance Project, developed by the municipality of Kungälv in collaboration with the University of Gothenburg. The collaboration began in 1995 after the brutal murder of the 14-year-old boy John Hron, who was beaten to death by four young people with links to a racist extremist group. The Tolerance Project has been used successfully in schools in 20 municipalities to create a more tolerant society and to reduce the recruitment of young people to racist organizations.

"Through knowledge we can fight prejudice and racism. Colleges and universities plays a significant role in this work. The Tolerance Project has been very successful and we now want to develop the project and disseminate new knowledge", says Helene Hellmark Knutsson (S) Minister of Higher Education and Research and Alice Bah Kuhnke (MP) Culture and Democracy Minister in a debate article in Göteborgs-Posten on 12 April 2015.

The funding from the Swedish Governement will enable the University of Gothenburg to establish the institute and develop the research field further and organize the continued implementation of the Tolerance Project. The Swedish Government is also going to call for research proposals on racism that can be applied by universities and colleges in Sweden, and by that establish a national research programme within the field. The research field is to be prioritized by the swedish research funding bodies and call for proposal will open in 2015 for universities and colleges as well as for private higher education schools.

"Racism restricts people's lives and has devastating consequences. It is unacceptable in a democratic society. An important part of the fight against racism involves fighting prejudice. To educate people is the best way to go", says Helene Hellmark Knutsson (S) and Alice Bah Kuhnke (MP).