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Sustainable development goals important for international students

Many students from other countries seem to choose KTH precisely because sustainable development is included in education here. What’s more, KTH appears to receive a Pass with Distinction when it comes to how this is pursued in study programmes. That became clear in association with a seminar last week.

I recently took part in a webinar in the library, where the theme was to clearly explain how significant the inclusion of the global sustainable development goals is in study programmes at KTH. The seminar was aimed at potential international students around the world and sought to increase interest in choosing to study at KTH.

Several hundred students had expressed an interest in advance and a large number of them participated online. The background to this was that a follow-up survey showed that many students from other countries had chosen KTH precisely because sustainable development was included in education here. Added to which, the results also revealed that international students thought that KTH had lived up to their expectations in the sustainability area.

As Vice President for Gender Equality, I was curious as to how much awareness there was among international students that gender equality is a prioritised area at KTH. This proved not to have been in focus in the survey that was performed. With our initiative to integrate knowledge about gender equality and diversity into all our programmes, interest was generated in developing the way in which sustainable development goals were given prominence in study programme descriptions.

We have had several meetings this autumn to discuss the way in which gender equality and social equality are accommodated in education and how this can be outwardly communicated more clearly. And this has accordingly now resulted in a fascinating and engaging webinar where, in addition to myself representing our Equality Office, representatives from our Sustainability Office and Malvina, the network for female and non-binary students at KTH, also contributed with presentations of what we are already doing to promote goals 5 and 10,  in the work we are doing for sustainable development in education.

We also answered many inquisitive and relevant questions from participants concerning how we work with both education and the study environment, and heard many cheerful cries that it is positive that gender equality and reducing social inequality are gaining a prominent place in the dissemination of knowledge about the sustainable development goals.