Building upon the commitment to creating a study environment that is inclusive and free from discrimination, the University of Gothenburg should proactively extend its responsibility to address the unique needs of parents within its academic community. Parenthood, as a significant aspect of individuals’ lives, demands specific considerations to ensure an equitable and supportive study environment. To align with the principles of the Swedish Higher Education Act, the university should recognize the importance of catering to the needs of parents. At the moment, the University does not provide any additional spaces for parents nor has an academic environment that caters to the needs of parents.
Together with the Artists Mother Collective and Konstkåren Student Union, we are trying to gather mothers and non-mothers from inside the university—students, teachers, and alumni to draw together a proposal for the University to ensure a supportive study and work environment for people who are mothering.
These are a few of the questions that we ran into while trying to perform as artists, students, and teachers while mothering inside academia. Together, we can find solutions that fit our circumstances and create actual change for a better and more supportive environment.
The goal is to write an actual list of things that need to change, if possible, with alternatives offered in order to develop an easy-to-implement plan by the university that caters to the needs of people who are mothering and working or studying inside HDK-Valand, in accordance with other universities such as Chalmers.
As per the scheduled plan, on February 8, 2024, we conducted a meeting wherein we presented the current situation. Collaboratively with the audience, we actively explored and generated proactive ideas aimed at addressing the needs of parents within the university.
The meeting spanned two hours, during which we successfully collected a variety of suggestions. Subsequently, the compiled list of recommendations was formatted into an easily navigable document and submitted to the university’s legal team for thorough assessment on February 12th.
On February 15, after discussions with the university’s legal team, we forwarded the proposal document to the heads of departments, the university’s administration, the work environment committee, student union, Artist mother collective and participants involved in this process. Below you can see or download the document.