This post is an update to my preveus entry “Non-swedish-speaker students cannot be enrolled into groups that discuss education projects. karolinska institutet”.
The previous episode: Months ago, an animated discussion in our Campus was trigged by a couple of infamous emails spread through Karolinska Institutet mailing-list. These emails announced the possibility to cover vacant positions within the Student Medical Association Medicinska Föreningen (MF): from the Institute Senate to working-groups that discuss education quality. Unfortunately, these position were apparently devoted to Swedish-speakers only. A formal justification for this was actually given: there are laws that indicate that documentation in such meeting must be written in Swedish language.
Interestingly, these emails started with the frightened headline: Information only of importance to Swedish-speaking PhD students. Reason why they attracted so much attention.
Few day later posting about this, I received in cc (I don’t really know from whom, yet!) some mails of other students complaining for this situation. I would like to acknowledge the work of Indira Chivukula, PhD student at CMB, that took the time to compile a detailed letter to give voice to those students. The letter was sent to the attention of the Head of PhD Education in Karolisnka, Prof. Anders Gustafsson.
Prof. Gustafsson briskly replied to Indira to confirm that “there are no specific rules that excludes non-Swedish speaking students in the working groups“. He also promise to initiate a discussion within the student body about this.
I have been told (but I failed in tracking a good reference) that KI official language is English and that numerous efforts are currently done to ensure that all the essential-for-campus-life annotations and signs will be written in English. Funny enough, someone in my department noted that instructions for using emergency tools and first-aid kits are in Swedish. If something/someone get on fire, I best take first my Swedish Dictionary and then the extinguisher.
What happened since then?
Today, MF spread another Swedish email to urge the nomination of candidate for vacant positions within MF. The nomination deadline is 27th of March, for who’d be interested. So, MF did it again.
I was ready to jump on my keyboard to write a deadly post to the attention of the association, when I noticed that on the MF homepage there is the same announcement, but in English!
Sorry, guys, I don’t get this: why didn’t you include an English copy to the mail, too? Do you really what me to think that you put up the English text on the web because someone told you that you HAVE TO? No such matter for the mailing list, right?
Scrolling MF homepage (activity that I regret I don’t do often) I noticed that the Association received some notification about their not-too-committed international engagement. Indeed one post (no dated) states that “One of the major concerns that was named several times [during a panel discussion] by students is that Medicinska Föreningen does not integrate international students well enough and that the language barrier is often a problem”. It seems that association took the problem seriously and an “international council/Internationella rådet” meeting has been scheduled for Thursday the 29th of March, 17.00 “to plan what can be done for international students and to discuss how to activate international students to take part in the discussion about all kinds of study and leisure related question”. (“activate international students”?! “leisure related question”?!).
I must say the act is noble and international student should now step on. BUT, I would like to underline that I bumped into this post by pure chance, meaning that not too much efforts has been done to spread the word among international students to join this meeting.
An email would have been enough, guys!
Again, in English, please.