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Sweden bans university affirmative action

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14:14 CET+01:00
The Swedish government has announced that from August 1st it will no longer be permitted to favour prospective university students by virtue of their gender.

In a communication to parliament, the government stated that university admissions regulations will be changed to reflect only academic merits.

The Minister for Higher Education and Research, Tobias Krantz, underlined the importance of the principle that all individuals be treated equally regardless of their gender.

To exclude motivated and higher qualified women in the university admissions process is naive, Krantz said.

The background to the decision lies in cases such as one involving a group of students at Lund University who were awarded compensation in February for having been denied places to study psychology due to their gender.

The university settled out of court with the 24 women, who were each awarded 35,000 kronor ($5,000) in damages.

In a similar case, the Svea Court of Appeal ruled in December that it was illegal for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala to prioritize men for its veterinary education programme.

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