Institutionalized racism in Sweden

Yes, then I have taken part in yet another episode of institutionalized racism in Sweden. This time it is the admission conditions for university studies that have been addressed to my Brazilian wife. I think there are a lot of immigrants with genius and competence who are excluded from the universities. It is not only about the assessment of foreign upper secondary education for eligibility for university studies, but also how the admission is designed.

Unfortunately, it is required on many university courses Swedish and English which matches quite well how we Swedes perceive the world. Many have realized that everyone in the big world speaks either English or Swedish. For some strange reason, we have come to believe that there is something particularly nice about English and we have been drilled in the language since childhood. I have met diplomats in Sweden who prefer to speak English over Swedish in order not to reveal their foreign accent - even though they have lived in Sweden for several years.

But suppose a person comes here with a different background from a third country and speaks one of the world's largest languages, for example Mandarin which is spoken by 937 million, Spanish 332 million, Bengali 189 million, Portuguese over 200 million or Russian which is spoken in about 16 countries . Then you may have never studied English, but you focus on the new language Swedish.

The BRIC and BASIC countries will…

There are significant markets that the Swedish export industry is losing, and it is here in the BRIC countries that growth will be in the future - even if the top layer of the EU and the USA are happy to prevent the growth of the BASIC countries. Try to speak English in Brazil and no one will understand gringo. If you don't have pay channels, you will never be able to see English on TV or meet anyone who speaks English. Take a look at this interactive map of Brazil that compares the GDP of Brazil's states with different countries - and you might realize the extent of how big the country really is.

My point is that there are significant parts of the world's population with whom it is not possible to communicate in English... Why then should the requirement be that these immigrant groups must learn English before they can start studying at the Swedish university? Learning a new language takes many years and as a newly arrived immigrant you are focused on learning Swedish. Why are other language skills not in demand in the job advertisements?
If you speak one of the world's languages, you should be an asset to Sweden's export industry.

About The Author