Language policy project at KI
In the autumn of 2022, the University Director appointed a project to develop a language policy at KI. A proposal will be presented in the fall 2023.
Why is a language policy needed?
According to the Language Act, Swedish authorities must use cultivated, simple and comprehensible language. The Swedish language is the language of Governement agencies, and they have a special responsibility for ensuring that Swedish terminology in their various areas of expertise is accessible, and that it is used and developed. At the same time, it should be taken into account that KI is a multicultural workplace and has a large number of employees and students who use English, and other languages, in everyday speech and writing.
A language policy aims to provide employees with guidance on overall language issues and language use. How we are perceived, communicate and strategically use language to achieve our goals is an important part of KI’s activities. A coordinated and conscious use of language at KI means that we contribute to the legislation and promote quality and inclusion.
What is a policy?
A policy expresses the overall will of the leadership. A policy should either be supplemented with other governing documents, or included as part of an action plan or guidelines. A policy is not formally binding, but sets the framework for a certain course of action and constitutes a strong recommendation for a certain course of action. (translated from from KI:s Riktlinjer för styrdokument)
A policy differs from instructions that are more detailed. If necessary, supporting documents will need to be developed locally to adapt to language use within the respective activities at KI.
Project structure and implementation
During the spring of 2023, the project group conducted about 20 internal interviews where we asked about language use and attitudes to Swedish and English. The group has also had contact with other universities in Sweden and internationally for exchange of experience. Expert support is obtained from the University of Helsinki through Esko Koponen.
Based on interviews and conversations, a draft policy will be presented to a reference group and at several internal meetings during early summer.
The project group, coordinated by Emma Hägg at the International Office, consists of the following participants:
- Maria Schönnings, Strategic Management Office
- Madeleine Svärd Huss, Communications and Public Relations Office
- Sandra Helminen, HR Office
- Lisa Norberg, Juridiska avdelningen
- Kristina Froehlich, Karolinska Institutet University Library
- Talia Adamsson, Education and Research Support Office
- Unit for Teaching and Learning: vacant
If you would like to know more about the project, please contact one of the participants in the working group.