Karolinska Institutet teams up with AIK football club

Published 2010-02-17 00:00. Updated 2013-11-26 10:24

[Press Release 2010-02-05] Karolinska Institutet has teamed up with AIK football club on an equality project that aims to get young men more interested in nursing and medical training. The project will give the football players a chance to find out more about the human body, the importance of a good diet and how to prevent sports injuries.

Sari Ponzer Foto: Stefan Zimmerman
Sari PonzerPhoto: Stefan Zimmerman

"We want to raise awareness of the breadth of our courses with a particular emphasis on experiments, physiological measurements, sampling and research results," says Sari Ponzer, Dean of Higher Education at Karolinska Institutet. "These are areas that we think will capture the imagination of young football players."

Too few young men apply for places on Karolinska Institutets undergraduate courses. There is an uneven gender distribution on all courses, with men taking up just a couple of per cent of places on some programmes. This is something the university is hoping to tackle by showing AIK´s young players that nursing can be exciting and interesting for both women and men.

In the longer term, the project aims to change attitudes towards career choices and so break down traditional gender patterns.

Caroline Olsson Photo: Johan Nilsson
Caroline OlssonPhoto: Johan Nilsson

The equality project has been made possible by a SEK 1.5 million grant from the Delegation for Gender Equality in Higher Education and will be assessed on an ongoing basis. Besides Sari Ponzer, the main driving force behind the project at Karolinska Institutet is Caroline Olsson, a supervisor in the Department of Education, who explains:

"In order to ensure good communication between AIK´s football players and the students, teachers and researchers taking part in the project, weve decided to work with concrete questions about exercise: What happens in the body when you exercise? How does diet impact on physical activity? How can you prevent injuries? What should you eat before a match? Why are fluids so important? Can you fix a shattered knee joint?"

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