JOINT COMMISSION WORKING GROUP ON
UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS IN SURVEYING
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FIG Working Group on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
This Newsletter in -pdf-format
The Survey Program in Sweden – A Gender Perspective, by
Lindqvist and Jennie Nilsson, Sweden
Minutes of the Working Group Meeting Under-represented Groups in
Surveying during the Working Week in Paris April 2003
Handbook on Best Practices, Security of Tenure and Access to Land -
Implementation of the Habitat Agenda
by Linnéa Lindqvist and Jennie Nilsson, Sweden
Jennie Nilsson (left) and Linnéa
Lindqvist during the Poster Presentation in Paris
We are two young women at the moment studying a Master of Science, Land
Surveying and Management, at the University of Lund, Sweden. Fifty percent
of our class is women and we have asked ourselves the question why?
Compared to many other technical educations the percent of women is high.
What makes the women of today to choose this education? We want to
describe and share our opinions about the new study plan at the Survey
Program in Lund in order to try to answer these questions and give the
gender perspective of this education in Master of Science. We are proud of
this unique education and to be a part of the development that forms the
surveyor of the future.
2. The Society of today
The educations in Master of Science in Engineering in Sweden have
historically attracted mainly male students. Traditionally men were
supposed to study technical subjects while women were supposed to
concentrate on more humanistic fields of studies. It was not until 1870
that women were allowed to get a matriculation exam. Still a majority of
the students following these technical educations are men, but a change
seems to be on its way; the number of female students is increasing.
Nowadays several companies have women as members in their boards; women
have become more enterprising. This inspires young women and results in
more female applicants to universities and even to technical institutes.
In the Survey Program the number of women nowadays are equal with men and
sometimes even in majority. In our grade, students of year 2001, 48,6% of
the students accepted to the education were women and during the last
decade the female graduates of the Survey Programs in Sweden have been
52,6% out of all graduates.
3. The Survey Program in Lund
The Survey Program at the University of Lund in Sweden has received a
unique new study plan more adapted to the modern society of today, in a
way that we are convinced will entice even more female applicants. The
Educational Board for the Survey Education in Lund has been inspired by
the Survey program in Aalborg, Denmark whose terms are based on projects
instead of separate courses. These projects are supposed to connect the
education to reality by combining the three main-subjects technique, law
and economics. Our grade is the first grade in Sweden trying this new way
The purpose of the first project was to understand how to build a
highway, considering legal, environmental and geological aspects. The
project was based on an old European highway in the south of Sweden that
is in need of a reconstruction. The task was to find the most suitable
route considering the different aspects. The name of the course is “Land
Use and the Environment”.
During the project the students were working in small groups. Each
group received different suggestions to a new route of the highway and was
supposed to consider different aspects. The results were presented with
reports and a final poster with the new route. Of course we had lectures
that we could use in the work with the group, but we also had to find
information from specialist literature, on the internet etc. This kind of
co-operation with other students and the feeling of a meaningful project
gave us a thinking connected to practical reality and showed us a possible
task for a surveyor.
To work in a group with new people can sometimes be hard, especially
when you have different opinions and desires. Working together demands a
lot of time and sacrifices. Sometimes the work felt a bit ineffective. It
was not always your own thoughts got presented in the end, as the whole
group had to discuss and stand by the result. However, you learned how to
compromise and accept criticism and we believe that this instructive
project will develop and prepare us for our future career, as these
situations are similar to possible occurrences in real life.
These projects continue the first three years containing different
subjects relevant to the Survey Program. After the preparing years the
education becomes more individual and we have one and a half year of
certain specialisation remaining either of engineering, law or economics.
4. Why the Education attracts Women
As claimed the Survey Program is the ideal education for those
interesting in engineering, law and economics. The education in Lund
combines these subjects in different projects and results in an MSc
without being very technical. We are convinced that it is this width of
the education in the Survey Program that is the reason why many women are
attracted to apply. The combination of technique, law and economics gives
a great variety and a chance to develop. This is what many of the women of
today tries to obtain.
The Survey Program is quite unknown in Sweden; students have no or
little knowledge about the education. It is therefore important to market
the education in grammar school via brochures and Internet. Especially the
brochures were decisive when we, as well as most of the girls accepted to
the program, chose the education. It was the description of the unique
combination of the three main subjects that attracted us. It seemed very
interesting that the Survey program joined different kind of subjects
since many women are interested in both science and civics. The new study
plan with projects is also a reason why women are interested in the Survey
Program as the projects introduce the subjects in a different and more
The university also did arrange a day to get more female students
interested in technical education. It is called “Girls at Technical
University” and welcomes young women from the grammar school to meet
and talk to technologists.
Moreover, it is important for many women to become MSc without studying
just technical subjects but still get a technical academic exam. The
Survey Program is considered “less” technical as technology is not the
main element. The education attracts the female applicant and changes her
attitude to technology. For example, in programming we have a female
lecturer who inspires us and shows us that technique is not only for men.
We were a bit anxious about the course in the beginning but we have now
discovered that we manage and even have fun! However, we want to point out
that we do not want the education to be too “soft”, after all it demands a
certain standard to become a Master of Science.
Another reason why we think women choose the Survey Program is that it
is a small education, which gives a fellow feeling. We believe that it is
not only the education that matters when a woman decides what to study;
the social factors are also important to her.
5. The Solidarity at the Survey Program
The classes studying the Survey Program in Lund are comparatively
small. This sets the level of the social life at the program, which is of
importance when to choose education. At our institution there are only
30-40 students in each class, compared to other technical programs, which
have about 120 new students each year.
The fact that we have most of our lectures in our “own house” gains the
solidarity at the program; the students get to know each other very well.
The atmosphere is very relaxed. You get to know older students, which in
addition give you a larger understanding for the education. We have also
had a few meetings with other Scandinavian students in similar educations.
To meet and exchange opinions with other students is worthwhile; after all
we are future fellow workers.
The small classes give the students a larger chance to get their
opinion stated at the lectures, encourages students to ask questions and
to have interesting discussions. The close connection with the lecturer
gives everyone comfort, otherwise there is a risk that the male students
get all the attention since they have a tendency to be loud. In our case
the lecturers even know the names of the students. When you are a small
group it is also easier to bring about a change if there are any problems
with for example the lecturer or the projects.
It is the width of the Survey Program in Lund that is the main reason
why young women seems to be attracted to apply to the education. The
combination of engineering, law and economics is the ideal education for
those women interested in both science and civics. The solidarity at the
program is also of importance for the women of today when deciding
education as well as the reality-connected projects. The fact that
technology is not the main subject at the Survey Program is another
Linnéa Lindqvist, Email:
Jennie Nilsson, Email:
Minutes of the Working Group Meeting “Under-represented
Groups in Surveying” during the Working Week in Paris
The meeting took place on Wednesday April 16 from 11:00 – 12:30.
- Frances Plimmer, United Kingdom
- Jennie Nilsson, Sweden
- Linnéa Lindqvist, Sweden
- Maria Henriques, Portugal
- Sara J. Wilkinson, United Kingdom
- Leonie Newnham, Australia
- Gabriele Dasse, Germany
Gabriele welcomed the participants and asked each person to introduce
herself. Gabriele regretted, that it was not possible to organise one
session only for joint Commission activities, so several members of the
working group could not attend because of presentations at the same time.
"Guidelines for FIG to Enhance the Involvement of Under-represented
Groups in Activities of FIG and to Implement Gender Mainstream in FIG's
The participants agreed, that it is very important for FIG to involve
all member association in FIG activities. Different cultural backgrounds
are an enrichment and not a disadvantage. Communication is therefore a
significant subject and it is important to solve language problems.
The group discussed several subjects, especially how to increase the
number of young delegates within FIG. Following proposals were made:
- Reduced fees for students.
- A students meeting on the first day.
- Competitions encouraging students to present a paper.
- Sessions for young researchers – doctoral sessions.
- Posters of students should be presented in a room where a reception
for all delegates takes place.
- Links between practicians and students; mentoring programs.
- FIG academic members should provide English lessons and/or
Global Network for Female Surveyors
Sara reported about activities to establish a global network for female
surveyors. The network will be a Forum for discussion, for sharing
experiences, for access to good practice such as mentoring, and for
support. It will be a link for those with similar aims, and a point of
contact for those doing research in the area. The activities are supported
Gabriele Dasse, e-mail:
Handbook on Best Practices, Security of Tenure and Access
- Implementation of the Habitat Agenda
From the web side
“This handbook on Security of Tenure and Access to Land identifies
recent innovations at the global level in the field of land management and
pinpoints land tenure trends. It shows how governments, including local
government and other stakeholders, are coming to grips with implementing
the land related principles enshrined in the Habitat Agenda at a practical
level in the cities and towns. The work can help to assess at the global
level the tools, methods and approaches that exist for the implementation
of the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure, and to identify the gaps,
blockages and problems that still need to be addressed.”
ISBN No.: 92-1-131446-1
HS Number: HS/588/99E
Category: Land Policies
Production Year: 2003
Soft copy versions of this publication are available for download.
Editor: Chair of the Joint Commission Working Group
on Under-represented Groups in Surveying
Ms. Gabriele Dasse,
Kleinfeld 22 a, D-21149
4/03, month of issue:
© Copyright 2003 Gabriele Dasse.
Permission is granted to photocopy in limited quantity for educational
Other requests to photocopy or otherwise reproduce material
in this newsletter should be addressed to the Editor.