Teacher suspended – praised Russia and Iran

- in In English, Nyheter

A teacher at Malmö University has been suspended from teaching. According to Sydsvenskan, she has been accused of making controversial statements, such as praising Russia, the Iranian dictatorship, and the Taliban, while expressing bias favouring black students over white ones. 

A teacher and researcher at Malmö University has faced criticism in the fall of 2023 from students and colleagues. Malmö University conducted an investigation and found the teacher to be guilty, including a breach of central obligations and a prohibited business trip.

The university is terminating the teacher’s employment due to ”objective reasons for dismissal for personal reasons”. The teacher has been banned from teaching students since autumn, with the final decision resting with the Vice-Chancellor of University Management, Kerstin Tham. It has not been confirmed whether the teacher has been fired yet.

– It was really strange, the whole course itself, she wasn’t really following the syllabus, remarks a class representative who chooses to remain anonymous.

She says that the teacher in question held a noticeable anti-Western stance and seemingly pressured students to adopt similar views.

– You could tell she really liked Iran. There were videos we had to watch to prepare for the lectures, and there was one from the former Iranian minister of foreign affairs which got a few students really upset, she explains.

– We thought she would discuss it in the class but she didn’t, she just wanted us to watch it.

Due to the uncomfortable environment, the class representative sought clarification, asking the program coordinator. 

– Is this normal? Is it supposed to be like this? she says.

Subsequently, a report was filed, providing a brief overview of the issues at hand. Upon request for more details, the program coordinator brought the matter to the head of the unit and then the dean of the university. 

The representative details the teacher’s controversial teaching methods, noting that students are only allowed to agree with her perspective, leading to decreased attendance, particularly among students from conflict zones. One instance involves the teacher using unconventional sources like Reddit and Quora to support claims.

– She would present us her perspective, but we weren’t really allowed to discuss it, only agree with her. If a student would disagree she would shut it down and not let them finish their sentence, the class representative says.

– Many students felt like she was trying to radicalise us, which was really intense…She was taking anti-colonialism to an extreme.

The teacher allegedly made racially biased remarks.

– At the first lecture, she said that if there is group work and there is a person of colour causing the problem, she will ’turn the tables around’ against the white students, the representative explains.  

She also notes that the teacher urged others to ”de-whiten themselves and de-whiten their minds”, which created discomfort among many students.

Lundagård has contacted Malmö University’s management and the implicated teacher for comments on the situation, but has not received any response.