Based in the centre of the port city of Gothenburg, the Valand Academy is closely integrated into the city’s cultural life - including collaborations with Göteborgs Konsthall, Hasselblad Centre, Röda Sten, Gothenburg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA), Literature House, and many other public arts agencies. The academy is extensively networked internationally with partners all over the world and a history of providing courses in diverse geopolitical sites including collaborative courses in Europe, Russia, Central Asia and South East Asia.
The academy's professors were the first in Sweden to introduce the doctorate through arts practices, and have been working with doctorate education for more than a decade. The Academy hosts a lively research community, including several prestigious nationally funded research projects in the areas of artist-led culture, social practice, queer cinema, contemporary poetry, and photographic archives/ imaging practices in environmental and climate science. The Academy is an active partner in the PARSE research platform, in EARN, SHARE; ELIA and several other international networks. The academy is characterised by small class sizes and highly competitive recruitment.
The emphasis is on a peer educational environment. The pedagogical approach is based on co-production: This means that knowledge and practice are developed within a community of learners and researchers comprising students and professors operating in an intense and sustained dialogue with each other.
The students come from different countries, cultural heritages and perspectives and are actively encouraged for cross-cultural dialogue. The academy ensures that the programme reflects the diversity of perspective, politic and representation of the contemporary world. The student body is an active participant in the planning and development of the academy's education, research and collaboration with the wider world.
The Valand Academy is committed to sustainable development. This includes social, economic and environmental sustainability. With respect and consideration for each other, create an equal workplace where diversity is prevailing. And also work strategically to reduce the impact on the environment in line with the University of Gothenburg's environmental goals.