Equal treatment of students
All students at Stockholm University are entitled to equal treatment and respect irrespective of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age.
As a student you can contact the University Administration should you have any concerns regarding these matters, firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions regarding work environment and victimisation should be handled by the Department.
The Swedish Discrimination Act
The Discrimination Act prohibits discriminatory practices in a broad range of social and economic activities. There are sections of the act that are directly applicable to education, students and applicants.
The Discrimination Act promotes equal rights and combats discrimination in higher education on grounds of gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, disability, sexual orientation and age. The Discrimination Act also covers sexual harassment.
The Discrimination Act applies to harassment of students by University employees and of students by other students. Harassment may involve anything from unwelcome remarks and verbal abuse to serious assaults. Harassment of any kind, based on any ground of discrimination or of a sexual nature, is unacceptable and is not tolerated at Stockholm University.
Should you feel that you have been subjected to harassment, contact someone at your department that you can confide in, or University Administration (email@example.com) who can carry out an investigation.
Which forms of harassment are covered by the Discrimination Act?
The harassment must have occurred in conjunction with studies in order for the law to be applicable and for the university’s investigation obligation to apply.
The Discrimination Act applies if you feel you have been subjected to ill treatment on one or more of the following grounds and has occurred in conjunction with your studies:
- Ethnic identity: You belong to a group of people with the same national or ethnic origins
- Disability: You have permanent physical or mental disability, either congenital or which as a result of an injury, has arisen or can be expected to arise
- Gender: Because of your gender identity, also including transgender identities
- Transgender identity or appearance: Either through your clothes or general appearance, you do not identify yourself as belonging to the gender you were born with
- Religion: You practice a certain religion or faith
- Sexual orientation: You are homosexual, bisexual, asexual, or of another sexual orientation
- Age: Because of how old you are
- Sexual harassment: Harassment of a sexual nature, e.g. inappropriate solicitations of a sexual nature, inappropriate physical contact, inappropriate remarks about your physique or appearance, or similar.
If you have been subjected to harassment, it is important that you tell someone in order for measures to be taken. Appropriate people to contact in cases of harassment or discrimination are the head of department, the director of studies at your department, the university’s Coordinator for Equal Treatment, or someone at the university you trust.
If you have been harassed
Below you will find useful measures you can take if you have been subjected to harassment.
1. Tell someone if you think their behaviour is inappropriate
Tell the person that you feel that their behaviour is inappropriate. You could say something along the lines of "Stop! I don’t like you doing/saying that." If you do not wish to talk to the person you experience is harassing you, you can write a letter or an email (remember to save copies). You can also ask someone else to talk to your harasser, such as the head of department, a teacher or someone else whom you have confidence in.
2. Tell someone about the harassment
Contact your head of department, director of studies or another employee at the department whom you have confidence in. If you are not comfortable about talking to someone at the department, you can contact the University Administration (firstname.lastname@example.org). If the insults are related to a disability, you are also welcome to turn to the Service for students with disabilities.
3. Keep a journal of all the harassments and save copies of all correspondence
If you write down the chain of the events, you can give a clear picture of your experience of the harassment. Otherwise, the events may get confused, making it difficult to remember exactly where and when they occurred. Your notes may also be source document for an investigation according to the law of equal treatment of students or for a police report. The same applies to all letters, emails, texts and other correspondence with the person who you experienced has harassed you.
4. Harassment that includes threats or stalking
If the harassment takes the form of stalking or you feel as if your personal safety is under threat, you should contact the Security Unit at the university. They can perform a risk analysis, help you file a police report and provide you with some advice and protection in the event of threats or other vulnerable situations. The Security Unit can also be reached by phone at: 16 22 16 (on-call); in an emergency: 16 42 00 (security company).
5. Support from the Stockholm Student Health Unit
Being exposed to harassment may entail great psychological strain. The Stockholm Student Health Unit provides counselling which can be booked during their telephone hours found at su.se/studenthealth.
6. The student union can help you
The student union can give you advice and support during an investigation. Student Union student ombudsmen can also file reports to the university on cases of harassment or maladministration at a department or unit. The ombudsmen at Stockholm University Student Union provide advice and information to students regarding their education, but do not represent students in their cases. Visit the Stockholm University Student Union’s website. If you are a student at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, visit DISK's website. If you are a student at Stockholm Business School, visit Föreningen Ekonomerna's website.
Investigation according to the Discrimination Act
According to the Discrimination Act, the university is obliged to investigate cases of harassment or sexual harassment reported to one of the representatives of the university such as a teacher, supervisor, head of department, director of studies or the university administration.
The investigation work is carried out centrally by the University Administration. The obligation to investigate applies both if you feel offended by an employee or another student. At Stockholm University, we investigate according to the same procedures when a student or applicant experiences a form of discrimination other than harassment.
An investigation is conducted as follows.
In order to make a report, it is sufficient that you tell a representative of the university that the harassment, in your opinion, is covered by the Discrimination Act and is connected with your studies here at the university. To communicate your experience of the harassment as clearly as possible, write down what happened and state how the harassment was consistent with the definition in the Discrimination Act (as in, which form of harassment).
The investigation will be conducted by University Administration, email: email@example.com. The investigation shall be factual and objective and consists of collecting statements from the parties involved. Relevant measures are taken on an ongoing basis depending on what emerges in the case with the aim of countering discrimination.
The investigation can result in a decision in which the university concludes whether or not the matter is harassment in accordance to the law. It is important to remember that the university takes your experience of being harassed seriously, even if the incident turns out to be within the boundaries of the law.
The investigation can take a long time if, for example, if the person in charge needs to obtain additional statements from other people or units. As cases of harassment often entail personal humiliation, you are advised to contact the Stockholm Student Health Unit for support while the investigation is in progress and, if necessary, for a period thereafter. You can also ask for support from the student union or the department during the investigation period.
3. Conclusion and follow-up
If an investigation concludes that there has been no harassment in a legal sense, you shall be notified thereof in writing. If you are dissatisfied with the investigation or university’s decision, you can contact the Discrimination Ombudsman (DO). DO is both a supervisory authority for equal treatment issues and an instance where you can refer a case of discrimination to the district court.
If the investigation concludes that harassment has occurred/is occurring, steps need to be taken to bring it to an end. The university may take disciplinary measures such as suspension from studies at the university if the harasser is another student. The Disciplinary Council will handle this. If the harasser is an employee, there may be a question of other labor law measures.
You can also report harassment to the police. You can get assistance with reporting to the police as well as advice and some protection in the event of threats and more via the Security Organisation at the Property Managements Office, for more information:
If you are subjected to harassment
The department shall follow up to make sure that the harassment has ceased. If the harassment continues the department shall promptly refer the matter to the Disciplinary Council, which will suspend the harasser, or corresponding Human Resources Office, if the harasser is an employee. It is therefore vital that you Inform the university if the harassment continues.
Reprisals, meaning that you are subjected to discrimination or harassment in connection with reporting or having reported harassment, are prohibited and considered very serious if it occurs. Immediately contact the person in charge of the investigation or the head of department if you feel that you have been subjected to reprisals.
Guide – Harassment and victimisation
Here you can read or download our guide as a pdf file.
Studying as a parent
Stockholm University’s local regulations state that students who announce well in advance, that is at the latest by the start of term, that they cannot take part in an examination or other obligatory task, due to having custody of children under the age of 18, should be offered an alternative equal examination or obligatory task. Furthermore, students who take part in examinations that succeed three hours should have the possibility to take a break for breast-feeding.
The local regulations also state that daytime courses should be scheduled in such a way that lectures and seminars, obligatory course modules and examinations normally take place 08.00–17.00 on weekdays. For evening courses, lectures and seminars, obligatory course modules and examinations should normally take place 18.00–22.00 on weekdays.
For more information, please see Regulations for education and examination at first-cycle and second-cycle level
Changing tables and breast-feeding rooms
Changing tables are available in Södra huset, Frescati, on floor 3 and 4 in house C. There are also changing tables in the following toilet rooms at Campus Frescati and Kräftriket: Studenthuset (on floor 2 and 3, including the accessible toilet in the Beta house), Arrheniuslaboratorierna (F301a and C307), Geovetenskapens hus (U135), Manne Siegbahnlaboratoriet (A123), Allhuset (295), Kräftriket (house 3, 214) and Frescati backe (103B).
On floor 3 in Studenthuset, Frescati, there is a rest room that can also be used as a breast-feeding room. Address: Universitetsvägen 2B, the Alfa house, room 321. If you would like to use the rest room in Studenthuset you should contact Infocenter on floor 2.
For rest rooms in Södra huset you should contact Service Centre Frescati Södra next to the library.
Last updated: April 26, 2023
Source: Student Services